Halloween event offers residents first glimpse of Broomfield’s creative corridor

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Broomfield residents can get a taste of the city and county’s proposed creative corridor this Halloween.

Titled the ARTery, the corridor is designed to immerse the community in art along existing and future trails throughout Broomfield. The first portion of the ARTery stretches from the Broomfield Library to the Brunner Farmhouse, and on Oct. 31, the Broomfield Council on Arts and Humanities hopes to see the trail full of walkers and cyclist donned in Halloween costumes for their second annual Halloween event.

BCAH and Broomfield FISH last year created the Halloween event to offer families a safe and accessible way to celebrate Halloween, BCAH Executive Director Keri Dillingham said. Last year, the route went from FISH to the Brunner Farmhouse, back to FISH and then to the Depot Museum.

Dillingham said BCAH and FISH planned to replicate last year’s route, until during a meeting with CSU Extension and Creative Broomfield where the idea came up about using the ARTery path to bring awareness to the corridor.

This year’s Halloween event starts at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 31 at the Broomfield Library with a costume parade around the pond, followed by a bike and walk to the Brunner Farmhouse for live music, candy and the pumpkin contest patch. Winners of the pumpkin carving will be announced at 11:30 a.m., and at 11:45 a.m. participants can migrate back to the library to hear music by Jarabe Mexicano, create Broomfield history-themed crafts and more. For more information on the Halloween event, visit bit.ly/2ZlfdEr.

The event will also feature the second annual art pumpkin contest, officially titled “Sherill’s 2nd Annual Pumpkin Art Contest” in honor of BCAH President and Treasurer Sherill Bunetta, who died last October at age 74. The contest was the last project Bunetta was working on before she died, Dillingham said. The contest winners are chosen by community votes and those who attend the bike and walk event, and the first-place winner will win $50. Dillingham encouraged residents to participate in this year’s contest in honor of Bunetta.

Admission is free, though residents are asked to bring food donations for Broomfield FISH.

For Dillingham, the ARTery is vital to life in Broomfield.

“Creativity is at the foundation of every piece of artwork, invention and idea,” she said. “Research has shown that creative experiences and artistic pursuits have many essential benefits to achieving an enriching life for all ages, such as supporting mental and emotional health, increasing a sense of connection to the self and to others, boosting confidence and self-esteem and providing an outlet that promotes calmness, growth and discovery.”

The Halloween event will allow residents to explore the first portion of the ARTery trail. The project’s pilot segment will connect two Broomfield hubs, The Field Open Space and Broomfield Commons Open Space, according to the project’s webpage, and will include new public art installations. The goal is to provide a low-stress route for walking, running and biking through parks, playgrounds, open space and neighborhoods. The pilot route also connects two key destinations that Broomfield residents prioritized in the 2019 Bicycle and Pedestrian Assessment, Broomfield’s Arts and History Manager Megan Gilby said.

A bridge over a ditch near a location for a future art installment along a path at Highland Park South in Broomfield on Friday. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)

“The long-term, multi-year goal is to incorporate the ARTery into the complete low-stress walk and bike network throughout all five Broomfield wards to meet the following goals,” the project’s Broomfield Voice webpage states, listing the following:

Curate public art experiences to provoke curiosity, inspire wonder and create engagement in unexpected places.
Enhance existing and future low-stress routes and trails throughout Broomfield.
Connect neighborhoods, celebrate creativity and augment healthy activities in outdoor spaces.
Cultivate a sense of one Broomfield.

Gilby said the project is one piece of the broader creative economy initiative in Broomfield.

“By discovering cultural experiences across Broomfield, the ARTery will provide unexpected moments of wonder and curiosity, wherever you are,” she said.

A map of the phase 1 path can be found at broomfieldvoice.com/artery. The map includes locations of existing public art in Broomfield and locations for potential public art from the ARTery’s pilot project.

The art installations are titled the Little Houses Project, a concept inspired by Little Free Libraries. The miniature houses will “provide engaging and rotating contents to surprise and delight residents and visitors,” the webpage reads.

While the Little Houses were originally scheduled to be installed in October, Gilby said some delays have pushed their estimated completion to the end of this year.

“Each Little House in this first phase will be provided and managed by Creative Broomfield staff, with the contents of each house curated and maintained through a mix of partnerships with community groups and organizations,” Gilby said.

There will be a Little Art House, which will showcase rotating art exhibits curated by Broomfield’s Public Art Committee. The Little History House will be curated by Broomfield Museum Coordinator David Allison and Curator Elizabeth Beaudoin to feature bits of information and history relating to Broomfield’s past, present and future, Gilby said. The third house will be titled the Little Ueda House, curated by the Sister Cities Committee, which works closely with Broomfield’s Sister City Ueda, Japan. Finally, the Little Twin House will have artifacts sent from Broomfield, United Kingdom, to celebrate Broomfield’s Twin City.

The ARTery route will be marked for residents wanting to test it out during the Halloween event, Gilby noted, with markers placed where the future Little Houses will be installed.

The ARTery project was part of the 2021 City Council priorities. Efforts began in April of this year with a goal alignment and ARTery workgroup established, and officials have been mapping out the project since. Engagement will continue through late February of next year, and the second segment of the ARTery path is scheduled to expand into new portions of Broomfield next April, according to the project’s timeline.

The sculpture “Pianist” by Artist Joshua Wiener from the Art Bench Project 2006 is seen along a path at Broomfield Community Park on Friday. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)

“The ARTery has moved from an idea to concept in the last year, and we are very excited to see it become a reality this year and expand in future years,” Gilby said.

For more information or to submit feedback, visit the Broomfield Voice webpage, broomfieldvoice.com/artery.