LONGMONT — Government funding is music to the Longmont Symphony Orchestra’s ears.
Without it, the orchestra wouldn’t be able to offer elementary and high schools free educational programs.
Government subsidies come mainly in the form of grants from the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District, which are divvied up and distributed in Boulder County by a Cultural Advisory Committee.
At a ceremony at the Longmont Museum on Wednesday, the committee gave the orchestra and 58 other Boulder County nonprofit groups nearly $500,000.
Marianne Reichert, the staff liaison to the SCFD for the Boulder County Commissioners, said most of the money is used for the scientific and cultural organizations’ general operating budgets.
“SCFD is one of the few funding sources that will pay for administrative staff and marketing, the stuff it takes to make an organization run,” Reichert said.
The funds also support programming, such as the Longmont Symphony Orchestra’s outreach program for the underserved, exhibitions at the Longmont Museum and Niwot’s Concerts in the Park series.
“Without the funding, we probably wouldn’t be able to do the same quality shows that we do here,” said Bek Aves, box office manager for the Longmont Theatre Company.
“It allows even the small communities in the county to receive funding,” Reichert said. “Ward, Nederland, Jamestown and Niwot can all have activities that are culturally important because of the funding.”
Voters in the seven-county metro area created the SCFD in 1988 to provide public financial support to scientific and cultural organizations.
Since then, more than 300 organizations have been funded by the 0.1 percent retail sales and use tax, which adds 1 cent to every $10 purchase.
Last year, voters reauthorized the legislation for the SCFD, which serves Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, northern Douglas and Jefferson counties.
The tax is scheduled to expire June 30, 2018.
SCFD is funding 106 of the 111 grant applications it received this year. Five grants weren’t funded because a few organizations submitted more than the limit of one project and one collaborative request, according to Reichert.
Several members of Longmont organizations said SCFD’s support extends beyond pecuniary means.
“I don’t know what we would do without the SCFD,” said Sharon Kaiser, business manager for the Longmont Children’s Chorale.
“The people on the board are just phenomenal.”
Kaiser said SCFD helps organizations fill out grant applications, connect with other groups for collaboration, and offer advice about where to buy equipment.
“SCFD is a wonderful resource for us, meaning that if we have any kind of questions about arts advocacy or how to deal with the media or strengthen our advertising or marketing, they’re always available,” said Natasha Tiff, executive director of the Longmont Symphony Orchestra.
Katherine Crowell can be reached at (303) 684-5336 or email@example.com.
2005 SCFD grant recipients in Lafayette, Longmont and Lyons and the surrounding areas:
• Boulder County Arts Alliance, $42,807 (BCAA will use this grant to sponsor 14 projects done by smaller organizations.)
• East Boulder County Artists, $2,643
• Lafayette Community Players, $3,343
• Lafayette Cultural Arts Commission, $7,700
• Lafayette Historical Society: $4,080
• Peanut Butter Players, $6,786
• Rocky Mountain Center for Musical Arts, $19,583
• Timberline Symphony Orchestra, $6,457
• WOW! Children’s Museum, $14,629
• ArtWalk Longmont Inc., $5,743
• Arts Studio Inc. Old Firehouse Art Center, $10,575
• Longmont Children’s Chorale, $2,686
• Longmont Chorale Inc., $5,929
• Longmont Council for the Arts, $34,056 (LCA will use $11,006 of this grant to sponsor five projects done by smaller organizations in Longmont and Niwot.)
• Longmont Jazz Festival Association, $3,000
• Longmont Museum, $7,857
• Longmont Symphony Orchestra, $22,643 (The orchestra will use $5,214 of this grant to sponsor a project with the Longmont Youth Symphony.)
• Longmont Theatre Company, $20,570
• St. Vrain Historical Society, $5,686
• Lyons Arts and Humanities Council, $6,022 (The council will use $2,000 of this grant to sponsor the Collaborative Public Art Workshops.)