The 2016 Business for the Arts Awards Luncheon is sold out.

Please contact Meredith Badler at mbadler@cbca.org or 303-282-5135 if you’re interested in attending. 


At this year’s Business for the Arts Awards Luncheon, Jane Chu, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), will give the keynote address. There will also be outstanding music, dance and theatrical performances throughout the event, including a sneak peek at Denver Center for the Performing Arts’s production of Sweeney Todd, featuring new orchestrations by the Grammy-nominated local sensation DeVotchKa. Read the Press Release.


2016 Business for the Arts Awards Finalists

Winners will be announced at the Awards Luncheon in the following five categories from these fifteen finalists.

Create Award acknowledges an innovative, inspiring for-profit creative business that has made a significant impact on Colorado’s creative economy

  • OZ Architecture is developing new hubs for creativity and innovation in the RiNo Arts District, particularly through INDUSTRY
  • Share Denver is a craft/maker space encouraging creative individuals through shared skills, workshops and collaborative community events
  • Steel City Art Works is an artist cooperative in Pueblo actively exhibiting, promoting and expanding the positive impact of the arts

EY Next Wave Leadership Award honors rising professionals who are leading the future of our cultural community. Finalists must be under the age of 40 as of March 9, 2016.

  • Tara Bardeen founded Go Play Denver, which inspires people to fall in love with their city by forming a strong connection to its arts and cultural offerings
  • Will Chan uses the arts to aid in the integration of new immigrants, refugees and asylees through the Denver Public Library’s  innovative programming
  • Deanne Gertner advances the arts through her board service at Lighthouse Writers Workshop, writing for Presenting Denver and career at NINE dot ARTS

Impact Award highlights innovative use of the arts to propel business success, programs that engage employees with creativity and community activities to foster arts and business partnerships.

  • Brookfield has a long tradition of incorporating arts into its buildings with its global initiative, Arts Brookfield, including two towers in downtown Denver
  • Illegal Pete’s promotes, cultivates and integrates the local music scene through their Starving Artist program, recording label and philanthropy
  • Saint Joseph Hospital uses arts for healing and staff engagement through their extensive art collection and partnerships with local musical groups

John Madden, Jr. Leadership Award recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to advancing arts and culture in Colorado

  • Judy and Newell Grant’s lifetime support of the arts extends to the Central City Opera, Denver Botanic Gardens and many more cultural organizations
  • Kimberlee McKee spearheaded the creation of the Downtown Longmont Creative District, inspiring cross-sector partnerships and vitality through the arts
  • Former Mayor Bob Murphy has been a leader in the rise of art, culture and the creative economy across Lakewood over two decades of public service

Philanthropy Award honors exemplary corporate citizenship and generosity to arts and cultural projects and organizations

  • Crestone Mercantile is a major philanthropic player in this rural mountain community and actively involved in their burgeoning creative district
  • Ent Federal Credit Union demonstrates their arts support in Colorado Springs with UCCS’ new Ent Center for the Arts, which will be a cultural asset for the whole region
  • U.S. Bank’s commitment to corporate giving in the arts is broad and deep through grants, sponsorships, employee volunteerism and advocacy

Read the full Press Release about the 2016 Finalists.

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Thank you to our 2016 Awards Sponsors

Ernst & Young

John Madden Company

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Delta Dental

GE Johnson Construction  Logo 3in

KP logo


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cbs4-logo-2012  CoBIZ logo

Ligature Creative GroupPub House 2010


Past Business for the Arts Award Winners & Finalists

Read coverage of the 2015 Business for the Arts Awards Luncheon in The Denver PostDenver Business Journal and Denver’s Westword.

Watch videos of all the past Business for the Arts Award finalists on CBCA’s YouTube channel

For more information about past Business for the Arts Awards, click here.

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