Arts District: how gentrification impacts artists | KUVO/KVJZ

Arts District: how gentrification impacts artists

Jun 30, 2016

In Denver, the arts and culture scene has grown so much in the three years that I've been here, and it's also matured, which has been so gratifying to watch.  But as this is going on, it's interesting to see the impact that the maturity of the community in general has on the arts and cultural scene.

Arts and Venues Denver, the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District, Colorado Creative Industries - all of those organizations and more are working to help make the arts accessible for patrons, whether that's supporting the artists or making ticket prices affordable for people, it's going on on many fronts.

The Bonfils-Stanton Foundation is providing grants to "Arts District" (on Rocky Mountain PBS and KUVO, full disclosure here) and many other individuals or organizations that are working to help cultivate this really vibrant scene.

Despite that support, it's also a vulnerable time for the arts because there's this tension in Denver right now.  Artists living and working here have made it a beautiful, creative, desirable place to live. Rents are rising. Home prices are rising and people – artists, arts organizations and patrons alike – are being priced out.  This is not a new story, but this city’s version could have a different conclusion.

What happens next is up to the people living and working here. Talk to a leader, become a leader, to identify and enact creative solutions to this challenge.  

What I've witnessed here in Colorado is an incredible collaborative spirit.  Arts organizations elsewhere I've reported tend to be a bit more siloed and protective.   (Here) I've appreciated how people work across organizations or individuals will come together and work together on projects and not feel so territorial and proprietary.  I think that can wash over into the real estate market.  (Elsewhere in Colorado) people are doing creative artist housing.  People can put their heads together and find a solution to this very common arts problem.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Carrie Saldo leaves KUVO and Rocky Mountain PBS to pursue language studies in Latin America.  When we get her back someday, she'll be even more awesome, in two languages!)