The Ogden City Arts Council is a group of local artists and residents that focuses on all things art happening in the city. The group’s members work as liaisons between artists and Ogden City to ensure art remains a vital part of the city. Jake McIntire is a member of the council.
The creative energy in Ogden is buzzing. From murals, music and theaters to galleries, performances and festivals, there seems to be more creative activities going on today than in the city’s heyday.
If you frequent the multitude of events and happenings downtown, this probably isn’t news to you. You may not know, however, about something huge churning beneath the surface of Ogden’s creative community — the Creative District.
The Creative District has been identified as the area between 24th and 26th streets from Wall to Jefferson avenues. These 12 square blocks, which include Historic 25th Street and the Jefferson Historic District, are already home to many of Ogden’s creative, cultural and historic sites, buildings, businesses and organizations.
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As our community works to establish this Creative District, we will see an influx and expansion of facilities, resources and opportunities for artists and creatives of all varieties. The Creative District will help bridge the gap between Historic 25th Street, the Junction and east-central neighborhoods. As the district comes together, residents and visitors will enjoy a more vibrant, seamless and walkable experience.
“Ogden is rich with artistic talent — actors, dancers, musicians, poets and visual artists,” said Scott Patria, executive director and curator of exhibitions for Ogden First. “The Creative District we've seen proposed would give systemic, symbiotic support to these talented folks and enliven an area of town which has not yet enjoyed the resurgence of Historic 25th Street.”
The Creative District is an initiative that has been floating around Ogden for more than a decade but grew legs in fall 2015, after Ogden City was awarded an Our Town grant by the National Endowment for the Arts to conceptualize and establish an arts district. As part of this grant, Ogden City has partnered with several public and private entities to lay the groundwork for the district. Key partners in this initiative include Ogden City Community and Economic Development, Ogden City Arts, Union Creative Agency, Ogden First and Weber State University.
Since fall 2015, the team working on the Creative District has been primarily behind the scenes, but several key projects have taken place that have paved the way for countless things to come. Notable projects to date include the Rachel Pohl mural at the intersection of 25th Street and Adams Avenue, the creation of PLATFORMS at the same site, two separate video projection projects for First Friday Arts Stroll, focus groups about needs and programming, and the conceptual design of several future public gathering spaces.
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Longterm plans for the district include new galleries, design offices, artist studios, public art, a makerspace, an outdoor performance space, restaurants, coffee shops, events spaces, public gathering places and arts-based improvements to the public realm.
Upcoming initiatives include MOMENTS, a one-night experimental art event showcasing performative, ephemeral, temporary and light-based art happening on May 5; new programming at PLATFORMS beginning in March; meetings in spring 2017 to develop a community vision for the Creative District; and preliminary design work for the district throughout the coming months.
To stay up to date on happenings related to the Creative District and many other arts initiatives follow Ogden City Arts (@ogden_arts), Union Creative Agency (@unioncreativeagency), and Ogden First (@ogdenfirst) on Instagram.