The Meow Wolf Foundation has announced the 2023-2024 inaugural grantees including 16 Denver metro-based organizations and over 60 arts entities nationwide.
The grant program, with a total funding of $600,000, supports over 60 organizations that reflect a wide range of arts and culture programs in New Mexico, Colorado (Denver metro area), Nevada (Clark County), and Texas (Grapevine/DFW and Houston) that share the foundation’s commitment to enriching communities through the healing power of art and creativity.
“As a company founded by artists, that employs artists, and celebrates the inner creative in everyone, Meow Wolf understands firsthand how creativity, imagination, and play can truly transform lives,” said Jose Tolosa, Meow Wolf CEO and board chair of The Meow Wolf Foundation. “Meow Wolf launched The Meow Wolf Foundation to deepen our commitment to communities and help amplify the critical work of those using art and creativity to change lives and build thriving creative communities.”
“Art and creativity has too often been seen as a nice-to-have, instead of a must-have. We want to change this conversation,” said Julie Heinrich, chief impact officer and head of The Meow Wolf Foundation. “Art and culture organizations typically receive the least amount of philanthropic giving nationally and we think there’s a tremendous opportunity to use art and creativity to heal and transform lives. We want to strengthen the art and culture ecosystems in our communities, especially among community-based organizations that are serving those who typically don’t have access, using art and creativity in innovative ways.”
The Meow Wolf Foundation was established on the belief that art is essential. It aims to support local communities through direct grants, employee matching gifts, and partnerships with local, regional, and national nonprofits that build vibrant communities in exhibit sites.
The Meow Wolf Foundation works alongside the company as a mission-driven entity, using art and imagination to build community, encourage equitable access to creativity, and impact change.
The Meow Wolf Foundation’s community grant program is guided by three core principles:
1. ACCESSIBLE – Art for All: This category aims to facilitate a sense of belonging, opportunity, and agency through art and creativity. It includes art and culture programming for diverse audiences of all ages, boosting the next generation of creative professionals, and supporting historically under-resourced communities.
2. RESTORATIVE – Art to Heal, Nourish, and Bridge Divides: This category focuses on the healing power of art and creativity, including mental and behavioral health programs and the preservation of traditional artistic and cultural practices, particularly within indigenous and First Nations communities.
3. TRANSFORMATIVE – Art to Build Community, Spark Action, and Imagine New Approaches: This category supports research and innovative projects that leverage art and creativity to re-imagine solutions, as well as advocacy and impact art that drives civic engagement and social change.
In the Denver metro area, Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center’s mission is to celebrate Chicano and Latinx arts to create a place where cultures may come together and have a transformative experience.
Tony Garcia, executive arts director at Su Teatro says, “We are excited to continue our work and expand our reach to Latinx, Chicano and Indigenous youth: a new generation of creatives and artists and the architects of an equitable future for all communities.”
Executive Director Damon McLeese says Access Gallery believes in using the power of art to change lives and sees the benefit of this work in the organization’s everyday social enterprise.
“We believe all artists with disabilities should have a place to earn and learn in a safe and accessible environment. We see it everyday, how art changes lives. We invite the community to celebrate the creative power or art through our gallery and studio.”
Cleo Parker Robinson Dance uses the universal language of dance to honor the African Diaspora and convey stories of the human condition. President and CEO Malik Robinson says this work “explores the human condition, champions social justice and unites people of all ages and races.”
Congratulations to our 2023-2024 Grantees (full list here):
- Denver Art Society
- Access Gallery
- Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation
- Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Colectiva
- Colorado Business
- Sacred Voices
- Su Teatro
- Sun Valley Kitchen + Community Center
- Sun Valley Youth Center Think 360 Arts for Learning
- Denver’s Art District on Downtown Aurora Visual Arts Latino Cultural Arts Center Museo de Las Américas RedLine Contemporary Art Center