Cultural Vision

Cultural Arts play a vital role in the economic and aesthetic development and viability of a community. Therefore, Wheat Ridge aspires to become a city where the arts are an integral part of its cultural fabric. Public art and other cultural activities will reflect the eclectic and diverse personality of the city, and artistic elements and expression throughout its neighborhoods will be encouraged. 

The guiding principles of the Cultural Vision shall be: 

  • Recognized as relevant to the community, because Cultural Arts bring value to the lives of our residents and are a reason to live, visit and do business in Wheat Ridge 
  • Unified through such things as cross-promotion of activities and venues within the city, a community-wide calendar of cultural events, and branding by common banner or plaque that designates the activity or site as part of “Wheat Ridge Cultural Arts.” 
  • Professional, in the sense that there is a commitment at all levels of government as well as by local business and organizations to support Cultural Arts as a part of what makes Wheat Ridge thrive. 
  • Supported by the City Council, other city entities, businesses and community, and naturally be a part of the conversation when decisions regarding the development, direction and activities of Wheat Ridge are made.

This will be accomplished through: 

  • Encouraging both public and private partnerships 
  • Providing, supporting and encouraging diverse arts and cultural activities 
  • Incorporating artistic elements in the design and function of new and renovated buildings, facilities and parks 
  • Enhancing the visual appearance of the city
  • Empowering, enriching and inspiring the creative nature of our residents and visitors 
  • Encouraging the incorporation of public art in private spaces

To achieve this goal, the Cultural Commissioners will continue to refine the Cultural Vision and work on the following activities as a regular agenda item during their monthly meetings. 

1. Develop a Cultural Resource Inventory and Online Resource Network 

SCOPE: The Cultural Commission aims to have Cultural Arts become more visible on the City website. To that end, the Commissioners will develop content for the Cultural Arts page and make recommendations on the placement and links to be included within the City’s website. The content will include, but not be limited to 

  • Public Art - locations, photos, and artist information 
  • Events - Cultural events open to the public 
  • Community artists who have been involved in Cultural Commission events (Meet the Artist, Studio Tour, etc.) • Organizations that create, produce and/or preserve Cultural Arts 
  • Winners of Cultural Commission Business Award and the award criteria 
  • Wheat Ridge Reads authors and their books 
  • Businesses and partners that are supportive of Meet the Artist and other CC events 
  • Cultural Vision, Vision statement and other documents, such as the Public Art Management Plan 
  • Contact information and a call to get involved 
  • Links to other resources and partners

2. Create Partnerships Within the Community to Support Cultural Arts 

SCOPE: Integrate the Cultural Vision throughout the community by working with businesses, city staff and elected individuals, area artists and cultural entities in a variety of ways, including: 

  • Soliciting matching funds for public art (needs to go through the public art process) 
  • Partnering with and encouraging other organizations that produce events, such as Local Works, Folk Arts Council, and the Carnation Festival to bring more Cultural Art to local events (e.g., the chalk art at Ridgefest) 
  • Working with the city staff on the development of a Cultural Vision handout to include with other city information that goes to a developer and new business • Encouraging local business to erect their own art that is accessible to the public 
  • Developing a relationship with the city staff, including parks and recreation, and public affairs to find out how can we help them understand and promote Cultural Arts in their roles as city employees 
  • Working with Jefferson County arts group on their current Plein Air program

 3. Educate Community and Stakeholders 

SCOPE: With a refined statement and professional presentation, the Cultural Vision can be proudly shared with the community so that it may be embraced by all. This will be accomplished through 

  • Professionally created brochure(s), in collaboration with City Staff, to hand out to developers, businesses, community groups, etc. These handouts will be utilizing the city logo and approved by the City. 
  • A continued Cultural Commission presence at Ridgefest 
  • Meetings with the Wheat Ridge Business Association, the Chamber of Commerce and Local Works 
  • Posting of cultural events on community calendars 
  • The activities of other stakeholders, such as the Historical Society, local chorales and theaters, to be posted on Wheat Ridge Cultural Events Facebook page, which is managed by members of the Cultural Commission 
  • Attendance of Cultural Commission members at fraternal organizations and other community groups’ meetings to discuss the vision and cultural activities 
  • Asking community members to become part of our contact list to be alerted to cultural events and opportunities

4. Identify Cultural Arts Opportunities 

SCOPE: Identify public and private venues, activities and works that qualify as Cultural Arts, as well as those that can have the potential to be developed as such and help nurture and promote them. Such opportunities include 

  • Encouraging public art in private venues 
  • Developing an “Art on Loan” program with private venues 
  • Encouraging murals on outdoor walls 
  • Creating a walkable art path within city limits 
  • Identifying artists who want to perform or exhibit in public venues 
  • Providing logistical support for cultural activities

5. Install More Public Art Throughout the City 

SCOPE: Now that the Public Art fund has funds, the Cultural Commission will review and prioritize potential locations for Public Art, and following the Public Arts Management Plan processes, encourage and recommend the soliciting and selecting of Public Art for these locations. 

6. Foster Cultural Arts Growth 

SCOPE: Instead of organizing events, the Cultural Commission will serve as a medium for Cultural Arts in the community by providing support, information and networking. This will be done in various ways, such as: 

  • Acting as facilitator in connecting artists and performers with potential sponsors or venues 
  • Welcoming new art venues, or potential venues, to the community 
  • Helping with logistics for events, such as Chalk Arts or Studio Tours 
  • Publishing an online calendar of events 
  • Partnering with the schools and other public venues on Cultural events, such as Wheat Ridge Reads 
  • Investigating funding for an Artist in Residence program at the city or a school