Update on Edmonds
creative districtOn June 7 approximately fifty people attended a presentation by Annette Roth from the Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA) outlining its recently enacted Certified Creative District program.

The City of Edmonds is among twenty-plus communities who have expressed interest in applying for this new certification. Hoping to be at the head of the application line, this past spring City Economic Development Director Patrick Doherty and City Arts & Culture Manager Frances Chapin worked with the Arts Commission, the Economic Development Commission, AdvisArts consultant Claudia Bach, and a group of community stakeholders to explore ideas for the application. The Community Meeting on June 7 was an opportunity for others in the community to provide input regarding general goals and strategies for the proposed Creative District. An overview of the program was presented at City Council on June 26.

Creative District Certification recognizes compact, walkable areas with a mix of businesses, nonprofits, venues, programs and activities within the “creative sector.” Definition of the creative sector includes graphic design, restaurants, breweries, creative technology, coffee shops, travel businesses, and many other entities in addition to traditional arts and culture activities and venues. Downtown Edmonds appears to be a strong candidate for the designation, but the application process includes developing goals and strategies for a five-year program to enhance the creative sector, and this is where public input has been key to the application.

According to Roth, benefits of the certification include enhancing accessibility to arts and culture, supporting small business growth and economic mobility, and enhancing livability of a community. Next steps in the process include a Resolution at City Council in support of the designation, and final submission of the full application to the State. The selection process for the first round of certifications is scheduled to take place by the end of the year. For more information contact patrick.doherty@edmondswa.gov or frances.chapin@edmondswa.gov . For information about the Creative District program, go to: https://www.arts.wa.gov/arts-in-communities/certified-creative-districts

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