In October of 2022, the Colorado Creative Industries (CCI) division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) announced that community revitalization projects in Florence, Grand Lake and Commerce City, Colorado have been selected to receive Community Revitalization Grants.
This funding will support the restoration of a 100-year-old historic theater, provide live/work space for creative industry workers, and an innovative new project that includes medical and human services, including children’s healthcare. These are the sorts of efforts that would work even better with the new revitalization and resilience-building tools now being offered by the RISING PLACES initiative.
“The Community Revitalization Grant program helps Colorado communities elevate the arts while also providing additional much-needed resources. By offering educational space, workforce housing and other services tailored to their neighbors, these projects reflect the unique characteristics of their communities and truly demonstrate the many ways in which the creative industries can benefit Coloradans,” said Margaret Hunt, Director of Colorado Creative Industries.
The Community Revitalization Grant program is intended to help revitalize community spaces in creative districts, historic districts, main streets and neighborhood commercial centers across Colorado through mixed-use development.
Since the program’s inception in 2021, 48 projects have received funding. The map on the left shows the location of awardees to date.
Of the projects, 62.5% are in rural communities and 80% of projects have renewable or clean energy features. They will also add 480 units of creative industry workforce housing.
The three most recent recipients are:
Rialto Theater – Florence, Colorado – $500,000
Built in 1923, the Rialto Theater is located in the federally-designated Florence Historic District and is about to celebrate its centenary. Originally, the Rialto hosted vaudeville performers and screened silent movies.
Today it is the heart of live performance in Fremont County as the only theater facility offering full-time entertainment to the community and providing a live venue for all genres of performance artists.
The grant will help the Theater complete interior renovations to be a performing arts center, arts education facility, and community center.
Space to Create Grand Lake – Grand Lake, Colorado – $3 million
Artspace Projects, Inc. will construct the Grand Lake Space to Create Project, a downtown building intended to provide a year-round, sustainable, and affordable home to the community’s creative class.
The completed project will include 18 units of living/workspace, as well as a gallery, commercial, and/or community space on the ground floor.
The units will be equally suited for the general workforce as well, including teachers, nurses and other professions.
By retaining the creative workforce year-round, this project aims to have a catalytic effect on economic stimulation in Grand Lake.
South Platte Crossing Hub – Commerce City, Colorado – $2.97 million
The Urban Land Conservancy (ULC) South Platte Crossing Hub will result in the construction of a new building featuring 60 units of affordable housing, including several units for artists in residence.
The Hub will also provide medical and human service spaces, including but not limited to Kids First Health Care, Kids in Need of Dentistry (KIND), and the Early Childhood Partnership of Adams County.
Local artists will be hired to create art installations and murals to create a welcoming community environment.
About the Community Revitalization Grant Program
The Community Revitalization Grant (CRG) program is intended to help revitalize community spaces in creative districts, historic districts, main streets and neighborhood commercial centers across Colorado.
Grants are awarded to projects that combine several uses, such as creative industry workforce housing, commercial spaces, performance space, community gathering spaces, child care centers, and retail partnerships.
The projects must also focus on economic recovery and diversification by supporting creative sector entrepreneurs, artisans, and community non-profit organizations.
Initially funded by the State of Colorado, the Colorado Economic Development Commission allocated an additional $16.5 million of federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to continue the program.
All CRG projects are evaluated by a panel review process overseen by CCI and the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA).
About Colorado Creative Industries
Colorado’s Creative Industries Division, Colorado’s state arts agency, is a division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.
Established to capitalize on the immense potential for the creative sector to enhance economic growth in Colorado, the mission of Colorado Creative Industries is to promote, support and expand the creative industries to drive Colorado’s economy, grow jobs and enhance our quality of life.
Images courtesy of Colorado Creative Industries.