About the Creative District Certification Program

Telluride outdoor performanceIn 2011, the Colorado legislature passed and Governor Hickenlooper signed into law HB11-1031 encouraging the formation of Creative Districts in communities, neighborhoods or contiguous geographic areas.

The purpose of the bill is to:

  • Attracting artists and creative entrepreneurs to a community, infusing new energy and innovation, which in turn will enhance the economic and civic capital of the community;
  • Creating hubs of economic activity, thereby enhancing the area as an appealing place to live, visit and conduct business, as well as create new economic activity;
  • Attracting visitors;
  • Revitalizing and beautifying communities;
  • Providing a focal point for celebrating and strengthening a community's unique identity;
  • Showcasing cultural and artistic organizations, events and amenities;
  • Contributing to the development of healthy communities; and
  • Improving the quality of life of the State's residents.

View the 2008 State of Colorado’s Creative Economy Study

How to Join the Creative District Program

Program at a glance

Communities that aspire for their creative district to become Colorado Certified may submit a Letter of Interest (due March 3, 2014) to become a Candidate for Creative District Certification, see the guidelines below. Creative districts accepted into the program work toward certification for two years. This two-year incubator style program offers Candidate Creative Districts a number of benefits in the form of direct funding and professional assistance, training and networking with peers.

RiNo Art DistrictClick here to read the Candidate Creative District Guidelines

Click here to apply and follow the instructions to register for a new account.

Click here for Frequently Asked Questions

Creative District Certification

Ridgway Creative DistrictOnly those Creative Districts that are currently Candidates in the Creative District Program are eligible to apply to be a Colorado Certified Creative District in 2014. Click here for the Creative District Certification Guidelines.


Learn More about Colorado's 7 Certified Creative Districts and the 7 Candidate Creative Districts at Creative Districts Showcase.



Creative District Program Contacts


Margaret Hunt, CCI Director 303-892-3840
Susan Fries, Creative Districts Consultant 719-242-6652


Boettcher Creative District Leadership Awards

The Boettcher Foundation is a partner of the Colorado Creative Industries in establishing the Colorado Creative District Program.  Current Certified and Candidate Creative Districts are eligible to receive a Boettcher Creative District Leadership Award.

The purpose of the Boettcher Creative District Leadership Awards is to assist in creating sustainable operations and successful ongoing programs through a matching grant of $25,000 per Creative District. The funds are to be used to help the Creative Districts currently in the program to achieve the administrative structure, funding streams, community engagement processes, strategic planning and staff structure that provide both immediate sustainability and opportunities to evolve.

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 www.BoettcherFoundation.org.