Civic Center Conservancy
1410 Grant Street, Suite A301
Denver, Colorado 80203

Civic Center Centennial Celebration

Civic Center Conservancy Makes History in Civic Center Park

For the first time in the event's seven-year history, the nonprofit Civic Center Conservancy's annual fundraising gala took place outdoors in historic Civic Center Park on Saturday, September 14th.  The Civic Center Centennial Celebration commemorated the downtown Denver park's 100th anniversary and honored two recipients of the Elaine Asarch Award.

The award, named for one of the 15-year-old nonprofit’s founding members, recognizes those who significantly contribute to the Civic Center Conservancy's mission to activate, enhance and restore the park - Denver's only National Historic Landmark.  This year, architect and Civic Center Conservancy Board Member Dennis Humphries and The Boettcher Foundation were each bestowed with the honor.

Serenaded by the Colorado Symphony quartet, 300 guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the Greek Amphitheatre, where they took in the Conservancy’s timely Art In the Park installation, “A Narrative Landscape” - Theresa Clowes’ floating fabric piece which tells the story of Civic Center Park’s 100-year history.  The crowd of supporters included former gala co-chairs Susan & Howard Noble, Jerrel & Maggie Armstrong, Mardi & Brown Cannon, Yvette & Chris Frampton, Christy & Ferd Belz, Stacie Loucks & Marcus Pachner and Tami & Rick Door, along with many other business, government and nonprofit leaders.


Following the cocktail hour, a magnificent tent adorned with greenery and twinkling centerpieces transformed the Central Promenade into a glowing space which hosted the plated dinner and program, led by Civic Center Conservancy Executive Director Scott Robson, who highlighted the accomplishments of the 3-person staff during the past year.  By 2019’s end, the nonprofit organization will have brought 240,000 people to Civic Center through its programs over 210 days.

Introducing award-recipient Dennis Humphries, Elaine Asarch described the architect as a “gift to humanity” who “believes in preserving our history…and has been instrumental in working with the city to keep one of our most cherished spaces, Civic Center, available for all and restored as the crossroads and gathering place for government, culture and community.”

“I am deeply honored and humbled by this award, “said Humphries, as he went on to pay homage to former Denver Mayor Robert Speer’s vision for Civic Center.  “I often reflect 100 years back and wonder what it must have been like to have had such a highly disruptive vision to create such a significant public space in the middle of the city…had he been here tonight, you would have heard him bellowing out (his) speech (“Give While You Live”) as an initiative to encourage you all to support the Conservancy."

Receiving the award for the Boettcher Foundation from Rose Community Foundation President & CEO Lindy Eichenbaum Lent (also a former Civic Center Conservancy Executive Director), President & CEO Katie Kramer named Civic Center “our community’s living room,” and applauded how the Civic Center Conservancy has successfully leveraged Boettcher’s support to “advocate for over $20 million in public funding in the park and…launch programs that now attract 250,000 additional visitors to the park each year.”

The event culminated back outside in the Greek Amphitheatre, where guests enjoyed desserts, cocktails and music by DJ Matt Cassidy underneath the colored illumination of the 100-year-old performance space, a beautiful ending to what many guests called a “magical” evening.


The Civic Center Conservancy is deeply grateful to the following sponsors and partners:

MDC | Richmond American Homes Foundation; East West Partners; Suncor; RATIO | Humphries Poli Architects; Susan & Howard Noble; Elaine & Richard Asarch; Susan & Harry Frampton; Continuum Partners; The Gala Team; Kelli Kindel Events; Cultivator Advertising & Design; Eclectic Hive Design; Rollins Productions; Denver Parks & Recreation; GiveSmart; Epicurean Catering; Evan Semón Photography; Colorado Symphony Orchestra; Event Rents; DJ Matt Cassidy; Tito’s; Great Divide Brewing; Attimo Wine.

For the past 15 years, the Civic Center Conservancy has worked to realize the vision Denver’s leaders had for Civic Center Park a century ago - as a thriving urban oasis that would inspire civic pride, economic prosperity and cultural vitality.  Overcoming decades of challenges that left the park in a troubling state, the Conservancy has successfully advocated for infrastructure improvements, expanded safety & maintenance operations, new public programs and events that are breathing new life into this nearly 100-year old National Historic Landmark, but we need your support to ensure it thrives for centuries to come!

Please click HERE to learn how you can support and be part our mission in Civic Center Park.


Organized by Conservancy staff and the Centennial Celebration Committee, proceeds from the Civic Center Park Celebration support the Conservancy’s free community programming aimed at revitalizing Civic Center Park - elevating and sustaining this National Historic Landmark as a vibrant and iconic cultural hub.  Civic Center Conservancy programs include Civic Center EATS, Civic Center MOVES, Independence Eve, Art in the Park and a range of notable special events and concerts each year.