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21 new buildings join Doors Open Denver this year

People who are curious about what’s behind closed doors at some of Denver’s best buildings won’t want to miss Doors Open Denver, an annual event showcasing the history of the city’s built environment.

Taking place Sept. 22-23, Doors Open Denver highlights more than 60 of Denver’s unique spaces and offers more than 58 Insider Tours.

Headquartered at Denver Union Station, with neighborhood anchor sites at The Rossonian in Five Points and The Kirk of Highland in the Highlands, the event will feature high-profile, historic and artistic feats of architecture and design.

Twenty-one buildings that have never been part of Doors Open Denver join the list of sites this year, including MSU’s Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Buidling, Sanctuary Downtown, North Highland Presbyterian Church, The Savoy and NINE dot ARTS. The sites are part of the list of more than 60 buildings that are free to explore.

“While Doors Open Denver always encourages walkability, the 2018 event is pedestrian focused, encouraging attendees to walk within neighborhoods featuring a high concentration of sites, including Five Points and the Highlands,” says Pauline Herrera Serianni, executive director of the Denver Architecture Foundation, which is presenting the event. “We invite the community and visitors to explore these and other neighborhoods from the inside out through our free open sites, arts and culture activities and ticketed Insider Tours.”

The Insider Tours provide engaging opportunities to view areas of Denver buildings and locales not frequently open to the public. Architects, landscape architects, historians and urban enthusiasts lead the Insider Tours. Nineteen of the 58 Insider Tours are new to Doors Open Denver this year. Tickets for Insider Tours will go on sale for $10 each for Denver Architecture Foundation members on Aug. 24 and for the public on Sept. 7.

More info at denverarchitecture.org.

With the support of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, Doors Open Denver will present seven arts and culture experiences at unique architectural locations in the Five Points neighborhood.
 

Colorado opens first women's history center

The Center for Colorado Women’s History opened this month at the Byers-Evans House Museum.

The center is the first state museum focused on the past, present and future achievements of Colorado women. Opening during National Women’s History Month, the Center for Colorado Women’s History honors women who are shaping Colorado’s history, community, economy, culture and heritage. The museum focuses on scholarship, research, public programs, narrative, lectures, school tours and exhibits that expand the understanding of the history of women in Colorado.

Fun facts about Colorado women’s history include:
  • Colorado was the first state in the union to enfranchise women by popular vote.
  • In 1894, Colorado became the first state to elect women to the state legislature.
  • Before and after statehood, women were critical in building Colorado communities, including schools, libraries and places of worship.
  • Today, the gender ratio in Colorado is almost equal, with 100 women to 101 men.
  • Today, Colorado ranks ninth in the country for women-owned businesses.
The Byers-Evans House is located at 1310 Bannock St.
 

Denver Tennis Park under construction

Construction has started on Denver Tennis Park at 1560 S. Franklin St. adjacent to Denver Public Schools All City Stadium complex.

The project, being built by PCL Construction, is the first publicly accessible youth-centered indoor/outdoor tennis facility in the Denver region. It will feature seven indoor courts and six outdoor courts. The project is expected to be completed in October.

The Denver Tennis Park is a new non-profit organization with a mission to foster whole child development for youth of all ages and abilities. The initiative is a collaboration of the Denver Tennis Park, the University of Denver and Denver Public Schools. The project has been funded philanthropically, and DPS has provided funds for a portion of the drainage work at the site. Fundraising efforts are under way as part of a capital campaign.

“This will be a tremendous addition to the Denver tennis community, as well as to student athletes for the Denver Public Schools and Denver University,” says Kerri Block, PCL’s project manager for the Denver Tennis Park. “PCL is looking forward to delivering an outstanding tennis complex to the people supporting this effort and everyone who plays — or wants to learn to play — a great lifelong sport.”

The project also includes regrading part of the surrounding athletic fields to divert storm runoff to a new 48,000 cubic foot underground retention system. The 279-space parking lot also will be preserved to serve sporting events, as well as the tennis park.

Broker's buyer bonus: Helping to send a child to school in Uganda

Denver real estate broker Tenzin Gyaltsen is helping put Ugandan children through school one home sale at a time through a partnership with the S.O.U.L Foundation.

One child will be put through school for every home sale that’s over $300,000. It costs about $1,600 to put a child through all seven years of primary school.

“That gives them all of their school books and one meal per day,” said Gyaltsen, a broker associate with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Colorado. “It’s an added bonus to the house. It almost personifies it in a way.”

Gyaltsen, who formerly owned an eco-friendly clothing company, met representatives from S.O.U.L (Supporting Opportunities for Ugandans to Learn) at an event and fell in love with the organization. He had a desire to do something philanthropic, so he sponsored Rita Naigaga, the first of many students.

When he turned his attention to real estate he decided to expand his efforts by sponsoring a child with proceeds from every house he lists for more than $300,000.

Gyaltsen works with investors to buy houses, fix them up and resell them. When he has an upcoming listing he contacts S.O.U.L to pledge to sponsor a student, The organization then sends a child’s photo and bio, which will be framed and displayed in the house. If the new owners wish, the address of the newly sold home stays with the sponsorship, and all the letters and updates from the student are mailed to the house.

“Lack of education is one of the biggest problems in the world,” Gyaltsen said. “In this part of the world, most children don’t get an education. It’s important to equip children with knowledge so they can go out and better the world and their communities.”

The Record Company to headline holiday concert benefitting public schools

The Grammy Award-nominated Los Angeles band The Record Company is headlining the fourth annual Sing It To Me Santa concert Dec. 9 at the Ogden Theatre.

The concert will benefit music education in Denver Public Schools through the newly formed nonprofit organization Take Note Colorado.

“I am honored and proud to announce that Sing It To Me Santa will become a signature event under Take Note Colorado,” says Karen Radman, executive director of Take Note Colorado. “And, that net proceeds from Sing It To Me Santa 2017 will benefit music education in Denver Public Schools.”

The Record Company is a Los Angeles-based rock trio whose 2016 debut album was nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Contemporary Blues Album.

Tickets for the show are available at www.axs.com. General admission tickets are $25-30, and VIP tickets are $250. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 8 p.m. For information on sponsorships for the show, contact Karen Radman at karen@takenotecolorado.org.

Denver-based vintage rock/funk/blues powerhouse Tracksuit Wedding will open the show, performing original new tracs from its just-released second album “Now or Never” — and some holiday favorites to celebrate the season. 

Take Note Colorado, chaired by Gov. John Hickenlooper and Isaac Slade of The Fray, is a new statewide initiative with a goal to provide access to musical instruments and instruction to all of Colorado’s K-12 students. Sing It To Me Santa is a benefit concert created in 2014 by Libby Anschutz.

Oakwood Homes takes over Reunion development

Oakwood Homes has taken over as the master developer of Reunion, a 2,500-acre community in northeast Denver that is currently home to nearly 2,000 families.

Under terms of the agreement, Denver-based L.C. Fulenwider Inc. will continue to maintain ownership of the community while the master plan development transitions from Shea Homes to Oakwood.

“I am excited by the transition and know that Reunion and its residents will benefit from Oakwood Homes’ expertise in developing and implementing community-focused master plans,” says Cal Fulenwider, CEO of Fulenwider. “Shea Homes has been a tremendous partner in the initial development of Reunion, and I am confident that Oakwood Homes will be excellen stewards of the future expansion of this wonderful community.”

Oakwood’s plans for Reunion include additional residences, an active 50-plus adult community, enhancing educational opportunities for children and creating additional neighborhood amenities.

Originally established in 2001 as a Shea Homes Master Planned Community, Reunion encompasses more than 900 acres of mixed-use and commercial development within Commerce City. It houses a 21,000-square-foot recreation center, 152 acres of parks, an 18-hole golf course, 10 miles of trails, 8 acres of lakes and an adjacent grocery store and other retail amenities. Oakwood Homes is one of four home builders in the community and is currently building the 2017 St. Jude Dream Home in Reunion.

“Our mission is to create luxury homes that are accessible and customizable at every budget and stage of life,” says Pat Hamill, founder and CEO of Oakwood. “We will complement the existing personality of Reunion by creating community gathering spots for residents, expanding educational options for children and building quality homes that reflect the existing look and feel of community.”

Elitch's donates tickets to North H.S. for fundraising

Elitch Gardens owner Rhys Duggan is donating $600,000 worth of tickets to the theme park to North High School to help with fundraising for capital improvement projects. 

Elitch’s also will provide North students with employment and internship opportunities at the amusement park.

“Elitch Gardens and Denver North High School have both been important institutions in our community for more than a century,” says Duggan, president and CEO of Revesco Properties, an owner and the managing member of Elitch Gardens. “North is our Speer Boulevard neighbor, and we are committed to doing our part to support the school, its students and its educators in the years ahead.”

At its original location at West 38th Avenue and Tennyson Street, Elitch Gardens was one of the first zoos west of Chicago and the home of Denver’s first symphony orchestra, first botanic garden and first Children’s Museum and activity center. It also was the site of Denver’s first motion picture theater and the Trocadero Ballroom, where most of Denver danced and romanced. 

Elitch Gardens opened in its current location next to the Pepsi Center in 1995.

City of Cranes: A whopping 42 projects either planned or under construction downtown

Forty-two projects with an investment value of $2.8 billion are either under construction or planned in downtown Denver, according to the 2017 State of Downtown Denver Report recently released by the Downtown Denver Partnership. 

The projects will add more than 1,000 hotel rooms, 5,000 residences and 2.5 million square feet of office space. 

“Great cities do not happen by accident,” says Tami Door, president and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership. “Our thriving center city is a result of a strategic vision to build one of the most economically powerful center cities in the country, and the metrics outlined in the 2017 State of Downtown Denver signal great success. Our residential population is expanding at unprecedented rates, $2.8 billion is being invested through development projects, we’ve added 6,000 jobs and 23 new companies have relocated to or opened a new office in the center city to grow their business in the last 24 months.”

Downtown Denver’s workforce of 130,227 people has grown at a rate of 17 percent since 2010, outpacing the national rate of 11 percent. Employment is led by new and growing private-sector businesses, where employment is up 21 percent.

Nearly 80,000 people are choosing to live in downtown Denver and its center city neighborhoods. Population in the downtown core has tripled since 2000, and more than 66 percent of downtown residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher.Downtown’s residential renaissance and its growing employee base is encouraging new retail development. Retail sales tax collection is anchored by restaurants, which make up 44 percent of the revenue. 

There is a diverse array of educational opportunities, from traditional universities to coding schools that is helping to build the workforce of the future and ensure downtown businesses have access to top talent. About 58,000 students are being educated in the center city at a variety of educational institutions.

Economic summit to address housing, food, entrepreneurship

Housing, food access, youth opportunities and entrepreneurship are among the issues that will be discussed at the inaugural Far Northeast Denver Economic Summit, a free event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 20 at the Evie Garrett Dennis E-12 campus, 4800 Telluride St. 

The collaborative, grassroots event is a joint project of the City and County of Denver and a range of stake holders from Montbello and surrounding neighborhoods. A keynote speech on economic mobility will be presented by Dr. Jared Bernstein, a former chief ecnomist in the Obama Administration. The day also will include a community resource fair. 

“Our goal for the summit is to spur a bold conversation about economic opportunity, inviting the voices and perspectives of area residents and business owners, and also provide information on available services and tools,” says Amy Edinger, interim executive director of Denver’s Office of Economic Development.

The event will include three breakout sessions and a complimentary lunch. Spanish translation will be available on site. Sign language, CART services or other disability-related accommodations may be requested at oed.milehigh@denvergov.org or (720) 913-1999.

Biennial of the Americas announces massive preview party for May, a week of events in September

The Biennial of the Americas returns to Denver in September, with a preview party to be held May 19 at City Hall.

The 2015 Biennial hosted more than 100 events throughout the summer, with more than 25,000 participants attending the six-day opening week program of events that brought together nearly 60 artists, speakers and international leaders representing more than 25 countries.

“This year’s Biennial creates a significant opportunity to bring together the most innovative  leaders from across the Western Hemisphere to discuss, question, accelerate and transform how we do business and live together today,” says Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. “We look forward to hosting yet another year of world-class talent and through leaders from throughout the Americas in this year’s Biennial of the Americas.”

The week-long festival of ideas, arts and culture attracts innovators, artists, students, thinkers and doers from across the Americas. The Biennial curates content among collaborators in the ideas, arts and cultural spheres, leveraging partnerships that result in high-quality, in-depth programming.

This year’s event schedule is as follows:
 
  • Biennial Preview Party, 5:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m., May 19, City Hall night club
  • Opening night gala, 7 p.m. Sept. 12, 
  • MCA Opening: Know-how, 6 p.m., Sept. 13, Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Americas Symposium, 7 p.m. Sept. 14,
  • Biennial Night, 7 p.m. Sept. 15, Civic Center Park

Closetbox awards scholarship to student entrepreneur

College student Josh Doering was selected from 120 applicants to receive the $5,000 Closetbox Entrepreneur Scholarship, an award that recognizes the importance of those starting a business to stay in school through the end.

Denver-based Closetbox selected Doering, a student at Morningside College Sioux City, Iowa, for his ability to take an idea and turn it into something real and functioning. Doering saw the need to increase safety and efficiency on the farm where he grew up and created Seed Slide, a remote box opener that is useful for adding safety and convenience into any bulk seed tote operation. 

"In various startup communities, a negative view of college education has taken hold, and we take issue with this," says Marcus Mollmann, Closetbox founder and CEO. "We believe in keeping bright young people in school through the end, as these minds are starting the businesses of tomorrow."

Closetbox, a full-service storage company, has grown to more than 60 locations in two years. The company provides free pickup and handles the heavy lifting to move customers' belongings from their homes to secure storage facilities. the company inventories a customer's items, then provides them with a personalized dashboard so they can view their items online. From the dashboard, customers can request any or all items to be returned on demand.

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

MSU Denver faculty showcase their own artwork

Ever wondered what the people who teach art create? Now's your chance at the Metropolitan State University of Denver Center for Visual Art's (CVA) biennial exhibit that showcases the studio art and design of its faculty and staff.

The exhibits, located at 965 Santa Fe Dr., are open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday.

COLLECTIVE NOUNS: MSU Denver Art Faculty Exhibition is on view Nov. 18 to Jan. 21, bringing together objects across a variety of media including painting, drawing, sculpture, video and typography representing the artists' experiences, influences and interests. The exhibit offers visitors the opportunity to see how the team of faculty and staff weave together all of their disparate backgrounds and teachings to work toward the common goal of educating students from all walks of life to become innovative creative professionals.

"As an off-campus art center, it's important to make the connection with the university art department for vistiors in order to give context to the year-round exhibitions we bring to the community that include student works and significant contemporary art," says Cecily Cullen, managing director and curator at CVA. "COLLECTIVE NOUNS makes that link and as a biennial exhibition we are able to show the evolution and innovation of subjects and methods that our educators bring to students."

Many works in the exhibition will be for sale. The student-run 965 Gallery at CVA is showing a concurrent exhibition titled TIME: MSU Denver Student Exhibition featuring student-submitted artwork juried and curated by students that reflect the theme of time.

Events, which are free and open to the public, include:
 
  • Opening reception: 6-8 p.m. Nov. 18
  • Art and Digital Technology: 6 p.m. Dec. 1; artist talk with Michael Bernhardt, Kelly Monico, Jessica Moore and Tsehai Johnson
  • Fonts of My Family: The Fleeting Craft of Cursive Writing: 7 p.m. Dec. 2, artist talk with Shawn Meek
  • Conflict Crock Pots: 6 p.m. Dec. 7, slow-cooked politics, history, community, culture and imperialism discussion with Matt Jenkins
  • Outsider Art and Disability in Art and Design: 6 p.m. Dec. 7, artist talk with Alan Murdock
  • is EMANCIPATION: 6 p.m. Jan. 18, book release and talk with editors Peter Bergman and Zoe Larkins
Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Winners of Mayor's Design Awards announced

Mayor Michael Hancock recently honored 17 projects for the contributions they've made to Denver's public realm at the 2016 Mayor's Design Awards recently held at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.

"The theme that emerged from this year's field of winners is transformation," Hancock says. "The impact that these projects have made on their streets, their neighborhoods and the city will be felt for years to come. The owners and their project teams have shown a clear commitment to design with intention with results we can all take pride in."

Since 2005, the awards have been presented to Denver homeowners, business owners, nonprofits, artists and others for their creative contributions to the public realm through innovative design. Winners range from community placemaking projects and adaptive reuse of historic structures to single-family residents and major mixed-use downtown buildings. Each brings something special to Denver's visual fabric and speaks to the city's collective commitment to building healthy, sustainable communities.

The 2016 Mayor's Design Award winners are:
 
  • Wheels Go Round, 16th Street Mall
  • Bindery on Blake, 2901 & 2875 Blake St.
  • Mental Health Center of Denver's Dahlia Campus for Health and Well-Being, 3401 Eudora St.
  • Freight Residences, 3515 Ringsby Ct.
  • One City Block, 444 E. 19th Ave.
  • Blue Moon Brewing Company -- RiNo District, 3750 Chestnut Place
  • Denizen, 415 S. Cherokee St.
  • Denver Art Museum Administration Building, 1226 Bannock St.
  • The Metlo, 1111 Broadway
  • The ART, a hotel, 1201 Broadway
  • Room & Board, Cherry Creek, 222 Detroit St.
  • Galaxie, 3520 E. Colfax Ave.
  • Torchy's Tacos, 1085 Broadway
  • Halcyon Hotel, 245 Columbine St.
  • Regency Athletic Complex at MSU Denver, 1600 W. Colfax Ave.
  • Private residence, 4025 Grove St.
  • Private residence, 2510 S. Lowell Blvd.
Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Denver wins grant to strengthen retail industry

The Denver Office of Economic Development is getting a $422,652 from The Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership grant to strengthen retail industry career services. 

Denver is one of 10 cities across the country to form and implement new models of career services specific to retail that will serve as best practices for the roughly 550 Workforce Development Boards in the United States that provide career services such as coaching, soft-skills training, specialized-skills training and referrals to other resources. The funding is part of a $10.9 million grant the Walmart Foundation made to the workforce partnership in March.

"Helping create local jobs for local residents is a priority for us, and we're thrilled to receive this grant that will equip us to better support struggling residents who are working hard to get back to work," says Mayor Michael Hancock. "This is a great opportunity to grow good entry-level and middle-skill jobs in a sector that plays a significant role in Denver's economy, and we're ready to work with businesses to develop clear career paths in retail, while providing skills training and new approaches to accelerate career development."

The Denver grand funding will provide a variety of services to job seekers, including:
 
  • Job readiness training customized to the retail sector, including helping jobseekers acquire the soft skills that are critical for workplace success such as teamwork, leadership, communication and conflict resolution
  • Job placement assistance, resume writing help and interviewing skills workshops
  • Post placement services to promote job retention
Among the services OED will offer employers are:
 
  • Serving as a point of contact for retail employers in the area for recruiting and training opportunities, including career tracks such as sales, customer service, logistics, merchandising/buying and management
  • Customized recruiting and screening and assistance in writing job descriptions for new positions
  • Employee retention assistance and improving the supply of qualified job candidates
Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Course offers behind-the-scenes look at city planning

Denver residents can get an inside look at how city planning works this fall when Denver Community Planning and Development holds its second Citizens' Planning Academy.

 

Hosted in partnership with Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation, the free, three-part Citizens' Planning Academy curriculum will give 30 participants insight into the key aspects of citywide plans, neighborhood plans and zoning. 

 

The academy will be held three weeknights this fall on dates that are yet to be determined. For additional information or to apply, visit DenverGov.org/CPD. The application deadline is Aug. 19.

 

Courses will be jointly taught by city planners, neighborhood representatives and industry professionals, with interactive activities and group discussions. They will cover:

 

  • Citywide Planning: How does a city of more than 650,000 set a vision for its future? Learn how to identify and prioritize transportation and land-use strategies to build sustainable and well-connected communities citywide.
  • Neighborhood Planning: What are your neighborhood's best features? What would make it healthier, more livable and better connected? Learn how neighbors have worked together to identify what character-defining features to preserve and enhance, while opening doors for appropriate reinvestment to keep their area vibrant.
  • Zoning: Zoning can help translate a community's brad vision into sticks and bricks. Learn about Denver's context- and form-based code and how it strives to improve the health, safety, prosperity and quality of life for all of Denver. Learn helpful tips about how to use the code, including online tools available at DenverGov.org/zoning.
Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.
22 Education Articles | Page: | Show All
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