The mission of the Greeley Creative District is to enhance the community's distinctive creative identity and increase its economic vitality. The District provides educational and promotional support that engages the full spectrum of creative industries, organizations, businesses, artists, patrons, and cultural heritage, and that inspires youth and emerging talents.
The Greeley Creative District was formed in April 2013 as part of the state of Colorado's Colorado Creative Industries program. The district received its official charter from CCI in 2014. The board was originally founded with equal leadership between the City of Greeley, the Greeley Downtown Development Authority, and the University of Northern Colorado. The physical boundary of the Creative District includes Downtown Greeley plus the UNC campus.
The 17-member board has included city employees, downtown business owners, arts educators, marketing professionals, and working artists, dancers, musicians, and craftspeople.
Since its founding, the Greeley Creative District has piloted new creative projects, as well as supported and amplified the creative activities of partner organizations in the community. The District's annual Agriculture Feast fundraiser celebrates Greeley's history as an agricultural community with a farm-to-table dinner featuring the work of local chefs. The GCD's annual DoTell! event highlights local citizens sharing true stories in an intimate staged setting.
In 2018, the GCD hosted the annual Colorado Creative Industries Summit, bringing all of the state's Creative Districts and many leaders in the arts to Greeley.
In the initial year of Creative District certification, Greeley had a total of 675 creative jobs. A $2.2 million gain was achieved in total creative industry earnings after the initial year of certification, which resulted in $22.9 million total industry earnings. A 38% gain was obtained with regards to nonprofit revenues, resulting in $584.7K total revenues.
The GCD's sponsorship of the "District 6 and Friends Art Walk" facilitates the showcase of artwork created by hundreds of students attending District 6 and Charter Schools from Kindergarten through 12th grade. The First Friday event exhibits student artwork at nearly 30 different Downtown Greeley locations featuring 30 area schools, including Charter Schools as well as artwork from UNC art students.
The GCD's quarterly "Cacophony of Creatives" program provides free workshops for creative professionals, plus a chance for artists and business owners to network. This year's presentations have included Pam Campanaro, Director of UNC Galleries, and Dave Ratner, a licensed entertainment lawyer with the Creative Law Network.