Denver - Senators Fenberg and Buckner as well as Representatives Lontine, Titone, and Benavidez, representatives of the Colorado Creative Industries (CCI) and other state Democrats will celebrate on Thursday the initial four Community Revitalization Grant recipients.
Wonderbound, a contemporary ballet company located at 3824 Dahlia St. in Park Hill, received one of the grants and will host the event at 12 p.m. on Thursday, October 7.
Participants also celebrated the other three initial recipients -- FreshLo in Montebello, the St. Cloud Hotel in Cañon City and Space to Create in Ridgway, Colorado.
Established by SB21-252, the Colorado Community Revitalization Grant provides gap funding for projects in creative districts, historic districts, main streets or neighborhood commercial centers. These grants will support projects that combine a variety of mixed-use elements such as 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.
“I’m thrilled to see that the Community Revitalization Grant Program is already helping breathe new life into Colorado communities hit hard by the pandemic," said Steve Fenberg, Colorado Senate Majority Leader. "Creative centers and community spaces are anchors of culture in our communities and are the very places that make our Colorado cities and towns so unique. I’m extremely proud of the support we are able to offer through this grant program and I look forward to watching these projects transform their communities.”
"I am excited to see investment into the arts and culture of Park Hill and for Wonderbound to have this opportunity," says Representative Leslie Herod of House District 8, where Wonderbound is located. "Stability is important when providing programming for underserved populations, and the Colorado Community Revitalization grant funds will help re-imagine what possibilities are available to our communities not only here in Denver, but across the state."
Wonderbound will use their Community Revitalization Grant to refurbish their new home located at 3824 Dahlia Street, Denver, CO. The warehouse space was previously the artist studio of renowned sculptor and Denver icon, Ed Dwight. Wonderbound’s home will serve as a base of operations that includes a 250-seat flexible theater, two rehearsal studios, offices, a scenic shop and a costume shop, and will enable the organization to offer its innovative creations to broad audiences. Wonderbound will also have the capacity to provide its programming for underserved populations through its Community Education Programs and Pari Passu program, which serve underserved youth and individuals experiencing homelessness, respectively.
“As President of Wonderbound, I speak for the entire organization when I express our deepest gratitude to all State Legislators, Colorado Creative Industries, committee members and Margaret Hunt for their incredible generosity,” said Dawn Fay, President of Wonderbound. “We are truly honored and greatly humbled to be a recipient of funding through the Colorado Community Revitalization Grant. This wonderful support will enable Wonderbound to renovate its space to create a permanent home and provide long-term stability for the organization.”
Other grant recipients
FreshLo Hub, managed by the Montbello Organizing Committee (MOC) is a community-driven and supported mixed-use project carefully designed to address the critical workforce housing deficit, missing healthy food options, and cultural arts goals of the diverse Montbello neighborhood. The Hub will feature 97 affordable apartments; a healthy foods grocery store and nutrition education center; several
small community retail spaces; offices for community-based non-profits; and a two-story cultural arts wing run by Colorado Black Arts Movement dba FreshLo Arts. The cultural arts center will feature a black box theater, performing and presentation venues, and recital/rehearsal spaces. The Hub will bring the first family Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) development to the historically underserved Montbello
The Ridgway Space to Create is a new construction, mixed-use, affordable rental housing project in historic downtown Ridgway. The project will serve creative workforce individuals and families earning between 30% and 80% of the area’s average median income in one and two-bedroom units. It is the first project of its kind every awarded low-income housing tax credits in Ouray County and will address decades of built-up demand for affordable housing in Ridgway and greater Ouray County. The Town of Ridgway is also a project partner, and will also operate a ~2,000 square foot community amenity space on the ground floor, serving a variety of uses for gathering, display, performance, and commercial uses.
The St. Cloud Hotel in Cañon City will offer a new standard in the hospitality sector by focusing on customer service, meaningful human connection, and the creative arts.
The hotel was historically a film set for silent-era films and was the first hotel with electricity in the state. Unbridled, the developer for the St. Cloud Hotel, is restoring several buildings to forge a positive future for the City by advancing creative industries and the hospitality industry. Their restoration of the historic Post Office serves as the Fremont Center for the Arts, where they created workspaces for artisans. Their Annex Ballroom Building is home to a farm-to-table restaurant where local artists display their works and musicians share their talents.
CCI, a division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, is managing the grant process. "We're delighted to see the types of transformative projects applying for these grants,” said Margaret Hunt, Director of Colorado Creative Industries. “The arts have always been a catalyst for economic development and we are seeing this becoming more true with each project.”
The Community Revitalization Grant is still open, and shovel-ready, mixed-use projects that advance the creative industries are encouraged to apply.