Arts & Venues partners with Meow Wolf providing $20k for Denver creative spaces, multiple city agencies contributing resources
Denver Arts & Venues (A&V) and Meow Wolf announced Wednesday a partnership that includes A&V contributing $20,000 toward a funding program, organized by Meow Wolf, that will specifically assist the more immediate compliance and safety needs of Denver’s Do-It-Yourself (DIY) and alternative spaces.
Meow Wolf, a Santa Fe, NM-based arts organization, had previously announced plans to disburse $100,000 in annual funding to support safer DIY music and arts venues across the nation. A&V’s money will go to support infrastructural improvements, rent assistance, materials, equipment and other needs as identified by Denver applicants. The DIY fund also supports additional resources for legal, zoning and building code consulting services.
“Meow Wolf was an ideal partner for addressing short-term needs, while we continue to explore more long-term opportunities to support safe, creative spaces,” said Kent Rice, A&V executive director. “As an artist collective, Meow Wolf has emerged as a leader in the region, working closely with Denver-based artists and reacting quickly to the acute space challenges of artists nationwide with the development of its funding program.”
Meow Wolf is collecting applications for Denver-based funding until Friday, March 31. Applicants can visit here to apply.
In addition to A&V’s efforts, Denver Community Planning and Development (CPD) and the Denver Fire Department (DFD) have taken steps toward supporting the needs of the arts community.
For those seeking to turn an existing warehouse or commercial space into a live/work space, CPD launched a user guide. The guide outlines basic steps for establishing a safe and legal live/work space in an existing building.
CPD teams are currently reviewing zoning and building code provisions on group living and live/work spaces. CPD is offering the opportunity to review the codes with representatives from the arts community to identify potential longer-term policy changes and innovations that could benefit the arts community and others in Denver.
DFD announced the activation of free inspections for a limited time where tenants and land owners can apply until Friday, March 31. A&V and DFD are also providing safety kits that include smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, a fire extinguisher, 8-hour light sticks, flashlights, first aid kits, and educational material around fire safety for the community. A limited quantity of kits will be available beginning Monday, March 13 in the McNichols Civic Center Building located at 144 West Colfax Ave.
Thursday’s announcement follows a January open forum held at the McNichols Building where city officials shared information about the city’s fire codes, building codes and zoning requirements for creative and alternative DIY spaces in an effort to keep them operating more safely. A&V, DFD and CPD, along with other city agencies, committed to work directly with the community exploring short- and long-term opportunities and solutions for creative spaces that support innovative production and artistic growth, and better protects critical contributors to the city.
“It was important that we had this informational forum,” said Ginger White, A&V deputy director. “We wanted the creative community to know that we hear their concerns and we’re taking action. We’ve provided these initial items, but collaboration with residents and land owners continues. We value the creative community and will continue to provide channels for collaborative problem solving.”
For more information on application instructions for inspections or funding, please visit ArtsandVenues.com/CreativeSpaces and MeowWolf.com/DIY
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