Culture is big business in Metro Denver
The area is the cultural capital of the Rocky Mountain region and is home to the Denver Performing Arts Complex, the nation’s largest arts complex under one roof. Visitors can attend the symphony, ballet, opera, theatre, and touring productions there, and at numerous exhibiting institutions and performance venues throughout the area.
Citizens in Metro Denver support arts and culture through the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD), a voter-approved sales tax earmarking one cent of every $10 in retail sales to support art, culture, and scientific organizations in the seven-county Metro Denver region. A national model for funding culture, the SCFD distributes nearly $45 million annually to more than 280 arts and culture organizations that provide over 365 free events and activities for metro area residents.
In 2013, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison as the best amphitheatre in the U.S., besting Madison Square Garden in New York and the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.
Over 14.6 million Metro Denver residents and other visitors attended cultural events in 2012, a 30 percent increase over the previous year, according to the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District. And recent venue expansions and construction of new facilities further illustrate the vibrancy of Metro Denver's cultural scene.