Uniting Arts and Businesses in Commerce City, CO

Public art is a powerful tool that can bring a sense of belonging and connection to visitors and community members alike. Commerce City, CO is no exception, as it is home to a variety of art installations that reflect the values of the city. From murals to street pianos, these pieces of art create a safe environment for people to come together and enjoy. Not only does public art add beauty to the cityscape, but it also helps to discourage vandalism and graffiti.

A local photographer and art consultant has proposed converting a 2,500-square-foot former auto parts store into a studio and exhibition space in the Derby neighborhood. This is just one example of how the arts community in Commerce City is starting to emerge. The city council has implemented an ordinance that requires each capital improvement project to allocate 1% of its funds to the creation of public works of art. This has allowed for designated areas in the city where artists can complement, cover up, and revitalize street art.

Jake, vice president of a leading global interactive lighting design and engineering company (who is also an artist and performer), actively supports this initiative by creating high-tech interactive platforms that attract people and generate real benefits for cities and customers. Art education, recreational arts, creative art therapies, popular education, and innovative leadership processes are all closely related to these forms of public art. Research has found that being inspired by a work of art can increase creativity and, in a business environment, results in better performance in problem-solving exercises. The good news is that more companies are recognizing the potential benefits of the arts and are investing in them.

Despite COVID-19, there is an urgent need to return to business, and a significant part of this involves reinvesting in the arts. The Commerce City Cultural Council partnered with the Southern Adams County Water and Sanitation District to create a new public arts initiative. However, to reap the full benefits of this collaboration between businesses and the arts community, we must ensure that our artistic and cultural institutions are inclusive. The combination of businesses and the arts can be incredibly powerful. Businesses can provide financial support for artists while artists can bring creativity and innovation to businesses.

This collaboration can help create vibrant communities with unique cultural experiences that attract visitors from all over the world. By investing in public art projects, businesses can help build strong relationships with their local communities while also creating economic opportunities for artists. The city of Commerce City has taken great strides towards uniting businesses and the arts community. Through its ordinance requiring 1% of capital improvement funds be allocated towards public works of art, it has created designated areas where artists can express themselves freely. Additionally, businesses have begun investing in the arts as they recognize its potential benefits.

By ensuring our artistic and cultural institutions are inclusive, we can reap the full benefits of this collaboration between businesses and the arts community.