Building Connected Communities in Jeffco through Art + Culture

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In early 2023, Colorado Gives Foundation awarded $350,000 to 18 Jefferson County (Jeffco) nonprofits that are creating and nurturing inclusive civic engagement through the power of art, science and culture/  

“We are committed to equity and inclusion so that all of Jeffco is thriving. Art, culture and science play an important role in both expression of diverse viewpoints and inclusive civic engagement. We are proud to support these Jeffco nonprofits and their incredible work,” said Kelly Dunkin, president and CEO of Community First Foundation. 

In a creative approach to grantmaking, we partnered with the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD) to provide additional grant funds to these organization actively working to increase inclusivity in the county.   

“The information we needed was already in the grant applications nonprofits submitted to SCFD,” said Jaime Aguilar, program officer for Community First Foundation. “Our imagination ignited with the idea to review the SCFD applications where we found 18 organizations doing exceptional work in this area. Now, we can support civic engagement through diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in our community without the added burden for nonprofits to submit a new grant application.”   

“Democracy and activism can be found through shared experiences of art, science and culture and these 18 organizations are infusing equity and inclusivity into their work. We are awarding them unrestricted funding to support their critical work,” he added.    

Award amounts ranged between $700 and $30,000. “These organizations are building a community of connections and activism in Jeffco through arts and culture. We want to support this important work,” said Aguilar. 

40 West Arts  
Art is driving the activation of this rapidly changing corridor with community inclusion to Lakewood and intentional inclusion of Latinx/e, indigenous and people with disabilities. 

Apex Arts & Humanities Agency (Agency of Local Gov’t)  
Creating safe spaces for teens and those with all abilities to cultural programming. 

Arvada Center for the Arts Humanities  
Creating new opportunities to listen, expand their knowledge, find areas for growth, refocus energies to engage community while responding with increased access and programming/shows that respond to these DEI ideals. 

Center for the Arts Evergreen  
New exhibits reflecting different cultures are igniting imagination and create conversations. 

Colorado Environmental Film Festival  
Including films that are accessible to those with disabilities and under-represented minority communities into dominant narratives of critical environmental conversations. 

Colorado Folk Arts Council  
Providing resources to locate and identify cultural opportunities while promoting cooperation, tolerance and understanding among racial groups. 

Denver Audubon  
Fostering understanding and appreciation among diverse communities with a commitment to listening to, learning from, and amplifying all voices, especially those traditionally left unheard. 

Denver MountainAires+E16 dba Colorado Chord Company of the Denver MountainAires Barbershoppers  
Leveraging RTD Senior Ride RTD to provide access and engagement disadvantaged and isolated populations through free performances. 

Evergreen Players  
Engaging youth with learning disabilities like dyslexia and legally blind teenagers to create a diverse, inclusive and equitable space. 

Filipino-American Community of Colorado  
Celebrating diversity of experience, whether a new immigrant, a next generation or an adoptee, focusing on service to historically marginalized and underserved populations. 

Foothills Art Center  
Cultivating open understanding, learning and engagement through respectful and supportive environments that consider challenging topics and different perspectives. 

Foothills Park & Recreation District – Arts & Events Agenc 
Providing unique and inclusive environments that incorporate music and performing arts. 

Golden History Museum & Park   
This organization is furthering their commitment to represent the voices of the Native stewards of this land through their American Indian Ethnography exhibits for student and adult education with greater sensitivity, empathy and compassion for this history of Golden. 

Lakewood Arts Council  
Increasing diverse art groups to express local points of views, including the increased engagement of diverse community groups to expand calls for artists in this rapidly changing corridor on West Colfax. 

Morrison Theater Company dba Miners Alley Playhouse 
Engaging diverse youth through outreach, offering space for experiences and new audience perspectives. 

Tesoro Foundation  
Creating community-based events and educational outreach programs that enrich and celebrate the diverse cultural history of Colorado. 

The E Project dba Benchmark Theatre  
Engaging in engendered conversations about the universal human experience to nourish the imaginative spirit of our community through thought-provoking productions. 

The Venue Theatre  
Offering a diverse, inclusive, and safe space for authentic expression and creative collaboration.