As you know, Centennial has launched a Centennial Arts and Cultural Foundation to promote and support an art and cultural presence in the city. While in the “birthing” stages of the endeavor and in my research, I have been enlightened with the concept “An Arts and Business Connection.” The city of Aurora Chamber of Commerce has taken the lead in this endeavor. For 50 years the Aurora’s Business and Art Committee have married the arts and business community into an economic development success. “Your business power tool… The Arts” has become the mantra of the Chamber of Commerce and business leaders. Some of the major projects over the years are: Arts on Havana Street, Arts and the Military and Colfax Canvas Mural Event. The impact art has on business begins with connecting their story, brand and goals to visual ideas and concepts. Some examples around the city are the Blue Bear at the Convention Center, the blue horse at the airport entrance, blue trees in downtown Denver around the theater district and the sculpture at Craig Hospital. Not only is the business community committed to the value of the arts, several years ago, the Colorado tax payers passed a Scientific and Cultural Financing District tax, SCFD, where one penny on every $10 purchase goes to support the arts and culture in Metro Denver. According to City Planners, Public Art in spaces creates identity, encourages economic development and makes for a stronger community.
The Centennial Arts and Cultural Foundation’s first initiative will be creating an artistic medium at the Arapahoe Bridge project currently under construction. The Foundation’s mission is to celebrate, inspire and connect Art & culture in Centennial. According to the city leaders, connecting Arts and Business have a tremendous impact on the City’s future economic development.
Kathy Turley is a former City Councilwoman and Mayor ProTem of the City of Centennial