DENVER (CBS4) – The sudden shutdown of two arts spaces on Brighton Boulevard in Denver has led to fear in what’s called the DIY Arts Community.
Nearby the closed spaces is Club Scum. It’s part art of the underground arts scene in Denver. It’s so underground CBS4 was asked not to show its full exterior and could speak with the manager, who is the tenant of the space, if CBS4 didn’t show her face.
“What effect this raid is having?” Sallinger asked.
“It’s intimidating all the DIY venues and artists and musicians in town, and also people all over the country are worried about this,” she replied.
The club features music part of the year. It’s part of an area shaken by sudden forced closure of the DIY or “do it yourself” artist spaces and dwellings, the Club Scum manager told CBS4 Investigator Rick Sallinger.
“Some of my other friends and people are saying it seems like a witch hunt against the arts community itself,” the woman said.
Rhinoceropolis was shut down where several people were living as was a club adjacent to it called Glob. It also was believed to have non-permitted living arrangements and fire code issues. Those included using extension cords as permanent wiring and having paper and plastic on the ceiling.
The old buildings are rapidly being pushed out for new development in what’s becoming a trendy hip area.
Albus Brooks, the city councilman for the area, is going to offer an ordinance to deal with that.
“If you go up in density in your zoning, you have to provide a certain percentage as affordable artist space, affordable office space, affordable living space,” he said.
He says the arts district is something the city wants to save.
The owner of the buildings that were shut down, Larry Burgess, told CBS4 he did not want to comment because he did not want the publicity.