The Intersection of Art and Economic Development

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As part of the Denver Metro Chamber “Your Conversation With” series, we recently had the pleasure of listening to and asking questions of Christoph Heinrich, Ph.D, Director of the Denver Art Museum.

Invited to speak at the Chamber, Dr. Heinrich provided a detailed description of the role of the Art Museum not only as a collector and curator of art but as a cultural beacon for the city including, an expansive teaching role.

Originating from Germany and working in Hamburg prior to coming to Denver, Dr. Heinrich has assembled a truly international team in his quest to make the Denver Art Museum a globally recognized museum. Through his efforts and that of his team, the museum also acts as a ambassador for the city and region obviously promoting arts and culture but also the quality of life factor so central to successful economic development. This then is the intersection of Art and Economic Development – that in striving to support cultural amenities such as the Denver Art Museum we also work to improve the overall quality of life for the region, a factor recognized by individuals and businesses alike.

Obviously, quality of life factors are not limited to the Denver Art Museum as we consider our own Broomfield community although, Denver’s growing global recognition can only aid in our overall economic development goals.

There are numerous elements that contribute to a positive quality of life including our own City & County’s commitment to maintain 40 percent open space, the ongoing development of a Broomfield “downtown” and the role of our various area non-profits. Some of the challenges include how we cohesively market our quality of life, appealing to a wide audience, how we work to create a stronger sense of place and how we continue to support and grow area arts and culture so crucial to our overall life experience.

The success of the Denver Art Museum both in terms of its primary mission and its impact on business attraction is a great example of the intersection of art and economic development on a macro level. Hopefully we can look to reproduce some of their success by supporting our own arts and culture.


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