Coloradans Are Big Art Buffs, Report Says

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Photo: Big Sweep Public Art Outside Denver Art Museum
The "Big Sweep" sits outside the Denver Art Museum in the Golden Triangle neighborhood, which was certified as a creative district by the state of Colorado in June 2016.

a study by the National Endowment for the Arts.

The state ranks high, sometimes number one, when it comes to supporting many forms of artistic endeavor.

"We were very pleasantly surprised," said Margaret Hunt, executive director of Colorado Creative Industries in the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. "This is really good data for us to have, because what it tells us is this is a really a strongly held value of Coloradans. "

Hunt said two things stood out to her in the report. The first was a high participation among young adults.

"We've had a tremendous growth in millennials who are moving in Colorado at a pretty astonishing rate," she said.

Hunt also credited the metro area's Scientific and Cultural Facilities District, which voters first passed in 1988. It's been responsible for the funding and growth of some 300 arts, culture and science organizations across the seven-county metro area.

"They make arts and cultural facilities accessible to children and people that who may not have the economic means to to pay the admission price," Hunt said. "We may be seeing now, after about a 30-year period, that translating into greater participation."

The report also showed a strong correlation between childhood arts experiences and adult attendance of art events.

"Adults who visited an art museum that as a child, for example, were a nearly five times more likely to visit an art museum or gallery as an adult," Hunt said. "That early childhood experience and exposure really pays off."