Denver is going to give arts organizations $15,000 each to help them recover from the pandemic

The nonprofit RedLine organization will administer the funds — a total of $500,000 — to arts groups that struggled during the height of COVID-19 closures.
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Grupo Tlaloc Danza Azteca opens MCA Denver’s first show of their long-term lease at the historic Holiday Theater in Highland. April 7, 2022.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

Back in January, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) awarded Denver Arts & Venues (DAV) a grant of $500,000 to support local arts organizations still trying to get back to regular during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Monday, Denver City Council agreed to appoint a subcontractor to use that money to give more than 30 awards of $15,000 each to nonprofit arts and cultural organizations that struggled during the pandemic.

In order for the organizations to qualify for the grants -- called the "American Rescue Plan Grants to Local Arts Agencies for Subgranting" -- they must have reopened or intend to reopen and have had revenue of $1,000,000 or less in 2021. Their  primary mission must focus on the arts, culture, and the creative industries, such as performing arts, theater, dance, music, visual arts, film, photography, arts and cultural education, and more.

The group administering the grants is RedLine, a nonprofit organization in Five Points that supports community and contemporary arts and frequently administers grant programs and distributes cash to the cultural sector. The State of Colorado (through its  Colorado Creative Industries) and the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation are two such institutions who utilize Redline for comparable services.

Under the agreement RedLine will distribute $492,500 in National Endowment for the Arts grant funds on behalf of DAV and receive a fee of $7,500 for services.

"We feel grateful to be part of an ongoing ecosystem of care that can help expedite relief funds to nonprofits, artists and cultural organizations throughout Denver's communities," said RedLine Executive Director Louise Martorano.

Denver Arts & Venues also aims to provide funding for organizations that remain financially vulnerable to COVID-19 impacts, organizations owned or led by members of historically marginalized communities, and organizations supporting historically marginalized communities.

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