2022 Denver Arts & Venues Recovery Fund for Non-Profit Arts Organizations

A partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to distribute American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds 

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has provided Denver Arts & Venues $500,000 of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding towards recovery for small and mid-size non-profit arts organizations. Selected applicants will be eligible to receive a one-time award of up to $15,000.

Denver's creative industries lost an estimated 29,840 jobs and $1.4 billion in sales revenue between April and July 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis (2020 Creative Economy Report.) Arts & Venues is committed to the well-being of artists in our community and recognizes the serious financial impact the current health pandemic is having on their livelihoods.

Translation and interpretation services are available upon request.

On July 18, 2022, Denver Arts & Venues hosted an information session for current grantees, offering tools and information for successful reporting. 


The purpose of the 2022 Denver Arts & Venues Recovery Fund is to provide up to $15,000 grants to non-profit arts and cultural organizations located in the City and County of Denver whose 2021 annual revenue was $1,000,000 or less and who suffered losses as a direct result of the COVID-19 crisis and have reopened or plan to reopen. Denver Arts & Venues also aims to provide funding for organizations that remain financially vulnerable to COVID-19 impacts, organizations owned or led by members of historically marginalized communities, and organizations supporting historically marginalized communities.

Application Resources

Application Prep Worksheets - English & Spanish

Downloadable Guidelines

Fillable W-9 Forms - English & Spanish

Eligible Applicants

Funding will be awarded to selected non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations located in the City and County of Denver whose 2021 annual revenue was $1,000,000 or less and whose main mission and focus is on arts, culture and the creative industries, including performing arts, theater, dance, music, visual arts, film, photography, arts and cultural education, and more that meet the following eligibility criteria:
  ●    Must have been fully operational on or before March 1, 2020
  ●    Must be operating as a non-profit 501(c)(3) entity 
  ●    Must be located in the City and County of Denver
  ●    Have 2021 revenues that did not exceed $1,000,000 
  ●    Must be able to show loss of income and/or increased costs directly due to COVID-19

Eligible Expenses

Funding is available for expenses incurred in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. Expenses can include the following and funds must be used by December 31, 2022:
  ●    Full or partial salary support for one or more staff positions, including existing or new jobs, or to restore jobs that were furloughed or eliminated due to the pandemic
  ●    Fees or stipends for artists or contractual personnel in support of services for activities related to your organization’s day to day operations
  ●    Facilities costs such as mortgage principal, rent, and utilities
  ●    Costs associated with health and safety supplies for staff or visitors/audiences (e.g., personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, etc.)
  ●    Marketing and promotion costs

Required Documentation

In addition to completing the application, applicants must provide the following documentation to qualify for this fund:  
  ●    Current Certificate of Good Standing with the Colorado Secretary of State https://www.sos.state.co.us/biz/BusinessEntityCriteria.do 
  ●    W-9 Form which identifies applicant’s current business address, EIN number with a signature of an authorized representative
  ●    ONE current proof of being physically located in the City & County of Denver - organization’s utility bill, phone bill, pay stub, renter’s or mortgage bill, lease, insurance policy
  ●    ONE document of the proposed use of award including:
      ○    Date funds will be utilized
      ○    What the funds will be utilized for
      ○    Documentation of proposed expenses
  ●    Prior twelve (12) months operating income statement and/or cash flow statement – The organization's actual month-by-month financial activities for the prior twelve months. This includes all cash inflows (Revenues) and cash outflows (Expenses). Sample Cash Flow Statement (English)Proyección de flujo de fondos a seis meses (en español). If you are unable to download this EXCEL document, please email Sonia.Rae@denvergov.org.
  ●    Six (6) months financial projections – A best estimate of the organization's month-by-month financial projections for six months out from the time of application. This should be in the same format as the prior six-month actuals submitted above.
  ●    Up-to three additional documents, examples or video can also be uploaded 
  ●    National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Accessibility Form
Applicants may need to supply additional information reasonably requested by the City and County of Denver for full consideration.

Selection Process

Denver Arts & Venues is committed to equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility in all programs, initiatives and decision-making processes. The 2022 Denver Arts & Venues Recovery Fund review panel consists of members of the Denver Commission on Cultural Affairs. The role of this community review panel is to participate in an inclusive and equitable review and selection process and to recommend a roster of grantees to Denver Arts & Venues, which has the final responsibility to approve all grants.

Through the 2022 Denver Arts & Venues Recovery Fund, Denver Arts & Venues intends to make awards that will impact a broad constituency, and strongly encourages applications from a variety of eligible organizations especially:
  ●    Organizations that have a mission to serve populations that are under-resourced, such as those that have been historically marginalized and whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by ethnicity, economics, geography or disability
  ●    Organizations with small- and medium-sized budgets
  ●    Organizations that have existing arts and cultural work that is deeply rooted in racial equity and social justice efforts
  ●    Organizations that reflect equity values through strong board, executive leadership, and staff representation from communities historically marginalized
  ●    Organizations that have clearly demonstrated credibility, trust and authentic connections with communities historically marginalized, and have a track record of partnerships rooted in working “with” not “for” Denver’s diverse communities
  ●    Organizations that have a strong and stated commitment to an equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility practice

Proposals may focus on reaching a particular constituency; however proposals may not be exclusionary under national civil rights laws and policies prohibiting discrimination. This extends to hiring practices and audience engagement activities.

All applications will be evaluated on each of the following criteria:
1)    Statement of need and level of severity - Demonstration of an immediate need based on current financial strain, impact on business operations directly due to COVID-19. Clear understanding of how funding will support the applicant’s business.
2)    Accessibility - Federal funding for this grant requires that organizations must be accessible to people with disabilities in order to receive funding. 
3)    Artistic Merit and Artistic Excellence - The artistic excellence and artistic merit of the proposal, which includes:
  ●    Significance to the mission and core work of the organization
  ●    Ability to carry out an award as shown by the alignment of the budget and other resources with the goals and requirements of this funding opportunity
  ●    As appropriate, potential to have an immediate impact on the arts workforce
  ●    As appropriate, the potential to serve and/or reach individuals whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by ethnicity, economics, geography, or disability
4)    Commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) 
Denver Arts & Venues is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion in all programs, initiatives and decision-making processes.

Equity: The fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all people, while at the same time identifying and eliminating barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups. Improving equity involves increasing justice and fairness within the protocols, processes, practices and policies of institutions or systems, as well as in their distribution of resources. Confronting and tackling equity issues requires an understanding of the root causes of disparities within our society. Equity is closely tied to actions and results to address historical disparities. 

Diversity: (Who’s at the table?) Recognition and representation of individual or group differences encompassing race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, ability, socioeconomic status, age, religion, and other areas of identity.

Inclusion: Embracing differences by creating environments in which any individual or group can feel welcomed, respected, supported, and valued to fully participate. While an inclusive group is by definition diverse, a diverse group isn’t always inclusive. To achieve inclusiveness, recognition of implicit or unconscious bias is necessary.

5)    Level of Risk - Each applicant will be evaluated on their risk of noncompliance with Federal statutes, regulations, and the terms and conditions of the subaward/subgrant from the NEA.


Applications will be accepted April 18 - May 13, 2022

Award notifications will be issued 30 days after the application closes. All applicants will be notified by email of their application status at that time.   

Funding will be issued to approved applicants within 30-60 days after the awardee is approved and all required documentation needed for processing a payment has been received. 

Grant funding MUST BE SPENT by no later than December 31, 2022. 

Funded applicants will be required to provide Denver Arts & Venues a final report with supporting documentation on or before January 31, 2023, demonstrating that they have expended all grant monies in a manner compliant with the NEA's "General Terms and Conditions for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to Organizations" requirements. Should a grant awardee be unable or unwilling to expend the grant monies, all funds must be repaid to the City upon written request. This report from the applicant will be in a simple template provided by Denver Arts & Venues and must include:
  ●    Date funds were spent
  ●    What the funds were utilized for
  ●    Amount of each qualified expenditure
  ●    Documentation of expenses (could include cancelled checks, invoices, payroll, etc.)

All receipts and documentation of Denver Arts & Venues Recovery Fund expenditures must be maintained by the applicant for five years after funding is provided.

Denver Arts & Venues refuses to hire, discharge, promote, demote, or discriminate in matters of compensation against any person otherwise qualified, solely because of race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, citizenship, immigration status, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, source of income, military status, protective hairstyle, or disability.

Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Survey

In the email notification of your application status, you will receive a survey link that will help us understand the demographics of all that applied and how COVID-19 has impacted the sector. It will also help us demonstrate the need for additional financial support. Only aggregated information will be utilized.

We urge you and thank you for participating in the survey.

About Denver's Creative Economy

Denver's creative industries support 96,358 jobs and there are 88,217 people employed in creative occupations across multiple industries within the region. Creative industries in the Denver metropolitan region produced $16.2 billion in sales revenue in 2019.  The Denver metropolitan region’s creative industries lost an estimated 29,840 jobs and $1.4 billion in sales revenue between April and July 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis. Arts & Venues is committed to the well-being of artists in our community and recognizes the serious financial impact the current health pandemic is having on artists’ livelihoods.

The time for action to support this creative sector in Denver is now.

Arts & Venues recently released this report detailing the scale, scope, and growth of the Denver metropolitan region’s creative economy between 2010 and 2019. The report also estimates the initial effects of the COVID-19 crisis on the region’s creative economy. 

2020 City of Denver Creative Economy Report with Initial Impacts of the COVID-19 Crisis 

Expense Tracker - English & Spanish

If you have any questions, please contact Sonia Rae at sonia.rae@denvergov.org using the subject line: [Your Name] Denver Arts & Venues RECOVERY FUND.