In addition to erasing a decade of growth in Denver’s art scene, with nearly $1 billion in losses in 2020 as compared with 2019, last year’s venue closures and stay-at-home orders could continue to threaten the metro area’s creative economy for years to come.
That’s one of the takeaways from a new report compiled by Colorado Business Committee for the Arts, which found that key metrics for financial health in Denver arts and culture plummeted by double-digit percentage points in most categories — some by nearly 50%.
The 2021 Economic Activity Study of Metro Denver Culture, typically released every two years, complies self-reported data from the roughly 300 members of the Scientific & Cultural Facilities District for 2019 and 2020. The SCFD is the seven-county metro area program that injects about $60 million annually into cultural nonprofits, thanks to a voter-approved sales tax.
“(The study) illustrates years of