Denver Arts & Venues Announces $1M in Venue Reactivation Funding

Mar 21 2022

Program supports Denver’s economic recovery work to rebuild an inclusive, sustainable, equitable economy that works for all residents

En español

As recovery from the pandemic continues, Denver Arts & Venues (DAV) will use American Rescue Plan Act funds to make it easier for nonprofits to produce events at City and County of Denver owned venues. Funds will be applied directly against costs typically billed back to the producers/promoters such as security, personnel services (ushers) and or janitorial services. The funds utilize $1M from the city’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) allocation. Between $100,000 and $150,000 will be reserved for use by organizations with 2020 revenues of less than $1 million. 

Applications will open March 23.

“COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the arts in our city and beyond,” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “This investment will help restore and reinvigorate Denver’s cultural landscape by supporting the organizations that bring arts and entertainment to Denver residents and visitors.” 

DAV will use ARPA money to offer a reduction in program costs to 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations which hold performances or events in a DAV facility between June 1, 2022 and May 31, 2023. Eligible expenses include, but are not limited to, security, ushers, ticket scanning and other similar personnel services, janitorial services, and third-party equipment rentals procured by DAV and normally billed back to clients as a production expense.

“This funding for Denver’s arts and entertainment organizations defrays the cost of doing events at DAV venues, and assists these organizations in doing what they do best – bringing joy to the people of Denver.” added Ginger White, Denver Arts & Venues executive director. 

Event Requirements   
•    Event must be held at a venue operated by DAV
     o    Denver Coliseum
     o    Red Rocks Amphitheatre
     o    Boettcher Concert Hall
     o    Ellie Caulkins Opera House
     o    Studio Loft at Ellie Caulkins Opera House
     o    Buell Theatre
     o    McNichols Civic Center Building
•    Presenting organization must be a non-profit Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 501(c)(3) entity
•    Event must be a ticketed event open to public purchase
•    Event must meet accessibility requirements under the ADA
•    Event must be a performance or event of a cultural or artistic nature and value such as, but not limited to, performing arts, literary, comedy, music, visual and fine arts, primary and/or secondary education activities, and/or film

Organizational Eligibility
•    Must have been fully operational on or before January 1, 2020 
•    Must have 2020 revenues that did not exceed $45M 
•    Must be able to show loss of income and/or increased costs directly due to COVID-19
•    Have a primary purpose of providing, promoting and/or preserving performances, activities, and/or education of cultural or artistic significance such as, but not limited to, performing arts, literary, comedy, music, visual and fine arts, supporting primary and/or secondary education activities, and film
•    Typically produce live programming or events such as music, dance, comedy, film screenings, fashion, cultural advocacy, fine arts, primary and/or secondary education activities, or material of similar nature

Materials and Guidelines
•    Application and Guidelines
•    Assistance will be awarded on a first come first served basis until all funding is exhausted
•    The total amount of assistance will not exceed $250,000 per organization for the twelve-month period from June 1, 2022 – May 31, 2023, and may be applied across multiple performances
•    Entities that have already booked events falling within the active grant window may apply for assistance and amend any booking agreement with DAV (if necessary)
•    Applications will be accepted from March 23, 2022-March 31, 2023, or until funds are exhausted

More information can be found at

Denver’s long-range plan for recovery includes direct distribution of $308 million in ARPA Local Relief Funds. To date, Denver has received and allocated $154 million in ARPA funds to support city, community, and business recovery efforts. Denver solicited and received feedback from more than 6,200 residents, Denver City Council, city agencies, the city’s Stimulus Investment Advisory Committee, and the Mayor’s Economic Recovery Council between May and September 2021 to inform the use of the city’s first round of ARPA funds. The remaining $154 million is expected to be delivered to Denver in the third quarter of 2022. Federal law requires Denver to expend all funds by the end of 2026. 

Back to News