Colorado Dragon Boat Festival preview performance at Sculpture Park - Jonathan Phillips Photography


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DENVER COUNTY CULTURAL COUNCIL

The Denver County Cultural Council (DCCC) is the grant review council for Denver's Tier III Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD) funds. Each year, the DCCC reviews grant applications and determines the allocations to each qualifying Tier III organization. Thirteen and one-half percent of Denver County's total SCFD tax funds are distributed annually to local arts, cultural and scientific nonprofit organizations in Denver.  
 

2024 Grant Season
 

ABOUT SCFD

SCFD is the only cultural funding model in the nation that serves a region of seven counties and it is the second-largest cultural funding mechanism in the United States. One penny on every $10 in sales and use tax collected goes to SCFD who then supports nearly 300 cultural organizations across our seven-county Denver metro region, distributing more than $60 million annually. Visit scfd.org for more information. 

SCFD tax dollars provide critical operational support for small, medium, and large organizations. Funding is given out annually to qualifying organizations across three tiers of distribution.

Tier I

The metro area’s largest cultural organizations – Denver Museum of Art, Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Denver Museum of Nature & Science, and Denver Zoo – receive specific amounts determined by a funding formula set out in the SCFD statute.

Tier II

Regional organizations like the Arvada Center, Children’s Museum of Denver, and Butterfly Pavilion, qualify by reaching certain budget and attendance thresholds. They receive funding through a second formula laid out in statute.

Tier III

Counties that participate in the SCFD also make decisions about how the tax is spent. Each county receives a share of the tax collected. County Cultural Councils review applications and make recommendations for their county. Final approvals come from the board of county commissioners or city council and the SCFD Board.

DCCC MEMBERS

The DCCC consists of 11 voting members. Three are ex-officio, representing citywide organizations from DAV, Visit Denver and Denver Public Schools, and eight are community representatives selected from interested applicants. They each come with experience in arts, culture and/or history as professionals, volunteers, participants or in advocatory positions. Members commit 15 to 20 hours monthly during the annual grant review period (April - June).

Interested in Joining the DCCC?

We are often looking for new leaders to join as members term out. We strongly believe that the DCCC should reflect the racial, ethnic, social, demographic and geographic diversity and composition of the city. Open positions will be communicated here, through our social channels and newsletter.

DCCC Administration

TARIANA NAVAS-NIEVES
Director of Cultural Affairs, Denver Arts & Venues
tariana.navas@denvergov.org

DANA MANYOTHANE
Program Officer, Scientific and Cultural Facilities District
dana@scfd.org

Current Members

JOSÉ ROSALES

Chair & DAV Appointee
Jose, ArtistiCO Co-Founder and Executive Director, is a trailblazing millennial community leader with a passion for the performing arts and cultural advocacy fueled by his entrepreneurial spirit. As a community collaborator he partners with Colorado’s most prominent cultural leaders and organizations to bring unique and multicultural programming to Denver’s diverse landscape. His professional expertise in the public and nonprofit sectors has transcended his many accomplishments as a business entrepreneur, dancer, dynamic project manager, nonprofit expert and producer. He is most proud of his dance career as one of the few American principal dancers in the world-renowned Ballet Folklórico de México de Amalia Hernandez where he toured North America, Latin America and Europe for five years. Jose was recently awarded the 2021 EY New Wave Leadership Award from Colorado Business Committee for the Arts. He was appointed to serve on the Executive Council of the Denver County Cultural Council of the SCFD. Jose earned his master’s degree in Development and Program Management from the University of Denver and his undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado-Boulder. 

Suzi Q. Smith

Co-Chair
Suzi is an award-winning artist, organizer, and educator who lives in Denver, Colorado. She has created, curated, coached, and taught in Denver for over 20 years, managing the largest poetry festivals that Denver has seen to date. The author of poetry collections Poems for the End of the World, A Gospel of Bones, and Thirteen Descansos, Suzi is also a singer-songwriter, playwright, and multi-disciplinary creative. Her single 'Moments', in collaboration with Psy'Aviah, received International attention after being a finalist in the BBC's 'Next Big Thing' contest and she co-wrote and is featured on Flobots’ 2017 single, "Sleeping Giant". She was also a member of Lady Wu-Tang Clan, sharing stages with Raekwon and Ghostface Killah of the Wu-Tang Clan. Suzi co-wrote the plays How I Got Over: Journeys in Verse, and Where We Are From: Freedom is a Constant Struggle. As an organizer, Suzi has worked with arts and cultural organizations for over 20 years, in Denver and around the U.S. Her commitment to intersectional racial justice, creating safe(r) spaces for all marginalized peoples, and creating communities of care as well as policies and practices for transformative justice and equity are all key initiatives. As an educator, she has worked extensively with youth, serving as a Teaching Artist with Youth On Record, and as a coach of Denver Minor Disturbance Youth Poetry Slam, resulting in two international championships. Currently, she is Affiliate Faculty with Regis University’s Mile High MFA, Lighthouse Writers Workshop, and DU’s Prison Arts Initiative.

ANA VARELA

Secretary
Ana is working as a community interpreter, advocating for the creation of Spanish language materials as a Language Coordinator, and as the Outreach coordinator for Historic Elyria. Ana has had a long career in intercultural connection and community activism. She received her secondary education through an arts & music academy and later earned degrees in International Studies with Latin American and Caribbean emphasis and Chinese studies. While living in South Texas during the border crisis, she worked professionally as a paralegal for migrant minors seeking asylum and coordinated cultural festivals for the community. In 2019, Ana relocated to Denver - this dynamic, multifaceted city that she is honored to serve.

NEELIMA JOSHI

Executive Commitee Member

Neelima is an entrepreneur, community leader, curator, connector, and philanthropist. Neelima has worked in the finance sector for nearly 20 years, where she focused on mergers and acquisitions, capital raising (both private and public), and financial advisory services. Neelima is on the Board of Ideas Worth Sharing, which is the governing board for TedxChicago. She has participated in the curation and fundraising for TedxChicago events, and is passionate about sharing ideas and knowledge. She also seeks to raise dyslexia awareness, as well as other learning differences, to provide education access to all students. Neelima is a Colorado native, and loves spending time with her two children, husband, and dog. She is a graduate of Colorado College and The University of Chicago.

Adrienna Lujan

Adrienna is a Promotora and Executive Director of a holistic community based organization Sisters of Color United for Education (SOCUE). For over 20 years, she has been involved in community education, awareness and mobilization around culture, health disparities, human rights, food, media justice, HIV/AIDS and art as social justice. She has created multiple Art in Motion cultural wellness fairs that have provided healthcare, basic needs services, community education, on- site HIV and STI screenings, and cultural arts for over 10,000 participants. As the lead trainer for SOCUE, Adrienna has developed multiple holistic bilingual curriculums, being used by community health workers in Colorado, Kenya, Mexico and Guatemala. 

Bobby LeFebre

Bobby LeFebre is an award-winning writer, performer, and cultural worker fusing a non-traditional multi-hyphenated professional identity to imagine new realities, empower communities, advance arts and culture, and serve as an agent of provocation, transformation, equity and social change. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Huffington Post, The Guardian, American Theater Magazine, NPR, and Poets.Org. LeFebre co-founded a now transitioned award-winning nonprofit organization, Cafe Cultura, which was dedicated to utilizing poetry as a tool for youth literacy and educational and cultural development. Café Cultura used spoken poetry and community building to hold space for, center, and uplift marginalized voices—specifically Latinx and indigenous voices—across the Denver Metro area. In 2019, LeFebre was named Colorado’s 8th Poet Laureate, making him the youngest and first person of color to be appointed to the position in its 100 year history. Holding a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the Metropolitan University of Denver and a master’s degree in Art, Literature and Culture from the University of Denver, LeFebre is a Fellow of the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures Leadership Institute, the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures Advocacy Institute, and the Intercultural Leadership Institute.

Earl Parsons

Visit Denver Appointee
Earl is a tourism, marketing and events professional with a unique combination of agency and in-house experience. His background spans across live events and entertainment having worked for Live Nation, The Agency Group, San Diego-based KAABOO Del Mar and the Denver-based creative agency Motive. In his current role as Cultural Tourism Programs Manager with VISIT DENVER, he serves as one of the department’s liaisons to Denver’s rich and diverse cultural community and manages VISIT DENVER’s three annual local branding programs: Denver Restaurant Week, Denver Beer Week and Denver Arts Week. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication and Media Studies from Auburn University. A southeastern native who spent his earlier years living in Atlanta, Birmingham and Nashville, Earl has been in Denver since 2015 and enjoys all that the city and state of Colorado have to offer including hiking, camping, snowboarding, live music, performing arts, and Denver’s ever-growing food, beer and art scenes. 

Eric Golden

Denver Public Schools Appointee
Eric is an education administration professional with a unique combination of business experience and community engagement. In his role as Community Partner Program Manager for Denver Public Schools, Eric works with passionate youth professionals to bring quality out of school time activities to young people. He received his Bachelor's in Finance from Metropolitan State University of Denver. Eric is a Denver native and enjoys arts and culture. 

Samantha Franklin

Samantha Franklin (she/her) has over a decade of experience working at philanthropic and capacity building organizations. As Senior Program Officer at Ms. Foundation for Women, she moves funding and other supports to organizations led by women, girls, and gender expansive folks of color, advancing structural change and fighting for racial and gender justice. Prior to Ms., she served at L+M Development Partners as Director of Community Investment and at the Thomas Phillips and Jane Moore Johnson Foundation as a Program Officer. She currently serves on the board of Rainbow Heights Club, a support and advocacy program for LGBTQ+ consumers of mental health services. She also serves on the board of the Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum Foundation, which supports the Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum in its pursuit of a more just, loving, and inclusive world through music. Samantha is an enthusiastic singer who enjoys performing choral music. She holds a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's degree in social work. 

STEPHANIE SYNER

Stephanie has worked in the government sector for over 15 years. Stephanie currently works for Denver Health in Government and Community Relations. She works to ensure our community has access to healthcare as we address the many health disparities within our communities of color. She served as the Senior Outreach Director for Congresswoman Diana DeGette for 6 years. In this role, Stephanie worked with constituents, organizations, and community leaders from every sector to build more connected, informed, and stronger communities.

Outside of the public sector, her professional career has included consulting and campaigning in diverse communities that are most vulnerable to political or legislative change.  Other areas of expertise include legislative relations, public policy, and policy analysis. 

Stephanie earned her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from the University of South Florida and Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Denver. She has completed Latino Leadership Institute and Downtown Denver Leadership Academy. Stephanie proudly sits on the board of Stout Street Foundation. She is a proud mom of two boys. 

Stephen Brackett

Stephen Brackett was born and raised in Denver, Colorado where he regularly interfaces between the music/arts, grassroots movements, and education sectors. As a member of Flobots, he is also a co-founder of the NOENEMIES project, which works within communities to explore the power of protest music, and Youth On Record, a Denver organization that today hosts a state-of-the-art Youth Media Studio and serves at-risk youths with music programs, for-credit classes, and more. Experienced Speech Language Specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the music industry. Skilled in Event Planning, Motivational Speaking, Teaching, Music Production, and Public Speaking. Strong education services professional with a Bachelor's degree focused in Philosophy and Religious Studies from Colorado State University. Stephen is currently the Executive Director of The 87 Foundation.

2024 Grant Season

Important Dates, Meetings & Discretionary Fund Information

2024 SCFD Grant

Final Grant Reports Due (for funds received October 2022): Wednesday, February 14, 2024, 4 p.m.
Multi County Grant Application Deadline: Wednesday, March 6, 2024, 4 p.m.
Denver County Grant Application Deadline: Wednesday, March 13, 2024, 4 p.m. 

2024 Discretionary Grant

The 2024 Discretionay Grant is currently closed. Applications will open in August 2024
Grant application due: Monday, November 4, 2024, 4 p.m.
Final report due from previous grant: Monday, November 4, 2024, 4 p.m.
Committee review: Thursday, November 14, 2024, 12-2 p.m.
DCCC Approval: Friday, December 6, 2024

Schedule & Deadlines

SCFD Grant
Final Grant Reports Due (for funds received October 2022): Wednesday, February 14, 2024, 4 p.m.
Multi County Grant Application Deadline: Wednesday, March 6, 2024, 4 p.m.
Denver County Grant Application Deadline: Wednesday, March 13, 2024, 4 p.m.

Discretionary Grant 
The 2024 Discretionay Grant is currently closed. Applications will open in August 2024
Grant application due: Monday, November 4, 2024, 4 p.m.
Final report due from previous grant: Monday, November 4, 2024, 4 p.m.
Committee review: Thursday, November 14, 2024, 12-2 p.m.
DCCC Approval: Friday, December 6, 2024

Upcoming Meetings

DCCC Council Meetings:
Virtual until further notice, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Friday, October 20, 2023 Click here to join the meeting
Friday, November 10, 2023 Click here to join the meeting
Friday, December 8, 2023 (200 Columbine St., Denver, 80206)
Friday, January 12, 2024 Click here to join the meeting  
Friday, February 9, 2024 Click here to join the meeting
Friday, March 8, 2024 Click here to join the meeting
Friday, August 9, 2024 Click here to join the meeting
Friday, October 11, 2024 Click here to join the meeting
Friday, November 8, 2024 Click here to join the meeting
Friday, December 13, 2024 (In person/TBD) 

Grant Application Review Meetings:
Virtual until further notice, 3-5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, April 9, 2024 (In person/TBD)  
Tuesday, April 16, 2024 Click here to join the meeting
Tuesday, April 23, 2024 Click here to join the meeting 
Tuesday, May 14, 2024 Click here to join the meeting
Tuesday, May 21, 2024 Click here to join the meeting  
Tuesday, May 28, 2024 Click here to join the meeting

Grant Application Allocation Session (3:00 – 5:30 p.m.)
Tuesday, June 18, 2024 (In person/TBD)

DCCC Annual Planning Meeting
September 2024: Date TBD
Location TBD

2024 Discretionary Grant

2024 Discretionary Grant
The 2024 Discretionay Grant is currently closed. Applications will open in August 2024
Grant application due: Monday, November 4, 2024, 4 p.m.
Final report due from previous grant: Monday, November 4, 2024, 4 p.m.
Committee review: Thursday, November 14, 2024, 12-2 p.m.
DCCC Approval: Friday, December 6, 2024

 

TIER III Discretionary Grants 
The Denver County Cultural Council (DCCC) has allocated the 2023 Discretionary Fund pool towards the advancement of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) of Tier III organizations. Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Grants are designed to address the organization’s commitment to executing actions that operationalize these values within the organization and further support communities that have been historically marginalized including Black, Indigenous, Latino/x, people of color (BILPOC) or people of the global majority, people with disabilities, our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersexual, asexual, two spirit + (LGBTQIA2S+) communities. 

Organizations with a focused mission to support any of these historically marginalized communities may apply for funding to support their programming efforts. 

Areas of focus for these grants may be:

  • Hiring a consultant to perform an equity audit of an area of your organization such as salary, recruitment and retention, or programming, with a clear action improvement plan. 
  • Conducting a website accessibility audit with an action improvement plan.
  • Hiring a consultant to create an EDI plan specifically for your organization that could include diversifying your board and staff, incorporating an EDI practice into your decision making, etc.
  • If your organization has an EDI plan, interpretation services for programs and events such as live interpretation (simultaneous interpretation in any language), ASL, or closed captioning.
  • If your organization has an EDI plan, translation of materials or website to support community engagement and outreach efforts. 
  • Hiring an EDI consultant to provide training for your team and board, beyond the training offered to all organizations at no cost through the How to be an Anti-Racist Organization: A Conversation with Dwinita & Tariana.
  • Other initiatives or efforts that advance your EDI efforts.
  • If your organization, through its mission, is focused on serving a community that has been historically marginalized per above, the grant may support your programming.

Grant Guidelines:

  • Organizations must be an SCFD Tier lll organization and must have submitted an accepted application for General Operating Support in Denver County in the most recent application cycle (to be eligible in Denver, organizations must conduct 51% of their annual activities in the City and County of Denver).
  • Applications must be for work that will be initiated after the award is approved, even if the program is not a new program. Retroactive awards cannot be considered.
  • Funds cannot be used for regranting.
  • Funds must be used within one year of receipt.
  • A short Final Questionnaire must be filled out at the end of the work. 

2024 Discretionary Grant Final Questionnaire

The 2024 Discretionay Grant is currently closed. Applications will open in August 2024

Final questionnaire due from previous grant: Monday, November 4, 2024, 4 p.m. Final Questionnaire Form.

Per Discretionary Grants guidelines, you must submit a final questionnaire before you are able to apply for additional funding. Please send to Georgina Guidotti at Georgina.Guidotti@denvergov.org.

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Questions? 

For more information, please contact Georgina Guidotti, Business Operations Administrator, Cultural Affairs

CONTACT GEORGINA