Creative District Leadership

Denver's Art District on Santa Fe

    Creative District Leader

Jack Douglas Pappalardo is the long-time president and driving force behind award winning Denver’s Art District on Santa Fe, a Colorado nonprofit corporation (the “Art District”).

In 2012 the Art District won a highly competitive state-wide vetting process to be designated a “Certified Creative District” by the Colorado Creative Industries, a division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.  The Art District won the 2012 Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, Entrepreneur category.

Mr. Pappalardo came to Denver as Vice President, Canadian Counsel for Denver based Quiznos Corporation.  Jack joined the Denver law firm Otten Johnson’s award-winning commercial real estate practice group in 2004 and is now establishing his own law practice specializing in retail and office leasing and development, contracts, licensing and other transactions for businesses and individuals.

Mr. Pappalardo transformed the Art District by reestablishing relationships within the community and creating new partnerships with influential organizations. The Art District has grown from 12 members to over 60 and includes creatives such as art galleries, artist studios, theatres, state college visual arts center, restaurants, coffee shops, designers, fabric botique, branding and marketing companies, architects, lawyers, martial arts, dance and yoga studios, micro‑brewery and a distillery. The monthly “First Friday” art walks in the Art District are legendary with up to 8,000 patrons enjoying art in the 40–plus galleries and artist studios that stay open late the first Friday of each month.  Travel+Leisure magazine and CNN named the Art District one of the “Top 5 New Art Districts in America.”

Under Jack’s leadership the Art District grew through programs such a professional web site,  active social media, hotel TV, streetscape improvements, banners and blue LED lights delineating the Art District boundaries.  The Art District has enhanced Denver with exhibits at Denver International Airport, Buell Theatre, Sheraton and Westin hotels and Denver’s 16th St. Mall.

Since 2008 Jack has served as a mayoral appointee on the Create Denver advisory board, an economic development division of Denver’s Arts and Venues with a mission to vitalize Denver’s for profit and nonprofit creative organizations and individuals.  Jack frequently lectures to real estate professionals and creative organizations on his expereince leading the Art District to national prominance and sits on a local task force to gain infrastructure improvements for the Art District and surrounding neighborhood.

Jack and his wife Georgia Amar, a life-long artist and visionary for the Art District, have owned and operated Georgia Amar Fine Art, LLC and lived in the Art District since 2003.   /

Tel: (303) 807-2674 (c); E-Mail:

A finder of solutions and consensus.

An innovative leader in arts, nonprofits, law and community redevelopment.  Excels in setting and achieving goals with vision, common sense and compassionate understanding of all sides of an issue.


-Juris Doctorate, Syracuse University College of Law.  Dean’s Honors.
- Master of Public Administration, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse
- B.A., Sociology, Stony Brook campus of the State University of New York.  Nominee for Outstanding Community Service Award.  Dean’s Honors.


Denver, Colorado, 2004-present

Led a community redevelopment effort spearheaded by the arts along the Santa Fe Drive “Gateway to Denver” corridor.  This nonprofit group of interdependent creative businesses and organizations has grown from 12 members to over 70 under my leadership and is a nationally recognized leader for organically developed art districts. The Art District enjoys one of the nation’s largest First Friday Art Walks with up to 8,000 attending monthly and has set the standard for creative districts in Colorado.

Colorado Creative Industries has designated the Art District as one of two Certified Creative Districts in the State of Colorado

Responsibilities as President
- Coordination and planning with the Colorado Creative Industries and Create Denver in connection with the state’s certified creative district designation.
- Develop bench‑mark economic statistic gathering methodology to gauge success of certified creative district designation
- Prepare written quarterly reports to CCI on Art District progress
- Participates in 5-year planning for the Art District
- Retain and supervise Art District paid consultant
- Retain and coordinate artists, landscape architects and designers for Art District projects
- Leadership and inspiration to Art District members and the general public
- Manage a board of directors consisting of 10 creative business professionals
- Leads monthly Art District member meetings and board meetings
- Work with State, City and County of Denver departments such as Colorado Creative Industries,     Community Planning, Public Works, Arts and Venues, Create Denver, District police and local elected officials in connection with the Art District and its neighborhood
- Acts as Art District spokesperson with local, regional and national press
- Coordinate with local maintenance district for the “clean and safe” aspect of the Art District.
- Drafts Art District bylaws
- Procured D&O and commercial liability insurance
- Initiated and manages the Art District’s free First Friday tour-guided shuttle coach

Other Activities as President:
- Write grant applications and seeks sponsorship money and partnerships
- Work with treasurer on organization’s budget, funding and spending
- Co-organizer of new 16th St. Mall Festival of the Arts (September 2012) with DTD, DDP and BID
- Formed a new Task Force to initiate major infrastructure improvements to the Art District and surrounding residential area, including a connection to RTD light rail station at 10th and Osage St.
- Member of Arts and Venues Create Denver advisory board from inception in 2008 to present Create Denver’s strives to strengthen the overall health and vitality of Denver by supporting the growth and development of the creative sector, including individual artists and creative enterprises such as film, music, art galleries, art districts, fashion and graphic design.
- Lecture and consult on art gallery business and growth of creative and business districts.
- Member of Visit Denver’s Cultural Tourism Committee and Marketing Advisory Committee
- Committee whose goal is to engage visitors while supporting Denver’s cultural climate
- Plan and coordinates events such as First Friday Art Walk, Arts Week events, music events, street‑closures, permitting, signage, banners and street-scaping
- Plan, support and activate citywide events such as Denver Arts Week, the 2010 Denver Biennial of the Americas, all towards making Denver the Creative Capital of the Rocky Mountain Region.
- Support Denver Theatre District with art content for LED screens and local “kick-starter” to energize the creative community.
- Initiate new partnerships and relationships with local organizations and individuals

Denver, Colorado, May 2003 to present
Executive director and co-owner with wife and international artist Georgia Amar

1st year member of the Art District and has won awards and recognition for original and exemplary fine art exhibits under the artist direction of wife Georgia Amar.

The gallery conducts art classes for all ages and exhibits art from local school children.  One such class provided the art and inspiration for a healthy-diet cookbook for Children’s Hospital in Denver, Colorado.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, May 1993-1997
Executive director and co-owner with Georgia Amar


- Workshop entitled Artist/Gallery Relationship: Legal and Ethical Considerations presented at Create Denver Week and Create Denver fall workshop series, Denver, 2011
- Panelist – ULI study on creating an innovation district for “The Hill” near C.U., 2011
- Panelist – Colorado Creative Industry talk on creative districts, in the Art District, Denver, 2010
- Local and national press interviews and coverage regarding community work with Art District including USA Today, Comcast Headliners-CNN Headline News, FOX 31, CBS4 Denver, KUVO, KGNU, Untitled Art Show, Denver Post, Denver Business Journal, Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News, Travel+Leisure, Desert Living Magazine and Colorado Public Radio
- Panel Speaker at Rocky Mountain Real Estate Expo Creating a Sense of Place, 2008
- Judge for Colorado Business Committee for the Arts Workplace Awards, 2008
- Prepared and presented a workshop on working with conventions and visitors at the inaugural Create Denver Week, Denver, 2008


Denver, Colorado, 2009-present

Serving the legal and business needs of developers and small businesses, including leasing, contracts and corporate documents and counsel.  Represents real estate developers, galleries, artists and restaurateurs.

Denver, Colorado, of counsel, 2004–2009

A member of Otten Johnson’s prestigious commercial real estate practice.  Experience includes extensive retail and office leasing, negotiation and preparation of development and reciprocal easement agreements for shopping center development, and condominium declarations for mixed-use projects.  Clients represented include Broe Properties, Jonathan-Rose Companies, Granite Properties and Vail Resorts.

Denver, Colorado, VP and Associate General Counsel for Canadian Operations, 2002-2003

Managed the day-to-day legal issues for Quiznos’ Canadian restaurant sites under a two-year management agreement with the Master Franchisor for Quiznos’ Canadian operations.  Prepared and negotiated leases for 200-plus new restaurant locations in Canada and the United States.

Atlanta, Georgia, Of Counsel, 1998-2002

AK&L was a nationally recognized law firm consisting of over 70 attorneys in offices in Atlanta, New York, Chicago and Phoenix.  AK&L now practices as Hartman, Simons & Wood in Atlanta.

Representation of regional shopping center developers from initial planning and assemblage of parcels through the preparation of ground leases, options to purchase, Construction, Operating and Reciprocal Easement Agreements and extensive leasing of retail space to national and regional tenants.  Clients represented include Home Depot, PetsMart, North American Properties and GBT‑Nashville.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Associate, 1994-1997

Fine & Deo has a national reputation for its work in Condominium Law.
Co-counsel on the first class action and contingency fee lawsuit in the Province of Ontario.


- Denver’s Art District on Santa Fe, President 2004-2007, 2009-present; board member 2008
- Arts and Venues Denver, Create Denver Advisory Committee, 2008–present
- International Council of Shopping Centers, 1998-2009
- Canadian Condominium Association, 1996-1998
- American-Canadian Society, Toronto Chapter, 1995-1997


I have a special interest in astronomy and space exploration as my brother Bob is a Project Scientist for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, an author and leading scientist on Jupiter’s moons.

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