COVID-19 Arts & Culture Relief Fund Awards $1.2 Million in Grants

November 4, 2020

Denver’s COVID-19 Arts & Culture Relief Fund awards 41 organizations with emergency funding, totaling $1.2 million in support. On the cover: Performers from Roshni, local organization and COVID-19 Arts & Culture Relief Fund grantee.

Bonfils-Stanton Foundation and The Denver Foundation just announced the first round of applicants to receive emergency funding from the COVID-19 Arts & Culture Relief Fund. As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout Colorado, the arts & culture organizations are witnessing a dramatic, unexpected loss in revenue unlike anything seen in our lifetime.

A report just prepared by Colorado Creative Industries estimated a loss of 32,000 jobs and $823 million in revenue between April and July statewide for the music, theatre, dance and visual arts industry – which includes both the nonprofit arts sector and for-profit companies like music venues and art galleries.

“We are heartened to have had other donors join us in supporting the COVID-19 Arts & Culture Relief Fund, and to have been able to help many struggling cultural organizations with this group of critically-needed grants,” says Gary Steuer, President & CEO of Bonfils-Stanton Foundation. “However, it is also clear that this support is not sufficient to fully address the challenge of sustaining our vitally important and diverse cultural sector through this difficult time, so we look forward to making another round of support available later this year, and hope more donors will join us in this effort.”

Bonfils-Stanton Foundation committed $1 million toward the COVID-19 Arts & Culture Relief Fund and The Denver Foundation, which is administering the fund, donated $50,000 to the cause. Other donors to the fund at $25,000 or more are Denver Arts & Venues at $205,000; Gates Family Foundation at $100,000; R C Kemper Charitable Trust at $50,000; the Anthony and Delisa Mayer Foundation at $50,000; the JFM Foundation, also at $50,000; Cranaleith Foundation at $50,000; Create Boulder at $40,000; Rose Community Foundation at $25,000; Hemera Foundation at $25,000; and Hal and Ann Logan at $25,000. Smaller individual donors also played an important part growing the fund giving donations ranging from $15 to $15,000.

“The organizations that received first round support from the COVID-19 Arts & Culture Relief Fund are fueled by creative thinkers who know that the arts have a unique power to build connections, bring people together, and help our community through a difficult time,” says Javier Alberto Soto, President and CEO of The Denver Foundation. “Artists do so much more than enhance the vibrancy of Metro Denver; they are problem solvers who will help us reimagine the future of our community. The Denver Foundation is proud to support this fund and we encourage our foundation peers to join us.”

Here are the 41 organizations receiving support from the COVID-19 Arts & Culture Relief Fund:

Access Gallery

Art from Ashes

Art Students League

Boulder Ballet

Boulder Community Broadcast KGNU

Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art

Chicano Humanities and Arts Council Inc.

Children’s Museum of Denver

Cleo Parker Robinson Dance

Curious Theatre

D3 Arts

Dairy Center for the Arts

Denver Art Society

Denver March Powwow, Inc.

Filipino American Community

The HadaNou Collective for Vocal Coalition (VoCo)

Harmony – A Colorado Chorale

Latino Cultural Arts Center

Levitt Pavilion

Centro Cultural Mexicano dba Mexican Cultural Center

Mirror Image

Morrison Theater

Motus Theater

Museo de las Americas

Open Studios

Ovation West

Phamaly Theatre Company

Platte Forum

Pop Culture Classroom


Rocky Mountain Arts Association

Rocky Ridge Music


Studio Arts Boulder

Su Teatro Performing and Cultural Arts Center

Swallow Hill

The Word Storytelling Sanctuary

Think 360

Vintage Theatre

Warm Cookies of the Revolution

Youth on Record

Grant awards range between $5,000 to $50,000 per organization, with the goal of injecting much-needed revenue to keep organizations afloat during the public health crisis.

“We are so thankful for Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, The Denver Foundation and other donors who supported the COVID-19 Arts & Culture Relief Fund. This grant is a critical part of the lifeline that will get Swallow Hill to the other side of this pandemic,” explains Paul Lhevine, CEO of Swallow Hill Music. “During our closure, we have committed ourselves to bringing the vibrancy and robustness of our programs to virtual platforms, from concerts and classes to our community outreach endeavors. The grant makes it possible for us to create virtual programs as a fully integrated part of the Swallow Hill community and music experience.”

Many visual arts organizations have started admitting visitors on a limited time admission basis, which includes Denver Art Museum, Museum of Nature and Science, Museum of Contemporary Art Denver and Museo de las Americas. Virtually all performing arts organizations and facilities remain closed with no projected opening date. It’s also important to note that while many organizations have been able to offer some online programming, most are free-of-charge and organizations are investing in producing content without the benefit of earned income.

In order to do a second round of grants through the COVID-19 Arts & Culture Relief Fund this fall, Bonfils-Stanton Foundation and The Denver Foundation continue to ask the public for additional support and donations. For any lover of the arts, it’s easy to donate through a quick form on The Denver Foundation’s website.