DENVER (CBS4) – The massive impact of COVID-19 on the Denver Center for the Performing Arts has hurt hundreds of people financially, from the performers to the bars and restaurants nearby. DCPA programs were left with a limited programming budget.

They’re putting all of those resources into an opportunity that will allow one Colorado artist to produce a show through DCPA Off-Center.

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(credit: CBS)

“Off-Center is the unconventional line of programming at the Denver Center. We put audiences at the center of the story and offer a whole range of unique and unexpected theatrical experience,” said Charlie Miller, curator of Off-Center.

Since 2010, Off-Center has produced shows like Sweet & Lucky, The Wild Party, The Last Defender live-action game and the award-winning, Camp Christmas.

DCPA Off-Center is seeking proposals for a COVID-safe theatrical experiences as part of its Powered By Off-Center program. One project will be selected to receive a fully-supported production in June 2021.

“Powered By Off-Center harnesses the resources of the DCPA in support of the work of Colorado creators, and we hope that this call for proposals gives artists the opportunity to try something they couldn’t do on their own while using the DCPA megaphone to amplify their voices,” said Miller.

In addition to financial support from DCPA, Miller says artists will get assistance from staff, access to costumes, props and more. Broadway shows at DCPA are postponed through July. As the vaccine makes its way to Colorado, Miller is hopeful live entertainment won’t be far behind.

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“In June 2021, there’s going to be a show. We don’t know what it is, but I’m excited to find out!” laughed Miller. “It can be partially online. It can be outdoors. It needs to be able to accommodate whatever health requirements exists this summer. We’re excited to see what people come up with.”

Colorado artists of all disciplines are invited to submit a proposal. Off-Center is open to a range of different art forms and artistic experiences, but an eligible project must:

  • Be theatrical at its core — containing a narrative thread (not necessarily linear or verbal)
  • Culminate in a live performance
  • Put the audience at the center of the story
  • Be created and produced over three months within a $10,000 production budget
  • Run at least a month and accommodate at least 1,000 audience members total
  • Be COVID-safe — either outdoors and socially distant (with the possibility of masks required), online/virtual or a hybrid of both

COVID-19 restrictions have had a devastating impact on DCPA. Denver City Council voted Monday night on a resolution that would provide additional rent relief to the DCPA. Miller hopes this project will help aspiring artists and dozens of staff members who were furloughed.

“I’m excited about this as a small effort in providing some relief and some work to people who are struggling right now,” said Miller.

Any Colorado resident who is 18 years and older can send in their proposals now. They’re looking for a one-page overview of your idea and a one-page intro of the team members who would be involved.

Submissions are due by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 17.

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For more information on submitting a proposal, visit: denvercenter.org/PoweredBy

Tori Mason