by Doreen Baumann
LA VETA — An enthusiastic group of 24 La Veta “creatives” unanimously agreed that the community would benefit from the formation of a Creative District and to make every effort to meet the January 30th deadline to apply to the Colorado’s Creative Industries (CCI) Division within the Office of Economic Development and International Trade to seek formal designation as either a potential or emerging Colorado Creative District.
In 2011, Governor Hickenlooper signed legislation passed by the General Assembly that encourages the formation of and assistance to Creative Districts throughout the state. Creative Districts are defined contiguous geographic areas that include a mix of uses within their boundaries, and they will be typically small enough to be walkable. All include arts and cultural assets and non-profit as well as for-profit businesses such as restaurants, offices, retail stores and housing.
Districts may offer events like art walks and arts festivals and feature a gathering place such as a plaza or park.
Application details were presented by Mary Jean Fowler and Doreen Baumann at the open public meeting that was held Monday, January 9 at the La Veta Community Center. La Veta would apply as a “partnership” of government, non-profit and/or for-profit entities, with one partner serving as the lead applicant. Jerry Fitzgerald, Town Board Trustee, has volunteered as the government partner.
The meeting was opened to discussion before asking for the vote and overwhelming support was pledged with positive comments voiced by almost all. A 17-member steering committee was formed to define the boundaries of the district, gather data and statistics on 2011 events and collaborate their organization and business plans for 2012.
A draft of the application will be distributed via email to steering committee members and those who express their interest in participating in the creation of the district. The first steering committee meeting will meet on Monday, January 16 and again on January 23 at 5 pm at the community center and all are welcome. Call or email Mary Jean at firstname.lastname@example.org or Doreen at email@example.com if you have comments or would like to participate.