Grow your idea at the National Western Center

Share your business, program or idea and be part of the campus from the beginning

The National Western Center is a global destination for agricultural innovation, western heritage and culture that will open its doors in 2024 in Denver. Help us cultivate the mix of experiences and opportunities that will happen on this innovative campus, and online – in 2024 and earlier!

The place and platform where your idea can take root

Whether you’d like to host a food or art festival, teach the world about regenerative farming, relocate your offices to an ag tech hub, solve the world’s water problems or sell homemade foods at a public market, you could do it at the National Western Center. Check out our FAQs (below) for more on what’s possible.

Tell us how you can help cultivate the National Western Center experience. You’ll be signed up for updates too.

Submit your idea

View ideas submitted by others (PDF)

 

Our Cultivation Process

Cultivate

Spring 2019

We’ll collect ideas for what could happen at the National Western Center and begin building relationships with potential programs, partners and tenants.

Design

Fall 2019

We’ll design a strategy for programming the campus.

Prepare & Preview

2019-2023

We’ll work with the programs, partners and tenants that will create the campus experience. Programs online, offsite, or hosted in historic or first-built buildings could launch now, during campus construction.

Discover

2024

The campus is fully open and packed with year-round experiences and daily discoveries. An estimated 2.2 million people visit the National Western Center each year.

 

FAQS

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What kinds of things can happen on the campus?

In addition to hosting the annual National Western Stock Show and affiliated events, the campus will be home to three Colorado State University buildings with research and educational programs focused on water, sustainability, food and human and animal health. History Colorado and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science will also bring educational programs to the campus.

The campus can host the following year-round:

  • festivals and concerts
  • farmers’ and local markets
  • sporting events
  • lectures
  • trade shows
  • conventions
  • office space
  • incubators
  • educational experiences
  • art shows
  • family activities
  • retail shops
  • and much more!

Visit this page for more on campus uses.

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What kind of event spaces and square footage will the campus have to offer?

The National Western Center will feature more than 2.2 million sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor spaces including state-of-the-art facilities, historic buildings and riverfront open space. The possibilities are endless! Visit this page for details on uses, square footage, expected visitors, and more.

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What will you do with my idea?

From all the ideas submitted, we’ll design a strategy for programming the campus. We may contact you directly to discuss how you can be involved in creating the campus experience. If we don’t, we will keep you and your idea in mind as we build longer-term partnerships and connections.

In some cases, the National Western Center will look to match ideas with people and resources that can help make them happen.

Based on the expected volume of responses, we will not be able to respond directly to every person who submits an idea. However, everyone who fills out our form will be automatically added to our network to receive updates about campus programming and future opportunities for partnerships, matchmaking, funding and more.

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Who will see my idea, and can I see what others submitted? 

In the spring and summer, we will be reviewing ideas with our board of directors and other key stakeholders to design a strategy for campus programming. Later in 2019, we will share a summary report with everyone in our network, including everyone who shared their idea.

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I have already shared my ideas through National Western Center master planning or placemaking. What happened to that?

Community input about the National Western Center is being used to design and build the campus so that it can accommodate many of the uses that you have envisioned. Now we’re identifying the actual people, programs, activities, businesses and events that will have a home on campus and online and that will help fulfill the National Western Center’s mission.

For example, one of our guiding principles is to “create fun and entertaining experiences.” That’s pretty broad! What should that look like? It might mean a summer concert series hosted by a Denver-based arts nonprofit. It might mean a local restaurant or brewery opening near the riverfront. It might mean a celebrity chef giving a talk in a campus lecture hall about reducing food waste. Could you bring a fun and entertaining experience to the National Western Center?

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What if I’m concerned about sharing my intellectual property?

Please do not include any confidential information or trade secrets in what you submit.

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Is there funding available to support my idea?

While there is no funding available at present, we recognize that many ideas need resources to become reality. Over time, we’ll develop strategies to help people grow their ideas at the National Western Center.

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What do the “Cultivate” categories in the form mean?

1 Cultivate community

How might the National Western Center spaces and programs benefit the surrounding communities and neighborhoods?

2 Cultivate riverfront experiences

How might the National Western Center cultivate access to, connection with, and sustainability for the South Platte river through its physical spaces and programming?

3 Cultivate western heritage

How might the National Western Center honor and celebrate western heritage through its physical spaces and programming? How might it build on the Stock Show and rodeos to further cultivate western heritage?

4 Cultivate health

How might the National Western Center promote health through its physical spaces and programming (from healthy food access and food security, to active living, to mental health)?

5 Cultivate culture

How might the National Western Center build connections across cultures through its physical spaces and programming (historical/present-day, rural/urban, national/international, etc.)? How might it integrate art (in all forms) as an expression of culture?

6 Cultivate innovation

How might the National Western Center foster entrepreneurship and innovation? How might it usher in the future of agriculture and food systems through its physical space and programming?

7 Cultivate fun

How might the National Western Center cultivate fun and entertaining experiences, for all ages and audiences, through its indoor and outdoor spaces and programming?

8 Cultivate a global ag hub

How might the National Western Center cultivate a global agricultural hub to “advance the field” of agriculture and food through its programming (education, research, etc.) and physical spaces?

9 Cultivate regeneration

How might the National Western Center practice natural, social, and economic “regeneration” through its programming and physical spaces?

10 Other

What other ideas do you have for the National Western Center to achieve its vision as a global destination for agricultural heritage and innovation? How might it advance global food solutions?

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Why should I consider bringing my idea, business or program to the National Western Center?

If you’re passionate about the future of food, ag innovation, entertainment, education or western heritage, you could have a home here. It’s a place and an opportunity unlike any other, and this is your chance to be part of it from the time the doors open (or earlier!). Through your idea you could one day get connected to like-minded partners, customers, learners, colleagues or friends. You could create opportunities for your community related to jobs, workforce development, youth programs or education. The National Western Center is building a vibrant, sustainable and inclusive experience, and we need your help!

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What kinds of experiences are already lined up for the campus?

Here’s just a sampling of the growing list of partners, programs and events slated for the campus, including many that are happening right now!

  • National Western Stock Show – 16 days every January
  • Colorado State University
  • History Colorado (educational programming)
  • Denver Museum of Nature and Science (educational programming)
  • Denver County Fair
  • Rodeo All-Star Weekend
  • CSU master’s programs in urban sustainability, food and ag entrepreneurship, water
  • CSU food, ag and water innovation and accelerator programs
  • CSU equine sports medicine clinic
  • CSU Temple Grandin equine assisted therapies
  • CSU metro urban extension center
  • CSU metro agricultural experiment station
  • CSU Water in the West Symposium
  • Youth Action Coalition
  • Community Health Clinic
  • Denver Water compliance lab
  • Dumb Friends League solutions clinic
  • Community/commissary/teaching kitchen
  • Coors Western Art exhibit
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Can I talk to someone about my idea?  Where can I ask questions?

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