GCD Board Member Pam Bricker and DDA Team Rock the Greeley Creative District

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 3.52.01 PMI want to thank the Greeley Tribune for the great coverage on downtown in Sunday’s paper. At the Downtown Development Authority we are so grateful for all of the stories that you regularly write on downtown happenings.

Although I am proud to be the leader of the DDA, I compare my leadership to the conductor of a band. The conductor is an important role, but the conductor needs great musicians to create a fabulous performance.

My “first chair” musicians are my incredible staff: Bianca Fisher, associate director; Alison Hamling, director of experience; and Karen Baumgartner, administrative assistant (who keeps us all organized.) Without them working tirelessly with me, my band would be just a solo performance.

In addition, the “rhythm section” is my board of directors, chaired by Mr. Downtown himself, Bob Tointon, who leads an array of talented business and property owners who sit on our board. They are responsible for “the charts” that keep us on task by making wise financial decisions and planning for the future.

The “unsung heroes” are the downtown businesses who provide the products, the service, the food, the arts, and the music that makes downtown hum. Some of those have been around for over 100 years, but many have recently joined the band to attract new customers of all ages. As an entrepreneur myself, I know how hard it is to create a successful business and the long hours it takes to make it happen.

The DDA is eternally grateful to the city of Greeley, which provides the infrastructure (the chairs, music stands and stage) to make so much of what we do feasible. From the city and assistant city managers to the parks department, they provide street improvements, planter beds, property for development, space and support for events, artwork, parking needs, the Ice Haus, Union Colony Civic Center, museums, farmer’s market and so much more.

The city council provides an annual grant and two of their members serve on our board, as well as appoint all of our board members.

So many administrators, faculty, staff and students of the University of Northern Colorado have had a big hand in “playing the music,” literally and figuratively. We have such wonderful student talent performing in our Creative District, but also the interns, Bear Biz program, and overall support in so many ways has blended the University with our Community.

And to make downtown successful, it takes YOU, the audience to appreciate what we all do. Thank you for supporting our businesses and attending our events.

All together, we create a great band for the city of Greeley, and I am so fortunate to currently be conducting this fabulous group of people. I am also grateful to so many people before me who started the music and kept it playing. We’re looking forward to more progress as we create a new season with some exciting new developments in 2015-16.

Pam Bricker, is the executive director of the Downtown Development Authority and secretary of the Greeley Creative District Board.

Art Trees Grow in the Creative District

Greeley’s Uptown Tree project is off to a great start–the city will dedicate the first 10 trees Nov. 15th at 10am by the Showcase Art Center on the corner of 8th Avenue and 14th Street. These trees aren’t planted. They’re created by local artists. Most of the artists will be there to show off their works and talk about their ideas. Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 9.24.57 PM

Kim Synder, the city’s public art coordinator, got the idea from a San Diego conference that highlighted the city’s similar “urban” trees. She put out a call to artists and got 20 proposals. They accepted 10 of them. The artists got $10,000 a piece, and the project was funded by the city’s One Percent for Art Program.

That may seem like a good chunk of change, and it is, but many of the artists spent months, and a sizable portion of their commission, on their trees, Snyder said. Pete Niehoff, a Greeley artist who also works in the University of Northern Colorado’s art department, said his tree took him almost six months to build around his job. Niehoff is just starting to make a name for himself. He also shoots — he won the best black and white photo in the Tribune’s 2013 “Click” contest — and paints.

His tree was inspired by Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax,” and Niehoff acknowledges the nod to the children’s classic by calling his tree “awareness” to emphasize the book’s powerful environmental message.

The project is far from over. Snyder plans to add five trees next year as the city continues to remodel 8th Avenue. The number of trees depends on how far the city goes with 8th Avenue. She’ll install five trees per remodeled block, and the city has the money for one block next year. There could be as many as 30 in the next four years. All of them will be designed and installed by local and regional artists. Snyder will put out a notice in December…

from the Greeley Tribune  see more photos in the Tribune story

Greeley Creative District’s Agri-Culture Fest & Feast Wins State Tourism Award

The AgriCulture Fest and Feast held in Greeley in August  received the Governor’s Award for Outstanding Community Tourism Initiative. The award was presented to event representatives at a dinner held October 30 during the 2014 Colorado Governor’s Tourism Conference in Westminster. This highly competitive award was one of only six awards presented that evening.

The Outstanding Initiative Award acknowledges an activity, event, or project undertaken by a community or region to promote tourism in Colorado. The newly created AgriCULTURE Fest and Feast is collaboration between the Greeley Creative District, The Tribune and the Greeley Downtown Development Authority. The steering committee also included representatives from The City of Greeley, The Greeley Farmer’s Market, The University of Northern Colorado, members of the agricultural and culinary arts community, and more.

“This is an outstanding example of the spirit & the core of the Greeley community.  The timing of this event was ideal for aligning shared goals & visions of the DDA, GCD & The Tribune.  It is an honor to stand side by side by as partners with Greeley elevated as an example to our state that is full of amazing tourism experiences,” said Emily V Tilton, Event Producer with The Tribune. “Connecting the community in a collaborative production focused on the roots & the growing strengths of the people of Greeley resulted in a diverse experience shared by neighbors from across the county.  Recognition for celebrating who we are as a community speaks volumes to our original goals. The spirit of AgriCulture Fest and Feast is still alive and will continue to grow with each new season.”

Emily Tilton, Alison Hamling and Michelle Kempema

As a celebration of Greeley and Weld County’s agricultural roots and heritage, the daytime segment featured a petting zoo, tractor show, gardening and growing demonstrations, hay wagon rides, a history and heritage area, and booths representing many ag producers such as Northern Colorado Feed and Bean, Grant Farms, The Water Conservancy, 4 Rivers Equipment, and many more. The Tribune’s Event Producer, Emily V Tilton, spearheaded the efforts of the daytime festivities, while the Greeley Creative District organized the evening’s ticketed dinner for 250 attendees.

Throughout the day, visitors enjoyed entertainment from “The Green Bean Boys,”  “The Tumbleyweeds”, “Colorado Rose”,  “Merry Mixers Square Dancers,” and chamber players from the Greeley Philharmonic, among others.

The evening event was a ticketed sit-down dinner for 250 people and served as a fundraiser for the Creative District. Close to 100% of the food was procured from Weld County producers. Including 295 pounds of New York Strip steak from JBS Swift, Seven local chefs showed off their culinary skills with each preparing one or two courses. The dinner was served family, or “harvest” style in a “farm to table” like setting, but in an urban environment under the twinkling lights of the 8th St. plaza in downtown Greeley.

“We are extremely proud and honored to have received such a prestigious award for an event that is basically in its infancy” said Alison Hamling of the Greeley Creative District and the DDA. “our collaborative efforts and the way we celebrated our local growers and agricultural history made it so special and unique.”

For more information please contact Alison Hamling at 970-356-6775 or Emily Tilton at (970) 392-4450

or email alison@greeleydowntown.com  etilton@greeleytribune.com & follow AgriCultureFest on FaceBook

Gnarly Trombone: Chalk event fun for the kiddos young and old

Comments on the Chalk-a-lot – such a great event we can’t stop talking about it.

From humorist Mike Peters’ weekly column in the Greeley Tribune:

“…We went in the morning and after drawing our two pictures, we left… But we couldn’t stay away. We returned in the afternoon and drew two more sections of artstuff.”

Read Mike’s whole column at:

http://www.greeleytribune.com/news/12991313-113/chalk-drew-drawing-drawings

Tribune Opinion: Block Party is music to our ears…

Welcome back, University of Northern Colorado students. Here’s more than 40 bands as a present.

The annual Greeley Block Party, hosted by Ely Corliss, owner of the Moxi Theater, should show UNC students that downtown is a fun place to visit.

Some of those bands will appear in Greeley’s downtown establishments, as well as the 9th Street Plaza. It starts at 5 tonight and all of it is free. What better way for downtown to show off his feathers?

About 4,500 attended the Block Party last year, and it’s not just for UNC students. As a bonus, Greeley residents get to enjoy the bands, as well. Therefore, we’re all for anyone reaching out to UNC by offering a bunch of great bands. That benefits the rest of us, as well.

Get out your chalk and get ready to draw

Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 2.47.17 PM

Greeley residents will try to set a new Guinness World Record for the longest continuous chalk art drawing on Saturday, and we hope they succeed.

But even if they don’t, that’s all right. It should be a fun event for everyone involved.

The goal of the city’s first Chalk A Lot event is a drawing 3.7 miles long. The University of Northern Colorado is providing a spot on campus, and organizers are hopeful many students will participate.

The Chalk A Lot is a great way to draw public attention to Greeley’s Creative District.

“It was cheap, free and something fun and a little out of the ordinary,” Greeley Assistant City Manager Becky Safarik said of sponsoring the event, which cost the city about $8,000.

Greeley may make the Chalk A Lot an annual event if it turns out to be popular. We hope so, because it sounds like it will be a blast.

from the Greeley Tribune, September 4th, 2014