For 50 years, BMoCA provided the community with a rotating selection of world-renowned designer exhibitions, on-site events, performances and art sales.
A cultural cornerstone, it continues to showcase the work of emerging local talent and established artists – and now it hopes to bolster its legacy with a planned move and expansion to the NoBo Art District in North Boulder.
The planned 17,500 square foot potential museum site is located on over three acres of land near Violet Avenue, Broadway and 10th Street. An entire creative campus – complete with retail space and housing – will be powered by Boulder-based Emerald Development.
“The NoBo area is brimming with opportunity, and BMoCA shares that vision,” said NoBo Art District President Lisa Nesmith. “We look forward to opportunities to connect with our new neighbors enriching the area as a creative neighborhood.”
BMoCA serves over 134,000 visitors per year. The new venue would allow that number to grow and more programming to thrive.
“BMoCA’s proposed expansion will create an exciting visual landmark and hub of activity at the southern gateway to the Arts District and advance our evolving identity as an arts destination,” said Nesmith.
NoBo Art District is already home to over 200 artists. First Friday art walks allow people to explore the many galleries and warehouses that dot this booming neighborhood.
“The expansion of BMoCA into the NoBo Art District is super exciting as it opens the door for more artists and community members to become more involved and have creative opportunities,” said Leah Brenner Clack. , founder of Street Wise Boulder, an annual mural festival. “As a member of the NoBo Board of Directors for two and a half years, I’ve really had the opportunity to learn a lot about the arts community in North Boulder and see the growth that’s happening here.”
In 2023, BMoCA will launch a public fundraising campaign to raise funds for the new facility. Construction is expected to begin in 2025, with the new museum expected to open by 2026 or 2027. Organizers said they will need to raise $13.5 million to complete the project.
“Street Wise and NoBo have worked hand in hand over the past few years, leveraging our strengths to achieve our goals,” Clack said. “Of course, I would love to see lots of public art and murals integrated into the campus vision. Murals are such a strong way for people to feel connected and connected to each other.
Extensive outreach, led by community engagement experts Jamie Giellis, of Centro, Inc., and Maya Ford, of FordMomentum!, is underway to ensure the new campus reflects local values and desires.
“From what I understand, this creative campus aims to be very community-centric and inclusive,” Clack said. “I’m a big believer and proponent of community engagement, and appreciate the intention they put into making sure they understand the local community first. It’s possible to help imagine what new facilities can be, and they want everyone involved. It’s so important, and I hope the community will show up and really speak from their hearts about how we can build something special together.
Outreach will include an online survey, community design event and a series of in-depth conversations with business owners, artists, elected officials, affordable housing advocates and many more.
“As part of Boulder’s creative community, the flagship museum and campus will serve as an inclusive place, carefully designed to foster creativity and opportunity by providing spaces for artists, housing, retail and open spaces” said Mike Piché, secretary of the BMoCA board of directors and member of the project’s expansion task force.
In addition to NoBo Art District, partners supporting the new building include Create Boulder, the City of Boulder Office of Arts and Culture, and the Boulder Chamber.
“The most exciting part of being in NoBo is that BMoCA has a unique opportunity to anchor a mixed-use ‘creative campus’ in an emerging arts district,” said Piche. “Not only will the museum be well equipped to support new, original and imaginative artistic experiences internally, but it will also help serve as a catalyst for community arts programming, discussion and design.”
BMoCA will continue to operate from its space at 1750 13th St. as the project evolves, but in the years to come people can expect a larger center rooted in collaboration that will have even greater impact and reach. taller.
“When arts organizations come together, special things happen, which is why the move from BMoCA to NoBo is so exciting for all of us,” Clack said.