Dairy Arts Center

Venue Rentals

The Dairy Arts Center is a Boulder-based multidisciplinary arts center and nonprofit organization. Originally owned by the Watts-Hardy Dairy, The Dairy Arts Center was founded in 1992 to provide cooperative workspaces for local artists and venues for live performance in Boulder County. The Dairy’s 42,674 square foot facility houses disciplines ranging from visual arts, theater, and film to dance and music.

The Dairy Arts Center is home to three live performance theaters: The Gordon Gamm Performance Theater, the Grace Gamm Drama Theater and the Carsen Theater, a cinema: The Boedecker Theater, four visual arts gallery spaces: the McMahon Gallery, the Polly Addison Gallery, the Hand-Rudy Gallery and the MacMillan Family Lobby, as well as the Polk Cafe.

In addition to its rental spaces and administrative offices, the Dairy houses a number of resident arts organizations: 3rd Law Dance/Theater, Boulder Ballet, Boulder County Arts Alliance, Ecoarts Connections, Stories on Stage, and Parlando School of Musical Arts.

The Dairy provides the opportunity to host over 1,500 theater, dance, and musical performances, films, parties, and other ticketed events annually.

As a multidisciplinary arts venue, the Dairy is proud to have almost constant use of our varied spaces. You may see a young ballerina or aspiring musician walking through our lobby or relaxing at the Polk Cafe at any time! Please speak to Alison Toth about other events that will be taking place concurrent with your planned event to determine if the venue you are considering is the best fit for your occasion.

The rules and regulations set forth in this guide are subject to change and supersede any and all agreements made prior to July 1, 2018, other than a written, signed, and dated contract.

Rates Effective July 1,2018

Staff Pricing

StaffHourly Pricing
House Manager$20 / hour
Boedecker Concessions Staff$20 / hour
TIPS Trained Server$25 / hour
Tech Staff$30 / hour

Staff pricing listed is NOT included in the venue rental price. Only a house manager is REQUIRED in addition to the rental price. Other staffing may be added as needed.
Hourly tech staff may be added to the Carsen Theater. Please see “With Tech” rates on the venue pricing chart for the inclusion of tech staff in the Gordon and Grace Theaters.

Equipment Pricing

Equipment Price
Speaker$25 each
Microphone$25 each
Projector/Screen$75 per day
Piano$300 for first day, $100 p/d for each additional rental day per contract

Schimmel Description:
The Schimmel piano at the Dairy Center for the Arts is a model C-208, 7’ semi concert grand. It was handcrafted in Braunschweig Germany. This piano is a superb chamber music instrument with a huge palette of tonal colors and an unrivalled singing tone. It also soars as a solo instrument. It is truly a masterpiece of craftsmanship that anchors the music offerings at our Arts Center.

General Rules:

  • Moving of the piano must be done by Dairy staff or under supervision of an authorized Dairy staff member.
  • No food or drink shall be placed on the piano.
  • Piano lid will be down and covered anytime it is not in use.
  • When not using the piano cover, neatly fold it and set it on a chair.
  • Piano will be locked and covered at all times when not in use.
  • The Dairy’s Baldwin will be used for those seeking a prepared piano – the Schimmel will not be used for this purpose.

$300 for first day, $100 p/d for each additional rental day per contract


Lobby and Gallery Rentals
Up to six (6) banquet tables
Up to sixty (60) chairs
Theater Rentals
One table outside your theater
One lighting & sound technician w/ applicable rates
Microphone(s) & podium

Lighting design
Additional furniture
AV equipment for lobby or gallery rental (priced above)

All renters are responsible for making the Dairy Arts Center an additionally insured on a public liability policy that has $1 million per occurrence and $2 million aggregate.

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VenueCapacityTechnician (Y/N)Minimum RentalFor Profit PricingNon Profit Pricing
MacMillan Family Lobby220No4 Hours

$375/hour (Weekday)

$488.25/hour (Weekend)

$168/hour (Weekday)

$210/hour (Weekend)

McMahon Gallery60No4 Hours

$315/hour (Weekday)

$393.75/hour (Weekend)

$157.50/hour (Weekday)

$189/hour (Weekend)

Boedecker Cinema68Yes4 Hours

$152.25/hour (Weekday)

$189/hour (Weekend)

$115.50/hour (Weekday)

$141.75/hour (Weekend)

Gordon Gamm Theater250Yes

4 Hours (Rehearsals)

5 Hours (Performances)

$152.25/hour (Tech)

$73.50/hour (No Tech)

$913.50/daily (Tech)

$442/daily (No Tech)

$114.25/hour (Tech)

$55.25/hour (No Tech)

$685.75/daily (Tech)

$330.75/daily (No Tech)

Grace Gamm Theater116Yes

4 Hours (Rehearsals)

5 Hours (Performances)

$105/hour (Tech)

$68.25/hour (No Tech)

$630/daily (Tech)

$408/daily (No Tech)

$2362.50/weekly (Tech)

$1,536.25/weekly (No Tech)

$78.25/hour (Tech)

$51.25/hour (No Tech)

$472.50/daily (Tech)

$293/daily (No Tech)

$1,772.50/weekly (Tech)

$1154/weekly (No Tech)

Carsen Theater70-99No4 Hours







Vandeveer Workshop40NoN/A


$31.50/hour (art workshops/when additional cleaning is needed)


$31.50/hour (art workshops/when additional cleaning is needed)

  • Availability subject to exhibitions and events scheduled in the performance theaters.
  • Weekend rates include Friday – Sunday rentals
  • One-night weekend rentals can be booked no earlier than 6 months in advance and will be billed at a premium rate. Please contact the Sales & Client Relations Manager for information and rates.
  • All performances and presentations open to the public as ticketed or free require a Dairy Arts Center House Manager 
  • All ticketing must go through the Hartman Box Office 
  • All rentals of the Gordon & Grace Theaters that involve use of the technology booth requires a Technician from The Dairy staff. Rates “With Tech” apply.
  • An hourly Technician will be added to Carsen Theater rentals as needed 
  • Daily Rates “With Technician” for the Gordon & Grace Theaters include 8 hours of Tech Time. Tech requirements beyond 8 hours in one day will be billed at $50 per hour (time and a half).
  • Weekly Rates for the Grace Theater require 3 weeks lead-time for finalizing Tech Time scheduling. Any Tech Time scheduled within 3 weeks of performance will be billed at $50 per hour.

The City of Boulder requires the collection and payment of a 5% admission seat tax for each ticket sold. Collecting and paying this seat tax is the responsibility of presenters. The Dairy Arts Center does not collect or remit this seat tax for presenters.ntent

Toggle ContentRenters are responsible for reporting all pertinent information to BMI, ASCAP, and SESAC and paying all applicable fees for music used as part of their event.

The Dairy Arts Center Hartman Box Office is the central location for all ticket sales taking place at the Dairy Arts Center. All ticketed events must go through the Hartman Box Office and will be available for sale through the Dairy’s website, phone, and in-person at the Hartman Box Office.
Event Management

Initial Build fee of $175.00 includes:

  • Initial Ticket Build and ongoing management of event
  • Promotion of event (See Standard Marketing section on page 9)
  • Ticket sales reports

Box Office Sales
Ticketing fee of $2.00 per ticket (embedded in base ticket price and collected at settlement) includes:

  • Night-of-show box office support
  • Ticket sales via phone, in-person or online at thedairy.org

Comp Tickets

  • User will provide the Hartman Box Office with a request for comp tickets no later than 24 hours prior to performance time. Changes will only be permitted within 24 hours of performance or event start time with written permission of the Dairy box office manager.
  • The Dairy will charge $0.50 (fifty cents) for each comp ticket requested more than 24 hours in advance and $2.00 for each comp ticket requested less than 24 hours in advance.


  • Pre-printed tickets provided for sale by user or third parties at $2.00 per ticket
  • Pre-printed tickets are available only with written permission from the box office manager.
  • User collects all ticket revenue from patrons and the Dairy will collect $2.00 per ticket sold at settlement.
  • The Dairy will credit user $1.50 for each ticket returned by User to The Hartman Box Office no later than 72 hours before performance time.

Service Fees

  • The service fee will be 13% of the ticket cost. For example, the service fee on a $10.00 ticket is $11.30..
    This offsets the costs associated with e-commerce transactions incurred by the Dairy.
  • The Dairy is committed to providing an outlet for patrons to avoid fees; therefore, we will waive this service fee when patrons purchase their tickets in person at the Hartman Box Office. Tickets purchased by phone or online will be assessed this service fee. Please note, this service fee is charged to the patron, in addition to the base price of the ticket,
  • This service fee is different from the embed fee of $2.00 per ticket mentioned above.

Refund Policy

  • The Dairy has a “no refund” policy. In some cases, exchanges may be possible and a fee may apply. It is the responsibility of the presenter to administer refunds (if any) for a canceled or
    rescheduled event.

Exchange Fee

  • Tickets exchanged one week out from a performance will be charged a fee of $3.00 per ticket exchanged.
  • Thickets exchanged less than 24 hours from a performance start time will be charged $5.00 per ticket exhcanged. Some exceptions may apply.

**Fees and policies may vary depending on your event needs**
Hartman Box Office Hours
Monday – Friday: 10am-6pm
Saturday: 12pm-7:30pm | Sunday: 12pm-5:30pm
Performances: one hour prior to curtain

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All theater performances, gallery and lobby rentals require the presence of a Dairy Arts Center house manager. A house manager will be assigned specifically for your event and will arrive at least 60 minutes prior to curtain time. The house manager is available to you, your staff and your patrons as a representative of the Dairy to keep your event running smoothly- in a timely and organized fashion. Please discuss your late seating policy, intermission time and length, and any other concerns with your house manager when they arrive. The house manager will also facilitate between the presenting staff and theater technician for opening seating to patrons. Please do not begin to seat patrons without communicating with your house manager.

House managers are available to assist in setup and strike of lobby events to a
reasonable extent, but it is your duty to provide adequate personnel or volunteers for your event.

Please note that as a policy of all three live performance theaters, no food or glass
containers may enter the theaters. You and your staff will be expected to enforce this policy.

Renter must provide volunteer ushers and/or guides for their event. Common volunteer duties could include the following:

  • Carsen Theater: Dairy volunteer will act as a lobby directional guide in the main lobby to assist patrons in finding the Carsen Theater. The volunteer will also answer questions and direct patrons attending other events within the building.
  • Grace Gamm Theater: Dairy volunteer will be assigned to answer questions and direct patrons up until doors open. After doors open, the volunteer will also assist the house manager in scanning tickets at the door.
  • Gordon Gamm Theater: Dairy volunteer will check and tear tickets once the doors open.

If you are unable to provide volunteers, you may request the Dairy provide them by contacting the Front of House Manager at vneely@thedairy.org and we may be able to provide one based on availability.

Please contact Vonda Neely at vneely@thedairy.org as you are
organizing your event to assess your needs and timeline.


The Polk Café is happy to support all events hosted in the Dairy Arts Center. We will connect you with a list of our preferred caterers and vendors to provide the food services you require. You may utilize a caterer or vendor of your choice who provides on-site delivery who is not on our preferred list. However, consistent with venue rental general practices, there is a $60 kitchen buyout fee per meal to do so.

Catering Requirements
All Food and Beverages served in the Dairy Arts Center must be provided by a licensed caterer that is in good standing with the city of Boulder. Food provided by a caterer must be offered free to all guests of the event. Our food license does not allow food to be sold within the Dairy Arts Center unless it is provided by the Polk Café. The Dairy offers a small kitchen for staging, however it is not able to support on-premises cooking . Liability for a caterer from outside the Dairy is the responsibility of the event sponsor/renter. All catered events require notification to the Food & Beverage Manager of the chosen caterer.

Liquor Services:
State of Colorado regulations require that no alcoholic beverage be brought into the Dairy Arts Center by anyone except the Liquor Licensee. The Dairy is the sole licensee. The Polk Café is equipped to serve wine beer and liquor for reception parties of any size in the MacMIllan Family Lobby. Drink prices range from $3 – $12. With a credit card on file, the Polk Café staff can keep a tab for your party, and charge the credit card at the close of the reception. Alternatively, you may purchase a block of drink tickets for your guests to use. This will keep your liquors costs within a specified budget, and your patrons will be able to purchase additional beverages once the drink tickets are all distributed.

Special Event Liquor Permit:
Pursuant to State of Colorado regulations, “a special event liquor permit cannot be issued on an already liquor licensed premise (no double licensing).” The Dairy Arts Center can only allow special event liquor permits only in the McMahon Gallery for events of 80or fewer. A staff member or volunteer must be stationed at the doors to inform patrons that the special event alcohol must not leave the gallery, and alcohol purchased at the Polk Café must not enter the Gallery for the duration of the event. The Dairy Arts Center must refuse a liquor delivery outside of the designated special event permit time frame. If liquor is left on the premise after the special event liquor permit expires, it will be disposed of.

The City of Boulder requires special event liquor permit applications to be submitted in-person 30-days prior to an event. It is recommended the Food and Beverage Manager attend the pre-scheduled in-person appointment at the City’s Licensing Office with you.

Please contact our Food & Beverage Manager with questions regarding current menu offerings, hours, and scheduling of the Polk Café at vneely@thedairy.org

Remote Bar Service Service (drinks served outside the Polk Cafe)
Remote bars can be hosted by presenter or offered as a “cash bar” meaning patrons pay for beverages by either cash or credit card

  • Set up Fee: $80
  • Drink Selections: Choose from Dairy selections 1 red, 1 white, 1-3 canned beers (additional drink selections will be an additional $10/selection or $25/each for cocktail choices)
  • Bartender provided by the Dairy when hosted or cash bar
  • $25/hour/bartender for Dairy TIPS trained staff (only if client bringing in outside alcohol with a special event liquor license)
  • Tips: All tips collected at bar go to bar staff.

Mixed Drinks For Clients and Renters
The Polk Cafe at The Dairy Art Center is happy to offer an optional specialty mixed drink or signature cocktail for events and receptions hosted at The Dairy. Drink menu and payment methods are listed as follows:
Choose from our available in-house liquor (Mile High rum, vodka, gin, bourbon whiskey, tequila, and Nooku bourbon cream)

  • up to two standard mixers (a juice/soda/syrup, ect)
  • one standard garnish (olives, candied ginger, muddled berries/fruit slice, rosemary/mint, ect)

Any additional liquor, mixers or garnishes can be done at an added cost of $5 per add-on. This charge will be added to the total drink bill at the time of payment.
*Please note, clients are not allowed to provide their own liquor except with permission of the Dairy Arts Center in specific locations only, and with a special event liquor license from the city.*

Payment Methods:
-Pre-purchase: Client pre-pays for a set number of drink tickets which will be distributed to attendees for the event. Attendees can then redeem the tickets at The Polk for free drinks of choice (determined by client and Food & Beverage Manager). Once all drink tickets are used, attendees pay for their drinks This is a good option for staying within a buget, capping what is spent, and not having to worry about paying at the conclusion of the event.

  • Pay on consumption: Drink tickets are distributed to patrons, which they can redeem at The Polk cafe for free drinks of choice (determined by client and Food & Beverage Manager). At the conclusion of the event, all drink tickets are tallied, rung up, and the client pays for the total.
  • Open bar tab: Attendees may order unlimited select drinks (determined by client and Food & Beverage Manager), a tab is kept by cafe staff, and at the conclusion of the event the client pays for the total or is invoiced.
    *We are happy to provide our clients and renters a discount of 25% off drinks at The Polk Cafe for the event*
  • Cash Bar: Attendees pay for all of their drinks – no discount applied


Presenters are largely responsible for the marketing and promotions of their own events.

There are standard and enhanced marketing tools available to all presenters provided by the Dairy.

For a ticketed event, these services are included in your initial build fee (See Box Office &
Ticketing on page 6). For a nonticketed event, these services are available for a $50.00 fee:

  • A landing page on our website for your event
  • A flatscreen slide that advertises your event at the Hartman Box Office.
  • Postering within our building (you provide them, and we’ll hang them). Posters MUST be 11″ x 17″ to fit in frames.
  • A listing for your event in our monthly printed calendars.
  • Social media sharing at the Dairy’s discretion (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).

A listing in our weekly email blasts one week prior to your event.

Marketing Best Practices
Event Descriptions:
It’s always best to limit the summaries of your events to one paragraph. A single sentence tagline is useful to provide in addition to the summary.

Event Images & Video:
Powerful imagery is one of the best marketing tools you can employ.
Below are the ways that the Dairy can use your images, and the required specs.
Note – if your images do not match specs, we may not be able to use them.

1280 x 720 pixels, RGB, jpeg
Please include ALL text for this image – the name of your event, the name of the presenting
organization, and the dates and times of your event.
Think of this as a complete advertisement, but be mindful to not include excessive text.

Event Page:
at least 500 pixels wide, RGB, jpeg

Your logo:
72 x 74 pixels, RGB, jpeg

Your video:
If you would like a video embedded on your event page, please send the link for embedding – Must be YouTube.

For additional marketing inquiries or graphic design referral, please contact the Marketing Manager at marketing@thedairy.org

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MARCH 2020

As of today, 3/12/2020, The Dairy Arts Center remains open and operational. Should scheduling changes occur, ticket holders will be directly notified by The Dairy Arts Center.

If you have a question about an event please contact the presenting arts organization. For films, Dairy Presents and all other questions contact the Box Office at 303.440.7826