The IMAGINE 2020 Fund will provide up to $5,000 in funding support for new, creative and innovative programs inspired by one or more of the seven vision elements outlined in the cultural plan and that further develops Denver’s creative landscape. Eligible applicants can apply for programs that are new or in development since the launch of the IMAGINE 2020 Cultural Plan (Spring 2014).

Learn more about Denver’s Cultural Plan, IMAGINE 2020 and help us to develop new solutions and programs that will help to implement our goals and Seven Vision Elements: Integration, Amplification, Accessibility, Lifelong Learning, Local Talent, Economic Vitality and Collective Leadership.

Call for proposals: June 25 – July 27, 2018
Submission deadline: 5 p.m. on July 27, 2018
Award Notification: August 2018
Funding and Implementation: September 2018 - December 2019

Proposals indicating collaboration among multiple groups are strongly encouraged. The following are eligible to submit an application:

  • City agencies, cultural institutions, businesses, entrepreneurs, civic leaders, neighborhood and community-based organizations and individuals in the City of Denver
  • Businesses or organizations located outside of the City and County of Denver may participate through collaborative partnerships or support with the above but may not directly apply for funding


  • The IMAGINE 2020 fund provides up to $5,000 per program
  • Eligible applicants can apply for programs that are new or in development since the launch of the IMAGINE 2020 Cultural Plan (Spring 2014)
  • Demonstrate a 1:1 or more match of resources including volunteer labor (valued at $20/hour), donated materials, or cash 
  • Programs must take place in the City and County of Denver
  • Programs must take place in the calendar years 2016-2017
  • Program must have a project director that will initiate, plan, implement and track impact of the program 
  • Projects can be independent or collaborative and reflect the applicant’s unique interpretation of the cultural plan
  • Proposals indicating collaboration among multiple groups are strongly encouraged
  • Applicants will promote, advocate and help to implement the IMAGINE 2020 Cultural Plan and brand (logos, materials, etc.)

IMAGINE 2020 funding may be used to cover expenses directly related to the project, such as the following:

  • Personnel: Project management costs including such roles as project manager, volunteer coordinator, community organizer
  • Program Development: Pre-planning, development of program details
  • Supplies and materials: Advance supplies or materials to support the creation of the program

Activities that are not tied directly to program objectives including:

  • Programs that have restricted participation and public access on the basis of race, gender, creed, origin, age, disability
  • Expenses incurred outside of the funding period
  • Maintenance, operation, or retroactive funding of existing projects
  • Re-granting
  • Fundraising activities
  • General organization or business operating expenses 
  • Cash reserves and endowments
  • Food and beverage

A selection committee comprised of Arts & Venues staff and representatives from the Commission on Cultural Affairs will review all proposals. The following factors and criteria will be used in the selection process. Please note the percentage in which each area will be weighted.

  1. Direct Application and Activation of the IMAGINE 2020 Vision Elements (25%): Clear explanation of how the artistic, creative or cultural program incorporates one or more of the vision elements from the IMAGINE 2020 Cultural Plan. Special weight will be given to those who tie their program directly to an IMAGINE 2020 goal and specifically explain how the goal will be achieved through the program.
  2. Collaboration (20%): Indicate how the program will require and/or encourage partnerships among different entities and show collective leadership. 
  3. Program’s Impact (20%): Evaluation methods, both qualitative and quantitative that support evaluating the program’s impact on the community and anticipated goals for the project reach. 
  4. Creativity, Artistic Quality, Scope & Merit (20%): Proposals should be innovative, well-defined, goal-oriented, and show artistic excellence. 
  5. Program and IMAGINE 2020 Promotion (15%): Clearly articulated plan for how the program will be promoted in a way that supports advancement of the IMAGINE 2020 Cultural Plan and brand while gaining exposure for the participating organizations/individuals.

Through multiple phases of the project, IMAGINE 2020 Fund recipients will be required to provide project evaluations that include expense reporting, project documentation (photographs, video and/or literary), related press, and an assessment of whether the fund’s objectives are being met and how the project is successful, including number of people impacted through the project.


  • All projects require a funding agreement between the applicant and the City of Denver. Generally, awarded groups must fulfill any award conditions and be ready to contract within 30 days of the award approval date.
  • INSURANCE & LIABILITY COVERAGE: General Liability insurance coverage may be required by all applicants in order to contract with the City of Denver. The general liability policy must state minimum limits of $250,000 per occurrence and in the aggregate.  You may include the cost of insurance in your budget if it relates specifically to the project.
    Executive Order 101 states: 2.2 Solicitation Requirements. As a condition of responsiveness to the solicitation, all contractors and consultants must complete and return the Diversity and Inclusiveness in City Solicitations Information Request Form for inclusion in the evaluation of their responses to City solicitations. 
  • ACCESSIBILITY: Applicants should consider how their programs and services are accessible to individuals with disabilities. This includes access accommodations for both the project and programs. These design standards shall be based on the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and can be found at Assistance can also be found by contacting the Denver Office of Disability Rights; 720-913-8485

Applications for the IMAGINE 2020 Fund must be submitted online no later than June 16, 5 p.m. with required documentation including:

  • Details for individual/organization/business leading the program and identified project manager
  • Program description, timeline, goals, execution and evaluation process
  • A clear marketing plan that indicates expected reach & community inclusiveness 
  • Upload W9 for lead applicant
  • Upload program budget
  • Completed Diversity and Inclusiveness Form

Staff Contact:
Lisa Gedgaudas, Program Administrator, Create Denver
[email protected] 

Denver Commission on Cultural Affairs & Selection Committee:
Rick Tallman, Business Executive, Renova Capital Partners, DCCA Chair
Stephanie Blake, Owner, Blake Communications, DCCA Co-Chair
Anthony Aragon, Boards & Commission, Mayor’s Office
Rachel Basye, Executive Director, Art Student League of Denver
Jayne Buck, VP Tourism, Visit Denver
Kyle Chism
Joe (Josh) Comfort, Real Estate Development
Ann Daley, Curator, Captiva Resources
Jennifer Evans, Community Volunteer
Kate Greeley, Emily Griffith HS Principal
Rick Griffith, Owner, MATTER
Leslie N. Herod
Sarah Kurz, VP Policy and Communications, LiveWell Colorado
Mary Louise Lee, First Lady, CCD
Bobby LeFebre, Poet, Performer, Cultural Worker
Evi Bacharach Makovsky
Michael Mowry, Mowry Studio
Chandler Romeo, Artist
Maruca Salazar, Executive Director, Museo de las Americas
Margie So Hoo Lee, Architect, Soo Hoo Design Associates
R. Tony Smith, Marketing & Operations Director, Cherry Creek Arts Festival
Maren Stewart, CEO, iQu Strategies
Derrick Velasquez, Artist, Tank Studios LLC, Yes Ma’am Project
Bobbi Walker, Walker Fine Art
Nancy Walsh, Director of Museum Programs, Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Dustin Whistler, Forte Commercial Real Estate