Cultural arts district updated 8-4-16

On August 16, 2016 the Noblesville Common Council designated the Noblesville Cultural Arts District to enhance a culture of arts, and create universal access for Noblesville artists and cultural arts organizations to contribute to the vibrancy of the area in a collaborative and supportive arts community.

The Noblesville Arts Council was formed in August 2013 to begin collaborative efforts to improve and enhance a culture of arts, with an emphasis on creating a downtown cultural arts district for Noblesville.

Establishing the cultural arts district will encourage continued collaboration among Noblesville’s many creative organizations, events and historic and cultural assets (venues, facilities, locations, etc.), and contribute to sustainable creativity and innovation within Noblesville.

“This is placemaking. This is the best kind of partnership,” said Noblesville Economic Development Assistant Director Alaina Shonkwiler. “This is our legacy as a city, as community organizations and as citizens. We are doing things, we are impacting our community and we are doing it together. I am proud to work for this city and to serve with so many passionate and talented people.”

Currently, Noblesville offers more than 300 cultural arts events through collaborative efforts of diverse organizations each year for a regional draw.

The cultural arts attract residents and tourists who also support adjacent businesses such as restaurants, lodging and retail. The presence of cultural arts also enhances property values, the profitability of surrounding businesses and the area’s tax base.

“Logan Street Sanctuary is in full support of the Noblesville Cultural Arts District initiative, and we feel strongly that it is a great step towards enhancing a culture of arts here in Noblesville. As a new not-for-profit organization, LSS understands the importance of the City and community being supportive of local artists and art organizations, which are part of Noblesville’s vibrancy. Without the Noblesville Cultural Arts District designation and support of the City, success of organizations like ours will be hard to achieve,” wrote LSS President John Gilmore.

The city’s desire to support and attract the arts culture began a decade ago when it invested in the Hamilton County Artist Association’s Birdie Gallery and has continued through the years with the Noblesville Welcome Center and alleyway activation, and its partnership to create the Nickel Plate Arts Center.

“So many of Hamilton County’s noted artists reside and/or work in Noblesville. Since making these investments, the city has become an attraction for artists wishing to live in an arts environment that is energized and supportive,” said Hamilton County Tourism President Brenda Myers. “With the addition of Federal Hill Commons, which will support the performing along with the visual arts, Noblesville has truly created a destination city.”

Cultural Arts Districts provide cities with a better quality of life and allow them to brand themselves as creative and cultured in order to promote tourism, attract new residents and encourage new businesses. With minimal or no financial incentives for these districts, local governments are getting quite a bargain.

Noblesville is preparing for state designation – per the Indiana Arts Commission – State Cultural District Program. A letter of intent is due August 30, 2016, and final application deadline is October 4, 2016. If approved, annual reports are due every year for compliance purposes.


Additional Resources:

Resolution Designating a Cultural Arts District for the City of Noblesville

Frequently Asked Questions

Cultural Arts Blueprint

Cultural Arts District Map