Imagine this: you’re walking out of your Confluence loft to meet your friends at the Elizabeth Hotel for a show at Magic Rat. As you walk the short distance it takes to get there, you enter a beautiful alleyway off of Linden and Firehouse Alley, and what do you see? A gorgeous mural! Since you’re new to town, you had no idea there was public art gleefully spread across the city. With jazzed-up pianos, painted electric transformer boxes, murals, sculptures, and pedestrian pavers, turns out there’s an incredible art scene in Fort Collins.
Fort Collins is truly an artistically and creatively driven town. A wide array of different organizations and associations organizes events year after year that keep artists busy and our creative community thriving. It’s incredible to live and work in a city that prioritizes art just as much as they do infrastructure. Read all the ways the art scene in Fort Collins is supported:
A city the size of Fort Collins certainly needs its fair share of spaces for artists to work, practice, learn, and perform. Here are just a few of the many spaces where artists work and play, in order of proximity to Confluence:
Downtown Artery: A lovely stroll from your new home at Confluence Fort Collins will take you to the Downtown Artery. This incredible spot is a newer place dedicated to creatives of all kinds. “The Artery,” as locals call it, is a hub for collaboration among artists, musicians, and other creative minds.
- Art Lab: Located on Linden Avenue between Confluence and Old Town Square, Art Lab is a completely free space for local artists and musicians. They host everything from theatre workshops to gallery showings each week.
- Bas Bleu Theatre Company: Aiming to enrich the lives of the Fort Collins community, Bas Bleu Theatre brings larger-than-life theatre to their intimate “salon” theatre setting. This “unique cultural jewel” is a staple to Old Town Fort Collins.
- Fort Collins Museum of Art: The Fort Collins MoA aims to “spread the power of visual art.” Introduced to the art scene in Fort Collins in 1983 (originally named “Horizons Gallery of Contemporary Art”), the Fort Collins MoA inspires and educates through different exhibits on a daily basis.
- The Music District: If you’re a musician, this is the perfect spot for you! The Music District is a creative complex for the music community of Fort Collins.
On top of all of the amazing creative spaces available to artists, there are festivals, gatherings, and influential studies that all enhance the art scene in Fort Collins.
The Fort Collins Music eXperiment is an event hosted each April by the Fort Collins Musicians Association and Odell Brewing Company. Last year marked a decade for this beloved community event, where 300+ local bands played at 30+ venues throughout the city over the course of two evenings. FoCoMX is a celebration of Northern Colorado’s musical culture and brings the artistic community together for a weekend of nonstop music. Stay tuned for more on next year’s FoCoMX here!
The talent in our city is widespread, and our city planners know it. In 2016 the City of Fort Collins, Fort Collins Downtown Development Authority, and the Bohemian Foundation initiated the process to gauge the need or desire for affordable housing for artists. That’s when they found Minneapolis-based non-profit organization, Artspace Projects, which focuses solely on real estate development for affordable arts facilities.
Artspace spent two years quantifying Fort Collins’ demand for creative spaces, identifying the amount and type of space, and describing the different engaged artists in an extensive survey. According to the results released earlier this year, “Artspace has determined that there is a substantial need for more spaces serving the creative sector in Fort Collins.” Read the survey results to find out what Artspace recommended here.
This survey is proof that the City of Fort Collins is working hard to support and include art in our town for years to come! Art is a vital part of this community, and our city planners can see that. Thanks to the survey from Artspace Projects, our community can start to develop a plan that will help keep artists thriving while working and living in Fort Collins.
The City of Fort Collins started Art in Public Places over 20 years ago in the pursuit to enhance public art within the Old Town Fort Collins area. Today, the program is expanding outside of Old Town and into spaces like the intersection of Mulberry and Riverside, or the gateway to the Poudre Canyon. Bringing art to our city scapes has given the Fort Collins community a sense of artistic culture and value over the last two decades, and it’s continuing to grow each and every year.
Pianos About Town is a project developed from the Art in Public Places program that certainly has people talking. The program encourages spontaneous music throughout Old Town – anyone can walk up to a piano and play a little tune! Each year, local artists head to Old Town for a few days to paint more than a dozen donated pianos with their own unique designs. In 2014, the City of Fort Collins also enlisted local artists to paint a number of transformer cabinet murals throughout town to bring a delightful pop to several street corners. And since 2002, the City has recruited artists to design pedestrian pavers on our sidewalks.
If you have an appreciation for the arts and are looking to move or relocate to Old Town, Fort Collins, we know you’ll love living in Confluence! Art In Public Places will sure to make the Willow Street Plaza in front of Confluence another beautiful, artistic place in the heart of Downtown Fort Collins.
The art scene in Fort Collins is growing each and every year with our murals, painted pianos, sculptures, festivals, museums, and creative spaces. Confluence is in the perfect spot for artists who want to surround themselves with a city of creative people. Find out more information about Confluence and which units are still available now!