Colorado Creative Industries, a division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT), announced today that 20 grantees have been awarded $300,000 in American Rescue Plan funding through round 1 of the Colorado Creative Corps ARP grant. This funding initiative is supported through Colorado’s partnership agreement with the National Endowment for the Arts.
Colorado’s largest and fastest-growing creative industries, including music, theater, dance, and visual arts, have been among the hardest hit by the impacts of COVID-19. Estimates are that between April and July 2020, creative industries as a whole lost 59,600 jobs and $2.6 billion. The estimated losses contracted the region’s creative economy by 31% in terms of employment and 8% in annual sales revenue.
Arts, culture and entertainment play a key role in Colorado’s economy with higher than average industry growth in all regions of the state from 2010-2019. Creative Industries generated $31.6 billion in sales of goods and services in 2019. This figure represents 4% of all goods and services sold within the state, more than mining or transportation.
“Colorado’s arts, culture and entertainment industries play a critical role not only in our economy, they provide power of expression and engagement with members of our communities. This is especially important during challenging and stressful times in people’s lives,” said Colorado Creative Industries Director Margaret Hunt. “The Colorado Creative Corps ARP grant offers direct funding to individuals to support employment opportunities for artists impacted by COVID-19.”
The Colorado Creative Corps ARP Grant provides funds to individual artists for specific, definable projects that connect artists and organizations to local initiatives. Funded by the American Rescue Plan (ARP), a total of $500,000 is dedicated to supporting employment opportunities for artists impacted by COVID-19 through this funding by building new structures and partnerships that will help to sustain Colorado’s creative sector.
Applications are evaluated by a panel using a standardized rubric based on community engagement, impact, partnerships, and artistic excellence, and artistic merit. Grant awards are one-time flat amounts between $2,500 to $25,000. Grant amounts are determined based on the submitted budget and scope of the project.