The North Fork Valley and the Creative Coalition received great news last week. The state has designated the North Fork Valley Creative District as an "Emerging Creative District."
They received a $2,000 grant and will be given other tools as the new district serves artists and tourism in the valley.
The announcement came Friday, March 9, from Gov. John Hickenlooper. Downtown Salida and Denver's Art District on Sante Fe received the formal certification as the two new Colorado Creative Districts. Those districts will each receive $15,000 in grant money plus "assistance to attract artists, creative entrepreneurs and visitors as a strategy to infuse new energy and innovation and enhance the economic and civic capital of the community. The program is administered by the Office of Economic Development and International Trade through the Colorado Creative Industries division."
There was plenty of competition for the designations. According to the press release, 44 different districts from 25 counties applied. Five applicants were designated as Prospective Creative Districts and will each receive $8,000 and "a customized package of technical assistance to enhance the likelihood that they will be certified in the future."
Seven other districts joined the North Fork Valley in receiving the Emerging Creative Districts designation. Each will receive $2,000 and technical assistance to further their district planning.
Karen Good of Elsewhere Studios and the Creative Coalition was excited about the Emerging Creative District designation "because we are just in the beginning stages of putting this all together. It's going to give us technical assistance and just a little bit of money to work with and recognition and help as we put the district together." The district's goal will be to help get creative people, businesses and organizations working together. "It's a matter of educating people what the district is all about and what the advantages are in having this designation." Good expects this kind of state support will help the valley economically.
Next week there will be a meeting of the eight partners that submitted the application. That will be their first opportunity to discuss how they will do the organization and mesh with one another. They will determine the relationship between the Creative Coalition and the Creative District.
The eight partners for the grant application were KVNF, Mountain Harvest Festival, Blue Sage Center for the Arts, The Creamery Arts Center, The Paradise Theatre, Elsewhere Studios, Hutman Media and Delta County Tourism.
The Creative Coalition was an outgrowth of North Fork Vision 2020. The coalition had identified four areas they were focusing on: networking, marketing, education and public arts and events. They are just finishing a marketing plan funded with a previous $1,000 grant from Colorado Creative Industries.
"The idea is to help the creatives in this valley to be able to market themselves and be sustainable," Good said.
A new directory of those in the creative arts will be online and in print form in May. The coalition already has about 200 people in the database for the directory. "It's amazing how diverse and rich this valley is," Good said. "It's very exciting!"blog comments powered by Disqus