Are we there yet? Has the Metro Denver arts community recovered from the pandemic? Maybe not yet, but we’re headed in the right direction, according to the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts. The Economic Activity Report for calendar 2022 was just released, including reports from 300 organizations that are part of the taxpayer-funded Scientific and Cultural Facilities District.

Some highlights:

  • The workforce in Denver’s arts and culture scene reached a new high of more than 13,500 people
  • Individual giving to arts, culture and scientific organizations set a new high, totaling $294 million

Attendance is a mixed story, rebounding 65% over 2020 ticket sales, but still down from pre-pandemic 2019.

The bottom line: Total Economic Activity for 2022 from these 300 organizations was $2.6 Billion, up 72% over 2020, and up 13.6% over pre-pandemic 2019. (SOURCE: CBCA)

In the ecosystem of jazz in Colorado, hovering around between artists and venues and educators and media is The Gift of Jazz, an organization that creates, promotes and preserves the art of jazz in the Rocky Mountain region.

Now, in addition to their Centennial concerts and Blind Tiger events, The Gift of Jazz hosts “NextUp,” a series showcasing younger artists playing some of the freshest jazz-influenced music. The venue is Woods Boss Brewery in the Five Points neighborhood at 21st and California. Pianist Sonya Walker plays in quintet format this Thursday night, November 9. Details at Gift of Jazz. (SOURCES: Gift of Jazz)

The Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz International Piano Competition, held at the Performing Arts Center on the World Trade Center campus in New York, was won by 24-year-old Chicagoan Jahari Stampley. He performed his original “Prelude Entrance” and John Hicks’ “After the Morning” to win the $50,000 prize.

Also at the mid-October all-star concert, actor Delroy Lindo presented the Institute’s Maria Fisher Founder’s Award to Dianne Reeves, who has worked with the formerly Monk and now Hancock Institute for three decades. (SOURCE: Hancock Institute/Jahari Stampley)

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