RiNo Art District Announces Open Call for Artists and Entrepreneurs

RiNo Art District — a 501(c)(6) nonprofit arts organization dedicated to fostering a welcoming, creative community where a diversity of artists, residents and businesses thrive — is now accepting applications for its Creative Entrepreneur Grants program. The 2024 grant cycle invites creatives and organizations to propose start-up projects and programs as well as events and festivals supporting all art forms (performing, visual, literary, installations, etc.). The grant program will support the local creative ecosystem while building a community for Denver residents and visitors. 

“The RiNo Art District has always prioritized supporting a diverse array of arts and creative programming in our community, and now, through our Creative Entrepreneur Grants program, we’ve been able to expand and formalize our efforts with $150,000 in funding from our Business Improvement District,” said Alye Sharp, executive director, programs & partnerships at RiNo Art District. “This increased investment underscores our commitment to fostering a healthy, welcoming, and inclusive art district. We look forward to seeing what our creative community comes up with this year and how our combined efforts will reinforce RiNo as a must-visit destination for locals and visitors alike.” 

To be considered, creative projects and events being submitted must take place in 2024 and be located in one of the five historic neighborhoods RiNo touches (Five Points, Globeville, Elyria-Swansea, and Cole) and should emphasize collaborative and thoughtful partnerships within the community, create opportunities for engagement amongst Denver creatives, and foster community involvement and engagement in the RiNo Art District. Grants will support projects small and large. RiNo Art District will partner with grantees to support marketing efforts, make connections between grantees and local businesses, and connect grantees with available space to use in the Truss House in RiNo ArtPark when applicable. 

“The arts are a powerful force for good in our community, and initiatives like RiNo Art District’s Creative Entrepreneur Grants program play a crucial role in both enriching our cultural landscape as well as driving vital economic impact here in District 9,” said Denver City Council District 9 Councilman Darrell Watson. “These grants will spark bold new ideas, nurture emerging talent, and ensure our arts scene continues to thrive, and I encourage all creatives in the community to take advantage of this incredible resource.” 

Arts have a significant economic impact on Colorado’s economy, with the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts (CBCA) estimating that nonprofit art organizations like RiNo Art District have contributed $2.6 billion annually to the state’s economy annually. RiNo Art District’s Creative Entrepreneur Grants program is part of this broader effort to harness the economic potential of the arts while enriching our cultural landscape.  

Past recipients of grants from RiNo include: Denver Fringe Festival, an annual, uncensored showcase of diverse, original performing arts involving 250+ creatives performing in 50+ shows across 12+ venues in RiNo; Somebody’s Friend Movement and Music Festival, which brings together 40+ dance companies in Colorado for a weekend of performances, parties, and workshops celebrating all things movement; and The Savoy Denver, a historical community social hall in Five Points for hosting events, arts, theatre, music, and dance; as well as many others. 

“Thanks to RiNo Art District’s support, Denver Fringe Festival has been able to connect hundreds of diverse local artists and showcase their talents to thousands of Denver residents,” said Ann Sabbah, executive director of Denver Fringe Festival. “This funding directly contributes to the festival’s success, and we are forever grateful for RiNo’s continued support of the arts community in Denver.” 

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