|Don and Marylee Beauregard|
with 1988 and 2016 yard signs
to Denver’s four major cultural institutions – the Zoo, Natural History Museum, Art Museum and Botanic Gardens – was withdrawn due to a shortfall in state revenues. The City of Denver was not in a position to help the institutions, except for a basic subsidy of cash and in-kind services that had been frozen and endangered for years. The institutions were forced to close floors, cut hours and started charging admission fees.
A group of trustees from the four organizations came together to help their institutions and the cultural life of the community in general. Later, they were joined by leaders from the performing arts community and other civic leaders who saw the dire need.
What they came up with in the form of the Scientific & Cultural Facilities District (SCFD) has become a nationally recognized model for supporting arts and culture. It collects a modest tenth-of-a-cent sales tax that flows directly to the programs with minimum overhead. The seven-county Denver metro region will vote this year to renew the SCFD, and a campaign has been mounted with some of the originators from 30 years ago, joined by a new group of cultural supporters and civic activists.
Barry and Arlene Hirschfeld, among the original organizers, sponsored a celebration of the founders
and a campaign fundraiser last week, which brought together many of the people who helped from the early years:
|Barry and Arlene Hirschfeld and |
KK and Floyd Ciruli with Popsicle
The SCFD renewal will be Ballot Issue 4B, located near the end of the long 2016 Colorado ballot. It will read:
DENVER METROPOLITAN SCIENTIFIC CULTURAL FACILITIES DISTRICT (SCFD) BALLOT ISSUE 4B:
SHALL THERE BE AN EXTENSION UNTIL JUNE 30, 2030, OF THE AGGREGATE 0.1 PERCENT SALES AND USE TAXES CURRENTLY LEVIED AND COLLECTED BY THE DENVER METROPOLITAN SCIENTIFIC AND CULTURAL FACILITIES DISTRICT THAT ARE SCHEDULED TO EXPIRE ON JUNE 30, 2018, FOR ASSISTING SCIENTIFIC AND CULTURAL FACILITIES WITHIN THE DISTRICT…
Please vote to renew the SCFD and keep Colorado’s acclaimed program of culture for all in place for another 12 years.