ABOUT THE RINO ART DISTRICT: The RiNo (River North) Art District is an urban area just north of Downtown Denver comprised of industry and warehouses; an eclectic mix of small startups, restaurants, and creative businesses; and a state-certified art district that spans four historic neighborhoods – Five Points, Cole, Globeville and Elyria-Swansea – and invests in efforts to address issues and opportunities relevant to both the Art District’s priorities, as well as those of the neighborhoods. In the past few years, the area has seen an unprecedented amount of investment and development from both the public and private sectors. This investment is bringing much needed infrastructure to the district, while adding jobs and residences that didn’t previously exist, however it has also brought concerns over gentrification, affordability and more. In 2015, stakeholders in the RiNo Art District came together to create two special districts for RiNo to address these issues. These districts include:
- RiNo Business Improvement District (BID): The BID generates approximately $1.2M annually that is dedicated to strategically managing growth and development, retaining the unique and industrial character of the neighborhood, and keeping the focus on the arts in RiNo, understanding it is the creative nature of the place that drives economic activity, tourism and quality of life. The BID looks holistically at the entire RiNo district, with the purpose of preserving neighborhood character, promoting economic strength of the creatives, entrepreneurs and properties located within and ensuring appropriate growth that promotes walkability, bikeability, sustainability and a cohesive community fabric. Formation of the BID allows RiNo to be strategically managed as it evolves and grows. The BID’s goals are to:
- Create a collective voice to accomplish the long-term goals of the district;
- Purposefully improve and advance RiNo while keeping it affordable for creatives, entrepreneurs and small businesses;
- Advocate for RiNo priorities, influence and direct policy, develop strategic partnerships, and leverage its budget by attracting grants and additional funding, thereby providing financial sustainability;
- Retain RiNo’s unique urban and industrial character, and keep the creative entrepreneurial spirit at the heart of RiNo; and
- Create an accessible, desirable area where people want to visit, engage and invest. •
- RiNo General Improvement District (GID): The GID covers the western portion of the RiNo Art District and is funded through two separate assessments: a mill levy that generates close to $700,000 annually to support district infrastructure improvements and future maintenance needs, and a special assessment on properties fronting Brighton Boulevard which has funded $3M in specific enhancements to the Brighton Blvd. reconstruction project. Phase One of that project (29th to 40th) is nearly complete, with Phase Two (40th to 44th) completing in the summer of 2019.
The RiNo BID and GID are contracted with the RiNo Art District to deliver services to the district. The RiNo Art District is a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization and is also a Registered Neighborhood Organization (RNO). The organization’s mission is to serve as a community development and placemaking organization focused on nurturing growth in the district through the development of a thriving creative culture and to ensure RiNo remains a place where artists can create and thrive. RiNo also serves as an initiator and/or implementer of infrastructure projects that provide needed improvements and services. The organization is also currently working to finalize a 501(c)(3) entity – RiNo Gives Back – to serve as an additional conduit for fundraising and projects that give back to the creative community.
THE MAKEUP OF THE RINO ART DISTRICT: The RiNo Art District encompasses approximately 1 square mile in urban Denver’s northeastern corner, situated at the intersection of I-25 and I-70. The boundaries are Broadway to the south, and the alleyway between Larimer and Lawrence Streets to the east. The current private investment in this former industrial district was in part bolstered by Mayor Michael B. Hancock’s commitment to the “Corridor of Opportunity” that connects Denver’s Union Station to Denver International Airport as well as his commitment to North Denver through the North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative (NDCC).
The RiNo Art District is a distinctive area of north Denver that is inclusive of four historical neighborhoods: Globeville, Elyria-Swansea, Five Points and Cole.
The RiNo Art District started as a grassroots movement by local artists that wanted connect the arts organizations in the area. With more than 30 district stakeholders sitting on RiNo’s boards, six staff leading strategic projects, RiNo is moving forward on critical initiatives that will shape the neighborhood for years to come, while investing in programs to activate this gritty neighborhood. Through creativity, collaboration, partnerships and pushing the envelope, the RiNo Art District is setting a new standard for how neighborhoods evolve.
Some $44M worth of public sector improvements are currently underway in RiNo, including:
- Redevelopment of Brighton Boulevard
- River North Park and Park Buildings
- RiNo Promenade (from 33rd to 38th, along the riverfront)
- The Art Bridge, connecting 35th Street at the RiNo Park across the river to the TAXI Development and Globeville
- 35th Street Improvements
- Walnut Street Two-Way Conversion
- Efforts to improve the 38th St. underpass
- Efforts to complete the “Central Rail Corridor”
Additionally the opening of the 38th and Blake Commuter Rail Station (part of the A-Line connecting DIA to Union Station) in 2016 was a significant catalyst for development, including residential, creative spaces, hotels and office uses. As part of that effort RiNo worked with the surrounding neighborhoods and Councilman Albus Brooks to rezone the station area, adding density in exchange for additional affordable development. The effort also incorporated a design overlay for the entire BID area. While much has changed in the last three years since the BID and GID’s creation, the transformation of the RiNo Art District over the next 5-10 years will be significant.
Still, there is significantly more work to be done to ensure that the public environment not only serves the growing demand of the growing community, but also is done in a way that sets a tone for the priorities of the RiNo Art District, which include creating a place that prioritizes pedestrians and cyclists over cars, and utilizes the most forward-thinking approaches in terms of design and sustainability.
RiNo CRUSH: CRUSH celebrates art, urban beautification, creativity, and culture by enriching our community through an arts festival like no other. We believe that public art leads to an improved community as a catalyst for safety, cleanliness, creativity, and conversation. Centered around empowering artists, CRUSH is committed to reflecting and diversifying the urban landscape and the unique voice of a community, bringing art out of the galleries and into the streets.
CRUSH started and still finds its home in the RiNo (River North) Art District which defines itself as a community "Where Art is Made”. CRUSH celebrates the craft of graffiti and street artists who bring life to walls while maintaining the unique cultural identity in this rapidly evolving community. The annual event transforms streets and alleys into open-air galleries.
CRUSH raises awareness of the cultural significance and importance of art for all ages and all demographics that may not have the opportunity to experience it otherwise. CRUSH offers art inspiration through this urban craft. The organization serves as a forum for community engagement and creative expression, inviting locals and visitors to engage in this rich history and forward-thinking public art in Denver, Colorado.
POSITION SUMMARY: The Donor Relations Director is responsible for planning, organizing, and directing all of the RiNo Art District’s fundraising including the major gifts program, membership, planned giving, special events and capital campaigns. The Director works closely with the President and the Board of Directors in all development and fundraising endeavors.