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The Good News
2020 February/March
Pg 3 - The Sunshine Express
Colorado Creative Industries (CCI) announced
December 17 the five-year certification of three
new Creative Districts in Durango, Loveland and
In addition, 40 West Arts District Lakewood, Down-
town Colorado Springs Creative District, Greeley
Creative District, Downtown Longmont Arts &
Entertainment District and RiNo Art District were
approved for recertification.
※The economic impact of Colorado*s creative indus-
tries is profound, representing 4.4 percent of the
state*s GDP,§ said Betsy Markey, executive director
of the Colorado Office of Economic Development
and International Trade. ※Investing in and support-
ing the arts provides a strong foundation for places
where people want to live, work and visit. With 26
certified districts in Colorado, our creative indus-
tries continue to benefit Colorado communities.§
A review panel evaluated applications and selected
three finalists for a site visit. Each application is re-
viewed on district characteristics, management and
planning, and community buy-in. Districts must
meet a rigorous set of minimum standards in order
to achieve certification to include recognition by
local government, a high concentration of creative
organizations and businesses, sustainable funding
sources, paid staff and a strategic plan.
The three newly certified districts will join the 23
existing Colorado Creative Districts: 40 West Arts
District Lakewood, Breckenridge Creative District,
Carbondale Creative District, Coraz車n de Trinidad,
Crested Butte Creative District, Denver*s Art Dis-
trict on Santa Fe, Downtown Colorado Springs Cre-
ative District, Fort Collins Creative District, Golden
Triangle Creative District, Grand Junction Creative
District, Grand Lake Creative District, Greeley
Creative District, Longmont Arts and Entertainment
District, Mancos Creative District, Manitou Springs
Creative District, North Fork Valley Creative Dis-
trict, Pueblo Creative Corridor, Ridgway Creative
District, RiNo Arts District, Salida Creative District,
Steamboat Springs Creative District, Telluride Arts
District and Westwood Creative District.
※Colorado certification requirements for creative
districts are some of the highest standards in the
nation,§ said Margaret Hunt, CCI director, ※They
are predicated on broad-based community engage-
ment and support as well as each community*s
authentic and unique story and history.§
Along with official designation, each district will re-
ceive an award package including financial support,
technical assistance, marketing support, access to
grants, CDOT highway signs and leadership train-
For more information please visit:
For communities across Colorado that are not a
Certified Creative District but are interested in find-
ing out more about supporting the arts, webinars,
case studies and valuable resources are available
※Colorado Creative Industries values our 50-
year old partnership with the Endowment and
we are excited to see so many organizations
located outside of metro Denver benefiting
from these federal funds, including many
located in our certified Colorado Creative
Western Colorado*s 2020 first round recipi-
ents are:
*** Aspen Santa Fe Ballet
Aspen, CO
Art Works 每 Dance
To support dancer salaries for Aspen Santa
Fe Ballet*s national tour.
*** Blue Sage Center (aka Blue Sage Center
for the Arts)
Paonia, CO
Challenge America
To support contemporary music performanc-
es by cello and percussion ensemble New
Morse Code, with related outreach activities.
*** Coyote School (aka Elsewhere Studios)
Paonia, CO
Art Works 每 Artist Communities
To support a residency program and profes-
sional development opportunities at Else-
where Studios and Aeolian Acres focused on
Native artists.
*** Anderson Ranch Arts Foundation
Snowmass Village, CO
Art Works 每 Artist Communities
To support a residency program for visual
and media artists.
*** Bravo! Colorado at Vail-Beaver Creek
(aka Bravo! Vail)
Vail, CO
Art Works 每 Music
To support artist fees for Bravo! Vail, an an-
nual music festival.
About the National Endowment for the
Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA
is the independent federal agency whose
funding and support gives Americans the op-
portunity to participate in the arts, exercise
their imaginations, and develop their creative
Through partnerships with state arts agen-
cies, local leaders, other federal agencies,
and the philanthropic sector, the NEA sup-
ports arts learning, affirms and celebrates
America*s rich and diverse cultural heritage,
and extends its work to promote equal access
to the arts
Colorado Recognized As A Leading National
Opportunity Zone Community
Colorado has earned national recognition as
one of the top 20 communities and opportunity
zones committed to achieving equitable economic
growth in underserved and overlooked commu-
nities, as identified by &The Forbes OZ 20: Top
Opportunity Zone Catalysts*, a partnership be-
tween the Sorenson Impact Center and Forbes
The communities of Colorado Springs, Montrose
and Pagosa Springs, as well as Colorado-based
Four Points Funding, were also recognized for
their applications demonstrating commitment to
equitable economic opportunity zone stewardship.
※We are honored to be recognized as a national
leader in Opportunity Zones,§ said Governor Jared
Polis, ※With 126 designated zones that span the
state, Colorado*s Opportunity Zones are attracting
capital to our state, helping to grow our economy
and supporting our rural communities.§
※I*m proud of all the hard work so many have
done to ensure Colorado leads the way in deploy-
ing this compelling federal tax incentive.§
More than 8,700 opportunity zones were desig-
nated as part of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
These zones were selected in collaboration with
State and Federal leaders to drive investment into
distressed communities.
The incentive offers deferments and savings
on capital gains when investors deploy funds in
opportunity zone projects. Investments in op-
portunity zones are empowering teachers to live
in the communities they serve, extending grid
infrastructure and solar array construction in rural
America and expanding economic opportunity.
※Colorado took a strategic, data-driven and
community-involved approach to identifying its
designated Opportunity Zones,§ said Jana Persky,
Opportunity Zones Administrator at OEDIT, ※Op-
portunity zones and funds are powerful assets in
our economic development toolkit.§
※We have brought together diverse stakeholders
to work in areas that had the necessary founda-
tion of assets and infrastructure to attract invest-
ment, but lacked meaningful investment activity
to impact communities. These deliberate efforts
have created tremendous opportunity for invest-
ment in Colorado and, as a result, we are starting
to see transformative changes.§
Jim Sorenson, Founder of the Sorenson Impact
Center, said, ※We received 113 applications to the
Forbes OZ 20, with 62 Funds and 51 communi-
ties testing their OZ strategies through a rigorous
selection process.§
※The quality and standard of applications was
excellent with communities and OZ funds showing
a clear commitment to social impact.§
※We are excited to share learnings from the
Forbes OZ 20 to help other community organiza-
tions and OZ funds deliver real and meaningful
change in the communities they support.§
(source: OEDIT)
※Excited To Share Learnings§
Western Colorado Arts Grants
26 Colorado Arts Organizations Awarded
$408,000 in National Endowment for the
Arts grants
January 15, 2020: The Colorado Office of Eco-
nomic Development and International Trade (OE-
DIT) announced today that 26 diverse Colorado
arts organizations were selected as first-round
award recipients of the National Endowment for
the Arts* (NEA) 2020 grant cycle.
National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Mary
Anne Carter revealed the $27.3 million award list
of national arts projects receiving federal funding,
including Colorado*s $408,000 of awards. Overall,
1,187 NEA grants were awarded to organizations
or projects in all 50 states, the District of Colum-
bia and Puerto Rico.
Colorado*s recipients span from Paonia to Parker
and represent a 38 percent increase in Colorado*s
total NEA awards over the previous year. 42
percent of the 2020 grants were awarded to arts
organizations outside of metro Denver. OEDIT*s
Colorado Creative Industries division continues
to be a strong catalyst for the arts within the
state as nearly half of this year*s NEA recipients
are located in State-certified Colorado Creative
※Colorado*s diverse and rich arts scene supports
thousands of jobs across the state, §said Margaret
Hunt, Director of Colorado Creative Industries,
New Creative Districts
Colorado Creative Industries (CCI) announced
December 17 the five-year certification of
three new Creative Districts in Durango,
Loveland and Sterling.
In addition, 40 West Arts District Lakewood,