Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Office of: 
Economic Development and International Trade


The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT), Colorado Creative Industries Division (CCI) and the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) along with Boettcher Foundation, Artspace and the Town of Ridgway gathered today to announce Ridgway as the community selected for Space to Create in Southwest Colorado. The program will develop affordable workforce housing for the creative sector, as well as position Colorado as the nation’s leader in artist-led community transformation in rural creative placemaking.

“Housing and economic development are vital needs in rural Colorado, and the Space to Create initiative advances both of these issues by harnessing the power of the public, private and philanthropic sectors, as well as the creative community, to elevate rural economies,” said Fiona Arnold, executive director of OEDIT.

Space to Create Ridgway will advance a creative sector workforce project in the town of Ridgway. The project will begin with a preliminary feasibility study and community engagement work scheduled for September 28 – 30, 2016, followed by an arts market survey.

Space to Create Ridgway, is one of nine projects that will be launched in eight regions in Colorado’s rural, small town and mountain communities over the next three years. Each project will be driven by community needs for workforce housing and commercial space for artists and creative entrepreneurs. The first demonstration project was launched last year in Trinidad. Regional selections are prioritized based on readiness, public will, commitment of local resources and housing demands. 

“This is an amazing and much-needed opportunity for the Town of Ridgway and our region,” said Jen Coates, Ridgway town manager. “We are honored to be selected for Space to Create in Southwest Colorado and to join such an incredible team of partners. Workforce housing and growing our local economy have been top priorities for many years. As a Creative District and Main Street community that is investing in downtown infrastructure today, Ridgway could not be more prepared or better suited to welcome this fantastic project.”

"The Space to Create Ridgway initiative will unite local and regional partners in an effort to create an important catalyst for economic development in Colorado’s rural communities,” said Irv Halter, DOLA executive director.

Artspace, America’s leader in artist-led community transformation, will act as lead consultant with CCI.

Today’s announcement was held at Hartwell Park in Ridgway, Colorado.

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About Colorado Creative Industries

Colorado Creative Industries is a division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. Established to capitalize on the immense potential for our creative sector to enhance economic growth in Colorado, the mission of Colorado Creative Industries is to promote, support and expand the creative industries to drive Colorado's economy, grow jobs and enhance our quality of life.


About DOLA

The Department of Local Affairs is responsible for strengthening Colorado’s local communities. DOLA works in partnership with local governments and organizations statewide to provide funding for projects, affordable housing, and disaster recovery relief as well as expertise to communities through robust technical assistance programs to help with community planning, property taxation, and tax appeals.


About Artspace

Artspace is the nation’s leader in artist-led community transformation, with more than 35 projects in operation across the country and another dozen in development, representing a unique, $600 million investment in America’s arts infrastructure. With headquarters in Minneapolis and offices in Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Seattle and Washington D.C., Artspace is America’s leading developer of arts facilities and has served as a consultant to hundreds of communities and arts organizations nationwide. To date Artspace has completed nearly 2,000 affordable live/work units for artists and their families as well as more than a million square feet of non-residential space for artists and arts organizations.