Cleo Parker Robinson Dance (CPRD), Denver’s own venerable and internally renown dance company and school, is the proud recipient of a $4 million Community Revitalization grant from Colorado Creative Industries, a division of The State of Colorado’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade. CPRD is one of eight recipients in this funding cycle, which now totals $64.9 million to 34 worthy projects across the state.
In making the announcement, Governor Jared Polis said: “Support for Colorado’s inspirational creative arts is part of our administration’s commitment to ensure every Coloradan can thrive, and we are proud to support talented Colorado artists whose work contributes to the vibrant and unique character of our beautiful state.”
While the CPRD grant is by far the biggest gift, other recipients include Carnegie Center for Creativity in Ft. Collins ($2.4M), Denver’s Home for the Literary Arts ($2.4M), Holiday Theater in Denver ($1M), Julie Harris Theatre in Steamboat Springs ($7.1k), Oliver House Purchase in Norwood ($1.75k), Telluride Transfer Warehouse ($3M) and Westwood Redeemer in Denver ($2M).
As the company looks toward its 52nd anniversary season, Executive Director Malik Robinson’s primary goal is to expand the facilities and the company’s ability to serve its community. The grant is critical to this goal and contributes to the already substantial commitment from a community of funders and stakeholders or, as CPRD calls it, “Our CPRD Village.” While full details of the expansion plan will be shared with the public in May, current plans include a new 25,000 square foot, four-level building that featuring a theater, a healing arts center, three movement studios, four activity rooms for multidisciplinary arts classes, and a shared office space for resident partners.
In December, the company purchased AME Shorter building and land on which it operates. “We knew that without ownership, there were too many unpredictable elements moving forward and growing programs into the next 50 years of the organization,” said Hillary Harding, CPRD Director of Development. “The land purchase in December, and this $4M grant are like two magnificent and soaring dance solos!”
This expansion will allow CPRD to serve more of the Five Points community through student scholarships and offer up to 36 jobs for artists and non-arts employees that support the creative economy.
“For nearly 52 years, Cleo Parker Robinson has been and continues to be a visionary, respected community leader. Under her leadership, CPRD has provided a safe haven for our youth, a creative conduit for artists and an inspiration for our state’s cultural community,” said DCPA President & CEO Janice Sinden. “Cleo was actively involved with the DCPA from the very beginning, and to this day she continues to be a vital advocate for Denver’s thriving arts and culture sector. It is so rewarding to see her vision and that of her son, Malik, recognized with this extraordinary gift. Our entire community will be enriched as a result.”