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Edmonds designated state’s first creative district


Last updated 11/28/2018 at Noon

Edmonds' creative district.

Gov. Jay Inslee announced Tuesday that the downtown area of Edmonds has been designated Washington state’s first Certified Creative District.

The program, launched in January 2018 by the Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA), is intended to help communities grow their local economies through the arts and culture.

“I couldn’t be more delighted,” Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling said. “We pulled together a robust public-engagement process over this past year that helped us create goals, objectives and milestones for an ambitious five-year program that we included in our application.

“What’s more, Edmonds has a long history of support for the arts and culture sector, with our community vultural plan, dating back to the 1990s, one of the first in the state.”

A certificate presentation to Earling is 11 a.m. Monday, Dec. 3, in the Brackett Room of Edmonds City Hall.

ArtsWA staff will be present, as well as local dignitaries and staff. It is open to the public.

The Creative District program was approved by the state Legislature in 2017 as a platform for communities to grow their arts and creative economies, providing jobs, educational and cultural opportunities, and sustainable economic growth.

A Creative District is intended to comprise a geographically defined area where art, cultural, social, and economic activity takes place. It includes cultural facilities, artists, creative industries and other businesses that support these activities.

The Creative District review committee, who unanimously selected Edmonds for certification, pointed to the city’s long-term commitment to the arts and culture sector and its five-year work program intended to build on those successes to enhance the creative sector, enhance public engagement, grow jobs and provide impetus for capital improvements.

“We look forward to working with the City over the next five years to really build on its successes to enhance its creative economy and achieve its objectives,” ArtsWa program director Annette Roth said.

The state certification is an endorsement of the arts and culture activities that already exist in a community and can be used to attract more artists, entrepreneurs and creative businesses.

It helps a community create a focal point where people can gather and enjoy arts and cultural activities that reflect the community.

ArtsWA has created a comprehensive program to help support communities with this designation, providing grant-funding opportunities, technical assistance and training for communities and artist entrepreneurs, wayfinding signage and more.


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