Young person helps a Five Points Jazz Festival performer play a drum | Photo by Steve Hostetler
 

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DAV ARTS & CULTURE FUND

Project Guidelines

Whether this is the first time you are applying for a grant through Denver Arts & Venues, or you're already making magic in our neighborhoods, the City process for grant applications can be difficult to navigate. We're here to help! Our team will work with you every step of the way, from conception to execution. 

These projects are vital to our mission of creating more access to arts and culture in every corner of our city.

Where do I start? 

Below is everything you need to know and the requirements to apply. 

Program Funding & Requirements

FUNDING, LOCATION, TIMELINE

  • The DAV Arts & Culture Fund provides up to $15,000 per program
  • Projects can be independent or collaborative and reflect the applicant’s unique interpretation of the cultural plan
  • Programs must take place in the City and County of Denver
  • Programs must take place in the calendar years 2024-2025

ACCESS & INCLUSION

  • Projects should be centered in the values of equity, diversity and inclusion.
  • Applicants should consider how their programs and services are accessible to individuals with disabilities. This includes access and accommodations for both the project and programs. 
  • Projects should comply with design standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Review ada.gov or contact Denver Office of Disability Rights at 720-913-8485 for assistance.

Eligibility Requirements

ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS

Eligible applicants can apply for existing or new programs. The following are eligible to apply:

  • City agencies, cultural institutions, institutions of higher education, neighborhood and community-based organizations with non-profit status, and individual artists regularly doing work within the City and County of Denver.

The following may participate through collaborative partnerships or support with the above but may not directly apply for funding:

  • For-profit businesses, organizations with fiscal sponsors and/or businesses, organizations or individuals located outside the City and County of Denver.

ELIGIBLE EXPENSES

The DAV Arts & Culture Fund may be used to cover expenses directly related to the project, such as the following:

INELIGIBLE PROJECTS & EXPENSES

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 not covered by the Indirect Cost Supplement
  • Cash reserves and endowments
  • Capital projects

SELECTION REVIEW CRITERIA 

A selection committee comprised of community representatives and members of the Denver Commission on Cultural Affairs will review all proposals. The following factors and criteria will be used in the selection process. Please note the weighting percentage for each area.

  1. Connection to Denver’s Cultural Plan (25%): Proposals should clearly explain how the artistic, creative or cultural program reflects one or more of the vision elements of the Cultural Plan. 
  2. Program’s Impact (25%): Proposals should clearly describe the program goals, as well as the benefit and impact on the community.
  3. Creativity, Artistic Excellence and Merit (25%): Programs should be creative, well-defined, goal-oriented, and show artistic excellence. 
  4. Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (25%): The proposal should clearly describe how the program reflects the organization or individual’s commitment to the values of equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging.

PROJECT EVALUATION

Per Federal Guidelines, DAV Arts & Culture 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 the number of people impacted by the project by January 31, 2026.

APPLICATION CHECKLIST 

Applications for the DAV Arts & Culture Fund must be submitted online no later than Saturday, April 30 at 11:59 p.m. with required documentation including:

IMPLEMENTATION

  • The program must have a project director who will implement and track the impact of the program. Sharing the impact of the program might include photos, videos, media mentions, attendance numbers and testimonials. 
  • Applicants will reference the support of Denver Arts & Venues and the NEA throughout the DAV Arts & Culture Fund in all branding (inclusion of logos in promotional materials, social media, newsletters, press releases, website, etc.)
  • Federal guidelines dictate a final report must be submitted to Denver Arts & Venues no later than January 31, 2026.

Federal Guidelines

This award is funded in part with Federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. As such, the following Federal Guidelines must be adhered to should you be awarded funds.

Statutes, and Regulations that Govern Your Award
You must ensure that the funded project is implemented in full accordance with the US Constitution, Federal Law, and public policy requirement: including, but not limited to, those protecting free speech, religious liberty, public welfare, the environment, and prohibit discrimination (§200.300).

As a registrant with SAM.gov, in most cases, you have already self-certified to the “Financial Assistance General Certifications and Representations,” including attesting to the accuracy of the certification and acknowledging that you may be subjected to criminal prosecution under Section 1001, Title 18 USC, or civil liability under the False Claims Act if you have misrepresented the information. A copy of this Financial Assistance Certifications Report is available in your SAM.gov entity registration record.

DAV Requirements

  • The program must have a project director who will implement and track the impact of the program.
  • We ask that you share key milestones throughout the process of your grant with DAV.
  • Sharing the impact of the program might include photos, videos, media mentions, attendance numbers and testimonials.
  • If there are any events related to your program that are open to the public, we ask you to let us know at least one month in advance, so that we may help you promote the event.
  • Applicants will reference the support of Denver Arts & Venues and the NEA through the DAV Arts & Culture Fund in all branding (inclusion of logos in promotional materials, social media, newsletters, press releases, website, etc.).
  • Federal guidelines dictate a final report must be submitted to Denver Arts & Venues no later than January 31, 2026.

NEA Requirements

Acknowledgment of the National Endowment for the Arts must be prominently displayed in all materials and announcements for your funded project. See the Manage Your Award section of www.arts.gov for copies of the most up-to-date National Endowment for the Arts logos.

The National Endowment for the Arts supports specific projects and does not provide general operating support. Please use the NEA name and logo in relation to your Arts Endowment-supported projects, but do not advertise the National Endowment for the Arts as a general donor to your organization or suggest that our support has extended beyond the close of your funded activity.

The Arts Endowment should not be included in lists of donors that are not specific to your supported project or appear beyond the project period dates.

  1. For print and online project materials, a basic requirement is a phrase acknowledging support from the National Endowment for the Arts using the following language: "This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts."

    We encourage you to include "To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov."

    In addition, the NEA encourages you to use the National Endowment for the Arts current logo whenever possible to accurately indicate that either your project has been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, or that your organization is currently receiving support from the National Endowment for the Arts. As the agency’s logo has changed over the years, please check the link above to make sure you are using the correct logo.

    You may also use social media to indicate National Endowment for the Arts support of your project, such as "This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts." It is also acceptable to include the agency in a list among other project supporters. (On Twitter and Instagram, you may use @NEAarts instead of spelling out the full name of the agency.)

  2. For radio or television broadcast, the NEA requires the following voice-over language: "This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. On the web at arts dot gov." For television broadcast, display of the National Endowment for the Arts logo and web address is required.

  3. The NEA reserves the right to change the language of the required acknowledgement of National Endowment for the Arts support, as well as the right to disallow the use of our logo and acknowledgement of our support.

IMPORTANT: All activities supported with Arts Endowment or cost share/matching funds, including performance/touring activities as well as publications, websites, or other media projects, must be made accessible to people with disabilities in compliance with Section 504 and the ADA. All recipients are legally required to provide reasonable and necessary accommodations for people with disabilities. Individuals with disabilities may be audiences, visitors, artists, performers, teaching artists, students, staff, and volunteers.

Proper documentation must be maintained for all costs in the budget, including all salaries charged, in whole or in part, to this award (per 2 CFR §200.302, .334, .430(i)), as well as for all in-kind contributions claimed (per 2 CFR §200.302 and .334).

 

Nondiscrimination Policies

As a condition of receipt of Federal financial assistance, you acknowledge and agree to execute your project, and require any contractors, successors, transferees, and assignees to comply with applicable provisions of national laws and policies prohibiting discrimination, including but not limited to:

  • Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, and implemented by the National Endowment for the Arts at 45 USC 1110, provides that no person in the United States shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. Title VI also extends protection to persons with limited English proficiency (42 USC 2000d et seq.)
  • As clarified by Executive Order 13166, Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency, national origin discrimination includes discrimination on the basis of limited English proficiency (LEP). To ensure compliance with Title VI, you must take reasonable steps to ensure that LEP persons have meaningful access to your programs. Meaningful access may entail providing language assistance services, including oral and written translation, where necessary. You are encouraged to consider the need for language services for LEP persons in conducting your programs and activities. For assistance and information go to https://www.arts.gov/sites/default/files/NEA-Limited-English-Proficiency-Plan-11.23.pdf and https://www.arts.gov/about/foia/library.
  • Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as amended, provides that no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance (20 USC 1681 et seq.)
  • The Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended, provides that no person in the United States shall, on the basis of age, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance (42 USC 6101 et seq.) 
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), as amended, prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment (Title I); State and local government services (Title II); and places of public accommodation and commercial facilities (Title III) (42 USC 12101-12213). 
  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, provides that no otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States shall, solely by reason of his/her disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance (29 USC 794). Access should be integrated into all facets and activities of an organization, from day to day operations to long range goals and objectives. Access accommodations and services should be given a high priority and funds should be available for these services. All organizations are legally required to provide reasonable and necessary accommodations for staff and visitors with disabilities.

Section 504 - Self-Evaluation and Additional Resources

  • A Section 504 self-evaluation must be on file at your organization. To help your organization evaluate its programs, activities, and facilities to ensure full compliance with Section 504 accessibility requirements, the Civil Rights Office has a Section 504 Self Evaluation Workbook available on the NEA website.
  • You should designate a staff member to serve as a 504 Coordinator. The completed workbook or similar compliance and supporting documentation should be kept on file for a period of three (3) years from the date the Federal Financial Report (FFR) is filed, and made available to the public and the National Endowment for the Arts upon request. The NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS may request the 504 Workbook or your compliance documents for various potential scenarios including an Inspector General audit and/or civil rights investigation.
  • Design for Accessibility: A Cultural Administrator's Handbook provides guidance on making access an integral part of an organization's staffing, mission, budget, and programs. This Handbook and other resources may be downloaded from the National Endowment for the Arts website. If you have questions, contact the Office of Accessibility at accessibility@arts.gov; (202) 682-5532; FAX (202) 682-5715; or TTY (202) 682-5496.

Environmental and Preservation Policies

The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended, applies to any Federal funds that would support an activity that may have environmental implications. We may ask you to respond to specific questions or provide additional information in accordance with the Act. If there are environmental implications, we will determine whether a categorical exclusion may apply; to undertake an environmental assessment; or to issue a "finding of no significant impact," pursuant to applicable regulations and 42 USC Sec. 4332.

Register of Historic Places

The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended, applies to any Federal funds that support activities that have the potential to impact any structure eligible for or on the National Register of Historic Places, adjacent to a structure that is eligible for or on the National Register of Historic Places, or located in a historic district, in accordance with Section 106. This also applies to planning activities that may affect historic properties or districts. We will conduct a review, as appropriate, to determine the impact of your project activities on the structure or any affected properties. The agency review must be completed prior to any agency funds being released. You may be asked to provide additional information on your project to ensure compliance with the Act at any time during your award period (16 USC 470).

Other National Policies

Debarment and Suspension. You must comply with requirements regarding debarment and suspension in Subpart C of 2 CFR Part 180, as adopted by the NEA in 2 CFR 3254.10.

There are circumstances under which we may receive information concerning your fitness to carry out a project and administer federal funds, such as:

  • Conviction of, or a civil judgment for, the commission of fraud, embezzlement, theft, forgery, or making false statements;
  • Any other offense indicating a lack of business integrity or business honesty that seriously and directly affects your present responsibility;
  • Any other cause of so serious or compelling a nature that it affects an organization's present responsibility.

In these circumstances, we may need to act quickly to protect the interest of the government by suspending your funding while we undertake an investigation of the specific facts. We may coordinate our suspension actions with other federal agencies that have an interest in our findings. A suspension may result in your debarment from receiving federal funding government-wide for up to three (3) years.

The Drug Free Workplace Act

The Drug Free Workplace Act requires you to publish a statement about your drug-free workplace program. You must give a copy of this statement to each employee (including consultants and temporary personnel) who will be involved in award-supported activities at any site where these activities will be carried out.

You must maintain on file the place(s) where work is being performed under this award (i.e., street address, city, state, and zip code). You must notify the NEA Office of Grants Management of any employee convicted of a violation of a criminal drug statute that occurs in the workplace (41 USC 701 et seq. and 2 CFR Part 3256).

Lobbying

You may not conduct political lobbying, as defined in the statutes and regulations listed below, within your federally-supported project. In addition, you may not use federal funds for lobbying specifically to obtain awards. For definitions and other information on these restrictions, refer to the following: 

  • No part of the money appropriated by any enactment of Congress shall, in the absence of express authorization by Congress, be used directly or indirectly to pay for any personal service, advertisement, telegram, telephone, letter, printed or written matter, or other device, intended or designed to influence in any manner a Member of Congress, a jurisdiction, or an official of any government, to favor, adopt, or oppose, by vote or otherwise, any legislation, law, ratification, policy, or appropriation, whether before or after the introduction of any bill, measure, or resolution proposing such legislation, law, ratification, policy, or appropriation; but this shall not prevent officers or employees of the United States or of its departments or agencies from communicating to any such Member or official, at his request, or to Congress or such official, through the proper official channels, requests for any legislation, law, ratification, policy, or appropriations which they deem necessary for the efficient conduct of the public business, or from making any communication whose prohibition by this section might, in the opinion of the Attorney General, violate the Constitution or interfere with the conduct of foreign policy, counter-intelligence, intelligence, or national security activities (18 USC 1913).
  • Lobbying (2 CFR 200.450) describes the cost of certain influencing activities associated with obtaining grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, or loans as an unallowable project cost. The regulation generally defines lobbying as conduct intended to influence the outcome of elections or to influence elected officials regarding pending legislation, either directly or through specific lobbying appeals to the public.
  • Certification Regarding Lobbying to Obtain Awards. Section 319 of Public Law 101-121, codified at 31 USC 1352, prohibits the use of federal funds in lobbying members and employees of Congress, as well as employees of federal agencies, with respect to the award or amendment of any federal grant, cooperative agreement, contract, or loan. While non-federal funds may be used for such activities, they may not be included in your project budget, and their use must be disclosed to the awarding federal agency. Disclosure of lobbying activities by long-term employees (employed or expected to be employed for more than 130 days) is, however, not required. In addition, the law exempts from definition of lobbying certain professional and technical services by applicants and awardees.

Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA)

Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA), as amended, requires that each contract over $2,000 to which the United States is a party for the construction, alteration, or repair of public buildings or public works (these activities include, but are not limited to, painting, decorating, altering, remodeling, installing pieces fabricated off-site, and furnishing supplies or equipment for a work- site) must contain a clause setting forth the minimum wages to be paid to laborers and mechanics employed under the contract. Under the provisions of DBRA, contractors or their subcontractors must pay workers who qualify under DBRA no less than the locally prevailing wages and fringe benefits paid on projects of a similar character.

Information about the laborers and projects that fall under DBRA can be found in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Compliance Guide at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/government-contracts/construction. DBRA wage determinations are to be used in accordance with the provisions of Regulations, 29 CFR Part 1, Part 3, and Part 5, and with DOL’s Compliance Guide. The provisions of DBRA apply within the 50 states, territories, protectorates, and Native American nations (if the labor is completed by non- tribal laborers).

The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act

The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 applies to any organization that controls or possesses Native American human remains and associated funerary objects and receives federal funding, even for a purpose unrelated to the Act (25 USC 3001 et seq.).

U.S. Constitution Education Program

Educational institutions (including but not limited to "local educational agencies'' and "institutions of higher education") receiving federal funds from any agency are required to provide an educational program on the U.S. Constitution on September 17 (P.L. 108-447, Division J, Sec. 111(b)). For more information on how to implement this requirement and suggested resources, see https://www2.ed.gov/policy/fund/guid/constitutionday.html and https://www.loc.gov/classroom-materials/constitution/.

Prohibition on use of funds to ACORN or its subsidiaries

None of the federal or cost share/matching funds expended for your awarded project may be distributed to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) or its subsidiaries (P.L. 111-88 Sec. 427).

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Questions?

For more information contact:

Brooke Dilling, Manager, Cultural Programs
CONTACT BROOKE

Language Access

Denver Arts & Venues complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, gender or language. It is your right to request oral or written language assistance services in your primary language, if needed. Please contact Denver Arts & Venues and these services will be provided to you free of charge.

REQUEST LANGUAGE SERVICES