DDA Art Activation & Other Programs

Our Art Activation program goal is to help all Fort Collins residents recognize and embrace the artist within themselves and appreciate the art and artists within their community.

Sculpture in the Square

Artist: Jodie Bliss "Transformation"

The Old Town Square’s sculpture on loan program rotates on an annual basis. This locally juried show brings a variety of contemporary sculptures into this beloved space. All sculptures are for sale providing support to these talented sculptors, while 10% is reinvested into the Sculpture in the Square program. A stipend has been awarded to the 2020 People’s Choice Winner – Paul Lippart “Ömnögovi”! New sculptures will be installed April 24, 2021. Join us in Old Town Square to watch the installation that morning!

LEGO® Creation Festival


In 2020, the LEGO® Creation Festival celebrated its second year! With 2020 being unlike any other year, we knew creation and fun were important for our health and for our community. The weekend of July 25, 2020 local LEGO® artists worked masterfully to create a unique and original sculpture based on our “Insects and Animals” theme. For the public, LEGO® coloring pages were passed out for chance to win a free event t-shirt. Public voting took place by displaying each contestants sculpture in an empty business front window with QR Code signage for easy online voting. Come back soon for more information and dates for 2021 participation.

Little Free Public Library


In 2020, the Fort Collins Downtown Development Authority, replaced their long time Little Free Public Library to provide a more sturdy, weather proof and safe place for literature for all those visiting Downtown Fort Collins. When the library is low, the DDA helps supply the books as a kind gesture to the downtown crowds for enjoying their time in Old Town Square!  It is registered on the Little Free Public Library World Map where it can be located by Charter #98164.

Movie Night


Movie Nights have brought families downtown to enjoy classics and new movies in Old Town Square for 4 years. Due to the COVID-19 Guidelines, Movie Nights has been postponed until further direction from Larimer County Health Department regarding large gatherings.

Adirondack Chair & Table Painting

Artist: Daniel Ibanez

Local artists from Fort Collins painted wooden Adirondack chairs and tables for the 5th year in a row to display in Old Town Square for the public to use for picnics or gathering around the Splash Pad. A small stipend was given to the artists upon completion of the program project. New artists will be selected in the Spring of 2021 to paint another round of chairs and tables to display in the square.

2020 Artists

Kaley Alie, Jacob Wayne Bryner, Jared Butler, Rebecca Klyczek, Kerri Sewolt and Mandy West

Partner Programs

Outreach Fort Collins

Outreach Fort Collins Logo

Outreach Fort Collins is a street based outreach program to maintain our downtown as a safe and welcoming place while connecting our community’s most vulnerable to the services and supportive networks they need. It is a professionally staffed, on-the-street team who will build relationships with community members, service providers, businesses and city services as a means to address and deescalate disruptive behaviors downtown.

Old Town Holiday Light Ceremony

Old Town Square

Due to guidelines in place by Larimer County Health Department, the 2020 Holiday Lighting Ceremony will not be held. The Holiday Lights are still being installed for the 2020-2021 season so come down and enjoy the holiday magic. Every evening from Friday, November 1st through Valentine’s Day on February 14th, 22 block-faces of Downtown will be illuminated with thousands of strands of brilliant white lights stretching through the alleyways, sidewalks and tree-tops of historic Old Town Fort Collins. The dazzling display of low energy and sustainable LED lights can be enjoyed all over Downtown Fort Collins.

The Downtown Holiday Lights is a three-way partnership between the Downtown Business Association, Downtown Development Authority, and City of Fort Collins Parks Department. This year’s Holiday Lights display is proudly presented by sponsors Blue Ocean Foundation, Cosner Financial Group, The Eye Center of Northern Colorado, First National Bank, and Maximum Painting.

Pianos About Town

Suzanne Faris, 2012

Pianos About Town is a collaborative project between the City of Fort Collins Art In Public Places Program, Bohemian Foundation, and the Downtown Development Authority. The project combines art and music for the enjoyment of the community. Pianos are painted from May through October in Old Town Square, where the public can interact with the artists as they work. Pianos are also painted in the winter months, in various public indoor locations. The completed pianos then rotate to various locations throughout Fort Collins, inviting people to admire the artwork and play a tune.

Poudre Heritage Alliance Heritage Trail

Photo - PHA Gateway 5

As part of the DDA’s 5-year Investment Plan (2016-2020), the DDA Board included “Supporting Gateway Entrance” projects as one of its top 10 priorities. Gateways include an important non-automobile-oriented gateway into the downtown through the Poudre River Trail. In 2018, the DDA Board committed to partnering with the Poudre Heritage Alliance who is creating the Heritage Trail along the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area. This trail will bring visitors into the downtown and loop back to the river. The initial iconography project will be placed at the recently completed Whitewater Park.

Downtown Fort Collins Creative District


The Downtown Fort Collins Creative District is designed to serve as a hub for creative economic activity, thereby enhancing the Downtown Fort Collins area as a desirable place to live, visit and conduct business. The DDA partners with the Creative District in many ways of support for the arts. In 2020, local artists were placed in the Old Town area to paint murals on a vacant business in Old Town Square and additionally supply up to 20 small murals to activate and inspire as the winter months approach. The District is a resource for creative industry information, connections and collaboration, industry representation and Downtown creative placemaking.