In an article in the Denver Post on Sunday, John Wenzel describes the good news for regional arts and cultural organizations. The Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD), which provides a financial lifeline to the 300 organizations, has increased revenue to distribute. The organization has helped make Denver one of the nation’s top areas for performing arts attendance.
At the moment arts funding in Washington D.C. is threatened with extinction, nearly two-thirds of Denver area voters supported a 12-year renewal of the SCFD. The funding provided for local cultural facilities and programs increased from $36 million in 2004 at the last renewal to $56 million today. The program is a national model for local arts funding, but has been seldom duplicated. The program’s success with Colorado taxpayers and opinion leaders reflects its careful governance, localized grant decision-making, and strong incentives for providing access to families and children of the entire region. It has a formula that works.
Congratulations to the SCFD on its 2016 victory and its 29 years of operation.