$495,000 Granted to 32 Colorado Artists and Organizations in Accelerated Second Round of Arts in Society Funding

Denver, CO (August 13, 2020) – The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) announced today that grantees have been selected for an accelerated second round of funding in 2020 through the Arts in Society Grant program, which is funded in part by OEDIT’s Colorado Creative Industries division. After considering over 200 applications, the review panel awarded 32 Colorado artists and organizations a total of $495,000 in funding.

Arts in Society supports the integration of arts and culture into multiple disciplines critical to the health and well-being of Coloradans, whether it be a dancer working within a hospital system to bring awareness to nurse burnout and compassion fatigue or a coalition of community organizations using art to engage neighbors in participatory budgeting. The program funds collaborations across Colorado, bringing together artists and professionals from a wide variety of non-arts sectors to positively impact social justice and community welfare through empowering community-based initiatives. This latest round of funding has been accelerated in response to the devastating effects of COVID-19 on Colorado communities and will help to increase community resiliency through the arts. 

Over the last four years, the Arts in Society grant program has provided over $2 million to projects that engage arts organizations and artists as partners in illuminating and finding solutions to a wide array of civic and social challenges faced by Colorado communities. This year’s second round of 2020 grantees will receive project funding between $7,500 and $25,000, in addition to professional development training through a community learning program. Awardees represent a diverse group of individual artists and activists, arts organizations and nonprofit organizations. 

“We are delighted to join other funders and partners to advance funding opportunities for artists, arts organizations and nonprofit organizations at the intersection of arts, education and social justice,” said Margaret Hunt, director of Colorado Creative Industries. “While Colorado Creative Industries has been providing grants to organizations for over 50 years, this collaboration with other funders allows us to expand our reach by leveraging state funding with foundations and arts partners to have an even greater impact at this critical time.”

Arts in Society, administered by RedLine Contemporary Art Center, is funded by the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, Hemera Foundation, Colorado Creative Industries, Scientific and Cultural Facilities District – SCFD, The Colorado Health Foundation, and Denver Arts & Venues.

2020 Arts in Society Grant Recipients

5Point Film – 5Point Film Youth VOICES Project
Carbondale, Colorado

To work with under-represented Garfield County High School students to create an original, student-driven, collection of autobiographical short films that explore and share with the world unique stories and perspectives.

International Institute for Indigenous Resource Management – 17th Annual Indigenous Film & Arts Festival
Denver, Lakewood, Boulder, Colorado

To produce the 17th Annual Indigenous Film and Arts Festival, which showcases artwork and films by and about indigenous peoples, and creates awareness of indigenous issues/perspectives through traditional and modern storytelling.

Emily von Swearingen – Accessible Arts for the Deaf and Blind Communities
Denver, Lakewood, Littleton, Colorado

To create inclusive and engaging virtual arts programming for youth and adults who experience deafness or difficulty hearing and blindness or low-vision.

Emancipation Theater Company, LLC – Art Allies: Using Performance to Change the Narrative of Poverty and Homelessness
Denver Metro Area, Colorado

To involve individuals experiencing poverty and housing instability in the power of the arts, and to facilitate conversation about inequities in our systems with the community by engaging participants in a series of creative expression workshops facilitated by professional teaching artists.

Delta Montrose Youth Services, INC. – Art Partners
Delta, Cedaredge, Hotchkiss, Montrose, Ouray, Paonia, Ridgeway, Colorado

To match at-risk youth interested in the arts with adult creatives in a year-long structured and supported mentoring relationship in western Colorado.

Museum of Friends – Artists & Veterans Work Project with 3-D Design for Community Development
Walsenburg, Colorado

To create jobs and educational opportunities through the arts and enhance community development by using 3-D printing, CAD design, and new forms of technology and action.

Phamaly Theater Company – Corona-Vox: Tales from the Front
Denver, Colorado

To create performances based on interviews with essential workers about what Covid-19 has been for front-line workers – the good, the bad, the touching, the torturous.

Think 360 Arts for Learning – Creative Generations: Connecting Older Adults and Youth in Rural Colorado
San Luis Valley, Colorado

To promote cognitive and social-emotional health by bringing together youth and older adults in rural San Luis Valley communities to collaboratively create public art.

No Credits Productions and the Center for African American Health – Destination Freedom Black Radio Explores Health Disparities
Denver, Aurora, Colorado Springs, Colorado

To help empower communities to overcome the root causes of health problems by producing a podcast and discussion series that shares stories of how the Covid-19 Pandemic has affected Black, Brown, Asian, and Indigenous communities.

Mancos Creative District – Expansion of “The West” in SW Colorado: Ute Mountain and Southern Ute Culture, Art and History Represented Publicly in Mancos
Mancos, Colorado

To facilitate collaboration between the Mancos Creative District, the Ute Mountain Ute and Southern Ute Tribes to plan and design a Public Art installation in Mancos representing and honoring Ute People and Culture.

D3 Arts – Full Circle
Denver, Colorado

To pilot a 12-step substance abuse program incorporating traditional cultural and artistic practices into the healing process.

Motus Theater – JustUs: Stories from the Frontlines of the Criminal Justice System
Boulder, Denver, Colorado Springs, Colorado

To collaborate with formerly incarcerated leaders to create autobiographical monologues exploring the injustice, bias, and violence within the criminal justice system, including COVID-19 threats faced by incarcerated people.

Chicano/a Murals of Colorado Project – La Alma Community Mural Project
Denver, Colorado

To pay homage to the Civil Rights Movement in Colorado and celebrate Colorado’s unique Chicano mural tradition through the creation of a monumental and collaborative narrative mural in the La Alma neighborhood.

Pop Culture Classroom – LEAD (Literacy Education in Adolescent Detention) With Comics
Denver, Colorado

To provide incarcerated high schoolers with art and literacy instruction and an opportunity to create their own comic about a story of personal transformation through a 12-week pilot of LEAD With Comics at Gilliam Youth Services Center, an adolescent detention center near downtown Denver.

Colorado Black Arts Movement – Montbello FreshLo Culture Hub Development
Montbello Neighborhood, Denver, Colorado

To engage with community members in the development and implementation of a performance and cultural space in the Montbello Neighborhood.

Vintage + Roshni – New American Stories
Aurora, Colorado

To provide an after-school program that uses the performing arts to help Aurora-based refugee and immigrant students tell their own “new American” stories.

El Sistema Colorado – Pathways to Excellence for young Musicians of Color
Denver, Colorado

To create a pathway for skilled young musicians of color to access Denver’s performing arts community.

Handsome Little Devils – Project Joy Bomb
Statewide, Colorado

To produce a series of socially-distanced, art-based activations throughout Colorado with the goal of boosting morale, encouraging social mask-wearing, and helping to make staying at home a little more enjoyable.

Gregg Deal – Punk Pan – Indian Romantic Comedy
Fort Collins or Denver, Colorado

To produce an immersive performance piece to tell the story of modern Indigenous existence, Indigenous identity, Indigenous social issues, and Indigenous futurism.

Western Colorado Writers Forum, Postvention Alliance – Re-Building Community
Grand Valley -Grand Junction, Fruita, Palisade, Colorado

To provide arts-based workshops, a community Poetry Slam, and an art exhibit based on the theme “Why I Have Hope.”

Theatre Artibus – RECIPE SHARED
Denver, CO

To improve quality of life for Denver’s seniors, while preserving stories of Eastside neighborhoods and communities.

Mirror Image Arts – Restorative Theater
Golden, Colorado

To provide a 24-week program for incarcerated youth that builds acting and storytelling skills and empowers youth to tell the stories of their lives behind walls.

Warm Cookies of the Revolution – Rural/Urban Civic Artist Fellowship
Loveland, Yuma, Fort Morgan, Fort Collins, Colorado

To create a Rural/Urban Civic Artist Fellowship composed of civic artist fellows that will work with their own local communities to adapt and explore the Civic Health Club style of organizing.

EcoArts Connections – Si Se Puede
Boulder, Colorado

To offer OASIS (Opportunities in the Arts, Social Justice, Inspiration, and Sustainability), a program co-created through a collaboration with, for, and by Latinx youth and adults living in and around San Lazaro Park Properties.

University of Denver Prison Arts Initiative – Sojourn: An Art-Journal
Statewide, Colorado

To provide the opportunity for incarcerated artists to create literary and visual art while on COVID-19 lockdown, helping them connect to friends, family, and loved ones on the outside.

Museo de las Americas in collaboration with Latina SafeHouse – SOMOS/WE ARE
Denver, Colorado

To create special programs and an exhibition that will bring awareness to and promote dialogue around the rising domestic violence rates during the COVID-19 pandemic and the barriers the Latinx community faces in an increasingly discriminatory political and social environment.

Lighthouse Writers Workshop – Stories of Immigration
Denver and Aurora, Colorado

To provide writing workshops to undocumented immigrants recently released from detention that will help them to write their stories and process their experiences as they move to establish a new life in this country.

Combat Apathy – The 400 Project
Breckenridge, Frisco, Dillon, Silverthorn, Vail, Eagle, Minturn, Red Cliff, Avon, Alma, FairPlay, Colorado

To engage mountain communities in the conversation of anti-racism through youth programming that will provide BIPOC artist mentoring, resulting in storytelling, podcasts, small-scale art projects, and a final public mural.

Vocal Coalition – UNSTOPPABLE: A Hip Hop virtual youth choir featuring The ReMINDers
Denver, Colorado

To connect 6th-12th grade youth across urban and rural Denver, El Paso, Huerfano, and Pueblo counties in musical collaborations with The ReMINDers to create a series of virtual choir music videos that will encourage people to persevere, to love others and themselves, and to never stop pursuing liberation for all people.

Access Gallery – Visiting Artist Series
Denver, Colorado

To provide artist mentorship for youth with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD) when transitioning into adulthood, with the purpose of reducing isolation due to Covid-19, creating a body of artwork, and showcasing final artworks in a culminating gallery show/virtual exhibition.

Jessica Kahkoska – Wild Home Community Book
Paonia, Colorado

To create, through collaboration between artist Jessica Kahkoska, North Fork Valley Creative Coalition, and Citizens for a Healthy Community, a community-authored book that will feature theatre scripts, advocacy tools, ecological information, community testimony, and illustrations from artists in the community capturing the experience of the North Fork Valley community in their fight to protect their home from oil and gas development.

Block 1750 – Youth Empowerment through Hip Hop and Dance
Boulder, Colorado

To build on existing relationships with Attention Homes, Justice High, Boulder Prep, and the City of Boulder’s Youth Services Initiative to inspire, educate, and empower youth to create new and lasting connections through hip hop and dance.