Happy Birthday to the Art District!

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We’re 100! Join us as we celebrate our milestone First Friday Art Walk this Friday on March 2 from 6-9PM. We’re going to have lots of balloons and lots of fun so come join the festivities.

Friday’s Festivities
The Opera Colorado is putting on a Scavenger Hunt to encourage visitors and Denverites to learn more about our historic area while simultaneously exposing participants to fine arts and the art of opera. The best part? 1st place winners will receive $1,000 in cash and 2nd place winners will receive box seat to Florencia en al Amazonas Opera. Pretty cool! Grab a team of 1-4 people together, register with Susan Hennessy at 303.778.7086 or via email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) (FYI: there’s a $40 registration fee) and get ready to scour the neighborhood on Friday for historical and cultural clues. Last minute “hunters” will be able to register on-site during the Art Walk too. Participants will experience Santa Fe Drive and Opera Colorado from a whole new perspective through a mixture of clues, QR codes, text messages and images of items and locations throughout the Art District. Help spread the word by going to Opera Colorado’s Facebook page and “liking” or “sharing” the event with others. Bring on the costumes, fun team names, team videos and enthusiasm – we’re as excited about this event as you are!

A brief history of the Art District
Since 2003, the Art District on Santa Fe (ADSF) has been “dedicated to promoting public awareness of Santa Fe Drive as a unique art and cultural district, and furthering the arts and art education in the metropolitan community.” Our District was founded by 12 pioneering galleries, a museum & a theatre, but the arts have a long history on Santa Fe Drive. Some members, such as CHAC & Artists on Santa Fe, have been here for decades. Now we’re proud to boast 67 creative industry members in addition to various other businesses who are not formally members but are nevertheless part of our community. Because “a rising tide floats all boats” the result of our growth over the years has been increased artist space, collaboration, cultural events & engagement of the general public in art by the thousands. In fact, more than 25 of our members own their real estate, which has increased stakeholder commitment, stabilized long-term sustainability and attracted a variety of artists and businesses to our community.

In fact, we’re quite the dynamic bunch. ADSF consists of a mix of creative organizations and businesses – from dance studios to breweries. We try to accommodate all creative businesses, not just the arts & have even codified this in our bylaws. Which is why you’ll find a well-rounded, complimentary mix of creatives here in the ADSF, including: theaters, museums, art galleries & studios, restaurants, coffee shops, dance studios, architectural firms, yoga studios, Metro State College CVA art programs, art restorations, wine & beer makers, music industry managers, fabric boutiques, florists, martial arts, political headquarters, creative office spaces, designers, marketers and managers.

Over the years, we’ve tried to retain the unique culture and heritage of Santa Fe Drive despite our growth and gentrification. For example, all 100+ galleries and studios are housed in buildings that have been here since the early 1900s. This includes a gallery in the former stables that housed horses up and down Santa Fe Drive by trolley. Other fine examples include Museo de las Americas - which occupies a former JC Penny’s store and 910 Arts - which renovated a 7UP bottling plant & carriage house and turned them into 18 art studios, 2 dance spaces, a courtyard, coffee shop & 8 residences. Battery621 even created an open concept office space with multiple businesses and The Infinite Monkey Theorem converted a building into Denver’s only urban winery. Other examples include Renegade Brewery which occupies a former warehouse space. And a variety of live/work spaces and lofts for artists including 910 Arts and Half Moon Studios.


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