From basement to beacon

The future of Lafayette’s Arts HUB takes shape under new leadership

The cast of Beauty and the Beast at the Arts HUB in 2023. Credit: Bennet Forsyth

The Arts HUB in Lafayette recently ushered in a new era with the appointment of Andrew Krimm as executive director in March. Krimm, who previously served as executive director of the Boulder Symphony & Music Academy — where he nearly doubled ticket sales and tripled revenue, according to a press statement — brings a clear vision for the company’s future.

“My number one goal is to create an art space for all of Boulder County,” he explains. “This will expand our programming, donor base and arts support. The Arts HUB already has fantastic visual art and theater programming, so I want to grow that while expanding the music program.”

Krimm’s ambition to enrich the Arts HUB echoes the goals set by the organization’s early leaders. The company’s story begins in December 2006 at a Louisville holiday art market, when Lori Jones — a community member whose educational background includes a focus on nonprofit administration — recognized what she saw as an opportunity to help a community in need of creative expression. 

Following the success of her art pop-up downtown, Jones began searching for a space to run classes and arts-related programming. Originally known as the Art Underground, this grassroots effort quickly gained traction at its first location in a basement in downtown Louisville.

“As the classes increased, we expanded — it was a very natural development,” Jones recalls. “We started with only one art room, a dance room and an office, but we were able to expand to over five rooms in five years.”

Show me the money

By 2012, a larger home was necessary to continue the Arts HUB’s mission. While Jones and her team were committed in Louisville, logistical challenges drove them to search for alternatives. After considering six options in Louisville, a board member recommended they look into Lafayette, where they decided to build a 14,000-square-foot facility at 420 Courtney Way in 2015.  

The $3 million move was financed through a low-interest loan from an anonymous private donor, along with fundraising efforts and community grants. Jones says they secured the land for around $250,000, but the project’s budget skyrocketed due to rising construction costs. She says they only survived because the organization secured “the lowest interest rates possible” and attracted supporters to its new location when it opened the following year. 

Tim Gillies
After leading the Boulder Symphony & Music Academy, Andrew Krimm was named the new executive director of Lafayette’s Arts HUB in March. Courtesy: The Arts HUB

“We had already invested so much money in building this location that failure would have meant the end of the organization,” Jones says. “Most of our clients moved with us from Louisville to Lafayette, and we drew more people from Broomfield, Longmont, Denver and Boulder. There was just more potential in Lafayette to reach more people.” 

The new space included a 195-seat theater, multiple art and dance studios, and outdoor areas for community festivals, boosting their capacity to host a wider range of events. However, just as the Arts HUB was hitting its stride, the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Jones had planned to step down that year but stayed on to stabilize the organization before board member Melissa McGowan took over as interim executive director in 2022. 

“Melissa took on a hero’s journey and helped secure the future of an organization that was floundering due to pandemic-related issues,” says Arts HUB board chair Christine Berg. “We are thrilled to have Andrew [Krimm] on board; he has the fundraising experience to take us to the next level.”

Currently, the organization operates on a $800,000 annual budget, which Krimm describes as “small but mighty,” adding that they “do a lot” with that money. Between August 2022 and August 2023, the venue hosted nearly 11,000 people at its youth and adult shows.  

In addition to its classes, which served more than 1,200 students last year, the Arts HUB offers scholarships to low-income students and collaborates with local organizations such as Alicia Sanchez Elementary and Lafayette Youth Spaces. These efforts are supported largely by ticket sales and class fees, with a smaller portion funded by grants and donations.

“We have the opposite problem as most other arts organizations,” Krimm explains. “Our budget is primarily funded by programming, so we need to balance out donations and grants.”

‘Growth phase’

Looking ahead, Krimm emphasizes a balanced growth strategy, aiming to increase donor support while maintaining strong educational programming. He hopes to strengthen community ties, build an outdoor stage to host a summer music program and raise enough funds to ensure that financial barriers do not prevent anyone from enrolling in classes.  

Amid these developments, the Arts HUB is gearing up for the final production of its current season, Rent, in June. Starting in the fall, the organization says it will shift to a production model that prioritizes fewer but more impactful shows.  

“We are in a growth phase, so we thought a three-show season for adults would be more sustainable,” says Mekenzie Rosen-Stone, director of theater programming. “Our fall show is The Prom. Rather than announcing the season, we will go show by show to ensure we are producing the right shows for our audiences.”

The upcoming programming and planned expansions at the Arts HUB aim to further its longtime mission of enriching the local cultural landscape. With ambitious plans for the future, Krimm summarizes the journey and path ahead.

“There is no shortage of art in the area, but there is a scarcity of art space in Boulder County,” Krimm says. “Many people have tried to build performance spaces here, but most have failed. The Arts HUB can serve as a space for people to express themselves, perform and do their art.” 

For more on the Arts HUB’s upcoming productions, classes, camps and more, visit


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here