Dairy Arts Center

The vision of the Dairy Arts Center is to develop a national reputation in the arts that reflects Boulder's evolving artistic and entrepreneurial spirit.

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General Information

Official Name
The Dairy Center for the Arts​​​​​​​
DBA/Trade Name(s)
Dairy Arts Center
Former Name(s)
Date Established
Offers Additional Colorado State Tax Credit
Tax ID
Headquarters Address
2590 Walnut Street
Boulder, CO 80302
Colorado Location
Mailing Address
Other Address
2590 Walnut Street
Boulder, CO 80302
Main Phone Number
Fax Number
Other Phone Number
Social Media Links

Mission Statement

The Dairy Arts Center connects a dynamic and diverse community to create inspiring and
engaging experiences in the performing, cinematic and visual arts.


"It's been wonderful watching "the dairy" metamorphose into a striking-looking venue--and it even stayed open during massive renovation! All along, though, for quite a few years now, I've enjoyed going there to thought-provoking films and performances. The staff have been consistently welcoming and friendly, and I've always felt there that I was in a very special place within my own community, a true treasure--no exaggeration."
- Maggie Burrall

"This is a great resource for various arts and cultural programs. I'm most familiar with the Parlando School for the Arts (primarily a music school) that is located here, but whenever I'm at Dairy Center I get to see ballet and modern art students, community members gather for performances and shows. I love being around this kind of creative energy and very glad that Boulder supports this. The building is undergoing a lot of renovations (and as usual they are running longer then scheduled) - so something to be aware of, but I'm a fan of the changes they are making in the long term."
- Oleg Umanskiy

"The Dairy represents a great place for Artists in and around Boulder to be exposed to forms of art that are alternative as well as traditional. There is a strong and deliberate sense of style to the layout utilizing all that this unique venue has to offer. As an Artist myself it has been a real accomplishment to have a piece of mine hang in this space with so many other artists. I would recommend that anyone interested in art as an admirer or collector check out what they have to offer. Also you could select this venue for an independent film being shown instead of the latest Hollywood money grab. The staff are very knowledgeable and take a solid interest in the artists that are on display and do their best to promote their works. The classes that are offered are world class and highly sought after if you have the time or interest to learn to create this could be the place where you learn to take it to the next level."
- Tyrone Webb

"Ever wanted to go somewhere for the evening that was an eclectic experience? Then visit the Dairy Center! They have plays, movies, art gallery showings, classes, productions, etc. There is nothing mundane or boring about it and it won't empty your bank account either! It is truly one of the safest places I can go alone and enjoy by myself, take my daughter, meet my girlfriends or have a date night with my hubby! Tickets do sell out quickly so be sure to set up an account where you can buy tickets online. You don't have to dress "up" unless you want to! Do give it a try whether for a girls' night out or a last minute "just want to be somewhere" place. Then tell your friends!"
- Wanda Giles

"The Dairy makes it so easy for me to get my artsy fix. Whether it's theater, dance, storytelling, or comedy, The Dairy inspires creativity in me and reinforces a sense of community with my fellow Boulderites. Love it."
- Cara Mentzel

"The Dairy Arts Center is awesome. The building is beautiful and the staff is amazing. There are rotating art installations in the lobby and several theaters so every show is perfection. And because it's a few steps away from downtown, parking is easy and plentiful -- and free!"
- Darlene Dee

"The Dairy is THE place to see the visual and performing arts. With its fabulous lobby and cafe it's a perfect place to settle in for an evening of people watching. Then take in a fabulous show. You can take your wine (no food) into the theaters! And then there is the Boedecker art film movie house. All under one roof."
- Felicia Furman

"The Dairy is a gem in Boulder! I really feel like it is the cultural heart of the city. I've witnessed so many diverse and exceptional, even inspiring performances there. I highly recommend keeping up with happenings at the Dairy!"
- Trevor Wood

"The Dairy is amazing! A wonderful hub for the arts in an arts-minded town. Always a great exhibition, performance or event to be found, and home to numerous valuable arts organizations that make Boulder vital and unique."
- Sarah Lesch Amirani

"As a kindergarten teacher, I've learned along with my students at our Kids at the Dairy Program days. I learned the joys of rhythm sticks from one of the accomplished teachers that we were connected with. I started applying them to poetry, reading, and interpretive dance in our regular classroom activities. My children learned terms like piano, forte, and crescendo, and they used them all year to describe music that we listened to! I've also participated in hip-hop, string instrumental performance, Irish dance, ballet, and more through the Kids at the Dairy program. Every time, the joy of experiencing the arts together brings my students a stronger sense of community.
For families, I find it important that the program provides a book that the children love and get to take home, which connects school and home. You should see the expression that kids have when you tell them they each get their own book! There's nothing better. I also love that families are able to attend these trips in a low risk way, allowing us to create a welcoming environment for parents who often have a fear of schools and institutions. I believe this program probably has impacts beyond what might have been imagined at the outset."
- Jessica Rothman, Kindergarten Teacher, Alicia Sanchez International Elementary School

"One of my favorite memories from our Kids at the Dairy programs was hearing 70 kindergarteners collectively gasp when a soprano hit a high note during an opera performance. I had a little boy with an amazing voice in my class, and after working with the opera singers, he realized that he could use his talent. Back in our classroom he announced that he was going to be an opera singer when he grows up. And the thing is, he can really do that! Now he has a goal that he's working toward, and that's a remarkable thing. Field Trips like these are essential to creating a sense of belonging and safety for my students through collective experience. In the classroom we practice the skills we've learned in our own art projects and write stories about our visit. We look back on our year at kindergarten graduation with lighthearted, positive memories and the shared experience brings us closer together."
- Jessica Rothman, Kindergarten Teacher, Alicia Sanchez International Elementary School

Organization History

The Dairy Arts Center was founded in 1992 to provide cooperative workspaces for local artists and venues for live performances in Boulder County. Originally owned by the Watts-Hardy Dairy, the building's transformation from a former milk-processing facility to a flourishing 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 could create, collaborate, and inspire the greater community.

Today, this dream of shared art is a thriving reality. Our 45,000 square foot multi-disciplinary arts center showcases the visual arts, theater, film, comedy, dance, and music - all under one roof. The facility is complete with art galleries, performance venues, teaching studios, offices, rehearsal spaces, dance studios, and a state-of-the-art 60-seat art-house cinema. The Dairy's community of artists and audience members spans all ages, backgrounds, cultures and ability levels-from the youngest students to world-class professionals, and from first-time spectators to seasoned theatergoers. The Dairy is also home to 6 arts organizations including 3rd Law Dance/Theater, Boulder Ballet, Boulder County Arts Alliance, EcoArts Connections, the Parlando School for the Arts, and Stories on Stage.

Key aspects of this profile information have been reviewed by Community First Foundation staff. Each organization is exclusively responsible for the content that appears on the profile page. Community First Foundation offers general guidance as to the purpose of each area but does not require or encourage charities to include anything in particular in each section.