Meet Peggy Lyle

Director of the Downtown Creative District

Follow the Downtown Creative District’s Ambassador journey on Facebook & Instagram.

How have you been able to pivot/adapt your business model?
The Downtown Fort Collins Creative District has adapted to help support artists, musicians, and creative businesses through this ever-changing pandemic. Like many, we have worked hard to manage and distill the firehose of information, grants, loans, unemployment, and opportunities that apply to the creative business sector to create a regionally utilized resource website. We have also shifted our creative placemaking efforts towards creating the “Downtown Barrier Mural Project” for the temporary concrete barrier patio extensions throughout downtown. This and other efforts allow us to employ artists while helping create welcoming and meaningful spaces that support our critical Downtown Fort Collins main street businesses. So although lots of our in person creative professional development and networking events can’t happen and our work plan had to radically change we just had to get “creative” about supporting downtown and the Fort Collins creatives who make it a magical place.

Have you done any community/employee giving?
We have volunteered hundreds of hours of work on behalf of the artists, cultural nonprofits, musicians and creative businesses to represent them in emergency response work, through programs to employ out of work artists, through sharing virtual and at home activities, and by telling their COVID-19 “Creative Help” business stories. We started and funded the collaborative program, “Downtown Barrier Mural Project” with Art in Public Places and the City of Fort Collins Engineering Department to paint colorful temporary murals throughout Downtown Fort Collins, allowing us to hire visual artists and support local restaurants.

What do you/your business need the most to succeed right now?
We are open to other collaborative partners and of course can use additional funding to be able to fulfill all the programs we are ready to implement to support our city’s creative sector and its workers. The other critical thing we ask is general support from the community in the form of attendance, participation, gifting, and shopping locally for our Fort Collins’ musicians, performance venues, museums, artists, galleries, performers and our downtown business core.

What else would you like to share with the community?
During this pandemic we have a huge challenge at our doorstep, but also a precious opportunity to remake our community with more emphasis on our quality of life, our talented citizens and with our community’s innovative future in mind. We can truly use this moment to help shape a future where Fort Collins leads in the creative economy, becoming a music city for the new century, and has access and inclusivity for all through the arts. I think Fort Collins is up for this challenge, by creatively problem solving, challenging old approaches, and leading in innovative ways to create the future. I hope we take up this challenge and see arts, music, and creativity not as extra, but as an essential tool and method to get to that exciting and successful future.

What’s your favorite business in Fort Collins?
Personally, I have so many it is really tough to choose just one. I know my heart is downtown and I have to go with my biggest heart connection, The Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant. It has been with me through all my significant celebrations, been the home to my dance company’s salsa night for nearly 2 decades, serves me green chile, speaks to the legacy a business can have in a hometown and of course I love their margaritas. But close seconds are Odell Brewing Company for being an ever giving community leader and culture creator; The Downtown Development Authority for investing so greatly in our historic buildings, flowers, alleys and the Downtown Fort Collins ecosystem; Fort Collins Food Coop for being a staple and genuinely beautiful part of our community; Bohemian Foundation for being a force for so many powerful things in our city and Trimble Court Artisans for being the place that showcases creativity in every fiber of its 49 year history.

What is your favorite thing about living/working/being in Fort Collins?
I love the sense of possibility, the exceptional job people do, our amazing parks and natural spaces and the sheer abundance of cool arts, music, and cultural things to do at any given time. Sometimes it is just too difficult to keep up with all the events, shows, concerts, festivals, and programs. And I love the collaborative and loving nature you can get when working in Fort Collins, working with people who are genuinely nice and who want to help you make your dreams come true, but I’m pretty positive like that!

What are you most excited about being an ambassador?
It’s easy! Getting to share about our businesses and entrepreneurs, tell their stories, share the good word about Fort Collins and continue to help her be the best place around!

 

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