RiNo

Ashley Jefcoat / KUNC

This summer, real estate agents James Carlson and Erin Spradlin have been taking tourists around the streets of Denver. But it’s not hot properties they’re taking them to see.

The husband-and-wife team recently started the Denver Graffiti Tour, showcasing some of the biggest murals and best street artists in the city, after taking a similar tour in Bogota, Columbia.

“We got to meet locals in a way that we wouldn’t normally have,” Spradlin said. “We got to see a neighborhood we otherwise wouldn’t have. And we got to hear about the history and the politics of that neighborhood through some amazing art.”

Stacy Nick / KUNC

When Art Comes to Town: This story is the second in a series as KUNC arts and culture reporter Stacy Nick explores the impact art has on Colorado communities — and the impact those communities have on the art that comes out of them.

Sun Valley is one of Denver’s poorest neighborhoods. More than 80 percent of households live below the poverty line and 70 percent of residents are unemployed. It also has the highest violent-crime rate, more than five times the citywide average.

But between a public-housing initiative, a proposed mixed‐use neighborhood near the home of the Denver Broncos and several arts destinations moving into the area, Sun Valley is set to see more than a billion dollars in investments in the next five years.

Works Progress Architecture/Andrew Katz

A new, state-of-the-art indoor music venue is coming to Denver’s rapidly growing River North District, or RiNo. The Mission Ballroom will anchor the new mixed-use North Wynkoop development along Brighton Boulevard.

The new venture is part of a partnership between music promoter AEG Presents Rocky Mountains and real estate developer Westfield Company. The project was announced with a promotional video featuring a virtual tour of the venue, as well as an overview of the plans for North Wynkoop.

Sharon Hahn Darlin / Flickr: Creative Commons

Denver officials have proposed a first-of-its-kind program to address dangerous code violations in artist DIY spaces and allow owners and tenants to stay while those issues are being addressed.

The Safe Occupancy Program recognizes that with the cost of real estate in Denver skyrocketing, many artists are being priced out of live/work spaces and looking to unpermitted -- and potentially dangerous -- locations as an alternative, said Brad Buchanan, Executive Director of Denver’s Department of Community Planning and Development.

“We believe this will -- we hope -- open up a lot of opportunities to individuals who don’t think they have a choice,” Buchanan said.

Stacy Nick / KUNC

Most apartment dwellers wouldn’t be too keen on getting a front row seat to a neighbor’s band practice. But at the Loveland ArtSpace, musician Derek Kirkman’s playing is welcome.

“Luckily the amazing neighbors we have here, most of them actually really like music and like when music is being played in the building,” Kirkman said during one of ArtSpace’s weekly open studio sessions.

Carrie Saldo / Arts District

Being green might not be that easy, but Kermit the Frog looks pretty relaxed these days. Maybe that’s because the lovable amphibian and several other beloved Muppets have been re-interpreted for the “Muppet Junkies Art Show.”