40 West Arts
is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization focused on delivering direct, positive impact to help catalyze the resurgence of the West Colfax Corridor—the historic heart of Lakewood—through the energy of arts and culture and the inspiration of creative enterprises.
Who We Are:
We are artists, neighbors, business owners and students who believe the Arts enrich our lives and have come together at the intersection of the arts, historic neighborhoods, new light rail stations, a famous avenue, and a vibrant Arts college. Working with local entrepreneurs, civic leaders, and a passionate group of volunteers, we will continue to work toward manifesting a shared vision of energizing our community through the work, creativity and fun of an arts district.
The Broader Context:
40 West Arts is contributing to the renaissance along West Colfax. The West Colfax story is as vivid and varied as any in the country. It comes with its own lore—and a history rich in character and creativity. As the historic heart of Lakewood, West Colfax has seen both high and low times. Now, West Colfax is re-emerging from decades of economic challenges, and artists are the vanguard rallying behind both traditional and creative enterprises—and 40 West Arts is positioned to help support and sustain this effort. The renaissance is happening—right before our eyes.
The 40 West Arts mission supports the advancement of individual artists and creative entrepreneurs as well as business and property owners in an historic corridor—and it helps to energize an entire community and contribute to a state-wide initiative to stimulate the economy through arts and culture activities.
We are focused on three distinct areas:
40 West Arts District:
Anchored by historic West Colfax Avenue (US 40), Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design, and served by both the Lamar and Wadsworth “W Line” Light Rail Stations, 40 West Arts District is located in the historic heart of the City of Lakewood. Designated an official “Emerging Creative District” by the State of Colorado in March of 2012, 40 West Arts is working to develop and enhance the “sense of place” for the District while cultivating a complementary and collaborative environment that attracts artists and additional creative enterprises, destinations, and events to the West Colfax Corridor.
40 West Arts Galleries:
40 West Arts Galleries, headquartered at 1560 Teller Street in Lakewood, one-half block north of West Colfax Avenue, holds 8 to10 arts events annually in its own gallery (including 4-5 juried exhibitions) and helps to identify and foster additional temporary and permanent arts installations, destinations, and events throughout the District. 40 West Arts Gallery shares its 4,500 square-foot facility with The EDGE Theatre, also a 501(c)3 nonprofit. The EDGE troupe of professional actors, directors, and lighting and set specialists offers 7 to 8 “live” theatrical productions every year in its intimate 80-seat performing arts venue.
40 West Arts Projects:
40 West Arts Projects is our services arm. Our staff of professionals promotes the 40W Arts District, 40W Galleries, and its member artists along with dozens of other creative events in the district and throughout the community every year. In addition, it delivers or facilitates access to free seminars and resources for member artists as well as subsidized support services for artists and creative enterprises. All proceeds from 40W Projects go to support the operation and growth of the 40 West Arts District and 40 West Arts Galleries.
40 West Arts’ strategic role in building arts and culture as an economic engine and helping develop the West Colfax Corridor into a vibrant arts destination will involve:
- Growing and promoting the arts-related businesses and activities currently in the corridor
- Increasing the capacity, growth, and professionalism of existing creative enterprises and arts-related destinations to help them leverage the benefits of the District
- Fostering local awareness and a sense of community pride to encourage local participation in arts and culture programming
- Attracting new and more artists, arts-related businesses, and other creative enterprises by working to further establish a regional identity that will draw visitors, patrons, and investors to the West Colfax Corridor
40 West Arts is committed to providing support that will increase the long-term success and sustainability of its artists, creative enterprises and arts organizations. This means increasing awareness, continued focus on “place-making,” creating jobs, growing incomes, stimulating community involvement and volunteerism, and actively promoting the corridor’s creative economy as a key piece of the economic development strategy.