More About 40 West Arts

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 fourteen 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 Tuesday-Saturday 1-4pm 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 volunteer team promotes the 40W Arts District, 40W Galleries, its member artists, other arts-related venues and dozens 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, free seminars and resources for member artists, and 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, 40 West Arts Galleries, and its programs that serve the local community.

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.