Denver Botanic Gardens goes “al Fresco,” a major new civic project, and more art briefs
Botanic Gardens goes “al fresco”
Without its popular summer concert series booked by Swallow Hill Music, which annually featured top touring names and legacy artists, Denver Botanic Gardens this week announced “Evenings al Fresco” to keep people coming through the gates at dusk.
The series, also presented with Swallow Hill, will offer 20 nights of live music, from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. most Mondays and Wednesdays, June through August. “Unlike at a traditional concert, during ‘Evenings al Fresco’ visitors stroll through the gardens and encounter small, socially distanced ensembles or musicians performing works designed to underscore and bring delight to their evening visit,” wrote a spokesman. Tickets ($20-$30) for the series go on sale May 20, and the full lineup is available at botanicgardens.org.
2020 ticket-revenue losses, in detail
We all know what we lost last year, but Colorado Springs-based TRG Arts and U.K. company Purple Seven this week released numbers quantifying the loss to the arts sector. Using new box-office data from the 12 months since March 16, 2020, when performing arts organizations shut down, the companies focused on English-speaking countries such as the United States, Canada, the U.K. and the Republic of Ireland.
The report showed that in the U.S., year-over-year ticket sales were down a staggering 86.1%, while box office revenue was down 88.8%. That tracks with their international averages, although revenue losses were steeper in Ireland and the U.K., according to TRG Arts. The data from 349 performing arts organizations (including 94 in the U.S.) come from the COVID-19 Sector Benchmark, which was funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and has grown into the largest global arts and cultural consumer dataset in the industry, TRG said. Visit trgarts.com for the latest data.
History Colorado’s big new project
History Colorado, the state’s official historical society, this week announced a major initiative that will focus on Denver’s civic identity and include exhibits, a podcast and new partnerships, officials said. The “Building Denver” project debuts with the release of the “Living Denver” podcast on April 5, followed by the first public exhibition on May 29 at the History Colorado Center, 1200 N. Broadway in Denver.
The 16-month exhibit, “Building Denver: Visions of the Capital City,” will be surrounded by four additional exhibits for the project and a new, drop-in maker space, according to History Colorado. “As the weather warms, the initiative explores Denver’s neighborhoods and surroundings through COVID-conscious walking tours, car caravans, and a self-guided mystery quest with local partners,” officials wrote. See more at h-co.org/building.
Longmont Museum’s $1 million lift
Longmont Museum received a $1 million boost earlier this week with a donation from the Stewart Family Foundation. Led by late local business leader Lila Jean Stewart, the foundation is awarding the money to help fund a planned building expansion, staff support and equipment at the community museum, officials said in a news release.
Stewart, who died in 2018, was the leading contributor to the museum’s $4.5 million capital campaign in 2012, which gave the museum its Stewart Auditorium. Her foundation has contributed hundreds of thousands more over the years, including $200,000 in 2020 to pay for a master development plan for the museum. Visit longmontcolorado.gov for updates.
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