Creative thinking

Creative thinking

Attention all you right-brained types – we know you’re out there, we’ve seen your Halloween and Snowdown costumes – Local First needs your input tonight (Thurs., Oct. 11) from 5 – 7 p.m. at the Rec Center. That’s because the local nonprofit is spearheading an effort to designate Durango (or possible part thereof) as a certified Creative District.

OK, so it may sound a little nebulous but think of a Creative District as a bustling hive of creative energy and innovation, where people flock to shop, gawk, grab a bite or check out an outdoor concert. Overseen by Colorado Creative Industries (CCI), an arm of the Colorado Office of Economic Development, the program was created in 2011 to foster the arts and bolster local economies. Creative Districts are eligible for grant funding, technical assistance, training and advocacy tools. Since 2012, in conjunction with the Boettcher Foundation, CCI has established 23 creative districts around the state, including Crested Butte, Telluride, Mancos and Ridgway.

In addition to creating a space for local artsy types to let their imaginations run amok – everything from craft brewing to duct tape fashion – the districts also include complementary non-arts businesses, such as restaurants, offices, retail, housing and lodging. In addition, they serve as a hub for events, such as art walks, festivals, concerts and community gatherings. The vision is to help communities preserve their uniqueness, attract money-paying visitors, and make for an overall (more) awesome place to live, work and play.

If all this sounds good, show up Thursday, where you can learn more, get involved, and hear from other towns who have plowed the fertile creative soil ahead of us.

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