ADA Access at Cleo Parker Robinson Dance

Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, located in the designated landmark Historic Shorter AME Facility, offers wheelchair access via the CPRD Academy (North side) entrance via elevator; from there one enters the east back stage area into the the CPRD Theatre. There is a wheelchair lift from this same area onto the CPRD Theatre stage. Our access includes usher assistance in getting from the parking lot to your seats. When purchasing tickets, we ask all patrons how we might best assist.

ADA Access at Cleo Parker Robinson Dance during construction of the adjacent Cleo Parker Robinson Center for the Healing Arts

Update, June 7, 2024. We are excited for a number of events coming up! This weekend, welcome to Fringe Festival events at Cleo Parker Robinson Dance! Next weekend, we will also host Juneteenth events June 14 and 15.

Construction activities are well underway for the Cleo Parker Robinson Center for the Healing Arts. The map below indicates, in BLUE, how to walk around and into our facility during construction. Our main entrance (South side of the building) has a new wheelchair staircase lift under construction (the right set of front doors). This should be completed by the end of June or sooner. During wheelchair lift construction, our temporary ADA access to the building is through the CPRD Academy entrance on the north side of the building. Through those doors, use the Annex elevator to the First Floor; this gets you into the Stage Left CPRD Theatre entrance.
Please contact Rhetta Shead if you have any questions or access issues (her phone number is below in the visual). If you have questions for the Academy, contact Victoria Shead-Johnston or Kylie Straub (phone number below in the visual). Thank you for supporting Cleo Parker Robinson Dance and our exciting expansion, and look for more updates!

Background: Access in a nearly century-old designated historic landmark

CPRD’s headquarters are in a renovated Denver Historic Landmark. The Shorter AME Facility was the former location of Denver’s oldest African American church, established in the 1860s, before Colorado statehood. We began leasing this location during Mayor Federico Peña’s administration in our 1988 as our home and headquarters. At that time, the property was owned by the City of Denver. Later it was owned by the Denver Housing Authority (who currently owns and operates our neighboring property, the Thomas Bean Tower, an affordable housing resource).

From 1988 forward, CPRD spent several years renovating what was a church sanctuary and basement into a theatre and rehearsal studios. In the late 1990s, we added an annex on the East side of our facility with an elevator. This enabled much-improved ADA access to the facility at large. Throughout this time, performing arts groups who rented the CPRD Theatre, such as PHAMALY and Colorado Dance Sport, worked with us to install temporary ramps and accommodations to the CPRD Theatre stage.

Leaders from PHAMALY consulted with us during ongoing facility updates as we reviewed accommodation options for the CPRD Theatre stage. These reviews balanced ADA access with overall fire and egress safety concerns in our 98-year-old historic facility. In December 2021, we purchased our home and the land on it, and hold title. We added a wheelchair lift to our stage in March 2023. This enables complete facility and stage ADA access.

The Cleo Parker Robinson Center for the Healing Arts, our project to more than double the size of our home, is in final design in preparation for construction in Fall 2023. Our new building wing, on the East side, will offer full and modern ADA access. During construction, the main entrance (South side of the Historic Shorter facility) will have a chair lift installed during June 2024. We anticipate that this will be completed by June 30 or sooner.