City unveils vision for performing arts complex

A new music hall, rehearsal and recording space, commercial development, expanded retail and an arts high school campus are part of the vision for the redevelopment of the Denver Performing Arts Complex.

Dubbed The Next Stage, the concept was created by a working group appointed by Mayor Michael Hancock. The team studied options, needs and trends in arts over the past year and received input from more than 4,200 Denver residents, as well as patrons, performers and presenters. 

"The Next Stage vision provides a phenomenal opportunity to elevate our arts complex to become a vibrant public regional center of cultural activity in the heart of downtown," Hancock says. "With this vision, we will set out to realize the potential of the arts complex by better attracting diverse residents and tourists, integrating it into the neighborhood and enhancing the Galleria and Sculpture Park."

The next step is to build a plan to deliver on the vision. The funding and governance group's goal is to provide its recommended plan by the end of the year. 

The featured elements of The Next Stage are an open wedge design that offers more green space, an elevated Sculpture Park with parking beneath it, a new mid-size music hall for the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and other presentations and a variety of retail options. Denver Arts & Venues and Denver Public Schools have reached a memorandum of understanding to study the feasibility of bringing a school into the complex.

"The next generation of performers, artists and patrons is growing right before our eyes in our schools," says Susana Cordova, acting superintendent of Denver Public Schools. "We are committed to studying how our school of the arts can fit in at the arts complex because of our commitment to diversity, creativity and imagination in education."

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Margaret is a veteran Denver real estate reporter and can be contacted here.
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