Art News

Colorado Arts Organizations Receive Big National Grants in 2020

Detour's futuristic electric bike at RedLine, one of the groups to receive NEA funding.
Detour's futuristic electric bike at RedLine, one of the groups to receive NEA funding. Michael Emery Hecker
National funders are paying attention to Colorado arts groups.

Earlier this week, the National Endowment for the Arts announced it had funded 26 organizations in the state, part of 1,187 groups that received NEA support across the country. Of $27.3 million in awards given to organizations nationwide, Colorado received $408,000.

That's a 38 percent increase in Colorado's NEA awards from the previous year, according to the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.

Over half of the grants were awarded to groups in the Denver area, with 42 percent going to organizations outside of it. Almost half of the organizations are in state-certified Colorado Creative Districts.

“Colorado’s diverse and rich arts scene supports thousands of jobs across the state,” Margaret Hunt, director of Colorado Creative Industries, says in an announcement. “Colorado Creative Industries values our fifty-year-old partnership with the Endowment, and we are excited to see so many organizations located outside of metro Denver benefiting from these federal funds, including many located in our certified Colorado Creative Districts. ”

Colorado’s 2020 first round of NEA recipients include the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Kim Robards Dance, BreckCreate, the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region, Academic Skills Program's dance festival, the Denver Architectural Foundation, the Denver Art Museum, Denver Botanic Gardens, Metropolitan State University of Denver, the Montbello Organizing Committee, Open Media Foundation, RedLine Contemporary Arts, Su Teatro, the University of Denver, Colorado Seminary to support the Newman Center Presents Series, Youth on Record, the Center for the Arts Evergreen, Colorado State University, the University of Northern Colorado, Grassroots Foundation Inc. the Blue Sage Center for the Arts, Elsewhere Studios, the Town of Parker, the Cherokee Ranch and Castle Foundation, the Anderson Ranch Arts Foundation and Bravo! Vail.

The Andy Warhol Foundation also just announced its fall 2019 grantees. The only Colorado award was $100,000, to the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver for its exhibition Citizenship, looking at political participation and civic duty.

The foundation awarded $3.9 million to groups nationwide.

“The fall 2019 grant list reflects the foundation’s unwavering commitment to supporting experimental artistic practice around the country,” explained Joel Wachs, the foundation’s president, in a statement. “We are proud to further the important work that each of these organizations does to give artists a platform from which to meaningfully engage with the world around them, whether that means their neighborhood community, their regional context, the contemporary art world or the broader culture.”
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Kyle Harris has been Westword’s Culture Editor since 2016, writing about the arts, music and film.
Contact: Kyle Harris