Meow Wolf considers its timeline of opening up a massive new art facility in Denver ambitious, but for some residents, two years is a long time to wait for an experience unlike any other in the city.
The art collective behind the groundbreaking “House of Eternal Return” exhibit in Santa Fe, New Mexico, officially announced Thursday that it plans to build near Mile High Stadium. The organization will spend the next two years reaching out to Denver area artists, attending events and, of course, partying said Meow Wolf CEO and co-founder Vince Kadlubek.
“We have some ideas for how we can bring Denver artists more into the public eye,” Kadlubek said. “We’re also going to throw a lot of parties. That tends to be a way get people really excited.”
The Meow Wolf team members are no dummies. They’re capitalizing on the excitement to help raise funds for the new 90,000-square-foot facility planned near Lower West Colfax Avenue and Walnut Street. A new site launched Thursday offering a hundred lifetime passes at $10,000 each to Meow Wolf venues and events. The site also offers $1,000 tickets to the unscheduled opening night gala for Denver Meow Wolf, $50 first week tickets and $25 early bird general admission.
Meow Wolf’s investment in Denver is initially anticipated to be around $50 million, Kadlubek said. Denver’s Office of Economic Development is “going through a due diligence review” to determine whether the city will provide financial assistance to the project.
Meow Wolf is already dipping its paw into the Denver market. In 2017, the organization hosted a party for Santa Fe Brewing Co. during Great American Beer Festival, sponsored the CRUSH Festival in River North, announced a national DIY Fund to assist small-scale community art spaces, participated in Maker Faire and attended Denver Startup Week.
“We’re going really to start doing community engagement even deeper than we did last year in the sense that we’ll have a boots-on-the-ground community development person who is looking at which organizations and initiatives in the community we should contribute to and partner with as we become more a resident of this city,” Kadlubek said.
The chief operating officer for Meow Wolf, Sean Di Ianni, said the organization is already working with about 100 artists and getting contact info for others. In the spring or summer, Meow Wolf plans to put out another request to work with artists who want to contribute to the Denver site.
Many residents are anxiously looking toward 2020. That excitement is one reason Meow Wolf execs say they chose to expand to Denver first on their path to global domination.
“When Denver learned of Meow Wolf‘s intention to look for a location in Denver and other communities across the nation, the real estate community quickly galvanized,” said Denver developer Dana Crawford in a statement. “Denver’s cultural contingent sensed strong competition from other cities and put out the welcome mat for Meow Wolf to understand its newfound role in Colorado.”
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