As it celebrates its 50th anniversary, the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (BMoCA) is unveiling plans to build a new museum in North Boulder — and it wants the community to weigh in on the project.
The proposed new three-acre creative campus will “ensure the museum continues to bring creative experiences and innovative artists to the region for the next 50 years,” according to a statement. Located at the corner of Broadway and Violet Avenue, the flagship campus will help North Boulder become even more of a robust arts-focused neighborhood. The owners of the three-acre parcel donated it to the museum.
“We are delighted to start a conversation and collaboration with the North Boulder community that will continue for years to come,” says David Dadone, the museum’s executive director. “Moving to North Boulder will allow us to further engage with one of the largest concentrations of artists in Boulder. We see the investments in the new museum as an investment in the community and its future while building on the hard work of neighborhood residents who created an arts district, planned for a new library and nurtured a vibrant and growing creative community.”
BMoCA will maintain a presence in downtown Boulder, but will shift most of its operations and offerings to the new campus once it opens. Boulder-based Emerald Development is designing the campus, led by Andrew Ghadimi, who grew up in North Boulder. The museum must now raise $13.5 million to support the design and construction process, as well as engage with the community on planning and programming for the new space.
Community engagement experts Jamie Giellis of Centro, Inc. and Maya Ford of FordMomentum! will lead the community engagement piece of the project and ensure that the new campus “reflects the neighborhood’s values and includes welcoming spaces for everyone to explore creativity in the 21st century,” according to a statement. They’ll engage with North Boulder residents through online surveys, a community design event and a series of in-depth conversations.
Though planning is still in the early stages, the new mixed-use campus will likely include housing, retail stores, open space, artists’ studios and more. If all goes to plan, the community engagement process will get underway this spring and summer, BMoCA will select architects this winter, construction will begin in 2025 and the new campus will open in 2026-27.
“The neighborhood is hungry for gathering places that benefit the community,” says Deborah Malden, the Boulder Chamber’s arts liaison and a board member for Create Boulder. “People in North Boulder want places to come together and celebrate – and the new museum can be one of those places. I’m excited for the possibilities for the artists, the residents, the business owners and contemporary art fans.”