Colorado Creative District application changes speed up process for Steamboat Springs | SteamboatToday.com

Colorado Creative District application changes speed up process for Steamboat Springs

Kim Keith, executive director for the Steamboat Springs Arts Council speaks to a crowd of attendees at the All Arts Festival's first Creative Mixology in August. Keith told Steamboat Today that the not-for-profit that supports both performing and visual arts is in the midst of submitting their application to be potential Colorado Creative District. Applications are due Wednesday, April 27 and the there is no longer a two-year candidacy period.

— The Steamboat Springs Arts Council will be rallying the support of the community during the next few days.

The SSAC has been in the process of working toward becoming a Colorado Creative District, which would engage all sectors of the community — tourism, economic development, government advocacy, business, artisans and nonprofits — and bring creatives together through state funding, professional development and community support.

On March 23, Colorado Creative Industries announced changes to the application guidelines.

"New this year, there will no longer be candidate status, and all applicants will apply to become a certified district," CCI stated in a news release.

"We have to get about two years worth of work done in about 30 days," SSAC Executive Director Kim Keith said. "It's a quick turnaround, and the committee is meeting much more frequently. It's really put a fire under us to get the support that we need for the community buy-in portion of the application process."

The application deadline for all potential candidates is April 27.

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"We will be competing with people who have already gone through the candidacy period," Keith said. "But there is a strong arts community present here. We are known for it, and we have the capacity to do this. We are going up against some big guns, but we feel confident that we are putting together a very strong application."

Keith said the Tread of Pioneers Museum, Main Street Steamboat Springs, the Economic Development Council and City Planning, as well as artists and the Arts Council, are working feverishly to submit the best application they can in pursuit of the Creative District designation.

So far, the committee has acquired letters of support and recommendation, as well as several hundred signatures on a petition that can be found at change.org and search "Steamboat Creative District."

Keith said the group hopes to have 10 percent of the community, or about 1,200 people, sign the petition before Wednesday.

"The main thing we need from the community is showing that we believe in this and that it's a good thing for the community," Keith said.

Throughout the application process, Keith said she has discovered there is a staggering amount of money that comes into the community from creative industries — $47 million to be exact.

Steamboat's Creative Vitality Index is 2.31 compared to the national average of 1.0.

In addition, statistics from Creative Vitality Suite, provided by Margaret Hunt, executive director of Colorado Creative Industries, reveal there are 431 creative jobs in Steamboat Springs, with $5.5 million generated from cultural nonprofits and $47.5 million generated from creative sales, which includes traditional art sales and performance arts, as well as architects, graphic designers and interior designers.

"We are already doing this," Keith said. "It's a lot of work the next few days, but I have a massive amount of hope, pride and belief that we can do this."

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email adwyer@ExploreSteamboat.com or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1