The Town of Parker is one of eight Colorado communities designated as an “Emerging Creative District” by the State Economic Development Commission. As part of this designation, Parker will receive a grant and technical assistance to further their Creative District planning and encourage the growth of creative industries. In addition, two “Certified” Creative Districts and eight “Prospective” Creative Districts were named.
Creative Districts are defined as areas that have a mix of uses within their boundaries, including arts/cultural assets, creative businesses and complementary non-arts businesses such as restaurants, offices, retail stores and housing. Districts may also offer events like art walks and art festivals and can include community gathering places such as a plaza or park. The purpose of Creative Districts is to attract creative entrepreneurs and artists to a community, create hubs of economic activity, attract visitors, revitalize and beautify communities, provide a focal point for celebrating and strengthening a community’s unique identity and showcasing cultural and artistic organizations, events and amenities.
Located in downtown Parker, the Town’s Creative District is home to the Parker Arts, Culture and Events (PACE) Center, the Parker Mainstreet Center and the Parker Library. In addition, the District retains a diverse mix of more than 260 businesses, including 24 creative enterprises, and hosts approximately 34 annual community events.
“Emerging Creative District recognition by the State will help strengthen economic activity in Parker by leveraging our considerable investment in the downtown area, as well as in arts and cultural facilities and activities,” said Councilmember Amy Holland. “This designation will also brand Parker as a community that values the arts and creative industries.”
Forty-nine Districts applied for the Creative District designation, 44 of which met the basic qualifications. Applications were reviewed by a panel of professionals with experience in arts and creative industries, city planning, economic development and business development. Panelists reviewed, scored and ranked the complete application and support materials based on weighted review criteria in the areas of: district characteristics, management and planning, community buy-in and other factors.
For more information, please contact Economic Development Director John Hall at 303.841.0353 or Cultural Director Jeannene Bragg at 303.805.6800.