What is a Creative District?

Creative Districts (also called Cultural Districts, or Arts and Culture Districts) are defined as well-recognized, labeled areas of a city, with defined borders, in which a high concentration of cultural facilities and programs serve as the main anchor of attraction. They are a tool that supports economic development to strengthen local economies, create an enhanced sense of place, and deepen local cultural capacity.

What are the benefits of a creative district?

Creative Districts:

  • establish a unique identity, which builds on existing history and culture, which creates a marketing opportunity for Burien.
  • create the opportunity to attract more arts and cultural resources which serve as an economic engine for investments and employment opportunities.
  • are a magnet for cultural tourism, attracting new and visiting populations to Burien to who will support our local businesses, adding to Burien’s tax base.
  • create a key component in improving quality of life in the area.
  • create opportunities to define, preserve, enhance and celebrate the unique culture(s) that exist in Burien
  • improve Burien’s competitive edge.
  • create a foundation for defining a sense of place .
  • provide an opportunity to integrate the visions of community and business leaders.
  • contribute to the development of a skilled workforce.
  • provides an opportunity to pursue economic development projects with a creative perspective
  • help attract larger companies who are interested in locating where employees have an attractive and vibrant place to live and work.

ArtsWA LogoWashington State Certified Creative District Designation

In 2017, the Washington State legislature passed a bill authorizing ArtsWA, the Washington State Arts Commission, to create the Certified Creative District program as an economic development tool for cities across Washington. Pursuit of this designation will greatly benefit Burien’s future development.

What is required by the State to be approved to be a Certified Creative District?

  • Encompass a contiguous geographic area Include a concentration of artistic, cultural or creative economy activities.
  • One to two primary arts or creative-economy industries should be identified.
  • Have a clearly defined, unique arts, culture or creative economy identity/brand.
  • Be walkable and/or accessible, and attractive to locals and visitors alike.
  • Actively promote local arts, culture, creative economy and tourist activities.
  • Have unique resources that clearly contribute to the quality of life of the community Include long-term cultural, economic and workforce development plans.
  • Consider all income / affordable housing / maker space for creatives and artists living and working in the district to ensure their creative presence.

Read the Burien Creative District Application:

Creative District Application