Arts & Culture

A Canvas for Colorful Communities

It’s safe to say we’re not lacking for inspiration around here. The bold landscape inspires even bolder ideas and instills a sense of confidence that if you can dream it, you can achieve it. It’s easy to find like-minded people that are eager to collaborate, which means you’ll find a community in culture, regardless if you’re the artist or the aficionado. As the national leader for arts funding, supported by both the private and non-profit sectors, you’ll never run out of ways to enrich your mind with world-class institutions for the visual arts, performing arts, music and heritage.

Design mavens will find scintillating exteriors throughout the state with both historical and contemporary highlights that put Colorado’s architecture on the global map. From Denver International Airport’s iconic tented peaks to the Airforce Academy’s Cadet Chapel with 17 spires, what’s outside a building is often as much as a treat as what’s inside. Art lovers will especially appreciate The Aspen Art Museum. Its woven exterior was designed by world-renowned Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, which is his first project in the U.S. The Denver Art Museum, which resembles a mountain peak that has tumbled over and landed in the middle of the city, also breaks convention and welcomes visitors year-round to rotating national showcases as well as a well-curated permanent collection.

Colorado’s capital is also home to The Denver Performing Arts Complex, the largest performing arts complex under one roof. Theater junkies have their choice between the latest touring musical or a performance by the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Opera Colorado, Denver Center Theater Company and the Colorado Ballet. Head west on I-70 in July and August and you might catch the Vail International Dance Festival, which features a lineup of international dance luminaries and premier performances.

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention Morrison’s Red Rocks Amphitheater, the best amphitheater in North America according to Rolling Stone. While not to be missed, other venues like Chautauqua Auditorium in Boulder and the Mishawaka Amphitheater in Northern Colorado’s Poudre Canyon are the state’s best kept secrets for a truly authentic and Colorado-inspired live musical experience.

If this all wasn’t enough, Colorado specifically recognizes 12 communities and neighborhoods across the state that are brimming with artists, galleries and events. These certified Creative Districts embody the spirit of art, innovation and education in Colorado and contribute millions of dollars of revenue for Colorado’s creative industries. So, get out there and let us inspire you. It’s what we do best.

Arts & Culture

40
Public art programs
12
Creative districts
78
Museums
38
Performing arts centers
1
James Beard Award Winning Chef

Rankings

# 1
Arts participation in the nation National Endowment for the Arts , 2015
# 6
Most creative city, Denver Movoto , 2015
# 1
Largest non-profit theater organization, Denver Center for the Performing Arts
# 1
Largest performing arts complex under one roof, Denver Performing Arts Complex
Top 15
inspiring cities for young artists, Colorado Springs and Denver USA Today , 2015
Best
airports for art lovers, Denver International Airport Travel + Leisure , 2015
Margaret Hunt Director of Colorado Creative Industries & Space to Create margaret.hunt@state.co.us