The IAC tentatively plans to accept Letters of Intent in early 2022. To best prepare, focus on Step 1: Self Assessment. Reach out to the program manager for advice on how to get the most out of this tool.
Evaluation Criteria and Resources
- Arts and Culture Identity
The community has a unique, authentic arts and cultural identity, and it is articulated clearly.
- Uniqueness example: Avenue of the Architects in Columbus Arts and Entertainment District
- Arts and cultural identity tips: How Arts and Cultural Strategies Create, Reinforce, and Enhance Sense of Place
The cultural district identity and experience is connected to the history or long-standing traditions and culture of the place and its residents.
The cultural district currently has a high concentration and a variety of types of arts and culture assets and programming available year-round and on nights and weekends.
- Cultural assets example: Arts Village Brown County
- Cultural assets guide: Creative Assets Inventory Guide
- Cultural assets: Inventory template (you may submit this template or another format of an assets inventory)
- Map example: Noblesville Cultural Arts District
- Map example: NoCo Arts & Cultural District
The cultural district is recognizable and well-known (both physically and in reputation) to residents and visitors as a vibrant center for creativity, arts and culture.
- Recognition example: Bloomington Entertainment and Arts District
- Recognition tips: Establishing Your Cultural Brand
- Recognition tips: Telling the Story of Place: Branding for Public Spaces
- Cultural Development and Leadership
Organizations and programming in the cultural district empower residents and visitors to learn about the arts and culture and express themselves creatively.
- Arts Learning Experiences example: Tippecanoe Arts and Cultural District - Arts Intersect
Artists (of any discipline or approach) are active in the cultural district such as offering programs, selling products, using studio space, etc.
Artists and arts and culture organizations partner with others to identify resources that will sustain their work and life in the community, such as small business resources, professional development, access to leadership or special funding.
- Partnerships for Arts Resources tips: Artists Thrive "I work with artists" self-assessment
- Toolkit: Health and Housing for Artists
Arts, cultural and community collaboration: new and innovative cultural and arts assets (such as temporary or permanent art spaces, activities, local or visiting artists, etc.) within or nearby the cultural district.
- Community Development
An existing community development plan includes quality of life goals for those who live and work in or near the cultural district (i.e. access to workspace, housing affordability, access to public transportation, access to groceries, safety, access to a high quality school, etc.).
Community development goals involving the cultural district will clearly support the community’s growth and wellbeing in measurable outcomes.
- Wellbeing resources: Creative People Power
An inclusive group of perspectives (i.e. diversity in race, gender, ability, grassroots, leadership, etc.) continually informs community development plans involving the cultural district.
- Accessibility resources: here or contact the IAC accessibility coordinator, Stephanie Haines firstname.lastname@example.org 317-232-1274
Local artists and/or arts and culture leaders have been and continue to be involved as partners in the ongoing planning and implementation of community development strategies that impact the cultural district and/or local creative ecosystem.
- Economic Development/Tourism Development
The local economic development plan incorporates strategies to support and build upon arts and culture assets in the cultural district. (LOI)
Local artists and/or arts and culture leaders have been and continue to be involved as partners in the ongoing planning and implementation of economic development strategies that impact the cultural district and/or local creative ecosystem.
- Artist partner toolkit: Guide for business districts to work with local artists
Existing assets like historic structures are recognized, embraced, utilized and/or future opportunities to do so are included in a revitalization goals or efforts.
The cultural district partners with local and/or regional tourism such as in-kind marketing, participation on a guiding team, etc.
- Cultural District Planning and Management
The cultural district has a current work plan with clear, measurable goals.
- Goals exercise: The Momentum Formula
- Work plan tips: Creating a Roadmap/Strategies for Success
- Work plan tips: Managing and Measuring Success
- Work plan examples: Mancos (CO) Creative District Strategic Plan; Bloomington Entertainment and Arts District goals and strategic plan, Jeffersonville NoCo Cultural Arts District long range plan
A strong, sustainable leadership/management model exists to move the cultural district plan forward.
A guiding team of relevant partners actively collaborates to move the cultural district's long range plan forward. This team includes local artists and/or cultural sector leaders, key public, nonprofit and private sector leaders, tourism, community and economic development partners, and others as appropriate.
- Partners resources: Call Yourself Creative - Align
Appropriate resources exist (i.e. funding, partners, etc.) to move the cultural district plan forward.
- Funding ideas: Creative Placemaking Resources in federal grant funds