Q&A: How Denver plans to move forward with new cultural policies

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9min 35sec
Photo: Landry and Rice
Charles Landry and Kent Rice at CPR.

For Imagine 2020, Denver Arts and Venues asked Denver residents to imagine what the future for the city’s arts and culture landscape might look like. The city polled thousands of residents at community meetings, neighborhood events and online over several months.

The result is more than 50 goals for taking the city’s culture to the next level. The goals include increased visibility for local talent and addressing limitations to participation in the arts, such as affordability.

Coming up this Friday on CPR’s weekly arts show, arts bureau editor and arts show host Chloe Veltman chats with Kent Rice, the Executive Director of Denver Arts and Venues, about how he plans to keep the city on target to meet its goals.

Veltman also interviews Charles Landry, one of the world’s leading urban researchers, about what he makes of Denver’s cultural landscape.

Here is an excerpt from that conversation:

CPR: Are we going to see more money poured in to Denver’s culture scene going forward?

Kent Rice: The funding for the Science and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD), the city agency that distributes taxpayer funding to some of Denver’s most valued cultural institutions, is coming up for renewal in just a couple of years. There will be a large push to get the SCFD renewed. But the SCFD and some other existing funding sources are simply not enough. It’s not just money, it is human capital; it is people getting excited about doing something in their neighborhood.

CPR: One of the goals of the cultural plan is increasing arts and culture in the daily lives of Denverites. 60 percent of respondents to the “Imagine 2020” survey say that they don’t participate in arts as much as they would like to, and this is especially true among the Hispanic and African American communities. How do you intend to reach out to these communities and increase participation in the arts?

Kent Rice: There is a limit to what we can do to solve that one, because the main reason people don’t participate is a lack of time. But one of the recommendations of “Imagine 2020” has to do with accessibility and making things more physically close to people. If something is going on in your neighborhood you are more likely to show up for it.

Tune in this Friday at 10:30 a.m. and again at 7:30 p.m. to hear the rest of Chloe Veltman’s interview with Landry and Rice.