IMAGINE 2020 Fund Guidelines

Launched in 2014 with investment from Denver Arts & Venues, the IMAGINE 2020 Fund supports initiatives that advance Denver's Cultural Plan, IMAGINE 2020. This year, the IMAGINE 2020 Fund will provide $130,000 total, with up to $7,500 to support new, creative and innovative programs inspired by one or more of the seven vision elements outlined in the cultural plan that further develop Denver’s creative landscape. Eligible applicants can apply for programs that are new or have been in development since the launch of the IMAGINE 2020 Cultural Plan. 

Learn more about Denver’s Cultural Plan, IMAGINE 2020 and help us to develop new solutions and programs that will help to implement our goals and seven vision elements: Integration, Amplification, Accessibility, Lifelong Learning, Local Talent, Economic Vitality and Collective Leadership.

Call for proposals: stay tuned for information on the next grant cycle
Award Notification: TBD

Proposals indicating collaboration among multiple groups are strongly encouraged. The following are eligible to submit an application:

  • City agencies, cultural institutions, businesses, entrepreneurs, civic leaders, neighborhood and community-based organizations and individuals in the City and County of Denver
  • Businesses or organizations located outside of the City and County of Denver may participate through collaborative partnerships or support with the above, but may not directly apply for funding


  • The IMAGINE 2020 Fund provides up to $7,500 per program
  • Eligible applicants can apply for programs that are new or have been in development since the launch of the IMAGINE 2020 Cultural Plan (Spring 2014)
  • Programs should demonstrate a 1:1 or more match of resources, donated materials, time or goods, volunteer labor (valued at $20/hour), or cash 
  • Programs must take place in the City and County of Denver
  • Programs should take place in the calendar years 2020-2021
  • Programs must have a project director who will initiate, plan, implement and track impact of the program 
  • Projects can be independent or collaborative and reflect the applicant’s unique interpretation of the cultural plan
  • Proposals indicating collaboration among multiple groups are strongly encouraged
  • Applicants will promote, advocate and help to implement the IMAGINE 2020 Cultural Plan and brand (logos, materials, etc.)

IMAGINE 2020 funding may be used to cover expenses directly related to the project, such as the following:

  • Personnel: Project management costs including roles such as project manager, volunteer coordinator, community organizer
  • Program Development and Implementation: Pre-planning, development of program details and implementation
  • Supplies and materials: Advance supplies or materials to support the creation of the program


  • Activities that are not tied directly to program objectives including: Programs or projects that have restricted participation or public access based on race, gender variance, creed, origin, age or ability
  • 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 
  • Cash reserves and endowments
  • Political campaigns or legislative issues
  • Food and beverage

The following factors and criteria will be used in the selection process. 

  1. Direct Application and Activation of the IMAGINE 2020 Vision Elements: Clear explanation of how the artistic, creative or cultural program incorporates one or more of the vision elements from the IMAGINE 2020 Cultural Plan. Special weight will be given to those who tie their program directly to an IMAGINE 2020 goal and specifically explain how the goal will be achieved through the program.
  2. Collaboration: Indicate how the program will require and/or encourage partnerships among different entities and show collective leadership. 
  3. Program’s Impact: Evaluation methods, both qualitative and quantitative, that support evaluating the program’s impact on the community and anticipated goals for the project reach. 
  4. Creativity, Artistic Quality, Scope & Merit: Proposals should be innovative, well-defined and goal-oriented, and show artistic excellence. 
  5. Program and IMAGINE 2020 Promotion: Clearly articulated plan for how the program will be promoted in a way that supports advancement of the IMAGINE 2020 Cultural Plan and brand while gaining exposure for the participating organizations/individuals.


    Denver Arts & Venues is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion in all programs, initiatives and decision-making processes. Proposed initiatives must support these values.
    Applicants should consider how their programs and services are accessible to individuals with disabilities.  These standards are based on the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and can be found at Assistance can also be found by contacting the Denver Office of Disability Rights, 720-913-8485


  • Program name and brief description for which you are seeking support and the results you hope to achieve
  • Requested funding amount
  • List of all active partners (name, role, contact information)
  • Venue or proposed areas in Denver where your program will take place
  • Brief description of how the program aligns with and incorporates the vision and goals of the IMAGINE 2020 Cultural Plan
  • Identify the evaluation methods showing the impact on the community and anticipated goals for the project or program
  • Timeline for your program
  • Program budget
  • Any additional materials you feel support your program application (image, audio, video, etc.)

For questions, please contact:
Lisa Gedgaudas, Program Administrator, Create Denver