Culture is big business here.
Culture abounds and thrives in Metro Denver, even from a business standpoint.
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 $40 million annually to 300 arts and culture organizations.
Denver's arts and cultural community created $1.76 billion in economic activity in 2011, an 18.4 percent increase over 2009, according to the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts (CBCA). Over 14.6 million Coloradans and other visitors attended cultural events in 2011. Recent venue expansions and construction of new facilities further illustrates the vibrancy of Metro Denver's cultural scene:
- A $91 million expansion of the Denver Art Museum, designed by world-famous architect Daniel Libeskind, was completed in 2006. The visually stunning Frederic C. Hamilton building increased the museum's gallery space by 40 percent, providing additional areas for special exhibits and increased space for permanent collections.
- The $92 million, 2,268-seat Ellie Caulkins Opera House opened in 2005. The Ellie houses Opera Colorado as well as Colorado Ballet and is the cornerstone of the Denver Performing Arts Complex, the nation's largest performing arts complex under one roof.
- The Museum of Contemporary Art/Denver (MCA) opened a new $15.8 million, 27,000-square-foot museum in lower downtown Denver designed by Ghanaian-British architect David Adjaye in 2007. The Museum achieved a LEED Gold certification – the first such museum in the country to earn this "green" designation.
- The privately funded Clyfford Still Museum, housing the entire collection of the deceased Still, a highly regarded 20th century abstract expressionist, openend in 2011. Several American cities vied for the opportunity to host Still’s works.
- The Creative Space Agent is a free go-to website resource for searching or advertising creative space in the region. Users can find temporary or long-term space to create, a partner to share space, or a tenant to enliven a vacant storefront.
- Arts to Zoo - Colorado's Guide to Cultural Events and Organizations
- Denver365 - Denver's Year-Round Events Guide