A Black Cultural Anchor in Denver

Cleo Parker Robinson Dance (CPRD) was founded to educate, celebrate, and honor the African Diaspora and African American experience. Established in 1970, CPRD emerged from the Black Arts and Civil Rights movements and is now one of the largest arts organizations of color in the Rocky Mountain Region and western United States.

40+ countries toured
100+ original ballets produced and commissioned
150+ national & international teachers hosted in Denver
1,000,000+ students served through cultural education and movement outreach programs

Donate to the CPRD Capital Campaign

Progress to Date

We are so happy to see your success translate into the ability to expand into a new facility and we would like to participate in a small way by donating to your capital campaign. In addition to enjoying the outdoor concerts, my wife has been to your Christmas show, and one of our neighbors had been a student there when she was young, but it was the expansion that moved us to contribute. — Robin M.

To date, we have raised 91% of our goal.
Ground Blessing Ceremony: May 2023
Ground Breaking Ceremony: May 2024

Elevating Dance Excellence in our New Studio A

Reflecting the visceral Colorado spirit of light and height in the hub of our creative sacred space, Fentress Architects has designed the new home for Cleo Parker Robinson Dance to develop award-winning excellence. Literally elevating our existing Studio A from a basement level to a Second Floor bathed in sunlight, there is nearly 20 percent more floor space, and approximately 40 percent more ceiling height (2,361 square feet and 28 feet tall). The New Studio A is a world-class space to meet the needs of the art inside.


The East and North interior walls hold mirrors approximately 7 feet tall. Above them are observation windows from Cleo’s office and one of the meeting spaces. The space will include the beautiful acoustic piano gift from Toi Massey and space for other musicians to accompany dancers as works are developed and rehearsed for presentation.

This is not just an artistic development space. The New Studio A will be a part of the Academy, teaching students of all ages, as well as a rental space. Both activities will support CPRD’s growth and financial stability. Diverse talent across Denver will have access to the New Studio A space to collaborate and rehearse. This multi-use space will allow CPRD to create, teach, and convene talent for many years to come.

CPRD New Studio A Rendering

Our Future

A new 25,000-square-foot expansion will connect to our existing Historic Shorter Facility landmark, establishing CPRD as a cultural anchor in Denver and the Rocky Mountain Region.

  • Providing More Space

    The new wing will allow for a better experience and room for program growth. CPRD will now serve an additional 12,000 Theatre patrons, 2,500 Academy students, and 3,000 on-site Arts-in-Education participants.

  • Celebrating Black Culture & History

    This new campus expansion elevates a space that celebrates Black American culture and history. CPRD’s vibrant Creative Campus is home to nearly 30 arts organizations and is a critical resource for those organizations whose leadership is more than 50% BIPOC. Our entire community’s level of art will rise to new levels!

  • Anchoring the CPRD Legacy

    The new wing anchors the CPRD legacy as one of our region’s leading arts institutions, as a tourist destination, and as an arts hub welcoming all in.

Helping Our Communities Thrive


CPRD serves an average of 80 area schools each year, by providing students with cultural arts and movement outreach programming during or after their school day. Our education programs infuse arts into the curriculum to help ignite a truly unique learning process.


CPRD Academy teaches more than 60 movement classes a week for dancers of all ages, including an Academy training track. We also partner with the Metro State University Bachelor of Arts in Dance program to offer a mixture of dance and academic rigor. Our International Summer Dance Institute (ISDI) teaches students over a dozen dance genres with visiting artists from around the Globe. Instruction ranges from PreK through Middle School and from Global Kids’ Weeks to Pre/Professional training.


The Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble is internationally esteemed. The performance has been seen by over 2,000,000 fans throughout our 25 Colorado performances and 10-city national tour each year, as well as some international tours. The Ensemble has exclusive United States rights to dance works by quintessential African American dance icons spanning the past 100 years.


The CPRD Theatre is a 240-seat arts incubator leased to nearly 30 arts organizations from around the world who develop, rehearse, perform, and present their work. The CPRD Theater also holds community meetings and is a local hub for presentations, debates, and wellness outreach, and is ADA accessible.


CPRD Arts-In-Wellness (AIW) programs work with underserved communities to provide cultural outreach and health education. Our programs are part of our commitment and advocacy for Health Equity in Colorado, and beyond, through Arts and Dance. We work to encourage civic engagement practices which recognize multicultural community roots and promote active participation in the community.

Current Funding Partners: Colorado Health Foundation, Centura, Caring For Denver
Current Partner: Farley Health Policy Center

CPRD Expansion Timeline

December 2021 – Cleo Parker Robinson Dance purchases and becomes holder of the title to the existing land and building at 119 Park Avenue West — the Historic Shorter Facility that was once the region’s oldest African American church.

May 2023 – CPRD reaches a 75% milestone of hard cost project funding. A public announcement of project is made along with a ground blessing.

Spring 2024 – Anticipated start of groundbreaking and construction.

2025 TBD- CPRD Expansion Grand Opening. All expanded programming will begin.

Contact Us

For more information, please contact Hillary Harding, VP of Development & Communications, at hillary@cleoparkerdance.org or Malik Robinson, President/CEO, at malik@cleoparkerdance.org.

How You Can Help

The Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Campaign for the Future would not be possible without the many people who have helped us meet our milestones. CPRD is STILL FUNDRAISING! Our campaign goal continues to fund this project so we can continue as a cultural anchor in our community and Rocky Mountain Region. Donations of all sizes are welcome, just as all are welcome at Cleo Parker Robinson Dance!

Gifts can be paid over multiple years. More information about our Aya and Sankofa Societies for giving are below.

CPRD can receive gifts of stock and donations over $250. Please contact hillary@cleoparkerdance.org to inquire about what may qualify for tax credits.


Aya Society

Aya Society

In the West African Akan language, Twi, the word Aya represents an Adinkra symbol that means “fern” and is representative of endurance, resourcefulness, and defiance against oppression. Our Aya Society is a group of vibrant, diverse, resourceful, and forward-looking individuals who contribute $100,000 or more to the CPRD Campaign for the Future, our Capital Campaign. Our esteemed Aya Society receives unique benefits for its support of the CPRD Campaign for the Future.

Sankofa Society

Sankofa Society

The Sankofa Society is our second giving society for gifts of $50,000 and up to $100,000. From the West African Akan tribe in Ghana, the Sankofa symbol is based on a mythical bird flying forward with its head turned back. The Akan believe the past serves as a guide for planning the future — knowing from where one comes as one proceeds. The Sankofa Society was founded in 2019 and launched the CPRD Campaign for the Future with donor commitments ensuring the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance legacy survives — and thrives.

Our Village Of Support


Aya Society $100,000 +

Boettcher Foundation
Bonfils-Stanton Foundation
CDS Funds
City of Denver
Colorado Health Foundation
Colorado Trust
CPRD Board of Directors
Curt Fentress-Fentress Architects

Denver Housing Authority
Gates Family Foundation
Hal and Ann Logan
James and Kathryn Kaiser
Jane and Skip Netzorg
Judith Wagner
Lisa Hogan
Lisa Levin Appel

Maude Lofton
Mellon Foundation
Mile High United Way
Mortenson Construction
State of Colorado OEDIT Revitalization Funds
The Chambers Initiative
The Mosby-Tyler Family Fund
Tina Walls


Sankofa Society $49,000 to $99,000

arc Thrift Stores and Lloyd Lewis
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck
Daniel Ritchie
Dr. Brenda Allen
El Pomar Foundation
Gary Community Ventures
Grace Family Foundation
Dr. Jandel Allen-Davis

Mark Falcone and Ellen Bruss
Martin Willie
Nina Sohn
Pam and Duke Hartman
Paul Washington
Dr. Renee Cousins King
Robert and Judi Newman
Sean and Audra McNicholas

Amy Harmon
Shirley Harrison
Sidney Frank Foundation
Tom and Cleo Robinson
Toni and Abasi Baruti
Vectra Bank
White Family Foundation