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Shaping a new scene

Growth brings opportunities for the arts in Adams County

Adams County Office of Cultural Affairs

Adams County is one of the fastest-growing counties in the country – and it shows no signs of slowing down. With so many entrepreneurs and creatives moving to Colorado, innovation and culture are thriving in our backyard. How can we ride this wave of cultural development in Adams County? The Adams County Office of Cultural Affairs (ACOCA) is developing a plan to do just that.

ACOCA is the office responsible for increasing awareness and promoting arts, culture and scientific opportunities in Adams County. Over the course of 2017, ACOCA and the Arts & Culture Steering Committee led the way in developing a new master plan for the future of Adams County's cultural opportunities. Their plan envisions Adams County as "the most innovative and inclusive county in America for all families and businesses."

They've laid out four steps that they believe will lead to success:

  • Create opportunities for the county's growing population to engage in art and culture
  • Connect artists and cultural organizations in the county to one another
  • Promote the county's artists and cultural organizations
  • Leverage county's park and recreation assets by enhancing cultural experiences in those locations

Visit adcogov.org/cultural-affairs to learn more and contact the county’s Cultural Affairs Liaison.

Scientific & Cultural Facilities District

You’ve probably seen Popsicle the Polar Bear around town – on signs, buildings, fliers – without even realizing who he is. This mascot of the Scientific & Cultural Facilities District (SCDF) accompanies many of the cultural experiences to be had throughout the Denver metro area – whether that’s a zoo, a museum, a theater or a garden. The SCFD is uniquely Colorado – it’s celebrating its thirtieth anniversary of making the state a world-class destination for the arts, culture, history and science. How? The SCFD collects sales taxes from seven Colorado counties – approximately $50 million annually – and distributes them to diverse cultural facilities throughout the Denver area.

To distribute these funds, eligible organizations are organized into different tiers. Examples include the Denver Art Museum (Tier I), the Butterfly Pavilion (Tier II) or the Brighton Cultural Arts Commission (Tier III). By funding on a scale, the SCFD has had a profound impact, ensuring that organizations large and small (and everything in between) have financial support for their endeavors. ■

Did you know?

  • The Adams County Visual Arts Commission has created 13 monumental sculptures, six murals and an 100-piece photographic exhibition in the Adams County government center. 
  • Kim Robards Dance has performed nationally and internationally, including in Edinburgh, Scotland and Beijing, China.
  • Alumni from TASHCO's Youth Artists Festival have gone on to become arts educators and performers with Tier I SCFD organizations.

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