Twisp could benefit not just artistically but also economically if it is certified as a “creative district” by the Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA), the Twisp Town Council learned at its meeting last week.
Amanda Jackson Mott, executive director of Methow Arts, said the designation has the potential to “strengthen the creative sector, diversify the economy and enhance the quality of life” in Twisp by providing marketing and promotional resources, technical support and training to boost the town’s artistic community.
According to information Mott provided to the council, a creative district is “a geographically defined area of cultural and economic activity within a larger community … it can include cultural facilities, creative industries, arts-related organizations, and other businesses that support or complement these activities.”
Mott said the creative district designation came out of legislative action. There is an application process that involves a visit to the community by Annette Roth, creative districts program manager for ArtsWA. Mott said Roth will be in Twisp on June 11 and 12 to meet with the town council, the chamber of commerce, arts organizations and local businesses. There will be a reception for Roth on June 12 at Methow Arts’ new location on Glover Street in Twisp.
After Roth’s visit, Methow Arts will submit a formal application for creative district certification, Mott said. She said that process typically takes six to nine months.
“It would be huge to the town in seeking grants” in the future, Mott said of the designation. The designation might also increase tourism and attract new artists to the community, she said. Mott said research shows that Colorado towns that adopted a similar designation saw an increase in employment and revenues.