In Denver, Su Teatro and VFW Post 1 to Receive Funds
DENVER - The Colorado Creative Industries (CCI) division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) announced today that community revitalization projects in Paonia, Silverthorne, Grand Lake, and Denver, Colorado have been selected to receive Community Revitalization Grants (CRG).
Among the recipients are Su Teatro, a Santa Fe Arts District institution that celebrates the cultural arts, heritage, and traditions of the Chicano/Latino community, and VFW Post 1. The first and oldest Veterans of Foreign Wars Post in existence, VFW Post 1 is one of the largest and most active veterans organizations in the United States.
“The Community Revitalization Grant program is about so much more than preservation. It helps infuse new life into celebrated community institutions across Colorado, elevating the creative industries and supporting each community’s unique economic development goals,” said Program Manager Sarah Harrison. “By combining elements like affordable housing, tourism, retail, and community spaces, the five projects receiving these Community Revitalization Grants demonstrate how mixed-use public funding contributes to the creation of a Colorado economy that works for everyone.”
The CRG program is intended to help revitalize community spaces in creative districts, historic districts, main streets and neighborhood commercial centers across Colorado through mixed use development. To date, it has funded 53 projects in 29 counties. The grant application window has closed, and the remaining awards are expected to be announced early 2023.
The five most recent recipients are:
Grand Lake Community House - $86,000
Grand Lake, CO
The Community House is a 101-year-old, state-designated historic structure that is the heart of the Grand Lake community and is owned by the Town. For almost 40 years it served as the home of the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre until the organization moved to a new home. The goal of this project is to reestablish the Community House as a venue for wintertime productions to include movie nights, potluck dinners, community dances, musical entertainment, and educational lectures. These activities serve the local community as well as attract more visitors during the off season.
Silverthorne Art Spot - $300,000
The Town of Silverthorne will repurpose and revitalize the old fire station as a welcoming community gathering space, arts hub, and artist makerspace. The project will bring the fire station back to productive use while creating a dedicated space for local artists and community members to come together to work, create, collaborate, and share ideas. This project will include an initial investment in equipment and supplies such as pottery wheels, two kilns, painting and drawing supplies, metal working supplies and woodworking equipment, as well as miscellaneous items such as shelving, free standing light fixtures, and worktables. By increasing the number of people that visit downtown, the amenity will support surrounding businesses and strengthen the local economy by creating jobs, attracting investments, and generating tax revenues through consumer purchases and tourism.
Su Teatro - $500,000
Su Teatro owns the building formerly known as The Denver Civic Theater, in the Santa Fe Arts District. The building was purchased in 2010 and was an important reclamation in Denver’s oldest and most significant Chicano Barrio. With the Community Revitalization Grant, Su Teatro plans to expand the facility and complete building upgrades, including a new three-story facility that would provide additional rehearsal, meeting, and classroom spaces. The new facility will also allow for the development of retail space, studio space and even affordable housing. The proposed project will create multiple economic drivers and a hub for communities of color in the city.
The Learning Council - $650,000
The Learning Council (TLC) is completing an artistic, educational center in the heart of rural Paonia, Colorado. The project provides job opportunities for local youth and will create a community center in downtown Paonia. The space will include a co-working space for collaborating nonprofits, commercial kitchen to support food equity projects, an ice cream parlor that will be a teen-run business, a portal to TLC’s educational, cultural, and advocacy work, and a multi-use indoor/outdoor gathering space for community events. The nonprofits who will work out of the building include Arts for All, agricultural classes, TLC Kitchen, Health and Vitality Council, Delta County Coalition for Advocating Radically Equitable Spaces, and the Paonia Bike Co-Op. The Hearth Community Center (Hearth) will revitalize both the downtown and create a sense of community for the Town’s residents.
VFW Post 1 Phase II - $150,000
VFW Post 1 is a 122-year-old, all-volunteer Veteran Service Organization that is renovating its Veteran Community Center/Veteran Art Gallery to update life and safety code requirements, expand its existing programs and offer new programs. The proposed Phase II improvements include the installation of an elevator and new staircase, structural work on the interior and exterior walls of the second story, repairs to the exterior brick and stucco, installation of energy efficient windows, and improvements to ensure the building can support the weight and load of their historic 1940s neon sign. The Post is host to First Friday Art Walks, National Veterans Creative Arts Festival, Art Therapy, and an Artist in Residence Program. Additional offerings at the completed site will include health and wellness, career counseling, coordinating Veteran job fairs with local employers, and more.
About the Community Revitalization Grant Program
The Community Revitalization Grant (CRG) program is intended to help revitalize community spaces in creative districts, historic districts, main streets and neighborhood commercial centers across Colorado. Grants are awarded to projects that combine several uses, such as creative industry workforce housing, commercial spaces, performance space, community gathering spaces, child care centers, and retail partnerships. The projects must also focus on economic recovery and diversification by supporting creative sector entrepreneurs, artisans, and community non-profit organizations. Initially funded by the State of Colorado, the Colorado Economic Development Commission allocated an additional $16.5 million of federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to continue the program. All CRG projects are evaluated by a panel review process overseen by CCI and the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA).
About Colorado Creative Industries
Colorado’s Creative Industries Division, Colorado’s state arts agency, is a division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. Established to capitalize on the immense potential for our creative sector to enhance economic growth in Colorado, the mission of Colorado Creative Industries is to promote, support and expand the creative industries to drive Colorado’s economy, grow jobs and enhance our quality of life. oedit.colorado.gov/colorado-creative-industries
About Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade
The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) works with partners to create a positive business climate that encourages dynamic economic development and sustainable job growth. Under the leadership of Governor Jared Polis, we strive to advance the state’s economy through financial and technical assistance that fosters local and regional economic development activities throughout Colorado. OEDIT offers a host of programs and services tailored to support business development at every level including business retention services, business relocation services, and business funding and incentives. Our office includes the Global Business Development division; Colorado Tourism Office; Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office; Colorado Creative Industries; Business Financing & Incentives division; the Colorado Small Business Development Network; Cannabis Business Office; Colorado Office of Film, TV & Media; the Minority Business Office; Employee Ownership Office; and Rural Opportunity Office. Learn more at oedit.colorado.gov.