What is a Creative District?

•A state certification from Colorado Creative Industries, a division of the Office of Economic Development and International Trade.

•A specific geographic area that can attract artists and creative entrepreneurs to a community, infuse new energy and innovation, and enhance economic and civic capital.

•A hub that features a concentration of creative organizations, activities and events. This hub enhances the area as an appealing place to live, visit and conduct business, and generate new economic activity.

I am a local creative. What does this mean for me?

Having an established Creative District in Durango is expected to help boost the creative economy and promote unification among creatives from multiple backgrounds. It will provide more resources to the creative community, including increased access to funding and large grants, increased promotion for our local creative industries, increased promotion for our regional Creative Districts in Southwest Colorado, and other public benefit programs to get involved with as a local creative (such as the Spark Series and the Empty Storefront Project).

Please stay tuned for the launch of our online Directory for creatives to showcase their services/products at an affordable rate.

Where is the Durango Creative District?

A community working group determined the boundary area of the Durango Creative District utilizing creative asset data collected from the Durango Chamber of Commerce, Local First, the City of Durango, and self-registered asset.

The boundary area includes North Main, Downtown Durango, College Drive, Fort Lewis College, and Bodo Park. The map can be found here (please note that this map was developed by the City of Durango’s GIS department and is not directly editable at this time; a comprehensive map will be included in our future online Directory).

How can I donate to the Creative District?

Please click here TO DONATE to the Durango Creative District.

Donations received will help the DCD continue to implement public benefit projects, write grants that benefit the community, maintain a vibrant physical District and exemplary online presence, and carry on other programs as outlined in our Strategic Plan.

How many Creative Districts are in Colorado?

As of December 2019, there are currently 26 certified Creative Districts in Colorado (with Durango being one of them!). To find out more information about Creative Districts, visit www.Colorado.com.

What are the benefits of having a Creative District?

Having a certified Creative District will position Durango as a place that celebrates and prides itself in creative arts, cultural traditions and practices, historical recognition, and expressive exploration. Some of the outcomes we anticipate happening with our certification include (but are not limited to):

•Coalesce the greater community and establish a shared vision/brand
•Receive initial state seed money and technical resources from Colorado Creative Industries
•National and statewide marketing support
•Access to capital through OEDIT technical assistance funding
•Ability to leverage our status for additional funding and partnerships through the National Endowment for the Arts, the Colorado Tourism Office, the Colorado SBDC, and other funders
•CDOT “Certified Creative District” signs on state highways
•Greater relationships with other Creative Districts and regional promotion opportunities

How is the City of Durango involved?

Our Board of Directors includes City of Durango staff that have acted as lead facilitators of the stakeholder process and continue to serve as liaisons through the Durango Creative District’s contract with the City.

In 2017, the City teamed up with community members to rewrite the COMPREHENSIVE PLAN for Durango. For the first time, the Creative Economy was recognized as an important sector and growth area, as reflected in Section 11, pages 105-111. The establishment of a Creative District is an important step in realizing this vision.

The City of Durango has generously allocated $40,000 to the Durango Creative District in 2020 to build capacity for the organization. The DCD will use these funds to show a direct return on investment with more robust grant writing and implementation of public benefit projects.

Who is considered "creative"?

Arts and culture are vital components of Durango’s life and local economy, and we recognize that there is an abundance of artists, artisans, creators and makers here. Creatives industries that will benefit from this designation include (but are not limited to):

•Visual Arts


•Film & Media

•Artisan Products

•Literary & Publishing

•Culture & Heritage


•Performing Arts

•Culinary Arts & Craft Beverage