From the same nonprofit group that created the Cherry Creek Arts Festival comes the Stanley Arts Festival. Located on the border of Stapleton and Northwest Aurora sits Stanely Marketplace, a former airplane hanger transformed into a hub for Denver businesses. The idea to bring a smaller version of the Cherry Creek Arts Festival came under the leadership of former CherryArts CEO and executive director, Terry Adams, back in March of 2014.

Photo courtesy of Liz Levy.

In the festival’s fourth year, the CherryArts organization will showcase 100 juried artists across 13 disciplines of art. Thirty-four of those artists are brand new to the festival and 49 of them are Colorado-based.

Festival-goers will have an exclusive opportunity to see a sneak peak of 40 of these artists at the festival’s kick off party on Friday, September 7 from 6-10 p.m. This is the only ticketed part of the weekend-long festivities and features a live performance from the Michael Friedman Band. From September 8 through September 9, the festival will be completely free to the public.

“Offering a variety of artwork from some incredible artists, Stanley Arts Festival provides an opportunity for the new or seasoned art lover to experience and purchase art,” said CherryArts executive director and CEO, Tara Brickell.

Starting September 8, the free festival will offer numerous art activities, live performances, and great food from local Denver vendors.

Photo courtesy of Liz Levy.

Much like the Cherry Creek Arts Festival, the mission behind the Stanley Arts Festival mirrors that of the CherryArts nonprofit organization. This mission is to promote and emphasize access to art and the importance of art education in Colorado.

The festival not only gives attendees the opportunity to view and purchase other’s art, but create their own as well. There are a number of interactive art activities throughout the festival weekend, including a “creation station” where families can express their inner artist. This creation station includes activities like a learning center, and instrument petting zoo held by Neighborhood Music in Aurora, and even Karate demos from Enshin Karate.

Photo courtesy of Liz Levy.

Along with the creation station, there are plenty of other activities that get festival-goers involved. Like the Cherry Creek Arts Festival, there will be a collaborative mural and an open art studio for anyone to showcase their artistic talents.

Although the Stanley Arts Festival is similar to the Cherry Creek Arts Festival in many ways, there are several unique aspects that make it different. Several businesses located in Stanley Marketplace will offer their services to festival-goers, expanding upon the already massive list of things to do at the festival. These activities include free yoga and kickboxing classes held at locations in Stanley Marketplace like FLY kickboxing.

Between the Cherry Creek and Stanley Arts Festivals, the CherryArts nonprofit has made incredible efforts in promoting art access and education in the Denver area. If you were unable to make it to the Cherry Creek Arts Festival back in July, then the Stanley Arts Festival is the perfect opportunity to check out some of the best local and national art. Try your hand at any of the interactive art exhibits, try some great Denver food and see an old airplane hanger transformed into an exciting art festival.

Stanley Arts Festival takes place at Stanley Marketplace, located on the border of Aurora and Stapleton at 2501 Dallas Street. Entry is free. 

All photography courtesy of Liz Levy.

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