CARES Artist.png

Denver CARES Artist Restart and Recovery Fund

In addition to previous funding, Denver Arts & Venues is directing up to $150,000 of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act federal funding to assist independent artists residing in the City of Denver and who have been adversely impacted as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act recognizes that “the arts industry is an important sector of America’s economy.” Denver Arts & Venues is once again directing up to $150,000 of CARES Act funding towards the Denver CARES Artist Restart and Recovery Fund. Selected applicants will be eligible to receive a one-time award of up to $1,000.

Applications have been extended through Sept. 24, 6 p.m. 

Translation and interpretation services are available upon request.

About

The purpose of the Denver CARES Artist Restart and Recovery Fund is to provide up to $1,000 grants to individual artists who reside in the City and County of Denver and whose income has been impacted as a direct result of the COVID-19 crisis. The Fund will prioritize artists who are experiencing severe financial distress and who have no other source of income, or are facing significantly diminished income or increased expenses as a direct result of COVID-19.

Through the Denver CARES Artist Restart and Recovery Fund, Denver Arts & Venues intends to assist independent artists who help build our city through cultural endeavors including music, film, theatre, visual arts, dance, literature, design and more. Examples of grant funding uses include, but are not limited to, basic living expenses such as food, housing, medical costs, childcare costs and dependent-related expenses, and/or expenses related to supplies, educational opportunities or equipment that help facilitate an artist’s creative work. 

Denver Arts & Venues is committed to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in all programs, initiatives and decision-making processes. As part of our equity and anti-racism practice, Arts & Venues intends to make awards that will impact a broad constituency, and strongly encourages applications that represent Denver’s rich and diverse communities including artists from communities historically and systemically marginalized, who remain financially vulnerable to the impacts of COVID-19 and identify as the following:

  • American Indian/Alaskan Native
  • Asian/Asian American
  • Black/African American
  • Latino/Latina/x/e
  • Native Hawaiian/ Other Pacific Islander
  • Person with a Disability
  • LGBTQIA+

Awardee Responsibility

Funding MUST BE SPENT by Awardee no later than Dec. 31, 2021. For guidance on eligible expenses please visit https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/Coronavirus-Relief-Fund-Frequently-Asked-Questions.pdf.

As an awardee, you are required to send Arts & Venues an easy-to-fill final spending report form (download DENVER CARES EXPENSE TRACKER below) on or before Jan. 31, 2022 that documents that you have spent all grant monies in a manner compliant with CARES Act requirements. Should a grant awardee be unable or unwilling to expend the grant monies, CARES Act funds must be repaid to the City upon written request.

DOWNLOAD DENVER CARES EXPENSE TRACKER

Please complete and return the spending report to Lisa.Gedgaudas@denvergov.org by Jan. 31, 2022.

Application Resources

Applications are open Aug. 24, 8 a.m. through Sept. 24, 6 p.m.

Application Prep Worksheets - English & Spanish

Downloadable Guidelines

These guidelines are outlined in the content of this website. You may also download them here:

Denver CARES Artist Restart and Recovery Fund Guidelines in English
Pautas del Fondo de Reinicio y Recuperación de Artista de Denver CARES

FAQ

Fillable W-9 Forms - English & Spanish

Eligible Applicants

Grants are open to all self-identifying artists working in one or multiple disciplines whose income has been severely impacted or who have experienced additional costs directly due to COVID-19, and who need immediate assistance.
Practicing artists:

  • Must be a resident in the City and County of Denver since January 1, 2020 (with the correct documentation)
  • Should be able to demonstrate a sustained commitment to their creative work and career 
  • Must be able to verify their art as a primary income-generating activity
  • Must provide proof of loss of income or increased costs directly due to COVID-19
  • Must list intended use of funds
  • Must be 18 years of age or older to apply
  • Must retain all grant and expenditure documents for five years (if funded)

Priority will be given to applicants who:

  • Demonstrate severe financial distress and who may have no other sources of income, or are facing significantly diminished income or increased expenses due to COVID-19
  • Plan to or have started to do their creative work again by fall 2021
  • Plan to or have started to return to the creative workforce as an employee by fall 2021

Eligible Expenses

  • Recouping financial losses due to events, projects or programs cancelled as a result of COVID-19
  • Paying for food, housing, medical costs, childcare costs and related expenses incurred as a result of COVID-19 
  • Offsetting loss of income for teaching artists who could not teach for intervals between March 1, 2020 and May 31, 2021 due to cancelled classes, school or organization closures, and other COVID-19 impacts

Required Documentation

In addition to completing the application, individuals MUST provide the following documentation to qualify for this fund:

  • Proof of residency in the City and County of Denver. MUST BE ONE OF THE FOLLOWING FROM 2021: utility bill, phone bill, pay stub, renter’s or mortgage bill, lease, current homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy, USPS change of address form. We cannot accept a driver’s license nor an address label from miscellaneous mail or package for your documentation. 
  • W-9 Form (PDF format) with current address, social security number and signature. The address on the W-9 MUST match the address on the proof of residency document. DOWNLOAD FILLABLE FORM HERE.
  • ONE PDF showing a clear proof of income loss between March 2020 and July 2021 (this document can include multiple examples of your cancelled contracts, email cancellations, receipts, etc.). 

Applicants may need to supply additional information requested by the City and County of Denver.

Selection Process

Denver Arts & Venues is committed to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI) in all programs, initiatives, and decision-making processes. The Denver CARES Artist Restart and Recovery Fund review panel consists of members of the Denver Commission on Cultural Affairs. The role of the 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.

All applications will be evaluated on each of the following criteria:

  1. Severity of loss: increased expenses and an immediate need based on current financial strain directly due to COVID-19. Before applying, we ask that applicants take a moment to self-reflect and self-evaluate whether they are experiencing dire financial emergencies during this time to make space for those most urgently in need. 
  2. Workforce capacity: individuals planning to return or returned to the workforce through their own art forms, or with a business or organization by fall 2021.
  3. Income: taking into consideration all the applicant’s sources of income. 
  4. Responsibility for others: individuals responsible for household members, family, children, etc. 

Timeline

Applications are open Aug. 24, 8 a.m. through Sept. 20, 6 p.m. 

Award notifications will be sent out 30-60 days after the application deadline. All applicants will be notified by email of their application status at that time.

Funding will be issued to approved applicants within 30 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, 2021. 

Funded applicants will be required to provide Denver Arts & Venues a final report with supporting documentation on or before January 31, 2022, demonstrating that she/he [or “grant awardee”] has expended all grant monies in a manner compliant with CARES Act requirements. Should a grant awardee be unable or unwilling to expend the grant monies, CARES Act 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

All receipts and documentation of CARES Act expenditures must be maintained by applicant for five years after funding is provided.

Fillable Expense Tracker - English & Spanish

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 

If you have any questions, please contact Lisa Gedgaudas at lisa.gedgaudas@denvergov.org using the subject line: [Your Name] Denver CARES Artist Restart and Recovery Fund.