Denver-Boulder Region Most Creative in USA

Sunrise over Denver skyline by Robert Kash
Sunrise over Denver skyline by Robert Kash

Denver-Aurora-Boulder has the highest participation rate in creative activities out of eleven major U.S. metropolitan areas, according to the National Endowment for the Arts Annual Arts Basic Survey (AABS). Adults in this Colorado region are ranked #1 or just below that for participation in the following creative activities:

  • Weaving, crocheting, quilting, needlepoint, knitting, or sewing (#1)
  • Pottery, ceramics, or jewelry (#1)
  • Leather, metalwork, or woodwork (#1)
  • Films or videos (#1)
  • Visual arts including paintings and sculptures (#2)
  • Artistic photographs (#2)
  • Creative writing (#3)

Colorado has a dynamic creative environment. The state government invests in creative communities via Colorado Creative Industries. Major creative companies and organizations here include Schacht Spindle, a manufacturer of weaving and spinning equipment, F+W Media (Interweave), a crafts content publisher; Craftsy, an e-learning and ecommerce company; H.R. Meininger, a chain of art supply stores; Terry Ludwig Pastels, a maker of handmade fine art pastels; Lighthouse Writers Workshop; and the National Council on Education in the Ceramic Arts (NCECA).

The AABS study reports participation rates for major metro areas including Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington DC. Data was collected by the U.S. Census as of 2014 and was released in August 2016.