The City of Denver Wants to Build an Affordable Place for Musicians to Live and Work

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It is no secret that rent in Denver is climbing rapidly -- so much so, in fact, that some artists feel they can no longer afford to live in the city.

The Arts & Venues department of the city's government wants to help. Together with the Minneapolis-based nonprofit Artspace, it hopes to build a space in the RiNo district to accommodate the needs of artists (very much including musicians). "We're trying to make sure all kinds of art are represented," says Create Denver program administrator Lisa Gedgaudas. She is overseeing a preliminary survey open to all artists that will help inform the design of and approach to the new space.

Take the survey here!

Artspace operates 35 "affordable arts facilities" across the country -- buildings that offer living space for artists and their families as well as studios to support those people's creative endeavors.

The organization already has a presence in Colorado -- it is working with the city of Loveland to open a building there next year.

Gedgaudas says the City of Denver is eager to reserve space in the rapidly growing RiNo neighborhood, which she sees as a critical part of the arts community in general here. Still, she says, "I don't see a ton of music happening in RiNo, and I would love to." She notes that in general, musicians represent one of the biggest artistic communities in Denver.

For now, there are no definite plans for the space, including its actual address and its general layout. How it might work to bring more music and musicians to the neighborhood also remains to be seen -- that's why it's important for anyone interested to complete the survey.

It won't take long. It hopes to learn about artists' living and working needs, and Gedgaudas notes that the responses collected here could be used to help advance other projects around the city in addition to the Artspace building. "Having this information can drive deeper conversations," she says.

You can learn more about Artspace in Denver and, again, fill out the survey on the Arts & Venues web site.

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