October 14, 2022

Creative District Public Presentation

07:30 PM

Creative District Public Presentation


YAKIMA, WA: Annette Roth, Community Development Manager for the Washington State Arts Commission, will present information about the benefits of establishing a Creative District in Yakima. She will be presenting at the Seasons Performance Hall on Friday, October 14, 2022, at 7:30 pm.  This event is free and open to the public.


In 2011, John Hickenlooper, Governor of Colorado, signed a bill that encouraged the formation of "Creative Districts" to help catalyze economic development in communities across Colorado.  By identifying and supporting these hotbeds of artistic and entrepreneurial activity, the reasoning went, the state could make a good thing even better.  Now thirty Colorado communities brimming with galleries, artists in residence, and unique arts events have recently been designated official state Creative Districts.


With success in Colorado, Washington State also introduced the establishment of Creative Districts.  House Bill 1183, signed by Governor Jay Inslee, established Creative Districts effective July 23, 2017.  There are now 11 districts in Washington state, and several are currently applying, including Yakima.  Local governments may designate a creative district within its territorial boundaries subject to certification by the Washington State Arts Commission.


In House Bill 1183, it stated that the legislature found that a “creative district is a designated, geographical, mixed-use area of a  community in which a high concentration of cultural facilities, creative businesses, or arts-related businesses serve as a collective anchor of public attraction.”  It also stated that “creative districts are a highly adaptable economic development tool that can take a community’s unique conditions, assets, needs and opportunities into account and thereby address the needs of large, small, rural, and urban areas.”  What they point out is that “the arts and culture transcend boundaries of race, age, gender, language, and social status.”


The Creative District's exciting aspect is that it considers many types of creative non-profit and for-profit businesses.  Primarily, representatives Heath Lambe and David Lynx of the Yakima Arts Commission have been looking at local businesses downtown focused on the arts, wine, beer, food, music, design, and performance that would benefit from a creative district.  


Identifying creative businesses within a walkable area has been crucial during this application. Heath Lambe, the curator of exhibits at the Yakima Valley Museum, has already held several public meetings to engage the community and receive input from a cross-section of the community. 


On Friday, October 14, Annette Roth, from the Washington State Arts Commission will meet with city, business, and arts leaders during the day, including a walk around the proposed district.  The committee welcomes public input during the evening presentation at the Seasons Performance hall at 7:30 pm.

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Downtown Association of Yakima

14 S. First Street
Yakima, WA 98901

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