Colorado Arts Partnership Grants



In 2014, Colorado Creative Industries and Think 360 Arts for Learning joined forces to launch a new collaborative grant-making program: Colorado Arts Partnership Grants. The purpose of CAP Grants is to provide schools throughout Colorado with the opportunity to apply for grant money ($2,000 – $5,000) for collaborative programming with a community artist that sparks innovation, creativity, and joy.

As of September 13, 2021, CAP Grants are available again! APPLY HERE


  • September 13, 2021                     CAP Grant application opens
  • November 12, 2021                     CAP Grant application deadline
  • December 7, 2021                        Award Notifications will be sent
  • May 1, 2022                                  Final Report due

**We have created a helpful Webinar presentation with lots of tips and suggestions for writing a successful CAP Grants proposal. It is highly recommended that you view this presentation before you dive into writing your grant.

Download: Writing-a-CAP-Grant-Application 2021-2022 w audio

Note: This presentation includes audio narration that will only work if downloaded as a PowerPoint – not in Google Slides. In order to listen to the audio, view the file as a slideshow presentation, or click on the speaker icon at the bottom of each slide.

Ready to Get Started? Access your application HERE


Eligibility Criteria:

  • Applicant must be a faculty or staff member of a Colorado school that serves K-12 students. Private and religious schools are not eligible.
  • Project awards are between $2,000 and $5,000. School must provide a financial match of at least 30% of the amount requested. The match can come from numerous sources; i.e. school funds, PTA/PTO funds, grants, foundations, and/or student fees.
  • The majority of the project must occur during the academic school day.
  • The project must impact students surrounding innovation and creativity.
  • The project must involve a Colorado artist/s or arts organization.
  • Schools that had previously received funding from Colorado Creative Industries and/or Think 360 Arts must be in good standing with respect to final reports and evaluations.
  • Please limit your proposals to one per school.

Grant FAQs

What types of projects will you fund?
CAP grants are designed to support arts instruction during the school day for Colorado students. The projects can take any number of forms. A few examples are: artist residencies, arts integration into core content areas, mural or installation projects, arts festival, performing arts productions, arts days, master classes with guest artists, etc. Use your imagination to design an innovative project that meets the unique needs of your school and students!
How and when will the funding be distributed?
Once your school’s proposal is accepted, you will receive written notification , and a check for 50% of your approved funds will be mailed to your school. The remainder of the funds will be issued after your school has completed the grant-funded projects and submitted a final online report with required evidence.
Which arts disciplines are included?
CAP Grants can be used to support projects involving visual arts, music, theatre/drama, dance, storytelling, digital/media arts, creative writing, or multi-disciplinary projects.
What are community arts partners?
All approved CAP Grants will require involvement and collaboration with a community arts partner. These can be local organizations such as a theatre group, a visual art center, or a dance ensemble. An arts partner can also be an independent teaching artist working on a freelance basis, or through an organization such as Think 360 Arts which maintains a roster of teaching artists in a variety of arts disciplines. For a comprehensive list of arts education providers in Colorado, please see Colorado Department of Education’s Arts Education Guidebook or the Scientific and Cultural Collaborative’s Directory of Educational Activities. One important goal of the CAP Grants is to support working artists in Colorado, so it is strongly encouraged that your budget reflects payment in the form of a stipend for your collaborator(s).

How will the grant be administered?
Think 360 Arts will provide all technical assistance to applicants, and will manage the entire grant making process. An independent panel of arts educators and community members will be enlisted to review the grant applications and make funding recommendations. Schools that receive funding will be required to submit a final report in the form of a blog post on the Think 360 Arts website with supporting evidence, such as stories, testimonials, and images.
How do I figure out my budget?
Writing the budget for a grant application can be very tricky, especially if you’ve never done one before. You will first need to estimate how much your project will cost, and list all of those costs in the “expenses” section of the budget. Remember to consider artists’ stipends including travel, materials, technology costs, etc. CCI and Think 360 Arts believe that teaching artists should always be compensated for their work, so asking an artist to volunteer his/her time is not recommended. You do not need to provide itemized receipts for materials that will be used or purchased. You can add lines to the expenses area of the budget form if necessary.

Then you need to fill out the “income” section of your budget. Very important: your total expenses should be equal to your total income. If your expenses are greater than your income, your project will not appear to be feasible, and if your expenses are less than your income, it will not be clear as to why you need the full grant.

CAP Grants award between $2,000 and $5,000. The maximum CAP Grant request is $5,000, and a cash match of at least 30% is required. Therefore, if you are requesting $5,000, you need to demonstrate where you will get the additional $1500 (or more), and your project expenses should equal $6,500. The cash match can come out of school funds, PTO funds, student fees, a grant received from another agency or foundation, or a cash match from your partnering arts organization.

In-kind donations (such as donated supplies or free use of products or services) DO NOT count as part of the cash match, however if an in-kind donation is going to be contributed for the project, you should list it in the appropriate section.

What is required in the evaluation of the grant?
Once your school has completed the CAP Grant project, you will be asked to upload a blog format of reflective descriptions of the project that include a self-assessment of the goals met, photo and/or video evidence of the project, and at least three testimonials that reflect on learning. Think 360 Arts would like to emphasis the telling the story aspect of this evaluation, sharing your success and the success of the experience with others. Your posting will be visible for others to see, to assist their CAP grant applications in the future. The balance of your funding will be sent to the school after the online reporting and evaluation have been completed.
How will the grant applications be reviewed?
Panelists will use a rubric to analyze and compare CAP Grant applications. Some of the main criterion points will go toward: originality, innovation and creativity components of the project, feasibility of project, school wide engagement and support for the arts project, and the impact of the project. We will also be looking at a fair geographic distribution of funds throughout the state of Colorado.
Who is on the panel that reviews the grant applications?
The review panel members may include: educators, arts education administrators, artists, non-profit staff members, and community members.
What if the panel rejects our proposal?
While we hope to be able to fund all the wonderful projects that are proposed, the reality is that we have finite funds, so it will be a competitive process. If your CAP Grant project is not accepted, you may apply the following year. We hope that your school will be able to find another source of funding to be able to complete your project, and that you’ll refine your application and apply again.
What are the possible award amounts?
CAP Grants will be awarded between $2000 and $5,000 per school, your request should match the needs of your project. Please note that a financial match of at least 30% of the amount requested must be committed to by the school. The match may take the form of school funds, PTA/PTO funds, other grants or donations received, or student fees.

We will not fund:

  • Private/religious institutions, schools or projects
  • Capital improvement projects
  • After/before school programs or clubs
  • Summer programs
  • Professional development for teachers
  • Scholarships for students to participate in off-site activities
  • Fundraising projects
  • Lobbying expenses
  • Re-granting
  • Debt reduction
  • Grant processing fees

School Reporting Procedure

Schools will be required to document the project through narrative description, testimonials, photography, video, and artifacts if applicable. Schools will upload documentation of the completed project to the Think 360 Arts website as soon as the project is completed in order to receive the second half of their CAP Grant award.

Additional Resources

Download the CAP Grant Application Questions – CAP Grant Application Questions

Download the CAP Grant Scoring Rubric – CAP Grant Rubric

Download the Project Budget Template – CAP Grant Budget Template

Download a sample Project Budget – CAP Grant Sample Budget

About Colorado Creative Industries

Colorado’s Creative Industries Division, Colorado’s state arts agency, is a division of the Office of Economic Development and International Trade. Established to capitalize on the immense potential of our creative sector to enhance economic growth in Colorado, the mission statement for the Colorado Creative Industries, “to promote, support and expand the creative industries to drive Colorado’s economy, grow jobs and enhance our quality of life.”

If you need any assistance, please contact Jason Diminich.