Community offers resources, support to creatives amid COVID-19 lockdown
Denver's cultural organizations were hit by show and event cancellations, but the community is rallying around them
A performance at the 2019 CBCA Business for the Arts Award luncheon.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in Colorado is having a profound impact on a number of Colorado's industries and businesses. One industry largely impacted by the outbreak is Denver's cultural organizations and artists as venues and organizations close and as shows, concerts and fundraisers are cancelled or indefinitely postponed. However, amid the outbreak and lockdown, the community has come together to find resources for the creative industry to manage the impact of the crisis. Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, TRG Arts and the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts (CBCA) are rising to provide resources and aid to those cultural organizations and artists that are affected.
Bonfils-Stanton Foundation creates emergency funding program
Bonfils-Stanton Foundation created an emergency funding program to 43 arts and culture organizations who have received general operating and program support from the Foundation in the past 18 months. The Foundation selected the 43 organizations based on those that are at risk for earned revenue loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding amount is based on 10% of their most recent grant, with a $6,000 cap. The total grant committment is around $125,000.
These grants will not require any sort of application or final report. The funding has already been released. Much has been written about how funders are taking this opportunity to shift their existing funding towards unrestricted support. The vast majority of the Foundation’s funding is already general operating support.
“Like all foundations, Bonfils-Stanton Foundation’s corpus (the endowment out of which the Foundation makes grants) is down significantly due to declines in the market, but this is not the time to worry about preservation of capital,” says Gary Steuer, president and CEO of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation. “It is a time for us to be there for our community. The market will rebound at some point, but many of our more fragile cultural organizations may not. Many artists and arts organizations are already finding innovative ways to use their capacity to continue to serve our community, bringing joy, artistry, learning and compassion to people through digital platforms.”
Additional resources, as well as up-to-date information for the cultural community, can be found on a new page of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation website.
TRG Arts creates virtual roundtables for cultural organizations
TRG Arts, a Colorado Springs-based consulting firm for cultural and arts professionals, will be presenting a special series of 30-minute virtual rountable discussions with its CEO, Jill Robinson, over the next six weeks. These discussions will center around the impact that COVID-19 is having on the creative industry. Robinson will provide updates on the imact TRG Arts is seeing, share best practices on how to manage the short-term impact, provide insight into the company's counsel on long-term implications, help bring focus to an organization's business model for long-term gain and answer questions.
The series is started Tuesday, March 17 and will continue through Thursday, April 23. Find a schedule of the discussions, as well as sign up, here.
CBCA shares resources of support
CBCA has created a list on their website (that will be continually updated) of resources for artists, creative professionals, businesses and cultural organizations. This list also contains ways that Colorado citizens can continue to support the creative economy. In addition, CBCA is looking to moving its own trainings for artists and cultural organizations to a virtual platform.
For artists and creative professionals, CBCA's list includes (but is not limited to):
- A national freelance artists resource list that has emergency funding opportunities, virtual events, mental health resources, advocacy alerts and more
- The Colorado Artist Talents and Skills Database, which provides inspiration for other opportunities availble to creative professional
- The Denver Metro Area Artist Relief Fund and the Colorado Artist Relief Fund are both crowdfunded artist relief funds where artists can apply for financial assistance.
- The Americans for the Arts' COVID-19 resource and response center
In addition, CBCA has shared ways you can continue to support the creative economy in Colorado. This includes taking ticket refunds from cancelled events and donating them back to the organization, hiring artists for work at your business, purchasing gift cards/certificates so you can attend future events and much more.