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

Taking Flight Sculpture by Michael Young
See the new 2024 Sculptures on the Square! 

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 artists are provided a stipend and sculptures are for sale providing support to these talented sculptors, while 10% is reinvested into the Sculpture in the Square program. A stipend of $1,000 is awarded to the 2024 People’s Choice Winner selected by public vote. Stroll down to Old Town Square and choose your favorite!

Little Free Public Library


The Fort Collins Downtown Development Authority is home to a Little Free Library for Downtown visitors to share literature. When the library book supply is low, the DDA provides books as a kind gesture to the downtown crowds to enjoy 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.

Art for the Heart

Heart Event Graphic

As a part of the DDA’s Old Town Square Art Activation Program, Art for the Heart is a series of at-home projects for children of all ages that will be completed weekly throughout the summer. Join us in Old Town Square every Wednesday, starting June 5, 2024. Look for the Art For The Heart tent to pick up a project.

Adirondack Chair & Table Painting

Artist: Daniel Ibanez

Each summer selected artists from Fort Collins paint locally crafted wooden Adirondack chairs and tables to display in Old Town Square for the public to use for picnics or gathering around the Splash Pad. A small stipend is given to the artists upon completion of the program project. New artists are selected each year to paint another round of chairs and tables to display in the square.

This year, six artists will be painting the tables and chairs in June. Come down to enjoy the art and live music during this festive day!

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 builds 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

The Downtown Holiday Lights are an annual Downtown tradition!

Every evening from the first week in November through Valentine’s Day, 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 anywhere along College Avenue, the northern boundary of Laporte Avenue and continuing south to Magnolia Street. Trees will be lit along Walnut Street, Linden Street, Pine Street, Old Town Square, Oak Street Plaza, and Mountain Avenue.

The Downtown Holiday Lights is a partnership between the Downtown Development Authority, and City of Fort Collins.

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 was 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 in support for the arts.  The District is a resource for creative industry information, connections and collaboration, industry representation and Downtown creative placemaking.