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Arts and Culture Grants Applications Open for 2021

The City of Boulder’s Office of Arts and Culture along with the Boulder Arts Commission is now accepting applications for the 2021 Cultural Grants Program.

A total funds of $869,750 is available for 2021 and will be distributed to the community. Those who should apply are organizations, individuals, and classrooms as well as, those in charge of community projects and arts education projects.

“The arts continue to be critical to life in Boulder,” said Boulder City Councilperson Junie Joseph. “I believe that our city’s economic and social wellbeing is tied to how we stay connected and support each other through these challenging times. Cultural and creative experiences are a big part of making that happen. It makes me proud that we will be able to continue supporting our artists and cultural nonprofits through the Arts Commission’s grants program. This funding will have real, positive implications for the thousands of workers in the arts sector.”

Boulder is home to a great number of artist and is one of the top concentrations of artists in the country. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that artists, performers, and cultural workers make up over 3% of Boulder’s workforce. However, the pandemic and recession continue to have a huge negative impact on the arts community. A study just released by Colorado Creative Industries and Colorado State University shows that state-wide, the creative sector of the economy has suffered losses of more than 59,000 jobs and more than $2.6 Billion in industry sales since the start of the pandemic.

The Cultural Grants Program began in 2016 and is evolving to be responsive to the current pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal is an equitable distribution of resources throughout the community in a way that encourages collaborations and supports economic and social recovery. In 2021, the Cultural Grants Program will support artists and arts organizations by:

  • Continuing the multi-year awards to cultural nonprofits for a total of $747,700 to 37 Boulder-based organizations for operating support. General operating support funds bolster the sustainability of the community’s cultural organizations – a priority of the city’s Community Cultural Plan – through multi-year operational funding that continues in 2021.
  • Fund community projects and arts education projects to over 20 individuals and organizations.
  • Provide scholarships to at least 14 individual artists and cultural leaders for workshops, training, and conferences.
  • Respond to city-wide budget reductions and focus the remaining funds on programs that are most impactful during the pandemic. Several grant categories will be put on hold in 2021 including rental assistance and field trip funds.

A full list of former grant awardees can be found at boulderarts.org/grant-awards. Applications are available in English and Spanish. Those interested in applying for grants should visit boulderarts.org for more information or contact Lauren Click at [email protected]. Information sessions on the 2021 process will also be held, please visit boulderarts.org/events for details.

Media Contacts:
Annie Zaruba, Media Relations, 720-822-9529
Lauren Click, Grants Coordinator, 720-564-2355

Published Nov. 19, 2020

Photo collage image credits top to bottom, left to right: Mug Hug project, a collaboration between Operating Support Grantee Circle of Care and the Boulder Pottery Guild; In process photo of mural, “Portrait of Sojourner Truth” by Jodie Herrera as part of Community Project Grantee StreetWise Boulder, credit Peter Kowalchuk; Lapidary class with Alex Boyd at the Operating Support Grantee Boulder Metalsmithing Association; Operating Support Grantee Boulder International Film Festival Local Singer/Songwriter Showcase 2019; Still from “Pooling”, a short film screened during the Operating Support Grantee Sans Souci Film Festival.