Getting Your Community Ready

  • Installation by Tory Franklin in a City of Burien park. Photo by Michael Brunk/
    Installation by Tory Franklin in a City of Burien park. Photo by Michael Brunk/

Because the Creative Districts designation is new for Washington State, we want to make sure that your community can be successful in your bid for certification.

We realize that your community may not have gone through a certification process before, so we have developed a set of tools for you to use. Based on economic and community development best practices, this ‘Community Readiness Toolkit’ will help you orient your thinking around how to create a successful district.  

Click here to access the Community Readiness Toolkit

What is the process for gaining certification?

The process is fairly simple, and can be achieved in 4 steps:

1.    Gather your community planning team and begin. This team should consist of a broad group of community members (for example: business owners, arts and culture activities, municipality, business associations, school districts and/or colleges, economic development, community members at-large) that can collectively vision how a Creative District might look and decide to begin the process. You should also get in contact with the Creative Districts Program Manager as soon as possible, to receive guidance and support.

2.    Plan Your District. After you’ve made the decision to move forward, you can use the Community Readiness Toolkit materials to guide you as you plan your District. The amount of time this step takes will vary from community to community, and we will provide technical assistance and guidance along the way. Once you finish this step, and meet the minimum requirements (see Pre-Application Checklist), you can move onto the next step.

3.    Apply for Creative District Certification. After you’ve come up with a basic plan for your District, you can submit a formal application to the Creative Districts Program. Application materials will be uploaded to ArtsWA’s website soon.

4.    Begin your Creative District activities. If your community is granted certification, your community will begin to implement and track your progress relative to your program plan. We will provide technical assistance and other opportunities along the way as you increase the vibrancy of your community.

How will Arts WA Support My Community’s Success?

Before Certification
We will provide resources that will help you in your bid to create your program and become certified, such as the toolkit, and other additional resources. We will provide guidance toward certification and certify districts themselves. We are also looking into the potential to provide small grants for programs once they are up and running.

After Certification
ArtsWA will provide ongoing support and advocacy for Certified Creative Districts. We will share and promote your success stories to the public, elected officials, and other stakeholders. We will offer access to training programs, networking opportunities, grant funding resources and more.


Click here to access the Community Readiness Toolkit

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