<== Site of the Week for 2006-03-23 ==>
Need some money?
The SCFD (Scientific and Cultural Facilities District) is the sugar daddy for culturally and scientifically oriented groups on the Front Range. The SCFD divies out proceeds from a 0.1% increase on sales tax in Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas and Jefferson counties. This money goes to 300 local organizations including the Denver Art Museum, The Denver Botanical Gardens and the Denver Zoo.
Many of these organizations would have difficulties providing quality services if not for direct taxpayer support. The taxpayer support helps keep the institutions open for the poor and disadvantaged.
I like what the group supports and envy the insiders of the district. Being a tried and true outsider, I have to admit to mixed feelings about government funded culture. As a dyed in the wool patron of the arts, I believe in doing every thing I can to get money in the hands of cultural institutions. For that matter, I believe in going further. I want to find ways to bypass the skilled grant writers and get money directly into the actual hands of artists. There are so many talented individuals on the Front Range working on non-government projects that it is astounding.
It's funny, the more I dig through the web and learn about Denver and the west, the more impressed I become with the real people who create the real culture of the west. Conversely, I tend to become disenchanted with the government backed political side of the cultural scene.
I always end up supporting taxes for art, because I love art. Yet, sitting alone over here on the free market side of the equation, I usually break out in mixed feelings when I face the actual government bureaucracy that dishes out the cash. Basically, the SCFD takes money from all of the independent artists in the area, then gives that money to a very small number of politically connected people who can now pretend that they are the official artists of Colorado.
Anyway, if you have a good grant writer, the SCFD is a nice little local fountain of cash for culture.