On Thursday, January 26th, 2017, CU Denver music students had the chance of meeting Lisa Gedgaudas, of whom works as Program Administrator for ‘Create Denver’, a sector of the Denver arts and Venues organization. As the lead of Create Denver, Lisa researches statistics about the economics of music in the City of Denver. She presents research statistics to government officials and as well as proposes grants for artistic community cultivation. Programs such as ‘Create Denver’ help sustain a vibrant Denver music scene.
Some of the goals of this organization are: facilitating affordable housing for artists, putting on community festivals for artists and listeners alike (such as the five points jazz festival or the Underground music showcase,) and allocating funding for further music cities research. Gedgaudas has already overseen that 1 % of all public development resources in Denver go towards non-profit arts and cultural organizations. This is helping programs such as Youth on Record, a non-profit organization that supplements musicians with employment: teaching music and other subjects to youth in the community. Gedgaudas explained that there are three teirs, or levels that Denver non-profit organizations are divided into. These go from one: largest venues such as the Denver Zoo, to three: small independent organizations that may just be getting started.
The visit to CU Denver was a valuable opportunity for student musicians and aspiring music industry professionals to meet Gedgaudas, and also learn about the many programs around Denver that benefit artists, musicians, and creative people alike. As well as being creative with their art, Gedgaudas explained that creative people are invaluable to city and local governments. This may be because musicians and artists can use their creative prolem solving strategies towards taking on problems in the community unrelated to art: such as (for example) affordable housing and work opportunities for citizens.