Natural History
Cultural History

So what exactly is the SCFD and what does it do?


Denver Chalk Art Festival- Vibrancy in Denver

Many people don't know a whole lot about the SCFD, only about the great organizations that SCFD funds: the Denver Zoo, Denver Art Museum, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Denver Center for the Performing Arts and the Denver Botanic Gardens. And thats okay, we kind of like it that way. Through funding cultural organizations our goal is to provide metro residents with access to arts, culture and science. So we are really a behind the scenes kind of institution. Nonetheless it is good to know why culture is thriving here in the Denver metropolitan area and we definitely have a little something to do with that! 

The Scientific and Cultural Facilities District is a special tax district that funds art, culture and science organizations within the Denver metropolitan area. SCFD is a tax for culture, created by metro residents to ensure continuous access to art, culture and science organizations.  SCFD funding goes to pays for Free Days at the Denver Art Museum, the Denver, Zoo, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the Denver Botanic Gardens and many other organizations. In total there are over 300 free admission days to SCFD funded organizations.

SCFD funds approximately 270 organizations annually, with budget sizes ranging from $3,000 to almost $60 million. In order for an organization to be eligible for SCFD funding, they must have a primary purpose that “enlightens and entertains the public through the production, presentation, exhibition, advancement and preservation of art, music, theatre, dance, zoology, botany, natural history or cultural history”.  SCFD has be cited as a major catalyst in helping shift the Denver metro’s persona from a “cow town” into the culturally vibrant community it is known as today. In 2012 the economic impact of SCFD organizations was $1.7 billion dollars (CBCA 2012 Economic Activity Study), truly showing how culture is a profound asset in our community. SCFD funds have been working hard to make the metro area a more enriching place to live for the past 25 years.

(Photo: Denver Chalk Art Festival THIS WEEKEND May 31- June 1, 2014, Larimer Square)

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