Creative District Certification Guidelines and Application Now Available

Colorado Creative Industries (CCI) announced on March 23, 2016 that guidelines and applications are available for Colorado Creative District certification. This certification recognizes districts that are contributing to Colorado's economy through creativity, culture and the arts, and the program supports these districts in their endeavors to bolster investment, job growth and local revenue through supporting strategic investments in the development of creative places.

New this year, there will no longer be candidate status and all applicants will apply to become a certified district. Communities selected for certification will have access to enhanced program benefits.

Creative Districts receive access to marketing, data, funding and other support. Twenty districts have been accepted into the program since its inception. Click here to see a complete list.

Applicants for Colorado Creative District Certification must be:

  • A structured entity representative of a community located in Colorado (e.g. municipal or county government, a registered neighborhood organization, downtown or economic development authority, 501(c)3 or 501(c)6 or other)
  • An entity representing an area formally recognized as a creative or arts district
  • A creative district or organization with a mission reflecting a commitment to arts and culture and/or creative placemaking


Districts must go through a rigorous application and certification process in order to become a Colorado Creative District. Certified Creative Districts must meet a number of important criteria:

  • Clearly define their unique place and niche, and identify what sets them apart
  • Comprise a geographically contiguous area
  • Be distinguished by physical, artistic or cultural resources that play a vital role in the quality of life of the community, including its economic and cultural development
  • Be the site of a concentration of artistic and cultural activity, a major arts or culture facility, arts and entertainment businesses, arts and cultural activities or artistic/cultural and creative sector production
  • Be engaged in promotion, preservation and educational aspects of arts and culture, provide interpretive, education or entertainment uses

The application to become a Certified Creative District can be accessed at All applications must be submitted online. A free webinar to answer questions about the application will be held on April 1 at 12 p.m. Click here to register for the webinar.



The deadline for receipt of applications is April 28, 2016 at 4 p.m.



CCI administers the Colorado Creative District Program, and the Boettcher Foundation is a partner. 


About Colorado Creative Industries

Colorado Creative Industries, Colorado's state arts agency, 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.