Local music is a precious thing that both entertains as well as enhances our culture as a city. Denver knows this fact, from the Mission Ballroom rising in RiNo to the many venues that line Colfax and the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre — Denver has long been committed to cultivating its music scene. That commitment received a huge boost today as Denver Arts & Venues has promised a combined $80,000 in grants to explicitly support Denver music initiatives.

Dubbed the Denver Music Advancement Fund, the aforementioned grants are being made available as part of a long-term initiative to build and maintain Denver’s music scene as part of the City-sponsored Denver Music Strategy. The community-led platform seeks to leverage Denver’s local talent and resources and includes participants who are musicians, government representatives, businesses, nonprofit leaders and educational institutions. The Denver Music Strategy will focus specifically on five tactics:

  1. Continue research, policy development and advocacy through global, regional and local partnerships including programs like Colorado Creative Industries’ Music Strategy for the State of Colorado, and those at the University of Colorado Denver College of Arts & Media.
  2. Convene the Denver Music Advisory Panel, an advisory group comprised of musicians and business, government, nonprofit and educational leaders, to support long-term strategies to amplify Denver as a global music city.
  3. Launch the Denver Music Advancement Fund, which will provide $80,000 in the first year to support initiatives that advance the Denver Music Strategy and IMAGINE 2020 cultural plan.
  4. Support safe and affordable creative spaces for creative production, youth engagement, artistic growth and musical collaboration by working directly with city agencies, the community, businesses and organizations.
  5. Support emergency preparedness initiatives by adapting successful models from arts and cultural institutions.


Red Rocks

Photo by Zena Ballas

Speaking on the new strategy mayor Michael B. Hancock stated in a press release, “music contributes to the vibrancy of our community, our economy, our diversity and our livability, so it’s important that we continue to support and strengthen Denver’s music scene.” In fact, Denver’s metropolitan region alone is responsible for over 8,500 jobs and $842.4 million in revenue.

With the announcement today, Denver Music Advancement Fund funded by Denver Arts & Venues and in partnership with Illegal Pete’s and LivWell Enlightened Health, has begun accepting proposals to advance the local “music initiative” now until August 3. The fund will provide grant opportunities a maximum of $7,500 per grant to individuals and organizations supporting Denver’s music community. 

For this round of funding, projects must take place in 2018-2019 calendar years. Full guidelines, criteria and applications can be located here