There’s no question that the creative economy in Colorado is booming. You don’t have
to go far to find concerts, art exhibits, plays or other performances nearly any night
of the week. Thanks in large part to an active base of UNC students and graduates,
Greeley is no exception.
Take Briana Harris ‘14 for example. Harris currently co-owns, manages and performs
in The Burroughs, a 9-piece original funk and soul band based in Greeley. She also
works as a freelance saxophonist, composer, and music educator for a variety of other
musical project and runs Harris Artist Management, a boutique arts management and
consulting business that provides customized assistance to working artists.
And she’s just one example of the many UNC creatives making their mark on the local
“You can literally see contributions of UNC grads on the walls of many buildings in
our city. Much of the public art that has been supported through the City of Greeley,
like our downtown murals, has been created by UNC alumni. Ely Corliss is a specific
example of an alumnus who has had a massive impact on the local music scene; he owns
and manages the Moxi Theater, which has become a great venue for local bands getting
their start, as well as a place that draws high-quality national acts to town,” Harris
UNC grads like Harris and Corliss are doing incredible work in Greeley and beyond.
You can find these Bears doing everything from making artwork and music, starting
creative businesses, getting hired in arts organizations, participating in arts boards
and planning commissions, and so much more.
“I see a real interest with a lot of recent grads in staying in the area and putting
down roots; Northern Colorado is booming, and there are a lot of great opportunities
for creatives,” Harris says. “I work closely with Armando Silva- I'm currently his
manager- and I am consistently impressed with his work ethic and ability to create
community and conversation through his work. Ely Corliss is one of the hardest-hustling
people I know, and he has his hands in multiple projects that are all focused on making
Greeley a cool place to live. Becky Safarik, our Assistant City Manager, has been
the board president for the Greeley Creative District for years, and she leads with
such passion, clarity, and vision. She's been working for years on improving our community
Even if art isn’t your specialty, Harris says the opportunities abound for anyone
to get involved.
“Volunteer for a local music or arts festival. Also, if you don't see something here
that you wish existed, start it! There is a ton of opportunity for people hungry to
build something new,” Harris says. “Greeley has always been a community with a strong
creative heritage, and the strength of UNC's Arts programs is a huge part of that
story. I love the integration that happens between student artists and working professional
artists outside of school. It's a really supportive community, and you often will
find students and alumni working together on creative ventures.”
Greeley Arts Legacy
Several members of the UNC community including Dr. Howard Skinner, Ruth Savig and
Helen Langworthy will be honored among the inaugural class of The Legacy Arts Hall
of Fame this October. An induction ceremony will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, October
4, 2019 in the Hensel-Phelps Theatre.
The Legacy Arts Hall of Fame was designed to recognize, acknowledge and preserve the
awareness and rich history of those individuals and organizations who have demonstrated
and provided a significant contribution of leadership or excellence within the arts
community of Greeley.