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Colorado's art boom reflected in Denver Arts Week

Posted at 12:01 PM, Nov 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-09 14:05:56-05

DENVER — As Colorado grows, new businesses and buildings are not the only things going up — new murals are, too. The art scene in the Denver metro area is booming with more funding than ever before.

This week is Denver Arts Week, a time the city established to promote the creative culture of the community. 

The Scientific and Cultural Facilities District is putting more funding into the arts than ever before. A new study released by the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts shows that nearly $56.7 million were distributed last year alone.

That money is funding new murals, art installations and more that have popped up around town.

“That’s how artists have consistent and regular work," said local artist Grace Noel of the increased funding. "As an artist you can make money off of selling art, however it’s the commissions that really keep us in business."

The money comes from a sales tax that voters initially approved back in 1988, where one cent for every $10 spent goes to supporting the arts.

“It shows truly how Denver’s art scene is collaborative and it is a place that supports the arts,” Noel said.

But for every dollar being spent on the arts, much more is coming out of it. The economic impact for arts and shows topped $573 million last year alone, according to the CBCA study, bringing with it increased tourism and more than 11,000 jobs.

“Not only are the tech companies moving here, but other, big production companies are moving here and they are interested in the talent that is here,” Noel said.

Denver’s art scene is becoming so popular it’s attracting big venues like the Meow Wolf artist’s collection. Plus, the Denver Center for Performing Arts is booking big shows like the "Book of Mormon" and "Wicked." 

Even the Denver Arts Museum itself is growing and undergoing major renovations to make way for more creativity.

More artists are also calling Colorado home, and Noel said she believes there’s plenty of room to accommodate all of them.

“Having more people move here on a regular basis brings more power in numbers," she said. "(The art scene) becomes larger and the exposure becomes bigger. Just like any other industry, it’s growing and it’s beautiful to see how it blossoms."

As the Colorado art scene grows, Noel and other local artists said the additional funding is giving them the room to be both creative and profitable.  

Denver Arts Week runs through Nov. 11 with events every day.