The 40 West Arts District in northeast Lakewood is a Colorado Certified Creative District, one of just 12 in the state. The certification brings both recognition and resources to implement programs that strengthen the arts locally and elevate the profile of Lakewood as an arts destination.
The core area of the arts district extends several blocks north and south of West Colfax Avenue, approximately between Teller and Depew Streets and includes the Lamar Station on the W Line light rail. Lamar Station Plaza, Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design, and the 40 West Gallery and Edge Theater are important anchors and destinations in the district. Artspace, the leading national nonprofit developer of permanently affordable live-work space for artists, is in the site selection process to develop a project in 40 West Arts District. When completed, the Artspace development will be another important anchor in the district.
The idea for creating the 40 West Arts District came from community input about ways to bring new life and vibrancy to this area of West Colfax Avenue. In 2011, with assistance from a planning grant from the Environmental Protection Agency, the City and the community embarked on an effort to define the vision for the arts district. The process resulted in the creation of the adopted 40 West Arts District Urban Design and Mobility Concepts plan, which the City is working to implement, and also the formation of the self-initiated, grassroots nonprofit organization 40 West Arts, which manages arts district programming and operates the 40 West gallery.