P.S. You Are Here

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About P.S. You Are Here

P.S. You Are Here (PSYAH) is a grant program supporting neighborhood-based, community-led projects that activate city-owned, outdoor public spaces. PSYAH projects build civic engagement, honor heritage, beautify neighborhoods and enrich communities. 

In 2022, Denver Arts & Venues will invest $100,000 in funding for projects to be implemented in 2022-2024. Grants of up to $10,000 are available to individuals, and non-profit and for-profit businesses to build innovative, temporary projects that are rooted in community collaborations.

Denver Arts & Venues (DAV) is committed to an anti-racist practice, and advancing equity, diversity and inclusion in all of the agency’s work. DAV is committed to providing opportunities and platforms for Black, Indigenous, Latino(x), and people of color (BILPOC), lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersexual, asexual, + (LGBTQIA+) communities, people with disabilities, and other historically marginalized communities.

2022-2023 Timeline

• Call for proposals: Sept. 23 - Oct. 23, 2022
• PSYAH Pre-application Information Session (webinar) – Monday, Oct. 3, 6 p.m. Register on Eventbrite.
• Projects may be implemented in 2022-2024

For guidance on how to apply, be sure to review our Guidelines, Toolkit and view the informational video

PROGRAM GOALS 

• To enrich the lives of all Denver residents and visitors by integrating arts, culture and creativity into daily life 
• To foster community collaboration and encourage partnerships among artists, performers, businesses, organizations and non-profit and for-profit agencies
• To promote our vibrant and diverse communities as destinations to live, work and play
• To inspire creative and innovative thinking 
• To showcase locally cultivated talent
• To demonstrate cultural diversity, social equity, inclusion and accessibility through the engagement of arts, culture and creativity in neighborhoods
• To nurture and honor community identity and heritage
• To create a sense of place, purpose and belonging
• To animate and invigorate public spaces
• To celebrate community assets 
• To create public spaces that promote health, happiness and well-being

What is a PSYAH Project?

A PSYAH project must be led by an individual, entity or organization that is connected to the neighborhood where the project will be implemented. PSYAH projects should be physical in nature and be on display in a public space from three months up to one year. PSYAH projects can include, but are not limited to: design interventions, community projects, artistic interpretations and public art, streetscaping, landscaping, and functioning public amenities such as decorative benches, tables and bicycle racks.

Please note:• Projects must be located in an outdoor, public space within the City and County of Denver and must follow city policies and adopted neighborhood plans.
• Public space is defined as an area that is accessible, free and open to the public, such as an alley, park, plaza or street.
• Projects must be on display for a minimum of three months and up to one year (timelines may be flexible on a case-by-case basis).
• Exemplifying the PSYAH grant program’s goals, applicants are encouraged to have highly collaborative partnerships and inclusive engagement strategies in their communities.
• Proposals can be conceptual and do not need to identify all details regarding implementation and permitting specifics (e.g. insurance needs, precise location details, design qualifications, etc.). Grant recipients will receive guidance from the P.S. You Are Here committee to facilitate these implementation areas for their projects.
• Projects can take place in multiples sites or spaces within a Denver corridor or neighborhood
• Projects must comply with applicable design standards for accessibility based on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
• Please visit our Guidelines and Toolkit to help you through your process.

Applicants should clearly respond to the following questions: Why is your proposed project relevant to the     community and public space for which it was conceived, and what do you hope to achieve?

Contact

For additional questions and information, please reach 
Brendan Picker, Denver Arts & Venues
brendan.picker@denvergov.org
720-865-5563

Lisa Gedgaudas, Denver Arts & Venues
lisa.gedgaudas@denvergov.org
720-865-5560

Program Guidelines

ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS

To be eligible, primary applicants must live in the City and County of Denver, be connected to the neighborhood, and identify as at least one of the following: 
• Neighborhood-based group 
• Registered Neighborhood Association (RNO) 
• Business Improvement District, Maintenance District, Business Association or Chamber of Commerce, etc.
• Art or creative district
• Placed-based organization or business (non- or for-profit)
• An individual who resides or works in the neighborhood
• An individual working with one or more of the above

Non place-based organizations, businesses, ad-hoc groups and individuals outside of the City of Denver may participate through a partnership with the above eligible applicants, but may not apply directly.

ELIGIBLE EXPENSES

P.S. You Are Here funding may be used to cover expenses directly related to the project, such as:
• Project planning, coordination, management and related personnel
• Professional services related to permits, consultants, insurance, etc.
• Materials, supplies, equipment, landscaping and maintenance

INELIGIBLE PROJECTS & EXPENSES
Project funds may not be used for:
• Projects on private property (unless combined with public spaces project)
• Projects that have restricted participation or public access Neighborhood entrance signage or wayfinding
• Purchase of facilities
• Maintenance, operation or retroactive funding of existing projects
• Re-granting
• Festivals or general events

SELECTION REVIEW CRITERIA

Submissions will be reviewed by designated representatives of the City and County of Denver including Denver Arts & Venues, City Attorney’s Office, Community Planning and Development, the Department of Finance, Denver Economic Development & Opportunity, Parks & Recreation, and Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, as well as community representatives. This review committee will work with all grantee partners, offering guidance in how to navigate City processes throughout the implementation of the selected projects. The following factors and criteria will be used to evaluate proposals:
Neighborhood Participation & Community Partnerships: Applicants are asked to clearly define how the project will enhance the neighborhood. Proposals should demonstrate community support and collaboration, and how the project will create strong partnerships in the neighborhood.
Creativity, Artistic Scope & Cultural Merit: Proposals should be well-defined, goal-oriented, original and visually compelling, and draw on community resources and talent.
Planning, Feasibility & Maintenance: Proposals should demonstrate the feasibility of the project in terms of timeline, budget and available resources. Applicants are asked to explain how the project will be safely installed, maintained and removed.
Community Benefit & Social Impact: Proposals should demonstrate how the project represents and showcases community identity, heritage, engagement and sense of place.

PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION

The Denver Arts & Venues team will work with grant partners through the multiple phases of the project, including providing guidance on City processes related to permitting, construction, etc. The DAV team will also provide marketing and promotional support to elevate the grant partners’ efforts and will collect project-related photographs, video, text and press to document the project.

For funded projects’ promotional assets, print materials, and social media, we ask for the inclusion of the Denver Arts & Venues logo and the following mention: “This program is supported by Denver Arts & Venues through a P.S. You Are Here grant.”
 

APPLICATION DOCUMENTATION CHECKLIST

Proposals for the P.S. You Are Here grant should include:
• Project Budget – Please outline your project budget including expenses such as any volunteer hours, in-kind contributions or additional funding. Denver Arts & Venues expects all artists and cultural workers to be paid fair wages.
• A W9 for the project entity that will be contracting with the City if granted funding
• Up to ten images, examples or sketches of your proposed project
• If not a place-based applicant, a minimum of one letter of endorsement (letter or email) from an area City Councilperson, registered neighborhood association, business association or other place-based community organization as listed in the guidelines
• OPTIONAL: We encourage anyone who would like to include a 2-minute video about themselves and their program/project, goals and impact, to do so in the uploads section of the application. This is an optional opportunity for you to share more about yourself and your project. Videos are not required for this application.

INSURANCE & LIABILITY COVERAGE REQUIREMENTS

All applicants will be required to fill out a Risk Assessment Worksheet in order to determine the type of insurance required for the project.

The Risk Assessment Worksheet includes questions such as:
•    What is the work? (medium, materials, weight, size)
•    How many people are part of the process from inception to completion?
•    Are these people employees or all sole proprietors?
•    Is specialized/certified knowledge required of the project such as engineering studies or architectural renderings?
•    How will it be installed; where will it be installed; who will be installing it?
•    Will the public have access to the space during the installation?
•    What, if any, special equipment is necessary to install and who will be handling the equipment?

Workers’ Compensation - State mandated coverage for employees injured on the job. Colorado Workers’ Compensation law requires any business with one or more employees to carry this type of insurance. Sole Proprietors (those with no employees) are not required to carry Workers’ Compensation. It is important to notify the City if this rule applies to you.

Business Auto Liability - Coverage for liability (negligence) claims by a third party related to the operation of an automobile. Auto insurance is required of all contractors who will be operating a vehicle as part of their contractual duties for the City. The standard limit required $1,000,000.  Contractors who use their personal vehicles can substitute their personal auto insurance for the business auto requirement. It is important to notify the City if this rule applies to you.

General Liability - Coverage for liability (negligence) claims by a third party related to bodily injury (injury to another person) or property damage (damage to another person’s property). Limits will vary depending on the scope of work. Minimum limit is generally $1,000,000.

Professional Liability - Coverage for claims related to a "professional’s" error in judgment, planning or design. Examples of work requiring professional liability are architectural designs and engineering studies.

IMPORTANT!  Your contract with the City includes indemnification. You are responsible for any claims that arise out of your work with the City. It is in your best interest to determine any exposures and potentially purchase insurance to cover that exposure.

CONSIDERATIONS FOR PROPOSALS

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: Denver Arts & Venues is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion in all programs, initiatives and decision-making processes. Proposed initiatives must be centered in these values.

Accessibility: Applicants should consider how their programs and services are accessible to individuals with disabilities. These standards are based on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and can be found at ada.gov. Assistance can also be found by contacting the Denver Office of Disability Rights, 720-913-8485.

You may request oral or written language assistance services in your primary language, provided to you free of charge. Please contact Lisa.Gedgaudas@denvergov.org to request these services. Applications submitted in languages other than English will be professionally translated and given equal consideration to applications submitted in English. To request the application or guidelines in an alternate format (such as Braille, large print or accessible electronic format) please contact DisabilityAccess@denvergov.org.

GRANTING STAFF & REVIEW COMMITTEE

The grant program is administered by Denver Arts & Venues, with the support of a review and selection committee consisting of representatives from Denver Arts & Venues, City Attorney’s Office, Community Planning and Development, the Department of Finance, Denver Economic Development & Opportunity, Parks & Recreation, and Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, as well as community representatives from Denver.

For additional questions and information, please reach 
Brendan Picker, Denver Arts & Venues
brendan.picker@denvergov.org
720-865-5563

Lisa Gedgaudas, Denver Arts & Venues
lisa.gedgaudas@denvergov.org
720-865-5560

Toolkit for Projects in Denver's Public Spaces

WHERE DO I START?

Below are some guiding resources to help you with your project. 

IDENTIFY PROJECT IDEAS AND POTENTIAL PARTNERS

• Reach out to your district or neighborhood organizations, or engaged residents to identify an opportunity in the community
• Contact your Council District office for ideas about organizations in your district and sites suitable for proposals
• Review the list of Registered Neighborhood Organizations
• Approach local businesses, organizations and entrepreneurs to develop a collaborative, community-driven project
• Encourage participation from long-time residents and neighbors
• Consider community dynamics and local history in your area
• Raise awareness by notifying other groups in your neighborhood about your project

WHEN IDENTIFYING A SITE, CONSIDER:

• Why this space needs activation, participation and city and community engagement
• Review the Interactive Map of Property Owners to determine the owner of a space. Remember, projects must be in a City-owned public space, defined as an area that is free and open to the public, such as an alley, park, plaza or street.

WHEN DEVELOPING A BUDGET, BE SURE TO SHOW PROJECTED INCOME AND EXPENSES, AND IDENTIFY IN WHICH AREAS THE GRANT FUNDING WILL BE UTILIZED:

Example Budget:

Income
• Grant Request Amount
• Additional Funding Sources, if any (crowdfunding, sponsorships, in-kind donations, etc.)
• Volunteer Hours (valued at $20/hour)

Expenses
• Managing/Planning
• Supplies 
• Art/Design Services 

CONSIDERATIONS FOR PUBLIC SPACES

Here are some additional considerations to be aware of when creating a proposal, some of which may require additional permitting, design, engineering, approvals or other considerations. Our P.S. You Are Here committee can help through these implementation and planning needs.

• Due to the sensitivity of some areas, proposals for certain sites may require additional review (right-of-way, parks, etc.).
• Parking space/parklet projects may be challenging due to street cleaning occurring April through November.
• Street painting projects proposed for functional streets may require a thorough review process with the City and County of Denver (specific paint type, color type, street closures, etc.).
• Projects in alleys will need to ensure adequate space for garbage and recycling pickup.
• Due to time required and difficulty in coordination, proposals involving utilities and rail lines are not recommended.
• For any project at an intersection, serious consideration must be given to not blocking sight lines nor obstructing clear visibility for pedestrians and vehicles.
• Any structures located in Denver parks may require full plan review to ensure proper site restoration with seed/sod and irrigation, and to ensure no impacts to tree roots.
• Applicants are responsible for any maintenance required during the project’s display. 
• Consider what happens at the end of the project. How will the project be de-installed? Will it be adopted by your group or some other organization? Who will maintain the project? 
• Safety first; be sure your projects are designed well and are structurally sound for the duration of display.

HELPFUL LINKS

Maps
• Map of Denver Neighborhoods: www.denvergov.org/maps/map/neighborhoods
• Denver Council Districts: www.denvergov.org/maps/map/councildistricts
• Map of Parks (maintained by the City and County of Denver): www.denvergov.org/maps/map/parks
• Interactive Map of Property Owners: www.denvergov.org/maps/map/property
• Denver GIS Maps (maps showing a variety of urban data): www.denvergov.org/maps/search
• Transit Oriented Development in Denver: www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/transit-oriented-development.html
• Denver Bike Map: www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/transportation-infrastructure/programs-services/bicycles/bike-maps.html

Neighborhoods 
• Registered Neighborhood Organizations: www.denvergov.org/maps/map/neighborhoodorganizations
• Adopted Neighborhood Plans: www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/community-planning-and-development/planning-and-design/completed-plans.html

Permitting and Design Standards
• Public Works and Right of Way services permitting: https://www.denvergov.org/Government/Departments/Community-Planning-and-Development/E-permits (pwpermits@denvergov.org or 303-446-3759)
• Right of Way: www.denvergov.org/Government/Agencies-Departments-Offices/Department-of-Transportation-and-Infrastructure/Programs-Services/Right-of-Way-Services
• Americans with Disability Act (ADA) Design Standards: www.ada.gov. Assistance can also be found by contacting the Denver Office of Disability Rights at 720-913-8485
• CDOT Special Use Permits: Contact Kirk Allen, Region 1 Permit Manager, State of Colorado Department of Transportation, at 303-757-9531 or kirk.allen@state.co.us 
• RTD Permits: Contact Susan Altes about special use permits for RTD property at Susan.Altes@RTD-Denver.com

FOR PROJECT SPECIFIC INQUIRIES YOU CAN ALSO REACH MEMBERS OF OUR COMMITTEE DIRECTLY:

• Denver Public Works: Karen Good, karen.good@denvergov.org, 720-865-3162
• Community Planning and Development, neighborhood plans and ideas: Lilly Djaniants, lilly.djaniants@denvergov.org, 720-865-3075
• Insurance and Risk Assessment: Devron McMillin, devron.mcmillin@denvergov.org, 720-913-3345