Pictured: Crane River Theater Madagascar

Creative Districts

The Nebraska Creative District Program utilizes the arts as an economic driver to support communities in Nebraska by telling their stories and elevating the value of the arts.

Creative Districts are designated cultural and economic areas where innovation flourishes and neighborhoods come together in the name of art. They provide significant economic impact by creating purposeful spaces like art galleries, theatres, and music venues, attracting employees and businesses. These are all assets and attributes that Nebraska — and every state — can effectively harness as it seeks to reinvigorate its economy.

The program’s flexibility, as designed, means that it can be adapted to any size community, in any location. As an agency, we wanted to make sure this program benefited all Nebraskans, no matter if they were in an urban or rural area.

Specialty license plates, designed by artist Danielle Dewees, are available for only $5 additional cost, with proceeds going directly toward the funding of Creative Districts.

For more information on the Certification Process, please read through our guidelines.

Have questions about NAC’s Creative Districts? Contact NAC Program Specialist Rachel Morgan.

View full guidelines.

For more information, please check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Explore the officially certified Creative Districts by clicking here!


Click here to look through the Eligibility Assessment. Please use the Data Collections Instructions to fill out the Data Collection page of the workbook.


Funding Opportunities

Certified Creative Districts are eligible for a Development Grant through the Nebraska Arts Council.  The resources listed below are additional funding opportunities that may be of interest to communities.  The Nebraska Arts Council does not oversee these programs, please visit them directly for additional information.

Bloomberg Philanthropies

The efforts of the Arts program include facilitating collaborations between artists and local governments, building capacity for small and mid-sized cultural institutions, and increasing and enhancing visitor engagement through the integration of digital technology.   Don’t miss their Asphalt Art Initiative, which provides guidance and funding to cities around the world for visual art interventions on roadways, pedestrian spaces, and public infrastructure in an effort to make streets safer.

Center for Rural Affairs

The Center for Rural Affairs’ mission is to establish strong rural communities.  They offer a variety of resources, including small business training, small business loans, and home ownership loans.

National Endowment for the Arts Challenge America

Challenge America offers support primarily to small organizations for projects in all artistic disciplines that extend the reach of the arts to groups and communities with rich and dynamic artistic and cultural contributions that are underserved.

National Endowment for the Arts Our Town

Our Town is the NEA’s creative placemaking grants program.  This program supports activities that integrate arts, culture, and design into local efforts that strengthen communities.

Nebraska Department of Economic Develop Civic and Community Center Financing Fund (CCCFF)

Through this fund, the State of Nebraska awards funding to municipalities and tribal governments to support an array of project types that promote economic opportunity and a higher quality of life.

Peter Kiewit Foundation

The Peter Kiewit Foundation makes grants in the state of Nebraska and Western Iowa.  They have five strategic priorities, which includes College Access and Success, Youth Development, Economic Development and Opportunities, Quality of place Amenities, and Community Capacity in Greater Nebraska.

The Rural Nebraska Historic Preservation grant

The Rural Nebraska Historic Preservation grant program is intended for properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places, properties in a National Register-listed historic district, or sites determined to be eligible for listing.

USDA Community Facilities Programs

The USDA offers several direct loans, loan guarantees and grants to develop or improve essential public services and facilities in communities across rural America.


The following resources can help you plan your Creative District!

For more information on different types of districts, how to develop a district, and research regarding Creative Districts, visit Americans for the Arts.


In the News: Creative Districts