Over its nearly 75 year history, the Boettcher Foundation has awarded grants to numerous forward-thinking organizations that continue to make an impact across our state.
Here we highlight a few of them. Come back often as we update this page to learn more about grantee organizations.
Salida Arts District, Salida, CO
Arts & Creativity Turn Around a Town
Downtown Salida, Colorado boasts an historic downtown nestled on the Arkansas River. Full of Victorian buildings and loads of character, the downtown area fell into a state of disrepair in the 1980s, with empty buildings and unused space. As in many communities, artists were eventually drawn by low prices and relocated to Salida, transforming the downtown over time into a vibrant hub of creative activity, commerce and community.
Today, this small city is recognized as a state leader in the arts thanks to a local government committed to emphasizing its existing historic downtown as a center of commerce, and to a strong contingent of creative enterprises—more than 100 creative businesses and 21 artists-owned studios and galleries are located downtown–reusing this existing built environment to live, work and do business.
In September of 2012, the Boettcher Foundation teamed with Colorado Creative Industries, a division of the state Office of Economic Development, to become the founding sponsor of the state’s new Creative Districts Program. The Creative Districts Program is designed to give selected arts districts access to grant funding, tailored technical assistance, networking and training programs, and access to advocacy tools.
The Boettcher Creative District Leadership Awards will provide $300,000 in matching funds to up to 12 Certified and Prospective Creative Districts over a five-year period.
Goal outcomes of the grants include:
- Attract tourists and tourism dollars
- Create hubs of economic activity
- Attract creative entrepreneurs to a community, infusing new economic and civic capital
- Showcase a community’s unique identity
Thanks to its already growing arts community and local government support, Salida become one of the first of two Certified Creative Districts in 2012 and was awarded up to a $25,000 grant from the Boettcher Foundation.
“The Trustees of the Boettcher Foundation took much pleasure in approving these grants,” said Tim Schultz, President and Executive Director of the Foundation. “Colorado’s artists, arts organizations and creative entrepreneurs are increasingly recognized as community assets. The state’s newly designated Creative Districts are capitalizing on these assets to grow their local economy and improve the quality of life for their residents. We want to help them be successful and sustainable over the long-term. Salida is already off to a great start, and we look forward to the Boettcher grant taking them even further along the road to success.”
La Puente is a social services organization that serves a myriad of needs. What began as a homeless shelter keeps reinventing itself to meet the ever-changing challenges of its community. Today La Puente owns and operates multiple buildings to provide a food bank, thrift store, coffee shop, a shelter for victims of domestic abuse as well as individuals and families in need, after-school and summer-school programs, and more.
Funds from the Boettcher Foundation, along with other donor funds, helped renovate structural elements of the buildings including new heating, plumbing, electrical, walls and flooring—plus a new, modern kitchen for the Food Bank.
Learn more about La Puente on their website.
The Boettcher Foundation and the Denver Zoo have a long history together, from the Foundation’s early gift to the Pachyderm Habitat to a gift for building the Welcome Center. Our most recent award is in support of the Zoo’s innovative new “Asian Tropics” exhibit. The Boettcher funds will help create a ground-breaking biomass gasification system that will convert over 90% of the zoo’s animal waste and consumer trash into energy to heat and cool the 11 buildings in Asian Tropics, as well as its 750,000 gallon water features.
That means our funding will lead to happy, healthy Asian elephants, Indian rhinos, Malayan tapirs, flying foxes and white-cheeked gibbons. Not to mention the millions of Denver zoo visitors who will be inspired and educated by the Asian Tropics exhibit!
Take one abandoned elementary school, occupy it with approximately 20 nonprofit groups serving people in 7 counties, then layer in 400,000 men, women and children who will be served, and you have the perfect recipe for Third Street Center. Founded in 2008, Third Street Center provides its nonprofit tenants with a number of direct benefits including increased visibility, stability, affordability, enhanced networking and collaboration.
Funds from the Boettcher Foundation provided the “last mile” $40,000 challenge grant to help The Third Street Center reach its total project goal of $4.8 million.