Edmonds applying to be ‘Creative District’

Public meeting June 7
May 31, 2018

During last year’s session, the State Legislature created a program to designate select communities as Creative Districts, in recognition of compact, walkable areas with a mix of businesses, nonprofits, venues, programs and activities within the “creative sector.”

Edmonds is going to apply to be one of those communities.

The public is invited to provide input during an open house 6 p.m. Thursday, June 7, in the Brackett Room on the third floor of City Hall. A Creative District representative will field questions.

Economic Development and Community Services Director Patrick Doherty believes that Creative District designation could help Edmonds’ marketing efforts, attracting new businesses and employees, as well as act as a additional tourism draw.

Going beyond traditional arts and culture activities and venues, the creative sector, as defined, can include creative technology, printing shops, florists, restaurants, breweries, coffee shops, distilleries, travel companies, and more.

Doherty said that in addition to those activities and venues, other key accomplishments could help qualify Edmonds for this designation.

They include the Community Cultural Plan, the Fourth Avenue Cultural Corridor plan, and the Economic Impact Study of the Arts and Culture Sector, among other things.

“Downtown Edmonds seems to be a prime candidate for this designation,” Doherty said. “Yet there is more to the application process than merely recognizing our existing assets and accomplishments. We must also develop a five-year plan to take the community even further in its creative sector endeavors, as well as grow the economic activity associated with it.”

In the future, grant money may be available to Creative Districts to help with their five-year plans.

The city has engaged a group of about 25 people, representing an array of businesses, nonprofits, venues, activities and programs, to help draft the plan. The city group will meet again in June to offer final recommendations to city staff, who will submit an application in July.

Decisions are expected later this year.



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