Digitally set: Center receives grant to expand horizons

Arvada Center recieves a grant to expand digital horizons

Crystal Anderson
Currently the center's dark room, this space will be combined with an adjacent room to create the Digital Media Arts Lab.
Posted

The Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities received a $35,000 grant to be used to expand digital-arts programming in the building.

“We like opportunities where a lot of different uses are going on in a building, and it is lit up 24 hours a day, and certainly the Arvada Center does that” said Tim Schultz, executive director of the Boettcher Foundation.

For the Arvada Center, receiving the grant not only opens the door for more programming, but also for building more private partnerships with organizations like the Boettcher Foundation.

“The Boettcher Foundation is one of the most respected funding agencies in the Rocky Mountain Region, and having a grant from them is really a seal of approval for the project,” said Philip Sneed, executive director of the Arvada Center. “It makes it so worthwhile and easier to leverage other money because the Boettcher’s decisions are highly respected.”

The Digital Arts Lab will encompass approximately 1,000 square feet and combine the center’s current dark room and a small room adjacent to it. The lab will have a 3-D printer, approximately 10 computers, and iPads with Adobe Creative Cloud and other innovative digital technology. Lisa Leafgreen, senior education coordinator at the center, said she is looking at programming options and hopes to continue teaching digital photography and both 2-D and 3-D animation, while adding music theory, songwriting and video-game classes to the schedule.

“One of our goals is ‘Arts for All,’ to provide more opportunities within the digital-media arts. Once we start opening up that door, there are so many options for amazing programs and programming in the studio,” Leafgreen said. “We started thinking about it, and all of the sudden the idea of ‘Let’s build a digital media studio’ opened up.”

The grant will fund approximately 10 percent of the project, estimated at $400,000. According to early projections, the programming will serve about 700 students, both adult and school-age children, bringing in $100,000 annually.

“We want to remain competitive. For many, many years the Arvada Center was the only game in the area in terms of multi-disciplinary arts education, but more and more arts centers are opening up,” Sneed said. “We have to stay current, we have to stay leading edge in our technology and what we can teach.”

Center staff is working to complete funding for the project, and ideally would begin offering the new program to students in the fall of 2015.