Arts and Culture

Healthy and Socially Thriving

Community Vitality

FY2024 Budget

Program Budget Overview


The Office of Arts and Culture serves as the Local Arts Agency for the City of Boulder including nonprofit grants, public art, programs for artists, creative economy initiatives, and more. Now implementing the 2015 Community Cultural Plan, the mission of the office is to facilitate an alignment in the community around the Shared Vision for Culture: together, we will craft Boulder’s social, physical, and cultural environment to include creativity as an essential ingredient for the well-being, prosperity, and joy of everyone in the community.

Sustainability, Equity and Resilience (SER) Goals and Objectives: Healthy and Socially Thriving

  • Objectives
    • Cultivates a wide range of recreational, cultural, educational, civic, and social opportunities for all people regardless of their race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual identity, ability, or socioeconomic status.
    • Supports the physical and mental well-being of its community members by providing public gathering places and programs to encourage social connection and prevent isolation.
    • Fosters racial equity, inclusion, and diversity community wide.

Program Outcomes

  • Support a wide variety of nonprofits and arts venues to fulfill their missions.
  • Provide residents with public art, access to arts experiences, and opportunities for creative expression.
  • Increased attraction of artists/creative professionals, creative businesses, cultural nonprofits.
  • Improve Boulder’s standing as a creative center for the region.


  • Improved nonprofit and venue financial and audience measures.
  • Increased community art vs government art creation, year over year comparison of community perception.
  • Longevity and success of artists as small business owners.
  • Year over year comparison of community perception of the arts.


Support for Cultural Organizations and Cultural Grants

Anchored by the long-standing Cultural Grants Program, the Community Vitality Department deploys a responsive set of tools in support of the resiliency of our city’s many cultural nonprofits and their ability to fulfil their missions in the community.

  • Outcomes
    • Have a substantial and positive effect on the ability of Boulder’s many cultural organizations to advance their operational capacity, promote organizational resiliency, and encourage innovation for the benefit of the community.

Public Art

The addition of arts experiences of enduring value across the city through new creative additions to city buildings and infrastructure, murals, the maintenance and celebration of the permanent collection of public artworks, Experiments in Public Art temporary experiences, and the encouragement of arts investments by businesses, developers, and residents.

  • Outcomes
    • Improvements to public spaces, the value of capital projects, pride / attachment to the city, and social cohesion through the addition of meaningful, innovative, and quality works of art.

Support for Artists and Creative Workers

Building on Boulder’s identity as a home for artists, and keystone industry concentrations of fine artists, authors, performers, photographers, designers, and more, a set of support programs will help keep our artists competitive as small business owners who have an outsized impact on our community.

  • Outcomes
    • Boulder will increasingly attract artists and creative professionals for all it has to offer, not only in beautiful surroundings and quality of life, but also in the ability to thrive in the creative sector.

Venues and Cultural Destinations

Amplify the vibrancy of Boulder’s cultural destinations: the museums, performance venues, events, districts, studios, maker spaces, and other facilities. Work to fill in the gaps and address issues of access and affordability.

  • Outcomes
    • Contribute to the resiliency of visual and performing arts organizations, and the experience of their audiences, which are currently challenged by gaps in studio, rehearsal, performance, and exhibition space.
    • Mitigate the barriers to innovation and sustainability that are encountered due to these challenges.

Creative Neighborhoods

A set of program and support tools focused on the expression of culture and creativity in the public realm through public art, the urban landscape, culture in the neighborhoods, and serendipitous encounters with the arts. This includes not only community-led art, but also supporting the consideration of culture in comprehensive planning, the leadership pipeline, and Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion initiatives.

  • Outcomes
    • Every resident of Boulder finds ways to creatively impact their neighborhood and social community, with an emphasis on those who have historically faced systemic barriers to creative expression.
    • Boulder residents will have easy access to cultural experiences in the places that are most important to their everyday lives.

Civic Dialog about the Arts

A set of engagement tools position the arts to positively contribute to the economy, social offerings, the environment, and racial equity. These programs include Boulder Arts Week, newsletters and online resources, social media, and public events. Those same tools can serve to celebrate and advance Boulder’s creative identity and project our artistic character to the rest of the world.

  • Outcomes
    • Every person in Boulder will understand their role in the culture of the community, feel that access to information about culture is readily at hand, and will feel invited into the conversation.
    • Programs and partnerships will improve Boulder’s standing as a creative center for the region.

Enhance the Vitality of the Creative Economy

The supportive environment for creative businesses, the experience economy, and arts entrepreneurship will flourish with a program of targeted sponsorships, professional development opportunities, industry convening, partnership, and support of cultural activity in the city’s activity centers, with special attention for the NoBo Art District.

  • Outcomes
    • Enhance Boulder’s leading position as a home for creative businesses, cultural nonprofits, and small business.

Support for the Next Generation of Artists

Attention to early experiences with the arts and the leadership pipeline of young artists will contribute to social well-being and the long-term resilience. Programs such as scholarships, mentorship for grants and public art, support for youth activity in the community, and collaborations with schools and districts such as the Field Trip Fund for Title One schools.

  • Outcomes
    • Young people will increasingly see a future for their arts career in Boulder and the area, with special emphasis on those from communities that have historically faced barriers to participation.
    • Most of the population of school-age children will have access to early, formative experiences with the arts.