Adorable photo from the SCFD website:

By Ashley Dean, Denverite | That’s up 11 percent from 2018, matching an 11 percent increase in the amount requested. The Scientific and Cultural Facilities District is preparing to distribute its next round of taxpayer dollars to arts and science organizations across metro Denver, and Denver County has made its decisions on who gets money and how much.

Pending final approval by SCFD, nearly $2.7 million will be distributed to 86 organizations that are based in Denver or that operate in Denver. That’s an 11 percent increase over 2018.

As a reminder of how all this works: Tier I organizations are a set group (think Denver Art Museum size) and receive 64 percent of sales and use tax by statute. Tier II organizations, a larger group, are determined by annual income and paid attendance. Tier III funding, which comprises the largest number of organizations by far, is based on what councils or boards determine in each county. In Denver County, the deciding group is the Denver County Cultural Council. All of Tier III groups receives 14 percent.

This year, Denver Tier III organizations will receive $2,650,212.43. Yes, it gets that specific.

The largest amount is recommended for RedLine Contemporary Art Center. It got $77, 833.33. The smallest amount, $1,678.78, was recommended for Mercury Ensemble. Three organizations that requested money did not receive any and one withdrew its request.

The total amount requested was $3,371,157.59. Each organization can request up to 15 percent of their most recently completed fiscal year budget, but no more than $85,000. (That’s why you’ll see that number frequently in the list below.)

Cultural Council Co-chair Will Chan and Denver Arts & Venues Director of Cultural Affairs Tariana Navas-Nieves presented the recommendations to Denver City Council’s Business, Arts, Workforce, & Aviation Services Committee in a July 24 meeting. The plan has since been approved by the full City Council, but still needs the go-ahead from the 11-member SCFD Board of Directors.

The Cultural Council made some changes to its process this year. Instead of grouping organizations by discipline for evaluation, they grouped them by size.

“We thought that might eliminate some of our unconscious bias,” Navas-Nieves said.

And instead of asking people to stand in front of the council to present, everyone comes together at a table with microphones.

The council also introduced a values document with guidance on evaluating how organizations “authentically engage the community,” how community diversity is reflected on staff, and more.

In the end, each council member submits a score for each organization and the average scores determine who gets how much money.

“We serve the taxpayers,” Navas-Nieves said. “Our responsibility is to all Denver residents.”

Below, for your thorough inspection, is the full list of Tier III organizations who requested money, how much they requested and how much they received, as provided by SCFD.

[This list has been narrowed to reflect Music Organizations only – lots more in other areas.] Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado asked for $31,750.00, received $21,301.09
Bug Performance and Media Art Center asked for $17,440.05, received $15,182.97
City Park Jazz Inc. asked for $16,402.50 $12,897.35
Colorado Celebration of African American Arts and Culture asked for $12,764.00, received $11,575.30
Colorado Chamber Players asked for $11,900.00, received $10,357.84
Colorado Choir and Chorus Organization asked for $4,500.00, received $4,156.11
Colorado Chorale asked for $9,392.00, received $8,161.19
Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts asked for $31,500.00, received $ 5,544.93
Colorado Friends of Old Time Music and Dance asked for $8,000.00, received $7,242.84
Colorado Hebrew Chorale asked for $10,024.00, received $8,755.75
Colorado Wind Ensemble, Inc. asked for $10,500.00, received $8,192.42
Colorado Youth Symphony Orchestras asked for $32,000.00, received $27,172.28
Columbine Chorale asked for $3,673.00, received $3,559.35
Denver Brass, Inc. asked for $85,000.00, received $69,925.96
Denver Children’s Choir asked for $68,334.00, received $57,598.35
Denver Chorale, Inc. asked for $2,434.00, received $2,632.77
Denver Concert Band, Inc. asked for $7,500.00, received $6,493.24
Denver Municipal Band asked for $19,850.00, received $15,759.09
Denver Philharmonic Orchestra asked for $28,106.00, received $24,403.23
Denver Pops Orchestra asked for $6,280.00, received $5,717.71
Denver Rocky Mountain Chapter of the American Guild of Organists asked for $1,200.00, received $1,746.39
Denver Turnverein Chorus asked for $5,317.00, received $4,708.31
Denver Young Artists Orchestra Association asked for $85,000.00, received $71,967.41
Friends of Chamber Music asked for $59,000.00, received $49,582.90
Gift of Jazz asked for $4,224.00, received $4,415.26
Inside the Orchestra asked for $53,000.00, received $43,802.19
Levitt Pavilion Denver asked for $100,000.00, received $76,864.07
Mercury Ensemble asked for $1,115.00, received $1,678.78
Mile High Freedom Band asked for $6,666.38, received $6,192.71
Museo de las Americas asked for $53,704.00, received $44,174.37
National Honor Band Association asked for $55,000.00, received $41,541.33
Orpheus Pagan Chamber Choir asked for $4,987.00, received $4,749.11
Sound of the Rockies asked for $37,000.00, received $30,231.14
St. Martin’s Chamber Choir asked for $19,100.00, received $12,745.43
Photo: SCFD logo

[Thank you to Alex Teitz,, for contributing this article.]

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