The Colorado Community Revitalization Grant provides gap funding for projects in creative districts, historic districts, main streets or neighborhood commercial centers. This grant will support creative projects that combine creative industry workforce housing, commercial spaces, performance space, community gathering spaces, child care centers, and retail partnerships for the purpose of economic recovery and diversification by supporting creative sector entrepreneurs, artisans, and community non-profit organizations.
For grant requests over $100,000, the awarded funding amount will not exceed more than 50% of the total costs of the project. Grants will be capped at a maximum of $5 million per project in order to distribute the funds broadly. Projects that are specifically designed for artist live/workspace may be eligible for grants higher than $5 million, not to exceed more than 50% of the total project cost.
Funding amounts will be based on these factors:
- total project cost
- other sources of secured permanent funding
- gap amount needed for the project
This funding initiative was enacted in Senate Bill 21-252. Colorado Creative Industries and the Colorado Department of Local Affairs are managing this grant program.
To be eligible, you will need to be an individual that represents one of these organizations in Colorado:
- local government
- special districts
- creative districts
- historic districts
- Main Street Program participants
- school districts
- business improvement districts
- urban renewal authorities
- downtown development authorities
- nonprofit and for-profit business entities
Successful projects serve as a catalyst for a community’s commercial center and should meet your area's goals, strategies, and plans for development. Projects can be created through new construction or renovation of existing buildings and should celebrate the artistic or historic character of the community, provide infill development and/or elimination of blight, and increase property values. Projects that include the following may be prioritized:
- be a creative mixed-use space that includes workforce housing units
- have a high level of community engagement in response to community needs
- show strong evidence of being able to attract additional sources of funding and broad support from local governments and surrounding communities or neighborhoods
- stimulate economic recovery and economic diversification
- demonstrate an ability to commence work within a reasonable amount of time
- meet basic energy efficiency standards
The project can also include other types of uses such as:
- mixed-use commercial
- cooperative/shared work studios
- community space
- space for nonprofit organizations
- child care
- health care
Priority will be given to projects:
- that have the highest degree of project readiness for immediate construction or renovation of buildings
- with significant leverage of other funds
- that address economic challenges such as economically disadvantaged communities, economically challenged groups, economic diversification of the local economy, business and/or resident attraction or retention considerations
- that are located in creative districts, historic districts, main streets and commercial centers
- that include a mix of uses and align with community goals and priorities
- that include energy efficiency measures
Grant funds cannot be used for general operating expenses or developer’s fees.
The application process consists of a pre-application, full application, and panel review. All rounds of funding are on a rolling basis.
The application process is:
- Verify your eligibility by reading through the guidelines carefully.
- Submit a short pre-application in the Colorado Creative Industries Grant portal. Review the Colorado Creative Industries Grant Portal Instructions for support navigating the grant portal.
- If your pre-application qualifies, you will be invited to submit a full application. Prepare your application materials by filling out this Colorado Community Revitalization Grant Application Materials (DOCX). This document includes all narrative questions.
- Submit your full application in the Colorado Creative Industries Grant portal.
- Full applications will be reviewed by a panel.
Applications will be accepted until all available funding is committed. Applications will be reviewed by a group of subject matter experts, selected based on the elements of the project and as outlined in the legislation, which may include housing, commercial, retail, health, energy efficiency, tourism and outdoor recreation, child care, regional representatives from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, OEDIT rural prosperity representatives, historic preservation specialists, and business funding and incentives specialists.
The following criteria and weights are used by reviewers to evaluate and rank proposals:
- Project readiness (25%)
- Community buy-in (25%)
- Project features (25%)
- Financial information (25%)
Grant funds are intended for statewide distribution. Program managers and the review panel will have the discretion to approve projects to ensure the geographic diversity of funds. The review panel may request local government prioritization if multiple applications are submitted from a single jurisdiction or community. There are guiding principles for receiving multiple applications from the same county or municipality.
Grantees will be required to provide any requested information by Colorado Creative Industries for reporting to the state legislature on the use of funds by way of an annual final report to be completed in the online grant portal. Grantees will be required to submit project status reports on the use of the grant funding as stipulated in the award letter. You will need to return funds if the project is unable to proceed due to funding restrictions or other factors that prevent the project from being completed.
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. 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). Any 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 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 prohibit 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.