Spark Centennial

Spark Centennial graphic

Spark Centennial is a pilot program that aims to use the power of unforgettable experiences to grow revenue for local businesses, explore creative opportunities with shopping center owners, and spark wonder and connections among Centennial’s residents.

The City is assisting businesses in the development of unforgettable experiences to help “spark” interaction and connection in the community and bring new life to Centennial’s shopping centers. Check out these ongoing initiatives and adventures!

Spark Centennial’s Experience Accelerator

The Spark Centennial Experience Accelerator program pairs artists with businesses and businesses with artists to create unique offerings that enhance customer delight. 


74% of Americans prioritize experiences over products or things. Nationally, it’s estimated that consumers are spending $160 to $180 billion annually on experiences. In 2017, visitors to Colorado spent nearly $21 billion on experiencing our state. Welcome to the Experience Economy; an economy in which many goods or services are sold by emphasizing the effect they can have on people’s lives.

Program benefits include:

  • Opportunity to create and host artistic activations that enhance the customer experience.
  • Expand your for-sale offerings by pairing products with creative experiences.
  • Increase your sales through a collaborative marketing & PR initiative.
  • Technical assistance tailored to your specific experiential needs.
  • Connection into a network of creative talent.

What you can expect:

  • A six month program designed to help develop custom and unique experiences for your business.
  • Marketing and communications support to promote your experience offerings.
  • Monthly fireside chats with industry experts covering topics from legal to creative.
  • Tailored pairings that connect your business with artistic talent to enhance your competitive advantage.

Interested in learning more? Contact us.

Upcoming Workshops

Topics: Storytelling Workshop // Transforming Story into Experience // Art & Business Guest

April 16, 2021
10 a.m. — 11 a.m.
Guest: Linda Klein

Linda Klein is one of the many business artists who push-started what is now known as Denver's exploding Immersive Design Movement. She has sought-after expertise in comedy, experience design and IRL/UX (In Real Life/User Experience.) Labeled a hospitality empath, she has combined that with her exuberant curiosity to forge a career path that continually defies categorization. Read more at

Linda was the narrative designer for Room For Milly. The Denver Post reported, "Room for Milly is the future of Denver bars and restaurants . . . I’m not talking about a theme; the 20th Century can keep that trend. No, the change that’s happening now is more akin to artwork.”

Topics: Experience & Product Workshop // Hiring Artists // Curating Complimentary Offerings

May 14, 2021
10 a.m. — 11 a.m.
Guest: Vanessa Barcus

Vanessa Barcus is a Denver-based entrepreneur whose interests lie in the intersectionality of art, spirituality, community, activism, and sustainable fashion. Though probably best known for her long-standing LoHi boutique, Goldyn, which closed in 2018, Barcus’ other endeavors include her consulting practice, Creative Higher Intelligence, her jewelry line, Talisman Fine Jewelry, as well as a family farming enterprise for which she is the 4th generation owner. Barcus received her BA in Economics from Claremont McKenna College, as well as an MBA from Claremont Graduate University’s Drucker School of Management. Prior to opening Goldyn, Barcus began her career working for a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award-winning clothing brand, as well as work in marketing and branding with Denver-based agency Mighty Karma. On a mission towards self-actualization, Barcus enjoys meditation, forest bathing, yoga, dance, breathwork, walking, Qigong, photography, and goldsmithing.

Check back for updates on future topics.

View Past Workshops

Topics: Overview, Outcomes & Commitment // Transformational & Experience Economy // Examples // Storytelling

March 12, 2021
Guest: Linda Klein

Winter 2020

sample window for Spark event

Businesses at the University Towne Center located at University Boulevard and Dry Creek Road participated in a COVID-friendly holiday kickoff project, “With My Gnomies”. Residents could join the fun by bringing a cell phone to text with our friends, the Gnomies, who would send them on a short “gnomadic” adventure.

Creative products and adventures implemented by participating Centennial businesses and organizations were featured in a special artist-driven holiday window display at University Towne Center. The displays included a smart-phone based puzzle that led shoppers through a multi-stop tour of surrounding retailers. A secret light show was activated at the original window display when participants completed the journey.

This project sought to animate vacant storefronts, enable window shopping sales through QR code technology, support entrepreneurial activity, grow existing businesses, strengthen community connectivity and identity, and spark curiosity in the future of our shopping centers.

Nov. 2019

oh heck yeah game at southglenn

Spark Centennial has partnered with OhHeckYeah to bring a people-powered interactive game to The Streets at SouthGlenn throughout the holiday season. The video game engine, known as CATCHY: the Holi-play Edition, debuted at the shopping center’s popular Santa’s Arrival and Tree Lighting event November 22 across the street from where Hodson’s used to be. This experiential game is an extension of the Spark Centennial program’s continued goal of shopping center revitalization through creative placemaking and community wellness.

OhHeckYeah also had video game engines available at the Denver Botanic Gardens and Coors Field, and has worked with Arrow Electronics and Northeastern University as well, among others. A photo at the video games engine at The Streets at Southglenn is pictured at left. 

Oct. 2019

experience economy workshop flier

The City held a free business strategy workshop Oct. 22 focused on getting businesses ready to capitalize on the “experience economy." The workshop was intended for retailers, restaurateurs, and entrepreneurs.

The Experience Economy is one in which many goods or services are sold by emphasizing the effect they can have on people’s lives. Seventy-four percent of Americans prioritize experiences over products or things. Nationally, it’s estimated that consumers are spending $160 to $180 billion annually on experiences. In 2017, visitors to Colorado spent nearly $21 billion on experiencing our state.

Brian Corrigan of Futures United Network (FUN) and Downtown Colorado, Inc. led the workshop and taught participants how to create unique experiences that attract more customers and build a following.

August - September 2019


Streets at SouthGlenn's 10th anniversary concert

For its 10th anniversary, The Streets at SouthGlenn threw a multi-day celebration with the people who have made the outdoor shopping center their destination of choice. SouthGlenn pulled out the stops, doing everything from a Sip & Shop program to family fun days Aug. 31 and Sept. 1. The celebration included a bounce house, climbing wall, facepainting, balloon artistry and a caricaturist. 



August 2019

Smash Spark event image

SmashDEN partnered with Spark Centennial to host a 64-person Double Elimination Super Smash Bros Ultimate Singles tournament on Aug. 3.

June 2019

Rolling Smoke kick started summer with neighbors at their annual Blues, Bugs & BBQ Festival. The University Towne Center parking lot was filled with live blues music, a fresh crawfish boil and delicious BBQ on Saturday, June 15. Local talent Austin Young and Grammy-nominated blues guitarist Trenton Ayers provided the musical entertainment. Admission was free; food and beverages were available for purchase.

Your Spark Centennial pop-ups:

  • Spark Curiosity – by creating events people are interested in attending
  • Spark Connection – by inspiring people to interact in meaningful ways
  • Spark Pride – by developing a sense of belonging to the Centennial community
  • Spark Investment – by demonstrating what is possible for Centennial’s future