Through the Arvada Arts and Culture Master Plan, the city hopes to make places that deepen community attachment; invest in the future of arts and culture; create events for every generation; and make …
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The newly approved cultural master plan is available at Arvada.org/arvada-culture-and-arts-commission
Through the Arvada Arts and Culture Master Plan, the city hopes to make places that deepen community attachment; invest in the future of arts and culture; create events for every generation; and make a home for artists and arts and culture.
The plan, which was over a year in the making, was adopted by Arvada City Council in an unanimous vote June 4.
“This is great,” said councilman Bob Fifer. “I think this is at least a first step in the right direction. It’s something we keep talking about in the community and now we can touch it.”
The plan says that the city will explore the creation of a creative arts district in Arvada by linking Olde Town Arvada with the Arvada Center for Arts and Humanities initially through simple initiatives like cross-promotion and coordinated marketing and the encouragement of visitors to take the (eventually opened) G Line.
The Arvada Arts and Culture Commission also hopes to create a second cultural hub. Possible locations include the southeast industrial area, which could serve as a location for artist spaces; Gibbs West, which includes the Apex Center and the skate park; and W. 66th Place and Indiana Street, a developing area. The plan also talks of repurposing the decommissioned water tanks on Kipling Ridge into event space.
While adopting the plan does not cost anything, in order to make some of the goals a reality the city will have to invest.
Arvada is also looking to create visibility for its arts and culture program by finding the acquisition and maintenance of permanent, public art to include sculptures and large-scale murals to go in prominent, high-traffic places.
The plan asks the city to create a public art fund with one percent of all capital projects over $50,000 being committed to purchase, install and maintain visible public art that is integrated into the capital project.
Many communities in the region have adopted similar strategies for enhancing or increasing funding for public art. Westminster has a public art program with many of its purchases coming from a hotel/motel tax-funded community enhancement fund. Also, Aurora, Denver and Adams County have 1 percent used for arts in their capital programs.
All financial requests will come to the council in specific requests at a later date.
Additionally, the Arvada Arts and Culture Master plan states that the city will double the general fund contribution to the Arvada Arts and Culture Commission’s public art program. The fund would go from $50,000 to $100,000. This money is mainly used to maintain and acquire art.
But in order to bring more public art to the city of Arvada, some regulatory changes need to be made in order to support artists and their work.
The master plan calls for the city to meet with artists to better understand barriers to working in Arvada. Some rules, regulations and ordinances that could be changed include: modifying the sign code to promote impactful, visible and vibrant murals; allowing studio space in residential garages and accessory structures; allowing artists spaces in existing industrial areas and in areas zoned for future industrial use; creating a process for encouraging publicly accessible art as part of new commercial developments; and encouraging the use of creative space in vacant buildings.
These specific code changes will come before council during the revamp of the city’s land development code.
A goal of creating spaces for artists is also outlined in the plan.
“Too often artists move into areas that others would not move to — because they can afford them, because they will be afforded the freedom to create and because they can see the potential in these places that others can’t see,” the master plan reads. “Inevitably, these places become magnets for other uses and eventually become places that everyone wants to go. When that happens, artists are soon priced out as their studio gives way to trendy restaurants, higher-priced housing and commercial uses.”
Such is currently the case in Denver’s River North Art District known as RiNo.
The Arvada Arts and Culture Commission maintains that Arvada can step in at the front end of that cycle, helping artists find their own place in the city to create permanently affordable live/work spaces and gallery spaces.
The city of Arvada will also work to initiate events and activities that “awaken interest in arts and culture” for every generation across the city. This will be accomplished by adding artistic elements to parks and neighborhoods as well as involving younger members of the community in discussion.
To kick this off, students in the University of Colorado at Denver’s Department of Music and Entertainment Industry Studies are working to launch a music event at the Arvada Skate Park in 2019. They have also planed a Tour de Park — which will focus on different performers.
“It’s bothered me that we never engaged our younger youth or young adults,” Fifer said. “And I appreciate that this plan address that.”
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