The Arts are Big Business in Metro Denver
Metro Denver is the cultural capital of the Rocky Mountain region and 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, as well as at numerous exhibiting institutions and performance venues throughout the region.”
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 Metro Denver area. A national model for funding culture, SCFD contributes more than $64 million annually across Metro Denver. In 2019, SCFD supported 300 arts and culture organizations that served a total of 15 million people. Despite a decline in attendance during the pandemic, the people of Metro Denver have continued to support the arts giving more than $225 million to culture organizations at the height of the health crisis.
Culture creates a measurable economic impact throughout the region. The biennial Economic Activity Study of Metro Denver Culture released by the Colorado Business Committee for Arts showed arts have a total $2.3 billion of economic activity in the region. The Denver Zoo alone welcomes 2 million attendees annually and generates nearly $100 million in economic impact to the City and County of Denver annually.