Arts Street got its start in 1995 as a program of Denver’s Office of Workforce Development. The program was designed to help high risk youth channel their artistic talents, creative ideas, and natural curiosity into professional activities that offer real world employment experience. The success of this program was recognized in 2004 when it received the Coming Up Taller Award, presented by Laura Bush. The same year, city funding for the program ran out, and Friends of Arts Street was created as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization to fill the void left when the city’s Arts Street program was dissolved. In the years since its founding as an organization, Arts Street has touched the lives of thousands of at risk youth in Denver and played an important role in changing lives for the better as a result of the arts education and employment programs.