March 10, 2016


Mayor Michael B. Hancock and Denver Arts & Venues announced the
vision plan for the Denver Performing Arts Complex. The Next Stage is a
plan to enliven, diversify and sustain the 12-acre complex that sits in the
heart of Downtown Denver.

The Downtown Denver Partnership congratulates the entire team involved
in this important planning process, including Kent Rice, executive director
of Denver Arts & Venues, Ginger White-Brunetti, deputy director of Denver
Arts & Venues, and Executive Leadership Team co-chairs Marilee Utter and
Tom Gougeon, who is also a member of the Partnership’s Denver Civic
Ventures Board. Tami Door, president and CEO of the Downtown Denver
Partnership, served on the Executive Leadership Team to help ensure the
plan aligns with the long-term strategy for Downtown Denver as outlined in
the 2007 Downtown Area Plan.

Downtown Denver serves as the cultural center for the entire region, and
this vision is transformative. The plan supports several initiatives outlined in
the Downtown Area Plan, including re-enforcing 14th Street as a model
streetscape and “Ambassador Street” and front door to Downtown for many
visitors, as well as strengthening connections to Auraria Campus. The
events and activation of the Denver Performing Arts Complex support an
economically vital Downtown, and further establish Downtown Denver as a
must-visit destination for arts, culture and entertainment.

The full announcement is below.

Mayor Hancock, Denver Arts & Venues announce The Next Stage
vision, process
Includes new construction, school of the arts, funding/governance, interim
programming at the Arts Complex.

A new music hall, rehearsal and recording space, commercial
development, expanded retail, and an arts high school campus are
elements of a redevelopment vision for the performing arts complex
presented by Mayor Michael B. Hancock and Denver Arts & Venues

The vision, dubbed “The Next Stage,” was delivered by the Executive
Leadership Team (ELT), a working group appointed by Hancock that has
studied options, needs and trends in arts over the past year. The group
received input from more than 4,200 Denver residents, as well as arts
patrons, performers and presenters.

The vision includes facilities and activities that fall into three categories that
include music facilities and concert halls, education of our youngest arts
lovers, and further development of the neighborhood.

“The Next Stage vision provides a phenomenal opportunity to elevate our
Arts Complex to become a vibrant, public regional center of cultural activity
in the heart of downtown,” said Hancock. “With this vision, we will set out to
realize the potential of the Arts Complex by better attracting diverse
residents and tourists, integrating it into the neighborhood, and enhancing
the Galleria and Sculpture Park. I am thankful for the ELT’s and
community’s commitment to create this vision together.”

Following a display of The Next Stage vision renderings, Hancock
announced a year-long funding and governance study to develop the next
steps to build a plan to deliver on the vision. The funding and governance
group will aim to provide its recommended plan by the end of 2016.

The featured elements of The Next Stage are an open wedge design that
offers more green space, an elevated Sculpture Park with parking beneath
it, a new mid-size music hall for the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and
other presentations, and a number of other retail options. A memorandum
of understanding has been established between Denver Arts & Venues and
Denver Public Schools to study the feasibility of bringing a school of the
arts to the Arts Complex.

“The next generation of performers, artists and patrons is growing right
before our eyes in our schools,” said Susana Cordova, acting
superintendent of Denver Public Schools. “We are committed to studying
how our school of the arts can fit in at the Arts Complex because of our
commitment to diversity, creativity and imagination in education.”

Work to diversify and expand the arts programming, recommended as part
of The Next Stage vision, will begin almost immediately. Donations from the
Boettcher Foundation and the Arts Complex’s largest resident company,
Denver Center for the Performing Arts, will be used to seed and encourage
the unique programming. New visual art will appear at the Arts Complex
with the expanded programming. Denver Arts & Venues is committing
$250,000 in public artworks to be installed over the next year.

“All of us at Arts & Venues are eager to build on the vision of The Next
Stage,” said Kent Rice, executive director of Denver Arts & Venues. “The
exciting new programming we’re about to start will further brand this city
and this neighborhood as the heart of Denver’s creative and cultural life.”

Multiple performances from the Arts Complex resident companies, local
Denver arts organizations and student performers from Denver Public
Schools entertained attendees at the announcement.

H3 Hardy Collaboration, under contract to Denver Arts & Venues, delivered
sections of the report and renderings of what the revised complex might
look like. Those renderings and additional information are available at