Denver Arts & Venues
Denver Arts & Venues is the city’s local art government agency that seeks to enrich the community of Denver through supporting public venues, the arts, and entertainment. The agency is responsible for the operation of some of the Denver area’s most popular and important cultural venues, including Red Rocks Amphitheatre, the Denver Performing Arts Complex, Denver Coliseum, the Colorado Convention Center and McNichols Civic Center Building. In addition to this, the agency invests in creative industries, arts and cultural districts, a robust Public Art program, arts education, and cultural events such as the Five Points Jazz Festival and Youth One Book, One Denver.
Recently, Denver Arts & Venues has been working to implement IMAGINE 2020, a cultural plan which is intended to guide the city’s artistic, cultural, creative, and engagement efforts. IMAGINE 2020 includes a diversity, equity, and inclusiveness (DEI) initiative which serves as a framework for the entirety of the plan’s and agency’s efforts. One of the highlights of this initiative is a collaboration with the Human Rights & Community Partnerships Commissions for a new funding program in partnership with the African American Commission, Latino Commission, American Indian Commission, Asian American Pacific Islander Commission, Commission for People with Disabilities, Women’s Commission, Commission on Aging, Immigrant & Refugee Commission, and LGBTQ Commission. Through this program, Denver Arts & Venues provides funding to each commission which then directs how the funding will be invested in the represented community. The only guideline is that the project must incorporate arts, culture or creativity, in whichever way the community defines this. This is an opportunity for historically marginalized communities to take the lead and for Denver Arts & Venues to rethink their approach to funding and grantmaking.
The organization has been a member of Americans for the Arts for 28 years. As a host for the 2018 Americans for the Arts Conference in Denver, Denver Arts & Venues was able to amplify their important, locally-focused work and role as leaders in the arts. The convention also allowed Denver Arts & Venues to showcase its city and state, as well as the agency’s commitment to arts and culture through support of community art organizations, artists and creatives, and partnerships with other sectors that amplify the arts through community building and social justice. Over the course of its membership to Americans for the Arts, Denver Arts & Venues has utilized its benefits to connect and learn from colleagues and professionals across the globe. The organization also takes advantage of the professional development benefits, such as webinars, resources provided via the bookstore, and affinity groups. Denver Arts & Venues is committed to enhancing the city of Denver through its continued support of arts and entertainment accessible to all.