As of January 1st of this year, Boulder City Council launched its Community Culture Plan through the City of Boulder Office of Arts + Culture. Their vision: “Together, we will craft Boulder’s social, physical, and cultural environment to include creativity as an essential ingredient for the well being, prosperity, and joy of everyone in the community.”

You can read the plan details, in full, here.

According to Jennifer Heath, cultural journalist, curator, and author/editor, Pearl Street was once “hot with music venues” and you could find “prestigious recording studios” housed in the neighboring foothills. Though street artists can still be found along Pearl Streets brick-lain walkways, it’s apparent things have changed, which makes me ask: how can we reverse this erasure of Boulder’s rich artistic history?

That is exactly why the Boulder City Council voted in favor of the Community Culture Plan last Fall. And it makes sense when considering “Boulder hosts 9,134 (or 8.85% of the total population as compared to an average 5.33% in like cities), with concentrations among photographers, writers, musicians, postsecondary teachers, graphic designers, and architects,” according to research contained within the plan.

The plan aims to:

  • Support the resiliency and sustainability of cultural organizations to enhance their ability to benefit the community.
  • Create a supportive environment for artists and creative professionals, while fostering innovative thinking and leadership among them.
  • Prioritize the civic dialogue about the ability of culture to positively contribute to the economy, social offerings, the environment, and the authentic expression of diversity.
  • Develop Boulder’s creative identity in becoming an innovative world leader in cultural matters and project that identity to the region and the world.
  • Focus on the expression of culture and creativity in the public realm through public art, the urban landscape, culture in the neighborhoods, and serendipitous encounters with the arts.
  • Amplify the vibrancy of Boulder’s cultural destinations: the lively mix of museums, performance venues, events, districts, studios, maker spaces, and other facilities that make Boulder an enticing place to visit, live, play, and work. Fill in the gaps and address issues of access and affordability.

There are grants available through the program for individuals, non-profits, and for-profits that contribute to the community. If you want to know more about art grants from the City of Boulder, or more about the Community Culture Plan in general, the next Boulder Arts Commission Meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 15 at 6:00 p.m. in the Canyon Meeting Room, Main Boulder Public Library, 1001 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder.

I’m looking forward to seeing what comes from the plan, but most of all, I’m excited to see artists thriving around Boulder. With rising costs of rent, it’s hard to maintain the artist’s life here, let’s see if we can all work together to change that.