Upcoming Deadlines: 
The schedule for the 2019 grant calendar has not yet been set. Please check back in early August, 2018 for updates on the next funding round.  


Have Questions?

Please attend an Arts in Society Information session to have your questions answered. You may also read the FAQ section below or watch archived information sessions on RedLine's Facebook page. 

2017/2018 Information Sessions: 

Live info session- Saturday, July 29, 1 - 2:30 PM at RedLine

Facebook Live Chat-Tuesday, August 29, 12-1 PM at

About the application process

All applications are submitted through an online application portal. The portal will become available on this page when the application opens. The application is comprised of the questions below. 

Application Questions:

-       Requested amount & total cost of project

-       Start & End date

-       Neighborhood, City & County

-       Tell us about your project.

-       What inspired the idea? What need is the project addressing?

-       Who are the artists and/or partners that are involved?

-       Tell us about your community and how they will be engaged.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What are the rules for the program?

In order to be eligible for a grant, applicants must reside in the state of Colorado and have an arts idea that engages a social issue.

 What’s considered socially engaged art?

Good question. There are many definitions, but we like this one: “an art medium that focuses on social engagement, inviting collaboration with individuals, communities, and institutions in the creation of art that informs a social issue”.

If you want to learn more about this field of practice, please see the following links:

A Blade of Grass

Creative Time

Pablo Helguera, Education for Socially Engaged Art

 How do you define community?

We define community in geographic and relational terms. A project must work with a community of people who share something in common (interest, geography, heritage, etc.).


Who can apply?

Arts in Society is open to nonprofits and individuals. Basically, all who reside in the state of Colorado can apply. You do NOT need to be an arts organization. We encourage applications from non-arts organizations like human service groups, neighborhood organizations or healthcare organizations (as examples).

Can individual artists apply?


Could government entities apply?


Could an organization or artist located outside of Colorado be eligible to apply if they use an eligible local organization as a fiscal sponsor?

Primary applicants must be from Colorado. If you are an organization or artist outside the state of Colorado interested in applying, you must partner with an organization within the state in order to be eligible. A fiscal sponsor does not count as a “partner”. Partner organizations must play a critical role in the implementation of the project.

If I am already a grantee of Bonfils-Stanton, Hemera, and Colorado Creative Industries can I also apply to this program?



What’s the difference between the application and a “full proposal?”

The application gives us just enough information to understand your idea and its context. If we choose it as a finalist, we will invite you to write a more detailed proposal.

How many applications may I submit?

There is no limit. Each application should be for a different project. We encourage applicants to submit their strongest idea(s).

If I am an artist or arts group, is a non-arts partner required?

No, but if your project addresses or works with a social issue (as it should), the final proposal should speak to your ability and cultural competency in engaging with that social issue. 


How much will be awarded?

Each year, Arts in Society will grant $500,000 to approximately 15-25 projects. We anticipate grants will range from $10,000-$50,000 depending on the project.

Is there a matching requirement, or could AiS fund the entire cost of a project?

There is no “match” requirement (i.e. a need to raise matching dollars to what is awarded). Applicants may request the full cost of a project.

Could AiS award less than the requested amount? If so, would the expected scope of work be adjusted to reflect lower funding?

Yes and yes.

If our request is for partial support, how secure does the other funding need to be if I want to have a competitive proposal?

You do not need to have secured other funding in order to be competitive. Applications will be reviewed on the artistic merit of the project idea.

Could funds be used for capital projects - a facility renovation or construction, for example - if it meets the program objectives?



Who reviews my application?

A panel of mostly local and some national experts, with the support of both Bonfils-Stanton,  Hemera, and Colorado Creative Industries staff will review each application. Ultimately, the final decision lies with each Foundation’s board of trustees.

What criteria will be used to review my application?

Panelists will review applications on the following criteria:
 Artistic Excellence and Merit - How is excellence of the artist’s work and/or artistic process demonstrated? Is there a quality artistic output as a result of the project?
Relationships- What are the relationships to community, to partners, to artists, or others involved? How authentic are these relationships? Are multiple sectors included?
Intent & Viability- Is the scope of this project realistic? Is the intended outcome viable? Are the right partners engaged?
Relevancy- How is the need for the project demonstrated? Is the approach informed by the community?

 How do you define artistic excellence?

The arts are central to the project and the proposal reflects an informed understanding of the particular art form(s) being implemented. The criteria for the selection of artist and/or artwork is clearly defined and documented. Please refer to Animating Democracy's Aesthetic Perspectives, for a detailed explanation of how aesthetics will be considered in relationship to proposed projects:

If my proposal is not accepted, will I know why?

Due to the number of applications we expect to receive, each one of them will not receive individual comments from the reviewers. As such, we cannot share with you exact reasons for your project being declined.

Grant Awards

When will grants be announced?

April 2018.

If I am funded, how long will I have to complete the grant?

Each applicant will determine the length necessary to complete the project. We anticipate projects should go no longer than 24 months.

How soon will we hear back with a decision on our applications?

You will be contacted via email late November with either an invitation to submit a full proposal or with the decision to decline your application.

What is entailed in the "learning community" work?

All grantees will be required to participate in a series (3 per year) of convenings to discuss what they’ve learned through the process of implementing their projects. Meetings will be held locally.

Who do I contact if I have questions?

For information about this program please contact Libby Barbee, Programming and Arts in Society Manager at

About Bonfils-Stanton Foundation
Bonfils-Stanton Foundation strategically provides grants and fellowships to advance the arts and inspire creative leadership in Denver. Our foundation is richly steeped in Denver’s cultural history, but we are also a contemporary leader in fueling innovation and exploration in our creative economy. Each year we give more than $3 million to arts organizations and nonprofit leaders, because we believe these entities and individuals are critical to building and sustaining a vibrant community.


About Colorado Creative Industries

Colorado’s Creative Industries Division, Colorado’s state arts agency, is a division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. Established to capitalize on the immense potential for our creative sector to enhance economic growth in Colorado, the mission of Colorado Creative Industries is to promote, support and expand the creative industries to drive Colorado’s economy, grow jobs and enhance our quality of life.

About The Hemera Foundation
The Hemera Foundation, established in 2007, is a Boulder based charitable organization. The Hemera Foundation supports innovative organizations and initiatives that foster basic human goodness in individuals and society.