Durango Creative District to Hold Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Celebration Party
The community is invited to join in celebration on February 25th at the Durango Arts Center, the new location of the DCD’s administrative office for 2020!
Monday, February 10, 2020 - In December 2019, Durango received official designation as a Creative District by Colorado Creative Industries, a subdivision of the Office of Economic Development and International Trade. Durango joins the ranks among 25 other communities in Colorado who have become certified through this Creative Districts program.
The Durango Creative District (DCD) is two things:
1) It is a physical district that possesses a high concentration of creative activities, businesses, organizations and events. Our District extends from 33rd Street down to Bodo Park and incorporates Fort Lewis College. The District boundary was determined by a community working group that mapped Durango’s 400+ creative assets and found that our assets are distributed widely throughout our city.
2) It is a new nonprofit organization operating under fiscal sponsorship of the Local First Foundation. The mission of the DCD is to unite, celebrate and expand our local creative economy.
The DCD would like to invite the community to celebrate at the official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Tuesday, February 25. The Ceremony will take place at 5:00pm outside of the Durango Arts Center (DAC), the new location of the organization’s administrative office for 2020, and will follow with refreshments inside the DAC’s gallery.
“We’re excited for our administrative office to be housed in the DAC this year, right in the middle of downtown,” said Hayley Kirkman, the new Executive Director. “We felt that it was important for the DCD’s office to have high visibility space to sell merchandise and put up signs, and be situated in an already-existing creative hub.”
The organization will work with and serve a variety of creative industries, including but not limited to: Visual Arts, Design, Literary and Publishing, Artisan Products, Performing Arts, Culinary Arts & Craft Beverage, Culture & Heritage, Arts and Performance Venues, Historic Hoteliers, Film & Media, Education and Creative Recreation.
“The DAC is honored to be the new home for the DCD,” said Brenda Macon, Board Secretary of the DCD and Executive Director of the Durango Arts Center. “This Creative District designation is an important milestone, not just as a much anticipated platform for creative industries but as an economic driver. The DCD represents multiple groups of different interests who have come together in the true spirit of collaboration. Our hope is that by showcasing the true value of creativity, that our community develops a new understanding and appreciation for creative culture as an economic bonding agent.”
The DCD’s stakeholder process coalesced hundreds of community members and engaged them in over 30 meetings throughout the year. The community collaboratively made decisions about the DCD’s branding, mission/vision, strategic plan, boundary area, legal structure, and more.
“We want to thank the many stakeholders that led the formation of the District, including the City of Durango, Colorado Creative Industries, BID, Visit Durango, Chamber, FLC, Local First, and the many creative organizations, businesses and individuals that contributed to the effort,” said Bill Carver, President of the DCD and founder of Carver Brewing Company.
Now that the DCD is officially certified, it is kicking into high gear for 2020. In this month alone, the steering committee formalized into a Board of Directors, raised nearly $40,000 in donations and grants to cover operations and overhead, and hired Hayley Kirkman as Executive Director and Susan Lander as its consultant (and liaison for Colorado Creative Industries’ council).
“The Board is ready to build on the excitement of becoming certified,” said Bill Carver. “We are forming committees to work on the goals of the Creative District, including several projects and events, as well as long-term aspirational goals for tomorrow's Durango.”
The organization is planning different committees for community members to engage with this year, including:
Strategic Planning & Development Committee
Projects and Placemaking Committee
Events & Networking Committee
Two projects the DCD has already rolled out for this year include the Creative Loan Fund with First Southwest Community Fund (more information can be found at durangocreativedistrict.org/loanfund) and an inspirational presentation/conversation series with professional creatives from different industries called the Spark Series. The Spark Series will make its debut on Thursday, February 20 at the Durango Arts Center from 6pm-8pm on the theme of “Origin Stories”. Admission is free and a cash bar will be available.