A Denver foundation that steers all funding toward the arts

Posted on: July 1, 2015

“Change comes slowly in the world of private foundations,” writes Ray Mark Rinaldi in Monday’s (6/28) Denver Post. “But three years ago, Denver’s Bonfils-Stanton Foundation took a chance on change [and] began steering all of its funding toward the arts…. By donating a greater share of its annual $3 million in gifts to the region’s major orchestras, dance troupes and art galleries, Bonfils naturally gets more sway over the paintings, choreography and theater Denver audiences see. But its grants have also increased to smaller organizations and new ventures … Over the years, it has given $4.6 million to the Denver Art Museum; $4.5 million to Central City Opera; and $3.2 million to the Colorado Symphony Orchestra…. Last year … it hired consulting firm Wolf Brown to study how the tenants of the Denver Performing Arts Complex could work more efficiently. It’s about to launch a diversity initiative … and is currently looking to channel support toward affordable spaces for artists…. ‘What are things that make for a healthy arts environment?’ asks [CEO Gary] Steuer. ‘We’re looking for opportunities we may not have identified yet.’ ”

Posted July 1, 2015