35 Denver cultural organizations getting a piece of a $43 million Bloomberg Philanthropies program

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Your Souls Movement’s Kalere Hines dances onstage. The first night of Kwanzaa at the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Theatre, Dec. 26, 2016. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Cultural organizations across Denver are about to get a financial and administrative boost, thanks to a Bloomberg Philanthropies program designed to support small and mid-size theaters, museums, galleries, nonprofits and more.

Thirty-five Denver participants were chosen for the multi-year, $43 million Arts Innovation and Management (AIM) program, along with 14 organizations in Baltimore. Bloomberg Philanthropies will "provide unrestricted general operating support as well as arts management training in areas that include fundraising, strategic planning, marketing and board development," according to a press release. Participants had to be invited to apply, and those selected are set on a track focused on one of those four areas. They'll get financial support as well as regular management seminars, one-on-one consultations and "activities that strengthen their long-term health and goals."

The organizations can use the grants however they see fit, but are required to match 20 percent of their grant, reach 100 percent board participation in fundraising and maintain up-to-date information in an online management tool called DataArts.

"It’s a tremendous honor to be among the group of people selected, to be invited to be selected — obviously this is a highly competitive process," said Greg Carpenter, general and artistic director of Opera Colorado. "... The focus that we want to take on our journey with the AIM program is to really look at how we better broaden our audience and better serve the community with our current programs or programs that we should be thinking about, and also broaden our board and diversify and better represent our community."

Opera Colorado will be on the board development track, and Carpenter called the grant a "major boost."

"Beyond that, the training classes and the seminars that come with this grant will help us all come together as a board and staff and to envision a company that is more vibrant than what we are already and create form this program a really longstanding solid and sustainable model going forward."

At Curious Theatre Co., they'll be on the marketing track. Managing director Katie Maltais said their selection came at "a really opportune moment" as they wrap up a two-year grant cycle with the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation and turn their focus to getting more people through their doors.

"This grant coming at the end of that really allows us to use what we’ve learned over the last two years as a springboard to really push Curious Theatre forward," Maltais said. "... It’s a really unique opportunity where funding and professional development and mentorship go hand in hand, so we are thrilled to be included in this cohort."

Denver and Baltimore are just the latest cities to participate in the AIM program, joining Atlanta, Austin, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C. Since the initiative was launched in 2011, Bloomberg Philanthropies has funded $108 million in more than 500 cultural organizations.

Here's the full list of Denver participants:

  • Access Gallery
  • Augustana Arts
  • Baroque Chamber Orchestra Of Colorado
  • Buntport Theater Company
  • Centro Cultural Mexicano
  • Cherry Creek Theatre Company
  • Chicano Humanities And Arts Council
  • CMDance
  • Colorado Conservatory For The Jazz Arts
  • Curious Theatre Company
  • Denver Brass
  • Denver Children’s Choir
  • Denver Film Society
  • Denver Firefighters Museum
  • Denver Municipal Band
  • Denver Young Artists Orchestra
  • Downtown Aurora Visual Arts
  • Friends Of Levitt Pavilion Denver
  • Inside the Orchestra
  • Kim Robards Dance
  • Kirkland Museum Of Fine & Decorative Art
  • Lighthouse Writers Workshop
  • Museo De Las Americas
  • Cleo Parker Robinson Dance
  • Open Media Foundation
  • Opera Colorado
  • Phamaly Theatre Company
  • Platteforum
  • Redline
  • Rocky Mountain Arts Association
  • Stories on Stage
  • Su Teatro
  • Think 360 Arts For Learning
  • Wonderbound
  • Youth On Record

You can see grantees from every participating city here.

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