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City of Cortez, LOR Foundation unveil small project art grants

The City of Cortez and the LOR Foundation unveiled small project art grants, and the next round will open on Tuesday. (Journal File Photo)
There are three rounds for artists to apply for grants

The City of Cortez Community and Economic Development department and the LOR Foundation recently unveiled a new creative grant program called 81321 Launch.

This small project arts grant provides grants of up to $4,000 that will be awarded to chosen applicants in three rounds.

According to the City of Cortez’s Community and Economic Development Specialist Helen West, the City of Cortez Public Arts Committee will review the grant applications and provide advisement. The LOR Foundation will choose the grant winners and the amount of funding they will receive.

“This is not money from the City of Cortez, we are just hosting the applications and helping recommend or advise creative projects which will ultimately be funded through the LOR Foundation,” West told The Journal.

Those who are interested in applying are encouraged to apply for all levels of the projects, information from the City said. The maximum grant ask amount is $4,000, but they will be prioritizing smaller grant requests.

“We are encouraging small, identity building projects that create a sense of community in Cortez,” West said.

West said the city had discussed the possibility of children using grant money to buy paint and supplies to paint trash cans in the city.

“This is a way for residents and citizens to connect with the local government and understand how that process might work through these smaller grant programs. So, if you’re wanting to paint all the public trash cans in the park, this grant potentially gives a way for people to do that,” West said.

Grant requests are separated into three tiers. The first is a “tiny grant,” worth up to $499, while the second is a “micro grant” for $500-$1,499 and the third is a “small grant” worth between $1,500 and $4,000.

The first round of grant funding will close on Monday. The second round will be open between Tuesday and May 1. The third and final round will between August and October.

“Individuals of all ages, for-profit and nonprofit organizations are encouraged to apply,” the city said.

Creative project guideline stipulations say the creative projects must be based in Cortez and benefit the community in some capacity.

Before applying, creatives are asked to think through four questions before completing their request:

  • Does the project make Cortez an amazing place to call home?
  • Does the money produce something tangible that can be seen, felt, or experienced?
  • Does the project engage the broader community?
  • Does the project bring something new, innovative and unique to Cortez?

Each of the three rounds will have a maximum of $4,000 for one grant, and there will be a total of $12,000 being split into grants.

The city said 81231 Launch was originally “the brainchild” of Zu Gallery owner Jodi Jarhling, adding that she wanted to address limited project opportunities.

“She partnered with Nicci Crowley at the LOR Foundation to create a system for driving these small, creative projects forward and generating positive change in the community,” the city said, adding that Jarhling transferred the project to its economic development department last year.

To learn more and apply for the grant, visit 81321launch.com or email Helen West at hwest@cortezco.gov.

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