The Pluses and Minuses of Getting on the Pot Train

Sunday, June 17, 9:00 am - 10:30 am

Colorado was the first state to legalize recreational cannabis. Since retail sales began in 2014, the state has pulled in almost half a billion dollars in new revenue generated through sales tax. While the majority of revenue is supporting public schools, homelessness and substance abuse programs, it is creating a ripple effect of opportunities and challenges in the arts community. From tapping into new audiences by pairing classical music with recreational cannabis to contributing to diverse funding streams in cultural districts, learn how legalized cannabis is creating new opportunity in the arts.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn about the challenges and opportunities created for the arts community through legalized cannabis.
  2. Hear innovative ideas for developing new arts audiences through cannabis-centered events.
  3. Explore how new revenue from retail sales of cannabis is (and is not) financially benefiting arts, culture, and creative districts.



Christy Costello
Program Manager
Colorado Creative Industries
Denver , Colorado

Christy Costello is a Program Manager at Colorado Creative Industries, the state arts agency located within the Office of Economic Development. She manages the Colorado Creative District program, annual Creative Industries Summit and serves as accessibility coordinator. Her background includes museum collections management, non-profit fundraising and event management. Christy teaches courses for the DU University College Arts Management program. She is a graduate of the Colorado Creative Industries Change Leader program, Colorado Business Committee for the Arts (CBCA) Leadership Arts and serves on the CBCA Leadership Arts Alumni network committee.

Ivar Zeile
Founder / Director
Denver Digerati
Denver, Colorado

Ivar Zeile is the founder of Denver Digerati, initiated in 2011 as an entity specializing in digital imaging applications for LED screens as a new and dynamic form of public art. Central to the initiative is Supernova Outdoor Digital Animation Festival, an annual event hosted by Arts and Venues Denver and the Denver Theatre District in the heart of downtown Denver. The Denver Theatre District's LED infrastructure is unique to any other city in the country, supporting a mandate to enhance the urban core through a dynamic arts presence. Digerati's vast curatorial depth cultivates a singular, worldwide network of leading artists and animators, including local innovators, in support of multi-faceted programming. A full project history is available at

In 2001 Zeile founded Plus Gallery, one of Denver's most prestigious and celebrated contemporary art operations previously located in RiNo. Zeile served as a member of the Denver Mayor's Commission for Cultural Affairs from 2006 though 2011, and in the last decade as a board member for a variety of art-related non-profit groups in Denver including PlatteForum, the Denver Art Museum's DAM Contemporaries, RedLine and the Invisible Museum. Prior to moving his visual-arts based focus to Colorado, Zeile worked independently in film and video, including a decade on staff with the Sundance Film Festival. Additional creative history spans diverse design platforms such as graphic, industrial, trade-show and interpretive museum design.

Chris Zacher
Executive Director
Levitt Pavilion Denver
Denver, Colorado

Chris is a champion for live music that is accessible for all. He is credited with the sustainability and overwhelming popularity of City Park Jazz, serving as Vice President and President from 2006 - 2014. Since 2012 he’s led Denver’s effort to create the new Levitt Pavilion at Ruby Hill Park.

In 2013, Chris was recognized by the Denver Business Journal as one of Denver's "Forty Under 40" for his commitment and leadership to Denver's non-profit community. He was named one of the Four Most Influential People in Denver Entertainment in 2014 by In 2015, Chris was honored with the inaugural Cultural Leadership Award from the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts.

Chris has worked most recently as a partner with Zebra Incorporated specializing in non-profit consulting. Chris has a vast amount of experience in accounting, budgeting, crisis management, contracting, community outreach and fundraising.

"Chris Zacher’s leadership has been critical to getting this unique public/private partnership off the ground, and his continued enthusiasm and energy will be critical to its success." Says Jolon Clark, Denver City Councilman District 7. "We will have a unique cultural asset with the Levitt Pavilion at Ruby Hill, but we’ll have it only because we already have a unique cultural asset in Chris Zacher."

Amy Andrle
L'Eagle Services
Denver, Colorado

Amy Andrle is one half of L’Eagle Services. Along with her husband John, Amy has positioned L’Eagle as one of Colorado’s most respected and highly lauded cannabis dispensaries, leading the industry by championing organic cultivation methods, responsible pesticide use, sustainable business practices and strict industry compliance.

Prior to working in the cannabis industry, Amy--who holds a graduate degree in nonprofit management--was an executive at a cultural art organization, where she gained an appreciation of cooperative compliance and collaboration. Today, in addition to being a mother and running day-to-day operations for L’Eagle, Amy contributes her time to the City of Denver’s Cannabis Sustainability Work Group and serving as a council member for the Denver County Cultural Council. Amy is also a founding board member of the Cannabis Certification Council, and she provides consulting services for legal marijuana companies looking to improve sustainability in their operations.