Denver Music Advancement Fund

Denver Children’s Choir Neighborhood Choir Program

Levitt Pavilion Band Start

Levitt Pavilion Band Start

My Youth on Record Podcast- The Past, Present, Future of the Colorado Sound


Launched in 2018, the Denver Music Advancement Fund has now provided $275,000  to support initiatives that advance the Denver Music Strategy and IMAGINE 2020, Denver’s cultural plan. The goal of this fund is to ensure that music continues to drive economic vibrancy, builds a more resilient, equitable and connected city, and creates positive social change through music-centered programs. 

In 2020, Denver Arts & Venues is matching funding from Illegal Pete’s, and our NEW partner, Take Note Colorado to provide a total of $75,000 towards these grants.

As we respond to the COVID-19 health crisis and address racial inequities in our city, this fund continues to provide a platform to elevate the vital role music can play in addressing community needs and social justice.

Program Funding

Since 2018, the Denver Music Advancement Fund has awarded 53 grants to benefit a broad diversity of communities including youth, people with disabilities, older adults, communities of color, and such areas of focus as mental health and education. All programs have supported the seven vision elements of IMAGINE 2020:

  • Integration - Increase creative activities and participation in daily life
  • Amplification – Celebrate our cultural history, emerging art forms and authentic partnerships in Denver and beyond
  • Accessibility – Achieve inclusivity of cultural offerings for all
  • Lifelong Learning – Increase exposure, appreciation and participation through lifelong education
  • Nurturing Local Talent – Cultivate and build Denver’s diverse creative professionals
  • Economic Vitality – Fuel creatives as an essential component of Denver’s thriving economy
  • Collective Leadership – Lead cultural development through shared commitment, resources and cross-sector partnerships


2018: Arts & Venues, Illegal Pete’s, LivWell Enlightened Health
2019: Arts & Venues, Illegal Pete’s
2020: Arts & Venues, Illegal Pete’s, Take Note Colorado


  • Su Teatro: CMF 25 Celebration
  • Japanese Arts Network: ZOTTO [ぞっと] - a Supernatural Journey
  • Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts: SheBop Vocal Workshop
  • Youth on Record: Fellowship of Young Creatives
  • Creative Strategies for Change: ACT Music Institute
  • Titwrench Collective: Spatial Relations - Titwrench Music + Technology Collaboration
  • Levitt Pavilion: BandStart - Genre Education Series
  • Soundscape Collective: Music Residency Pilot Program
  • Music Minds Matter: Music Minds Matter facilitates Mental Health First Aid
  • New Cottage Arts: Southwest Sinfonia - an immersive youth orchestra experience focusing on music written by past and living queer and/or BIPOC composers
  • Vocal Coalition: The Revival Begins - Uniting Youth Voices Against Hate to Sing for Love

Denver Music Advancement Fund Staff:

Lisa Gedgaudas, Program Administrator, Create Denver
[email protected]

Denver Music Advisory Panel & Review Committee

Amy Martinson, Music Instructional Curriculum Specialist, Denver Public Schools
Andrea Viarrial-Murphy, Director of Visibility and Operations, Youth on Record
Bryce Merrill, Music Programs Manager, Bohemian Foundation
Elysha Zaide, musician, ill-esha; music producer; community educator
Jamaal Curry, musician, Boss Eagle
Janae De La Virgen, Administrative Assistant, Western States Arts Federation
Jonathan Kelley, filmmaker and music producer, T.H.I.N.C. INC.
Matthew Kowal, Founder and President, Majestic Collaboration; Emergency Preparedness Consultant, Performing Arts Readiness
Michael Seman, Assistant Professor, Arts Management at LEAP Institute for the Arts, Colorado State University
Nikki Swarn, Content/Program Director, The Drop, KUVO
Pete Turner, Founder and Owner, Illegal Pete’s
René Moffatt, Owner, Wolftung Creative; songwriter
Ru Johnson, Founder and Director, Roux Black Consulting; music promoter
Serafin Sanchez, Brand Manager, Ableton Inc.
Stephen Brackett, musician, FLOBOTS; Commissioner, Denver Commission on Cultural Affairs
Storm Gloor, Associate Professor, Music and Entertainment Industry Studies, University of Colorado Denver
Taylor Tschida, Program Manager, Colorado Creative Industries
Thadeaous Mighell, Programs Manager, Museum of Contemporary Art; curator, Understudy