Colorado Governor Hickenlooper passed the HB11-1031 bill in 2011. This bill focuses on the conception of more Creative Districts in Colorado. A Creative District is an enterprise that adds economic value to a community through creative entrepreneurship. The Office of Economic Development’s initiative states:
“We have one of the only programs in place to develop affordable housing and work space, including commercial space, for artists and arts organizations in rural communities. We’re also providing access to grant funding and mentorship opportunities, and ensuring that more art finds its way into public spaces.”
This bill will attract other creatives to the community, and provide a richer culture investing in the arts.
In 2014, a loan was created to supported this 2011 bill,
“THE CREATIVE DISTRICT COMMUNITY LOAN FUND IS CREATED IN THE STATE TREASURY.THE PRINCIPAL OF THE FUND CONSISTS OF MONEYS APPROPRIATED OR TRANSFERRED TO THE FUND BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, MATCHING MONEYS LEVERAGED BY THE DIVISION FROM ANY COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT FINANCIAL INSTITUTION.”
What this means is, the state of Colorado is willing to fund creative business growth throughout the state. They value that so many visionaries live here. The program also offers support for marketing, social media, access to mentors, and education. Additional sources of financing are available if the creative projects exceed the original state grant.
This economic shift is lucrative and beneficial for people that work in Design, Literary and Publishing, Film and Media, Performing Arts, Visual Arts and Crafts and Heritage. There is also a significant crossover into other fields such as Crafts and artisan enterprises, tourism, information technology, and outdoor recreation. The pay scale for a creative is above average for the state median wage.
Fort Collins went through the application process that started in April of 2016 and became Full Creative District Status in Oct. 2016. The City has formed a Creative District and is one of 13 across the state. The Bohemian Foundation built a campus for musicians called the Music District. Fort Collins is putting plans in place now also to reap the benefits and become a stronger, creative community that values art and artist from all mediums. The Bohemian Foundation became a public partner and is supporting the Colorado Music Strategy, a strategic plan to garner music as a medium for economic growth in Northern Colorado.
There are coordination and collaboration between the state, the city, and the non-profit sector. Any city with the district status will be booming with artist and resources to support their work. Already the state has seen positive economic growth because of the Creative Districts.