2019 Special Facilities Grants


The Special Facilities Grant was established by the City of Boulder City Council in order to support nonprofits which own or operate venues to improve the provision of programming to the community through the public use of their facility. Administered by the Boulder Arts Commission, the grant seeks great ideas from applicants on how the funding can improve the public use of the venue.  This may include projects, events, operational needs, or other new or planned programs which address one or several of the following:

  • Deepens the connection to the community. This includes ideas to bolster or expand the ways the facility is a benefit to the residents of Boulder, build our sense of community, or introduce the venue to new audiences in Boulder.
  • Encourage collaboration. This includes ideas to leverage the venue through collaborations with other nonprofits for programs, performances, or exhibitions. Or, projects that cooperate with local presenters, experts, and artists for new programs sourced from creative people and groups in our community. Or, collaborations with organizations and cultural leaders outside of Boulder to benefit from fresh ideas and innovative experiences.
  • Improving access. This includes ideas that lower barriers to entry, for outreach and marketing to underserved communities, that keep admission costs low, or other ideas for accessibility.
  • Contributes to the experience of participants. This includes ideas for new performances or exhibitions, minor capital needs such as new or renovated equipment, temporary needs for visitor experience staff or contracted support of a program, startup costs for new experiences, or other operational or programmatic improvements.

Hereafter, the proposals for projects, programming, or operational needs which form an application to this grant will be referred to as the “project”.


Total funds: $250,000

Awards: Applications will be accepted for grants of any amount. See below for further details.

Cycle: Annual, funding is only available in the 2019 grants cycle.

DEADLINE TO SUBMIT APPLICATIONS: Monday, June 10 at 11:59 p.m.

How to apply*

*This section has been changed. New information is bolded. A new calendar can be found below under Decision Timeline.

  1. Review the below information in full.
  2. Log onto the Boulder Arts Commission online grant portal. If you have not logged on before, make a profile. Applications must be submitted using our online grant applications. We encourage you to watch this training video for instructions on registering and applying online.
  3. Complete the application by 11:59 p.m. on the day of the deadline. The application consists of:
    1. Online application form.
    2. Project Budget.
    3. Partner/collaborator list.
    4. Letters of support.
    5. Additional documentation and materials.
  4. Look for an automated email message confirming receipt of your application.
  5. After the deadline, staff will send all applications to the panel for scoring and comments. The panel consists of the five City Council-appointed Boulder Arts Commissioners and four members of the community.
  6. You will receive notification that the panel’s scores and comments on your application are available. Please review their scores and comments and prepare a 3,000 character written response. The written response should be emailed to Lauren Click at clickl@boulderlibrary.org by July 26, 2019 at 11:59pm. 
  7. The panel will rescore the applications online in advance of the Arts Commission meeting. 
  8. At the Arts Commission meeting the Commission will discuss the scores and make final decisions on the grants.
  9. If you are awarded a grant, staff from the Office of Arts and Culture will contact you to complete any necessary paperwork.

Eligibility Criteria

  • General eligibility.Meets all general eligibility requirements.
  • Open to Public Venues and Facilities. Applicants must be 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations which own or operate public venues such as museums, theaters, galleries, education facilities, or other facilities which provide programming to the general community. The facility may be programmed for any field or specialty including culture, heritage, social justice, science, or the arts.
  • The following types of facilities are not eligible:

a) Individual or co-op visual and performing arts studios.
b) University or college facilities.
c) Facilities which are only accessible to paid members.
d) Facilities that are exclusively used for retail sales.

  • Service area and programming. Must be able to demonstrate that a majority of the organization’s programming takes place in the City of Boulder and that the programming meets the criteria described in the Chapter 14-1-2 of the City of Boulder Revised Code. The organization must also demonstrate that they are headquartered in Boulder.
  • Governance, Nonprofit Status. Applicants must provide formal IRS documentation of their 501(c)3 status.

Review Process

  • Deliberation. Grant proposals are reviewed by the Boulder Arts Commission grants panel, which is composed of the five Boulder Arts Commissioners and four members of the arts community. Final granting decisions are made at Boulder Arts Commission meetings. See schedule.
  • Evaluation criteria.
    • Project or Operational Initiative Description (8 points, maximum)
    • Community Priorities (8 points, maximum)
    • Cultural Equity (8 points, maximum)
    • Proposed Outcomes and Evaluation Strategy (8 points, maximum)
    • Encouragement Points (4 points, maximum)

The complete scoring system and rubric for the Special Facilities Grants can be found here.

The Arts Commission has decided to change the verbal presentations to written responses. The verbal presentations and live rescore during an Arts Commission meeting have been removed; applicants will now provide written responses to the panel’s questions and comments. Final rescore of the grants will be online. Discussion and decisions on the grants will occur at the Arts Commission meeting on Wednesday, August 21. Please find the a full, updated calendar below.

DEADLINE TO SUBMIT APPLICATIONS: Monday, June 10 at 11:59 p.m.


Boulder Arts Commission
Facilities Grants
Updated June 20, 2019

  • Monday, June 10 at 11:59 p.m. – Deadline for applications
  • June 10 to June 20 – Review by staff for eligibility and revision by applicants if necessary
  • June 20 to July 12 – Preliminary review and score by panel (22 days)
  • July 12 to July 19 – Score processing by staff
  • July 19 – Preliminary scores and comments sent to applicants via email
  • July 19 to July 26 – Applicants prepare and send written responses to the panel’s questions. The written response should be emailed to Lauren Click at clickl@boulderlibrary.org by July 26, 2019 at 11:59pm.
  • July 26 to July 31 – Response processing by staff
  • July 31 – Responses sent to panel
  • July 31 to August 9 – Final review and score by panel
  • August 9 to August 16 – Processing of final scores
  • August 16 – Final scores sent to applicants via email
  • August 21 – Arts Commission meeting. Discussion and final decisions on grants


To preview and apply, log on to the Boulder Arts Commission grants software and complete the online grant application.

Appeals Process

Written Appeals Process. The deadline for a written appeal is 14 days after funding decisions has been made by the Boulder Arts Commission. The appeals process can be found through this link.


Grant report forms are on the Boulder Arts Commission grants software. Log onto the same account used to apply for the grant, and look under ‘Follow Up Forms’ for the reporting form. After you you submit the report you’ll receive email confirmation and copy of the report via the email that you have included in the report.

Contact Lauren Click at clickl@boulderlibrary.org or 720-564-2355 have questions.

More Information

General Eligibility Requirements
2019 Grant Application Schedule
2019 Grant Scoring System and Rubric
Grant FAQs