Grants

2021 Grant Funding

We are no longer accepting applications for 2021 at this time. Please check back in May 2021 for our next round of funding for 2022.

The City of Aspen is pleased to announce the application process for Community Arts and Non-Profits grants is now open with over $1 million in available funding. Applications are being accepted now through July 31, 2020. Applications will be reviewed by the Citizen Grant Committee with recommendations presented to City Council in Fall 2020.

In addition, applications are open for the NEW Arts and Cultural Arts Recovery grants, with $396,200 in available funding. More details are below.

A variety of City funds contribute to the Non-Profits and Arts grants. In 2020, City Council approved monetary grant awards equal to roughly $1.5M and additional in-kind support of $120K. These awards are supported through a combination of the General Fund, Wheeler Opera House Fund and the Parks and Open Space Fund and serve to support the uniqueness of Aspen and the City’s support of the Aspen Idea around mind, body and spirit

New this year, the City has approved $396,200 in additional funding for arts and cultural arts nonprofits through the Arts and Cultural Arts Recovery Grant program. This additional funding is only available to applicants for Wheeler Arts grants who have already received grant funding from the City in the recent past, and comes from the General Fund and the Wheeler Opera House Fund.

2021 Application Dates 

Arts and Cultural Arts Recovery Grants

  • Opening Date: May 25, 2020
  • Closing Date:  July 31, 2020 OR when funds are fully allocated (see below)
  • Applicants will use a single Wheeler Arts Grants application form to apply for both the Wheeler Arts grants and the Arts and Cultural Arts Recovery grants; separate forms are NOT needed.

Applications for the Arts and Cultural Arts Recovery Grants will be reviewed on an on-going basis, as they are received, until funds are fully allocated.  This approach will minimize the time between when applications are received, and when funds can be disbursed in 2020.  

As mentioned above, applicants for these grants will use the same application form as for the Wheeler Arts grants, and will be considered for both grant programs. Arts and Cultural Arts Recovery Grant applicants will additionally have the option of using their 2020 Wheeler Arts Grant application in lieu of completing a new 2021 Wheeler Arts Grant application.  If they choose this option, they will be able to upload a voluntary supplement should they wish to.

Wheeler Arts Grants and Community Nonprofit Grants

  • Opening Date: May 25, 2020
  • Closing Date:  July 31, 2020 - Applications will be reviewed as a group after the closing date.

Health and Human Services Grants

  • Opening Date: Early June
  • Closing Date: Early August

As in prior years, the City’s HHS application process is integrated with Pitkin County’s Healthy Community Fund grant application process.  Details for the 2021 round can be found at https://pitkincounty.com/568/Grants.


2021 Application Forms

Wheeler Arts Grants and Arts and Cultural Arts Recovery Grants:  

To access the online application, please select the link below on or after May 25, 2020:

Wheeler Arts Grant and Arts/Cultural Arts Recovery Grant Online Application

Other Resources:

Wheeler Arts Grants Practice Form

Financial Details Form

Community Non-Profit Grants:

To access the online application, please select the link below on or after May 25, 2020:

Community Non-Profits Grant Online Application

Other Resources:

Community Non-Profits Practice Form

Financial Details Form

Health and Human Services Grants:

To access the online application, please visit the Pitkin County Grants link below:

Health and Human Services Grant Application


Grants Review 

Arts and Cultural Arts Recovery Grant applications will be reviewed by a committee appointed by the City Manager. The committee will include representatives of the Wheeler Board and the Red Brick Center for the Arts, as well as others.

Wheeler Arts and Non-profit Grants applications will be reviewed by the volunteer Citizen Grant Review Committee,

HHS Grant applications will be reviewed by a City Council member, with input from the City Manager or designee.


Grants Evaluation Criteria

The grant evaluation criteria for the Wheeler Arts Grants and the Community Nonprofit grants provide guidance for grant decision-making, but may not be the only factors taken into consideration.  The criteria focus on:

  • How well the application advances the Aspen Idea by cultivating lifelong education, civic engagement, physical health, personal responsibility, spiritual development and environmental consciousness
  • The extent to which the application will make Aspen a better place to live, visit or work (including support for workers in their home communities)
  • The potential impact of the proposed programming, as demonstrated by meaningful indicators
  • How well funds are managed and used
  • Financial need and financial sustainability

In addition to these criteria, applications for the Arts and Cultural Arts Recovery Grants will be assessed against:

  • COVID impact, including level and type of organizational and community impact and proposed use of funds
  • Activation event/exhibit/activity feasibility, accessibility and community impact
  • Recovery plan completeness, feasibility, and likelihood of positively affecting the organization’s longer-term sustainability

HHS Applications are assessed against the how well the applications address the program purpose, which is to help keep individuals and families healthy and well-functioning.  Within that purpose, additional consideration will be afforded programs that:

  • Address mental health and substance abuse, including reduction of suicide rates
  • Support community and family connections
  • Serve those who live or work in Aspen

Within each program, reviewers may determine to interview applicants where additional information is needed to clarify or verify information in the application forms.


2021 Application Process

Key Milestones

  • May 25, 2020: Grant Applications Available for all programs but HHS
  • Jun 2020: HHS grants applications open; Arts/Recovery Grants Decisions Start
  • Jun/Oct 2020: Arts/Recovery Grants Approved, Contracts Mailed, Funds Disbursed
  • Jul 31, 2020: Final date for Wheeler Arts, Nonprofit, and Arts and Cultural Arts Recovery grant applications
  • Aug 2020: HHS grants applications close
  • Sep/Oct 2020: Review of all remaining grant applications
  • Oct 2020: Recommendations to Council for all remaining grant awards
  • Nov 2020: City Council decision on all remaining grant awards
  • Jan 2021: Grant contracts sent to approved non-profits for signature
  • Spring 2021: Grant checks mailed for all programs except Arts and Cultural Arts Recovery Grants (which are to be disbursed in 2020)

More Information

If you have questions, or need further information, please contact Karen Harrington at the City of Aspen 970-429-2856 or Karen.Harrington@CityofAspen.com

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