Imagine combining all the art galleries, opening receptions and art walks of Manitou Springs, Old Colorado City and downtown into one long creative corridor with a unified name, governing body and series of activities.
Something like that has happened in Pueblo, and it will debut tomorrow night as part of First Friday celebrations. The Pueblo Creative Corridor pulls together all the businesses and galleries that live in its three most creatively inclined neighborhoods: Downtown Main Street, Union Avenue Historic District and Mesa Junction. Bookended by the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center and the Rawlings Public Library, the Corridor encompasses the El Pueblo History Museum, the Pueblo Riverwalk and galleries like Cup and Bowl Gallery, SAGE Art Academy, 5th & Main Espresso Bar and Gallery and Solar Roast Coffee.
The Pueblo Performing Arts Guild (PPAG) oversees the Corridor, having officially formed it as a creative district with the help of the City of Pueblo and the Pueblo Urban Renewal Authority. PPAG got a major boost when it received a $25,000 grant last month from the Boettcher Foundation, which will go toward administration and operations, as well as fundraising and "strategic planning." According to the press release on the matter, "The Foundation’s mission is to invest in 'the minds and mortar of Colorado' by providing capital grants to Colorado nonprofits. The award will be overseen by the Colorado Creative Industries division of the State’s Office of Economic Development."
PPAG has already landed major kudos from Colorado Creative Industries, when it received an official designation of "prospective creative district" earlier this year. With that came an $8,000 grant and help in the form of a "customized package of technical assistance to enhance the likelihood that they will be certified in the future." Our downtown was awarded as an "emerging creative district."
(On top of all that, add another $10,000 from another grant last December awarded to the PPAG from the National Endowment for the Arts.)