Creative Districts in Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs

Creative Districts in Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs

CCI LogoDENVER — June 16, 2014 — Colorado Creative Industries (CCI), a division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade, and the Boettcher Foundation today announced the certification of four new Creative Districts and the acceptance of seven Candidate Districts into the Colorado Creative Districts Program. The newly certified districts are 40 West Arts District, Lakewood, Downtown Colorado Springs, RiNo Art District, Denver and the Greeley Creative District. Candidate districts entering the program include: Mancos Creative District, Manitou Springs Arts Council Creative District, Crestone Creative District, Crested Butte Creative District, Downtown Fort Collins Creative District, Carbondale Historic Downtown Core and the Evergreen Creative District.

“These 2014 certified and candidate creative districts are great examples of how the arts create exciting places for people to visit and live,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “These districts not only increase quality of life, they also help with economic vitality of the area and attract people from all over Colorado and the country.”

These newly certified districts have been working toward certification standards since 2012. A review panel evaluated certification applications and conducted site visits. Evaluation was based on three foundational elements:

  • A Certified Creative District must capture its unique story and reflect that story
  • A Certified Creative District must be integrated with other community systems such as planning, economic development, tourism, transportation, urban renewal, safety and public gathering spaces
  • A Certified Creative District must have local government endorsement.
  • The newly certified districts will join the seven Colorado Creative Districts: Denver’s Art District on Santa Fe, Pueblo Creative Corridor, Corazon de Trinidad, North Fork Valley Creative District, Ridgway Creative District, Salida Creative District and Telluride Arts District.

“The goal of this program is to help Colorado Creative Districts achieve the administrative structure, funding streams, community engagement process, strategic plan and staff structure that provide both opportunities to grow the creative economy,” said Margaret Hunt, director of Colorado Creative Industries.

“The state’s newly designated Creative Districts are capitalizing on Colorado’s creative assets to grow their local economy and to improve the quality of life for their residents,” said Tim Schultz, president and executive director of the Boettcher Foundation. “We want to help them be successful and sustainable over the long-term, and we look forward to the Boettcher Creative District Leadership Awards taking them even further along the road to success.” Creative districts accepted into the program as “candidates” work toward certification for two years. This incubator-style program offers Candidate Creative Districts benefits in the form of direct funding and professional assistance, training and networking with peers. Candidate districts are eligible to apply for certification at the end of two years.

Submissions were reviewed by panelists using the following criteria: district characteristics, management and planning, community buy-in, and other factors. Each candidate district will be awarded a $5,000 matching grant from CCI.

For more information, please visit

About the Colorado Creative Districts program In 2011, the Colorado General Assembly passed HB11-1031, encouraging the formation of Creative Districts in communities, neighborhoods or contiguous geographic areas. Administered by Colorado Creative Industries, the Creative District Program encourages the formation of creative districts in neighborhoods and contiguous geographic areas for the purpose of:

  • Attracting artists and creative entrepreneurs to a community
  • Enhancing economic and civic capital of Colorado communities
  • Creating hubs and clusters of economic activity
  • Enhancing areas as appealing places to live, conduct businesses and attract visitors
  • Serving as an economic strategy and magnet
  • Revitalizing and beautifying
  • Promoting a community’s unique identity
  • Showcasing cultural and artistic events and amenities

About Colorado Creative Industries
Colorado Creative Industries is Colorado’s state arts agency and is a division of the Office of Economic Development and International Trade. Established to capitalize on the immense potential for our creative sector to enhance economic growth in Colorado, the mission of CCI is to promote, support and expand the creative industries to drive the state’s economy, grow jobs and enhance our quality of life.

About the Boettcher Foundation Founded by the Boettcher Family in 1937 to effectively assist, encourage and promote a better quality of life for the citizens of Colorado, the Boettcher Foundation invests in Colorado through “minds and mortar.” The Foundation funds Scholarships, biomedical research and teacher training, as well as capital grants for nonprofits. For more information, visit


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