Durango, CO: The first-round of 2023 lodgers' tax funding from the city for local arts and culture projects has been approved, with 23 projects receiving $272,360.
The city’s Creative Economy Commission approved the funds on Feb. 28. Fifty applicants requested $1.4 million, which shows a large appetite for arts and culture projects. The awardees ranged from murals, artifact restoration, concerts, venue upgrades to a Pterosaurs exhibit.
The program was created after voters approved a 2021 increase in lodgers’ tax from 2% to 5.25%, with a portion dedicated to arts and culture funding. The program provides financial support to individuals, non-profits, businesses, and cornerstone arts and culture organizations that contribute to the cultural vitality of the community.
“The success of the program’s first year showed the transformative potential of this funding stream,” said Tommy Crosby, the city’s economic opportunity manager and staff liaison to the commission. “For the program’s second year the commission brought in a creative business consultant to provide grantees training and tools to help them be more successful in delivering their project, as well as in launching or growing an art and culture business in Durango.”
In just one year the city’s per capita arts and culture spending has catapulted from $3 to $26 per person, putting Durango in the middle of the pack with other cities across the state.
Hannah Wilson, of Hannah Wilson Art, is one of the local artists benefiting from an LTAC grant. Her mural will appear on the north wall of Mac’s Liquor along North Main this summer. “I have been creating artwork inspired by this corner of Colorado for the past five years, so to have the privilege to paint a large mural on North Main Avenue is a dream for me,” she said. “The mural will encapsulate the culture around brewing in Southwest Colorado, while also celebrating what a wild and beautiful place Durango is.”
Colorado Clay Studio, a 2023 recipient, will use the money to offer free and discounted classes in its studio at 1315 Main Ave. #211.
Nicholas Schlau, of Colorado Clay Studio, teaching a student.
Additional fund recipients:
Complete list of 2023 round 1 LTAC recipients.
The second and final round of the 2023 program funding will accept applications until May 31, 2023. To help potential applicants learn about the program, the city, in partnership with the Durango Creative District, will host information sessions at the Durango Public Library on Tuesday, March 21, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 6 - 7 p.m.; and April 18 at 11 a.m.. These sessions will provide an overview of the program's requirements and guidelines and offer guidance on completing the application process. The application form can be found at https://www.durangogov.org/ltac.
For more information about the Lodgers' Tax Arts and Culture program, visit https://www.durangogov.org/ltac.
Economic Opportunity Manager
Phone: (970) 764-7135