The young, dynamic and highly educated residents of Denver, Colorado are constantly on the lookout for an occasion to broaden their cultural horizon. The Mile High City offers them a thriving cultural scene and an abundance of cultural venues, from world class museums to vibrant performing art centers and wildlife exhibits. Designed to satisfy the most refined tastes, Denver’s cultural attractions are highly attractive hotspots for Denver inhabitants and tourists alike. The cultural life of Denver is encouraged by a 0.1% sales tax destined to scientific, artistic and cultural enterprises, a model praised for its effects, which inspired similar programs around the nation.
Here are a few of the most important cultural venues of Denver:
The Denver Art Museum houses over 40,000 works of art from around the world on a surface of more than 300,000 square foot. The world renowned collections of the Denver Art Museum include a unique exhibition of Native American artifacts, as well as thousands of European and American sculptures and paintings.
The Museum of Contemporary Art is placed in the trendy LoDo district, and was designed by the celebrated British architect David Adjaye. Opened in 1999, this modern institution features five galleries, three educational spaces and a lecture hall.
Other major Denver museums and exhibition halls are the Black American West Museum, dedicated to Black history, the Colorado History Museum and the Museum of Nature and Science, institutions which are visited yearly by thousands of tourists. Slated for a 2011 opening, the private Clyford Still Museum will house the estate of the 20th century American expressionist painter.
The Denver Performing Arts Center is home to the Colorado Symphony, the Colorado Ballet, the Opera and the Center for Performing Arts. With ten state-of-the-art performance spaces, the complex is the second largest in the country, being surpassed only by New York’s Lincoln Center.
The Performing Arts Center features concert and theater halls which house a great variety of performances, from theater to ballet, opera and Broadway shows. This modern facility hosts hundreds of performances each year, which are watched by over 750,000 spectators.
Denver Wildlife Exhibits
Denver has some of the most attractive wildlife exhibits in the country:
The Denver Zoo, home to 4,000 animals from 700 species, is amongst the most popular zoos in the country. The recently opened Asian Tropics exhibition is a $50 million investment, which provides shelter to elephants, rhinos and many other Asian species.
The Denver Botanical Gardens is ranked as one of the top 5 cultural places from Denver and contains 30 thematic gardens open to the public year round. Thousands of species thrive here, benefiting from Denver’s specific climate.
The Downtown Aquarium features as the main theme the relationship between the freshwater ecosystems and the ocean, exemplified by the journey of the Colorado river towards the Pacific Ocean.
Other Denver cultural attractions include the Denver Public Library, which owns a vast collection of photography documenting life in the American West, a multifunctional convention center and numerous other smaller galleries and libraries, many of them located in the Lower Downtown district.