Denver’s Art District on Santa Fe (ADSF) is a unique, nationally known art and cultural district with over 60 galleries, restaurants and shops located a few short blocks from downtown Denver. The Art District opens its doors freely to lively crowds for popular events such as the First Friday Art Walk, held every first Friday of the month, and Preview Night, a more intimate gathering held every third Friday of the month.
Santa Fe Drive has a long history of artists and artist’s studios. In recent years, galleries and studios began to move into the area as rents in other parts of Denver rose. In 2003, a group of about 17 galleries, museums, and theaters organized the Art District on Santa Fe as a non-profit corporation with the following statement:
Since 2003, membership in the Art District on Santa Fe has grown from 12 to over 60 creative industry members between Alameda and 12th avenues on and near Santa Fe Drive and Kalamath Street. The rise in membership and creative activity in the Art District, a vital “Gateway to Denver’s” commercial corridor, has become a national model of success in community revitalization led by the creative industries. Our success has been featured in national publications such as Travel & Leisure, USA Today, CNN, Sunset Magazine, and the New York Times, among others. One of the Art District’s “secrets of success” has been the ongoing cooperation and the genuine welcoming spirit between its membership and the general public. The Art District freely opens its doors and welcomes guests from seasoned collectors, to artists, to new art lovers, to join the friendly and welcoming feel of the Art District.
The ADSF works with other neighborhood organizations such as NEWSED and the Maintenance District to improve and beautify the area. For example, the ADSF and NEWSED split the cost of the street banners and the Maintenance District teams with ADSF to tackle graffiti and to beautify the streets and sidewalks.