Creative Districts

Jeff Cook
Opportunities | Programs


What you need to know about Creative Districts in Colorado.

The Creative District Certification process focuses on defining specific geographic areas that can attract artists and creative entrepreneurs to a community, infuse new energy and innovation and enhance economic and civic capital. Creative Districts are hubs of economic activity, enhancing the area as an appealing place to live, visit and conduct business, as well as generate new economic activity. Program support offers selected communities access to financial and technical support and networking and training programs. Primary recipients are Colorado communities, including local government entities and nonprofit cultural organizations within and surrounding the Certified Creative Districts.

NOTE: CCI does not accept unsolicited letters of inquiry or proposals for the Creative District program.

Potential applicants must meet one of two prerequisites: Completion of the Call Yourself Creative DIY three-step process or participation in the Colorado Office of Economic Development Rural Technical Assistance Program (RTAP) – Creativity Lab initiative, an application based program for rural communities. Program staff will actively engage and collaborate to determine a customized strategy for each community. Contact Christy Costello, [email protected] for more information.

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Eligibility Snapshot
  • Structured entity representative of a community in Colorado, e.g. municipal or county government, a registered neighborhood organization, downtown or economic development authority, 501 (c) 3 or 501 (c) 6
  • Entity representing an area formally recognized as a creative or arts district
  • Creative district or organization with art centric mission
  • Completion of the Rural Technical Assistance Program (RTAP) Creativity Lab OR the Call Yourself Creative DIY 3 step program
Case Study

Greeley Creative District

Greeley, Colorado obtained official Creative District certification in 2014. Ever since, Greeley has continued to creatively expand alongside 26 fellow Creative Districts throughout Colorado. Exciting best describes the climate encompassed by the Greeley Creative District, which blends the historic Downtown Development and University Districts in a continuum of dynamic and complementary uses.

In the initial year of certification, Greeley had a total of 675 creative jobs. A $2.2 million gain was achieved in total creative industry earnings after the initial year of certification, which resulted in $22.9 million total industry earnings. A 38% gain was obtained with regards to nonprofit revenues, resulting in $584.7K total revenues. Creative District certification is representative of Greeley’s creative vitality and artists such as performance art and speed painter, Armando Silva.