The Longmont Creative District is working to build its nonprofit arm with the hope of garnering support from 151 founding members and donors.
Longmont Creates, which was designated a 501(c)3 nonprofit earlier this year, will help with fundraising for the downtown creative district. Longmont Creates Board Chair Joanne Kirves explained that because the creative district is funded through the quasi-governmental downtown development authority, there are certain benefits that the district cannot access.
Specifically, the nonprofit will be able to extend beyond the boundaries of the downtown development district to support creatives throughout Longmont while raising money to do more projects in the district.
“Number one is to support the downtown creative district and raise money, but also we can support all of the creatives in Longmont,” Kirves said.
The mission of Longmont Creates is to serve as a “connector” or “gap filler,” according to Kirves. With a variety of arts organizations doing work throughout Longmont, Longmont Creates will focus on improving, supporting and enhancing what’s already going on in the city.
“All these organizations are doing great things,” Kirves said. “We aren’t looking to come in and be in charge of everything. We’re just saying, how can we work together? We’ve always, as an art community, done that very well.”
With representatives from many of Longmont’s arts organizations and individual artists helping advise the nonprofit, Kirves said there are tons of ideas to pursue. The nonprofit will focus on three pillars — to inspire, engage and create — with a focus on increasing the opportunities for creative growth.
One project currently underway in the musicians initiative, which aims to strengthen the relationships between local artists and venues to help both parties communicate effectively.
Kirves said the nonprofit is also looking to bring creatives into the fold with memberships, but members will not be the main line of income for the organization. With an initial membership fee of $35, members who participate in at least five Longmont Creates activities per year will not have to pay to renew their membership.
“What we want is our members to be active,” Kirves said. “We want to know what they need, what works for them and they can be actively involved in making sure that’s what we bring to the creative district.”
The membership drive for Longmont Creates is underway with a goal of 151 members and donors, since Longmont has been a city for 151 years. Kirves said the hope is to build up funding and start going for grants to make the nonprofit a viable and growing organization for years to come.
People interested in learning more about the nonprofit can go to LongmontCreates.org.