With over 10,000 seats, the Denver Performing Arts Complex is the nation’s second largest center for the arts after Lincoln Center. Designed and constructed in the late 1970’s, DPAC today occupies a wholly different landscape. Urban life has changed, audiences have diversified and traditional funding models are challenged. In response, the City of Denver’s Department of Arts and Venues engaged H3 and Webb Management Services to develop a visionary master plan for the complex and its surrounding district.
H3’s process includes an extensive public outreach effort. Community and emerging arts groups are significant stakeholders in the plan, in addition to the complex’s resident arts organizations and the City. Programming, physical and financial concerns will be integrated into a comprehensive plan for revitalization of the complex. Development of new programs and transformation of the Complex’s street presence are critical to repositioning DPAC’s identity in the city.
The master plan will contain a range of tangible improvements. Large scale catalytic projects are envisioned to shift investment from government support towards public-private partnerships. New commercial, residential and hotel development will make the complex viable in the future. In the near to mid term timeframes, capital facility improvements will change the character of underused physical spaces. Lastly, an intensive program of activities and events will give exposure to community art organizations, increase revenues, draw new audiences to DPAC. With these changes, DPAC will continue to be a vital and exciting center for Denver’s growing arts community.