Dairy Arts Center was founded in 1992 to provide cooperative workspaces for local artists and venues for live performance in Boulder County. Originally owned by the Watts-Hardy Dairy, the building’s transformation from a former milk-processing facility to a thriving multi-disciplinary arts hub for Boulder and beyond is a nationally recognized example of constructive urban development and renewal. The Dairy’s founders envisioned a community arts center where artists of all genres would create and inspire each other and the greater community.
Today, this dream of shared art making is a thriving reality. The Dairy’s 42,000 square foot facility houses disciplines ranging from visual arts, theater, and film to dance and music. A professional environment complete with art galleries, performance venues, teaching studios, offices, rehearsal spaces, dance studios, and a 60-seat art-house cinema, it is Boulder’s largest multi-disciplinary arts center. The Dairy’s audience spans all ages, backgrounds and ability levels, from young student to seasoned performer and from first-time to seasoned theatergoers. Our audience is inclusive of all ages and backgrounds as well as adults and children of various cultures and levels of ability; our facility is accessible to persons with physical mobility challenges.
Mission: The Dairy Arts Center connects a dynamic and diverse community to create inspiring and engaging experiences in the performing, cinematic and visual arts.
Vision: To develop a national reputation in the arts that reflects Boulder’s evolving artistic and entrepreneurial spirit.
Values: As a nonprofit multidisciplinary arts venue, the Dairy Arts Center values community, curation, cultivation, and courage. These shared beliefs guide our day to day operations, programming selections (our own and those of our presenting organizations), and our interactions with Dairy Arts Center staff and board, patrons, donors, partners, residents, volunteers, artists and all stakeholders. The Dairy Arts Center welcomes everyone, including people of any race, ethnicity, nationality, gender identity or presentation, sexual orientation, ability, religion, and citizen status.
Community: The Dairy was founded on the idea of community, and we extend that connection to all who engage with us. We envision a community built on active engagement and an appreciation of all disciplines of art and the spectrum of the human experience. We seek to hold our community up on the pillars of kindness, equity, justice, and trust.
Curation: The curation of Dairy Programming is always made with the intention to be challenging, thought-provoking, engaging, and diverse.We are mindful of craftsmanship and professionalism, but also strive to remove us from the role of gatekeepers through rentals, partnerships, educational programs, and more, as we seek an inclusive model that suits the needs of our community.
Cultivation: Our industry is constantly growing and evolving. We strive to honor those pushing the narrative forward, and foster an environment where everyone feels comfortable in their personal and professional growth. We hope that every bit of programming the Dairy either hosts or produces can provide a learning opportunity for every patron and artist. We also extend this belief to our staff and encourage new learners to evolve within the industry.
Courage: We view courage as a necessity to honor our values system and hold ourselves accountable. Courage allows us to confront harmful situations, make bold programming decisions, and engage meaningfully with opportunities for growth, equity, and change.