Applications sought for Colorado arts relief funding

Online applications will be accepted through Jan. 8 under a new initiative providing pandemic relief funds for businesses, organizations and individuals involved in arts, culture and entertainment in Colorado.

“Colorado’s arts, culture and entertainment industries play a critical role in our economy and are essential parts of our recovery and resiliency,” said Margaret Hunt, director of Colorado Creative Industries. “The Colorado Arts Relief program offers direct relief to individuals, businesses and organizations most severely impacted by COVID-19 capacity restrictions.”

By one estimate, creative industries in Colorado generated $31.6 billion in the sales of goods and services in 2019.

In the aftermath of the pandemic and related restrictions, arts and culture organizations experienced losses in employment and revenue. Between April and July, creative industries lost 59,600 jobs and $2.6 billion. The estimated losses will contract the region’s creative economy by 31 percent in terms of employment and 8 percent in annual sales revenue.

Enacted during a special session of the Colorado Legislature, the initiative directs up to $7.5 million in relief payments to eligible artists, crew members and organizations. Funding will be distributed through separate grant applications processes — one for businesses and organizations and another for individuals.

The Colorado Arts Relief Fund for businesses and organizations will provide general operating support grants to arts, culture and entertainment organizations who operate under a business model in which ticket sales or physical foot traffic constitute a significant portion of total annual revenue affected by venue closures due to the pandemic.

The Colorado Arts Relief Fund for individuals will provide grants up to $2,500 designed to assist arts, culture and entertainment artists and crew members experiencing income loss due to government-mandated closures and have been unable to generate meaningful income to replace income lost through the cancellation of events, classes, performances and other related work.

Online applications for the Colorado Arts Relief Fund will be accepted through 4 p.m. Jan. 8 at the website at