About 40 West Arts District

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, a historic transportation corridor, and a vibrant arts college. Working with local entrepreneurs, civic leaders, other nonprofits, and a passionate group of volunteers, we continue to work toward manifesting a shared vision of energizing our community through the work, creativity and fun of developing and delivering compelling arts experiences to our community.

Our Purpose: The overarching purpose of 40 West Arts is to serve the community through the arts-- to bring arts education and experiences to those with limited access to the arts and to give artists and creative enterprises a community-based platform for community service and to further their creativity and move their entrepreneurial efforts forward. 40 West Arts provides artists and other creatives:
  • A connection to a state-designated creative district
  • A forum for social and professional dialogue with creative peers
  • Galleries and other venues to show and sell their work
  • A conduit to “Call for Artists” revenue opportunities
  • Resources and services to help expand their creativity and their business
  • A platform to connect with opportunities to serve the local community

40 West Art's mission supports the advancement of individual artists and creative entrepreneurs as well as local residents, businesses, 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. Read more about our Programs here.

The Broader Context: 40 West Arts is contributing to the renaissance along West Colfax--a storied section of Colorado's historic Main Street and part of U.S. 40. 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.

40 West Arts positions its service to the community in three categories:

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 a Certified District in the Colorado Creative Industries Creative District Program by the State of Colorado in June of 2014, 40 West Arts is one of eighteen Certified Creative Districts in Colorado for the fiscal year of 2016. As a Certified District, 40 West Arts is working to bring art education and experiences to those with limited access to the arts and to develop and enhance the “sense of place” for the District while cultivating a collaborative environment that attracts artists and additional creative enterprises, destinations, and events to the diverse West Colfax community.

40 West Arts Galleries: 40 West Arts Galleries, headquartered at 1560 Teller Street in Lakewood, one-half block north of West Colfax Avenue, holds 10+ 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 is open Wednesday-Saturday 12-4pm for exhibition viewing. Additional hours are published during shows. 40 West Arts Gallery, also a popular community gathering place for youth, senior, civic and neighborhood groups, 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 8 “live” theatrical productions every year in its intimate 88-seat performing arts venue.

40 West Arts Projects: 40 West Arts Projects is our services arm. Our staff and volunteers promote the 40W Arts District, 40W Galleries, its member artists, other arts-related venues and scores of other creative events and activities in the district and throughout the community every year. In addition, it delivers or facilitates access to free arts-related programming to under-served populations and free seminars and resources for members artists. Read more about our Programs here.

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
  • Developing enrichment and educational programs that bring arts experiences to the community, particularly those who are historically under-served or have limited access to arts-related 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 of and access to the arts, 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 and community engagement strategy.

40 West Arts Board of Directors

Liz Black - Ex Officio Member, 40W Program Manager, Writer - 40 West Artsphere Blog
Bill Marino
- Executive Director, Lakewood-West Colfax BID
Carrie Mesch - Partner,
Mesch Commercial Real Estate
Alexis Moore - Associate Planner, City of Lakewood

Gretchen Schaefer - Visiting Artist, Scholar, & Designer Program Director, RMCAD
Katja Walton - M.A. Non-profit Management, Arts Patron and Volunteer



40 West Arts Advisory Council

Liz Black - Resident, 40W Program Manager, Writer - 40 West Artsphere Blog
Richard Eversley - Resident, Co-Manager 40W Studios, Artist, Business Owner - Ellipteo
Lonnie Hanzon - Resident, Artist, Designer and Business Owner - Hanzon Design

Lorene Joos - Arts Programming Curator,
City of Lakewood
Bill Marino - Executive Director, Lakewood-W. Colfax BID & Board Chair, 40 West Arts
Johanna Parker - Resident, 4-year 40W Board Member, Artist, Johanna Parker Design
Mark Reeves - North Sector Commander,
Lakewood Police Department
Kevin Yoshida - Architect, Business Owner -
The Abo Group

Quick Links


Vision

Our vision is to lead the renaissance of Lakewood's historic West Colfax Avenue as a memorable destination and a vibrant corridor anchored by arts and culture.

Mission

Our mission is to enrich and educate the community and enhance the creative, cultural and economic vitality of the historic West Colfax Corridor by creating community arts spaces and community arts events and by supporting creative enterprises and activities in the district.

Values

We are an inclusive organization with a commitment to creativity that inspires artistic experimentation for both the novice and professional and supports and expands the creative, cultural, entrepreneurial, and economic vitality of our community



What People Are Saying

About 40 West Arts


"What an inspiration to the community! The 40 West Arts team has created a renewed energy for this historic sector of our community. I look forward to our continued collaboration—and to see how much more 40 West Arts can accomplish."

—former Lakewood Mayor Bob Murphy


"I opened my gallery here to be a part of the 40 West Arts community. I couldn’t be happier with the progress and the people moving 40 West forward."      
—Judy Cybuch, 40W Member & Owner of The Gallery of Everything


"I moved to this area and bought a home here—and 40 West Arts was one of the reasons. With light rail now here and the creative energy coming from 40 West and its partners—we are thrilled to be here, thrilled to be involved . . . this is the place we want to raise our family."  
—Elizabeth Black, resident and 40W Program Manager


"40 West Arts changed my life. I had never shown my work, but 40 West provided both the encouragement and the venue to do so. It’s not an exaggeration to say 40 West was the spark that ignited by creative business."
—40W Artist Member & Photographer Paul Hildebrandt


"Miss Miranda [Samon, 40W Artist in Residence] made our summer camp fun. I learned a lot about art, and her art activities made me believe I could be an artist, too."
—Jesus R., Summer Camp attendee