For arts nonprofits, finding money for day-to-day operations isn't easy. Often funders are more interested in supporting one-off projects rather than the steady work done by such organizations. Too often this leads to mission creep, as groups start focusing on things that fall outside their general mission in order to bring in some bucks.
Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, a longtime funder of Denver arts groups, just announced a whopping $1,040,000 in cultural grants for arts organizations across the city, and much of the money will go to daily operations. In the mix of recipients: the Colorado Ballet, Curious Theatre, the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver and Phamaly Theatre Company, along with the newer Crush Walls and Levitt Pavilion, the nonprofit amphitheater in Ruby Hill Park.
“We are particularly pleased to offer three-year, multi-year support to several organizations in recognition of our long-standing partnerships, the strength of the organizations’ performance and leadership, and commitment to community,” Gina Ferrari, director of the foundation’s grants program, said in a statement announcing the grants. “By providing multi-year, general operating support, we are helping to sustain vital organizations that increase cultural participation, connect art and community, and enhance the profile of Denver’s art scene.”
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Over the years, the foundation has given more than $72 million in charitable contributions. It's also launching a second year of its Diversity in the Arts Internship program, which supports ten paid internships at ten Denver arts and culture organizations from June through August.
Below is the full list of grantees and the amounts they received:
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Art Students League: $35,000
RiNo Art District for Crush Walls:$15,000
Art Students League: $25,000
Community Minded Dance: $10,000
Colorado Ballet Company: $180,000 total over three years; $60,000 each year
Colorado Photographic Arts Center: $15,000
Curious Theatre Company: $135,000 total over three years; $45,000 each year
Denver Brass Inc: $15,000
Friends of Levitt Pavilion Denver: $15,000
Mizel Center for Arts and Culture for the JAAMM Festival: $25,000
The Newman Center for Performing Arts at the University of Denver: $25,000
Phamaly Theatre Company: $75,000 total over three years; $25,000 each year
Denver Art Museum: $350,000 (for the Vision 2021 North Building renovation)
Friends of Chamber Music: $20,000
Museum of Contemporary Art Denver: $100,000