Arts through it All holiday campaign launches to help save local arts and culture

New SCFD survey data signals threat to arts and culture sector due to economic challenges of the pandemic

Download video of the full press conference

Download SCFD survey report

(DENVER, Dec. 1, 2020) – If you just can’t live without live music. If your holiday season won’t be complete without the Nutcracker or Granny Dances to a Holiday Drum. If you treasure a childhood memory of the zoo or a favorite exhibit at a museum. If you can’t remember a summer when you didn’t attend your favorite festival.  Now is the time to act.

That was the message sent by government and cultural leaders as they launched the Arts through it All holidays campaign urging all who can to give back and support our arts and culture organizations during their holiday giving. The public awareness campaign, with the tagline of Gifts of Art from the Heart and a call to action to remember arts and cultural organizations in holiday gift giving or charitable giving, will launch in early December and run through the holiday season to ensure arts and culture endure.

“Our organizations and artists who bring us so much joy at this time of the year and at all times of the year are hurting just like we are,” said Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. “We need to sustain these vital people and organizations that enrich our lives, strengthen our communities and support our economic recovery in the metro Denver region.”

Recent survey data from the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD) show that the economic distress caused by the pandemic for arts and culture organizations is dire. For more than half of the organizations funded by the SCFD’s voter-approved sales tax revenue, the earned revenue loss during the pandemic has been significant or nearly total. Data collected also shows that 33 percent of the jobs created by these organizations have been lost to furlough, layoff or elimination. Three quarters of the organizations said they were only moderately confident, or not confident at all their organizations would survive the pandemic.

“The arts and culture that we all love are under real economic threat. Months of dark stages and shuttered venues are simply not sustainable for these groups. And hundreds more small, local organizations are at a breaking point,” said SCFD Executive Director Deborah Jordy. “This holiday season we’re asking all who can to act to ensure that when conditions are safe once again, we can gather to hear our favorite Colorado musicians, watch a new play, or visit a museum to see a visual art exhibition.”

The pandemic and economic recession have had a disproportionate and devastating effect on the local creative sector. The Arts through it All campaign will encourage individuals to consider the arts in their holiday gift giving by giving the gift of an arts subscription or membership, or shopping online at a cultural gift shop, or simply making a charitable contribution either directly to a local arts organization or to one of the arts relief funds, such as the COVID-19 Arts and Culture Relief Fund. Specifically, the campaign creative suggests:

  • GIVE a donation to local arts and culture organizations and relief funds
  • GIFT a membership, subscription or class
  • SHOP local and support artists

More information at The campaign encourages residents to “live and shop local” as a response to the pandemic that will help local businesses and workers. An immediate opportunity to do this will be Colorado Gives Day on Dec. 8 where individuals can connect with their favorite cultural organization to give.

The Arts through it All campaign is being launched by the City of Denver in partnership with arts and culture organizations and advocates from across the Denver metro area, including the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts (CBCA), Denver Arts & Venues, PNC Bank, Adams County, City of Boulder and Bonfils-Stanton Foundation. The Arts through it All holidays campaign is being funded in part by the City of Denver’s allocation of CARES Act coronavirus relief funds.

Cleo Parker Robinson, founder of Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, an internationally recognized dance ensemble, is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the founding of her company, that helped put Denver on the national stage for dance. During the pandemic shutdowns, her troupe has pivoted to online offerings, including their holiday favorite Granny Dances to a Holiday Drum.

“For five decades we’ve been focused on uniting people of all ages and races to celebrate the complexity of life through movement,” Robinson said. “So many of our arts organizations have also been providing our community with opportunities for wonder for decades as well. Now we need our community to rally to help us weather this difficult time so we can keep serving them now and into the future.”

The Arts through it All campaign was originally launched in April 2020 to support arts and cultural organizations, artists and others from the sector impacted by the pandemic closures. See the SCFD survey data. Learn more about the campaign. Or give to a favorite organization by visiting individual organizational websites.