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Published on Friday, April 21, 2017

Bill authorizing cities to designate creative districts headed for Governor’s desk

Local governments with limited access to economic development resources would be allowed to designate a portion of their territory as a “creative district” through a bill that has passed the Legislature and is on its way to Governor Inslee’s desk for signature.

HB 1183 sponsored by Rep. Joan McBride (D-Kirkland), would grant authority to the Washington State Arts Commission to certify creative districts designated by local governments or tribes as areas that promote “cultural facilities, creative industries, or arts-related business.” The district must be geographically contiguous, include concentrations of artistic or cultural activity, and be distinguished by physical, artistic, or cultural resources that play a vital role in the quality and life of a community.

Earlier versions of the bill that limited appropriations for the program were removed. The House included $156,000 in its budget for this program and are working to ensure funding is appropriated in the final budget.