Arts & Venues Opens Applications for $1M in Coronavirus Relief Funds to Assist Independent Artists and Venues in Denver
The City and County of Denver plans to infuse another $25.6M in federal Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) into the local economy, and as part of that initiative Denver Arts & Venues will open two new grants on Monday, Oct. 5, to provide financial assistance to Denver’s cultural sector.
As part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Denver received $126.8M in federal funding on April 21, deploying $20M in Phase 1 funds on May 29, and $25.6M in Phase 2 funds Oct. 5. With Phase 2 funding, Arts & Venues will distribute up to $700K to Denver’s independent performing arts and music venues and up to $300K to individual artists currently residing in Denver.
“The COVID pandemic has had a devastating impact on our creative arts community and the venues and employees who support it,” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “These phase two funds will help provide some relief until we are all able to once again safely enjoy the work of the talented artists who are the foundation of Denver’s rich, creative culture.”
Arts & Venues will accept applications for both the Denver CARES Artist Relief Fund and the Denver CARES Venue Relief Fund from Oct. 5, 12 p.m. through Oct. 18, 11:59 p.m. Arts & Venues is committed to an inclusive and equitable review and selection process. The review panel is comprised of mayor-appointed members of the Denver Commission on Cultural Affairs. All applicants will be notified of their application status within 30 days after the application deadline. RedLine Contemporary Art Center will work in partnership with Arts & Venues to administer funds to awardees.
The funds will respectively prioritize artists and profit and not-for-profit venue operators who are experiencing severe financial distress. The funds will also assist artists and venues owned by or supporting historically marginalized communities, including Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), LGBTQ+ and people with disabilities, who remain financially vulnerable to impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.
“We know how important it is to support our creative community in Denver. Between April and July, Denver’s creative industries lost an estimated 30,000 jobs and $1.4 billion in sales due to the COVID-19 crisis,” said Ginger White, executive director of Denver Arts & Venues. “We will continue to advocate for direct funding for our artists and the independent performing arts and music venues across Denver that were among the first to close and will be the last to reopen fully."
The Denver CARES Artist Relief Fund will provide $1,000 grants to individual artists residing in the City & County of Denver who are suffering as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Similarly, the Denver CARES Venue Relief Fund will provide grants of up to $25,000 to operators of independent music and performing arts venues located in the City & County of Denver who are financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.