Arts in Society Grant

Program Summary

The Arts in Society Grant funds projects that help arts organizations and artists find solutions to civic and social challenges facing Colorado communities. You can apply for $5,000 to $35,000. The grant provides both financial and organizational support.

Grantees will:

  • attend learning community meetings where you will meet other grantees from across the state during the first year of funding to build a support network and share resources and expertise
  • have a mini-documentary made highlighting your work
  • participate in evaluation processes that measure and help to illustrate the impacts of the arts in cross-sector projects
  • have your work promoted through Arts and Society marketing channels including Facebook, Instagram, and a blog

This grant does not require matching funds. You may request the full cost of a project. If funded, your project may receive less money than you requested, and you would need to adjust the scope of work to reflect lower funding.


Type: Grant

For: Creatives, nonprofit organizations, universities, schools, and government agencies

Amount: $5,000 to $35,000 per project

Application period: July 1 - September 1, 2023

OEDIT division: Colorado Creative Industries

You do not need to be an arts organization to apply for the grant. We encourage applications from individual artists and from non-arts organizations. This grant is for Colorado:

  • artists
  • activists
  • nonprofit organizations
  • universities and schools
  • government agencies
  • human service groups
  • neighborhood organizations
  • healthcare organizations

When you apply, you need to:

  • be a nonprofit or an individual residing in Colorado or work with an organization in Colorado
  • have an arts idea that engages a social issue
  • have a project in which artists, organizations, and a target community work together to address a problem or social justice issue

Eligible projects

Project timelines cannot be longer than 24 months. This grant does not fund capital projects such as a facility renovation or construction. Examples of past projects include:

  • a dancer working in a hospital system to bring awareness to nurse burnout and compassion fatigue
  • a community organization coalition using art to engage neighbors in participatory budgeting
  • the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment working with artists to communicate the priorities of its public health improvement plan

RedLine Contemporary Arts Center manages the application process. Applications open every summer. The application deadline is typically in September.

You may submit as many letters of interest as you wish. However, each letter should be for a different project. We encourage you to submit your strongest ideas.

Application and funding timeline 

Summer 2022 Applications open for letters of interest
December 2022 Awards are distributed

Selection process

This is a competitive award program, and not all applicants receive funding. We seek projects that:

  • illustrate artistic excellence
  • broaden the understanding of the role arts play in society
  • demonstrate cross-sector work
  • exhibit cultural relevance
  • engage the community
  • present opportunities for shared learning

Judging panels review applications on:

  • artistic excellence and merit – How is excellence of the artist’s work and/or artistic process demonstrated? Is there a quality artistic output as a result of the project? In judging artistic excellence, we refer to Animating Democracy's Attributes for Excellence in Arts for Change.
  • relationships – What are the relationships to community, to partners, to artists, or others involved? How authentic are these relationships? Are multiple sectors included?
  • intent and viability – Is the scope of this project realistic? Is the intended outcome viable? Are the right partners engaged?
  • relevancy – How does the application demonstrate the need for the project? Is the approach informed by the community?

Award distribution

Awards are distributed in December of the year you submitted your final proposal. You will determine the timeline to complete your project. Projects must be completed within 24 months of receiving funding. 

You need to include a Colorado Creative Industries logo in all announcements and promotional materials and publicly credit Colorado Creative Industries at any public events related to your grant-funded program and activities.  Recipients may also use the current National Endowment for the Arts logo if desired.

You need to submit a final report about how you met your organizational and project goals and the community impact of the activities. Final reports need to include a financial report for the funded activity clearly showing how you spent the money, numbers of people and communities served, and numbers of artists and youth the project engaged. Grant recipients who do not submit final reports are ineligible for further Colorado Creative Industries funding.

As a condition of the grant, Colorado Creative Industries requires the recipient of public funds to comply with all state terms (PDF) and federal terms (PDF). All material submitted regarding application for grant funds becomes the property of the State of Colorado and is subject to the terms of Colorado Revised Statutes 24-72-201 through 24-72- 206, Public Open Records. The State of Colorado has the right to use any or all information/material presented in reply to the Announcement, subject to limitations for proprietary or confidential information. Disqualification or denial of the application does not eliminate this right. Any restrictions on the use or inspection of material contained within the proposal shall be clearly stated in the proposal itself. The contents of the application will become contractual obligations if the project is funded.

Colorado Creative Industries can withhold, reduce, or cancel awards if a grantee:

  • misses deadlines for reports
  • does not notify the Colorado Creative Industries of significant management changes or instances of fraud or embezzlement
  • fails to comply with the grant award requirements
  • demonstrates inadequate financial management and oversight
  • does not properly credit support from Colorado Creative Industries

Colorado Creative Industries requires recipients of public funds to comply with all state and federal laws and regulations, including but not limited to:

  • Fair Labor Standards – Meet requirements for minimum wage and working conditions.
  • Nondiscrimination – Statutes prohibite discrimination on the basis of age, race, sex, color, creed, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, ancestry or marital status.
  • Audit – All applications accepted for funding become official records of the State of Colorado and are subject to an audit. Colorado Creative Industries requires open access to accounting records for award funds spent for the purpose of audit examination, reference, or transcription.
  • Drug-Free Work Place – Comply to the extent applicable with the Drug-Free Work Place Act of 1988.
  • Fair Language – To comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, grant recipients need to take adequate steps to provide language assistance so people with limited English proficiency can meaningfully access programs, activities, and services.
  • Access for People with Disabilities – Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities. All events funded by Colorado Creative Industries need to be accessible to people with disabilities including visual, hearing, mobility, and learning impairments. If you have questions about the Americans with Disabilities Act, contact Access Gallery at 303-777-0797.

Grantee agrees to send a letter to their state legislators, informing them of the importance of state funding. 

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