Grand Lake seeks creative district designation; big announcement expected at Tuesday meeting in Grand Lake
Grand Lake’s Creative District meeting will be held from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Nov. 7 in the Grand Lake Community House. The public is invited to attend the meeting to learn what a creative district is, how Grand Lake would benefit and what the process entails to formally become a creative district.
Grand Lake is already a unique town with an eclectic mix of restaurants and shops, but the creative and artistic spirit of the community could soon seen some extra energy, and potentially grant funding, if the town is formally declared a creative district by the Colorado Creative Industry.
Next week, officials from the Colorado Creative Industry (CCI) will hold an afternoon meeting at the Grand Lake Community House to discuss ongoing efforts to have Grand Lake declared a creative district by the CCI.
Along with the distinction that comes with being a creative district, the designation by the CCI would provide Grand Lake with access to CCI’s state marketing program for creative districts, as well as access to various types of grants.
The effort to establish Grand Lake as a creative district has been pushed forward by several local entities and individuals. The Colorado Creatives Group, a collection of local artists, artisans and business people who work to promote creative economies and the area, helped spearhead the effort along with the town of Grand Lake and Grand County’s economic development coordinator, DiAnn Butler.
According to Ken Fucik, a local citizen who is part of the Colorado Creatives Group, the program is under the Colorado Office of Economic Development, which sets up the districts through the CCI. Fucik said the purpose of the program is to promote creative economies within towns in the state.
A creative economy can entail anything from architectural firms to breweries, to art galleries and boat building schools, like the Rocky Mountain Boat School Fucik recently established.
In previous years, prospective communities that sought designation as a creative district could apply to the CCI, but, according to Fucik, that has recently changed and the designation is now available on an invitation-only basis, though communities must show interest and commitment to the designation.
Among the key factors CCI looks at when considering creative district designations is if the proposed creative district is walkable, communities with viable economies based on creative endeavours but not simply communities with large numbers of artists. Businesses selling creative goods and available space for creative works or projects are also key factors in the determination.
Representatives from CCI will be at the meeting Tuesday afternoon discussing creative districts. According to a flyer put out about the meeting, CCI plans to extend an invitation to Grand Lake to become a creative district at the meeting. During Tuesday’s meeting, citizens will be able to learn more about creative districts and what additional steps Grand Lake will need to take to obtain the formal designation. Officials from CCI will also cover the benefits creative districts receive after designation.
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