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Ridgway Creative District

A town’s main street says a lot about the community — bringing to life the heritage and authenticity of the area and inspiring creative energy and pride. Filled with unique businesses, excellent restaurants and fantastic views, Ridgway’s downtown is one of the few in Colorado to be both a state-certified Creative District and a Graduate Main Street Community.
Image of an outside event in Hartwell Park.
Image of Ridgway Creative District Logo.

Our award as a 2015 Colorado Main Street of the Year recognized the town’s efforts on downtown revitalization and beautification, combined with historic preservation. Never satisfied to rest on our laurels, the town government worked with a wide cross section of the community to complete a master plan update in 2018, and the resulting vision for future growth and development will ensure the sustainability of our most popular assets.

Ridgway has flourished as a state-designated Creative District since 2013, recognized for the high percentage of talented artisans and creators who make their homes, studios, and businesses here. Galleries feature an eye-popping array of ceramics, metalwork, photography, mixed-media works, pottery, paintings, sculptures, art glass, and authentic Native American crafts, with works by national and regional artists as well. Even the Ridgway Library and Town Hall display fantastic art exhibitions.

Galleries, studios, and shops throughout Ouray County specialize in truly unique gifts. Everyone in the family can score just the right souvenir or present to bring to friends and relatives — from African artwork to collectible rocks, children’s toys, chic clothing, jewelry, home décor with a mountain-town twist, and more. Plus, a diverse set of craftspeople are known for metal sculptures and utensils, beeswax candles, custom guitars and jewelry, handmade furniture, blown glass, and eco-friendly instrument cases.

Ridgway is home to numerous cultural events including: arts and crafts shows, live theater, movies, concerts, radio shows, historic programs, inspirational lectures by experts from various fields, and visual and performing arts classes. Our outdoor concerts and festivals in our beautiful parks have gained widespread popularity, while intimate performances at our cafes and restaurants turn into special memories. Events include outdoor concerts and movies, art shows and festivals, documentary screenings, live band performances, a sculpture contest, plays and musicals, poetry readings, and classes for every imaginable art form from dance and theater to glass blowing and painting.

Our Creative District status, re-certified in 2018, recognizes our continued commitment to a vigorous artistic and maker community. The town is working with nationally acclaimed architects to design our Space to Create, a planned live/work building for creative entrepreneurs.

Ridgway is also part of the Colorado Creative Corridor. The Creative Corridor travels some 331 miles through a handful of state-certified Creative District destinations, connecting Ridgway to four towns for a collective cultural experience. Our unique event programming and activities are featured alongside mountain town eclecticism, majestic vistas, outdoor recreation, and authentic Colorado mountain culture.

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