Understanding the Boulder County Arts Alliance's Colorado Grantmaking

Photo: DanielJohn/shutterstock

Photo: DanielJohn/shutterstock

While many Colorado foundations have numerous focus areas and broad interests, others are very targeted and only support specific causes. One example of the latter is the Boulder County Arts Alliance (BCAA), which has been serving Boulder County, Colorado since 1966. Its goal is to “incubate, stimulate and sustain a thriving arts community in Boulder County,” and it has various funding programs available to local grantseekers.

Here’s a closer look at the Boulder County Arts Alliance’s local grantmaking.

Commonly Funded Art Disciplines

BCAA does not discriminate when it comes to the types of art it supports. Just a few include visual arts, theater, dance, music, storytelling, film, literature and book arts. It considers every art discipline in its grant cycles. In addition to grants, BCAA also provides fiscal sponsorship to individual artists and cultural organizations that don’t have 501(c)(3) status.

Steady Funding Programs

BCAA maintains several funding programs to keep artists and arts organizations in business. One of them is the BCAA Endowment, which awards grants twice a year. In the fall, the endowment supports equipment purchases and specific projects. In the spring, these grants are available for unrestricted fellowships, operating support and arts education.

Another program is the Martha Kate Thomas Fund for Artists, which awards grants of $3,000 or less to artists facing unforeseen needs. The Pathways to Jazz Grant Fund supports jazz music promotion and contemporary American composers’ music, while the Arts for All Children Grant Fund supports music and dance teachers who provide services to low-income children. The Musicians Relief Grant Fund has supported those impacted by COVID-19-related cancellations of concerts and events.

Other Opportunities

Browse the BCAA website to learn about additional funds and opportunities. For example, the Actos de Confianza micro-grants are $500 grants for short-term emergency assistance. Artist safety net grants, freelance artist resources, creative neighborhood projects and funding for writers in need are also among BCAA’s interests.

Overall, this is a grantmaker that’s in tune with local arts needs and has been known to shift its giving priorities when circumstances demand. BCAA serves the following communities:

  • Allenspark

  • Boulder

  • Eldorado Springs

  • Gold Hill

  • Gunbarrel

  • Hygiene

  • Jamestown

  • Lafayette

  • Longmont

  • Louisville

  • Lyons

  • Marshall

  • Nederland

  • Niwot

  • Pinecliffe

  • Superior

  • Ward

Beyond Grantmaking

BCAA is more than just a local funder. In addition to grantmaking, it hosts “business of art” workshops, offers opportunities like residencies and art walk registrations, and promotes open arts contests looking for entrants. This organization is also a resource to know for art camps for children and adults, art studio space and art-related items for sale.

To learn more about BCAA, check out IP’s full profile in our Mountain States funding guide.