National Endowment of the Arts recommends $65,000 grant for Breckenridge’s WAVE, BIFA festivals |

National Endowment of the Arts recommends $65,000 grant for Breckenridge’s WAVE, BIFA festivals

Artist Michael Grab carefully stack the rocks in Blue River in part of Breckenridge International Festival of the Arts Friday, Aug. 10, in Breckenridge.
Hugh Carey /

The National Endowment of the Arts must have its sights set on Breckenridge because the small resort town continues to rack up high-dollar grants from the independent federal agency dedicated to promoting art.

Officials at Breckenridge Creative Arts were naturally thrilled to hear they got the highest amount awarded in the state of Colorado through the NEA’s latest round of grant-making, but this is actually the third NEA grant awarded within the past two years for the BCA’s work.

“For us, this latest award marks $205,000 in NEA funding that BCA has received between 2018 and 2019 through NEA’s Art Works and Our Town funding programs,” said Robb Woulfe, the nonprofit’s president and CEO, adding that it’s a pretty good run for such a young arts organization. “We take great pride in the work we’re doing, and how it is resonating in the community.”

In total, since the BCA started operations in 2015, the nonprofit has secured $325,400 in grant support from local, regional and national funders apart from the town of Breckenridge, Woulfe said.  

Across Colorado, the NEA has recommended 19 grants worth $320,000 combined. At $65,000, Breckenridge’s grant was by far the largest in the state and almost twice as much as the second-highest award. 

Rounding out the top three, Sprinkle Art Inc. in Colorado Springs and the Anderson Ranch Arts Foundation in Snowmass Village received grants for $35,000 and $30,000, respectively. No other group in Colorado got one for more than $20,000.

Overall, the NEA has recommended $27 million worth of grants nationwide through the Art Endowment’s first major funding announcement of fiscal year 2019. The process is rather competitive, as the NEA fielded 1,605 applications for grants before deciding to award 927 of them.

The NEA-recommended grants are project-specific, and the money may not be used to cover an organization’s general operating expenses. 

“The arts enhance our communities and our lives and we look forward to seeing these projects take place throughout the country, giving Americans opportunities to learn, to create, to heal and to celebrate,” said Mary Ann Carter, acting chair of the NEA, in a statement.

With that, the BCA’s most recent grant will support the inclusion of contemporary artworks in a series of multidisciplinary festivals, as well as a summer exhibition program. 

Titled “Catalyst 2.0: Art, Ecology, Play,” the series of public installations and performances will come with an ecological narrative and be part of the BCA’s two major summer art festivals — WAVE and the Breckenridge International Festival of Arts — both of which are designed to build community through interactive and participatory public art experiences.

“Our relationship with the natural world is central to our concept of Breckenridge as a place,” Woulfe said. “Catalyst 2.0 includes broad explorations of natural ecology with an emphasis on environmentalism and water via interactive light and sound works in WAVE and a celebration of our outdoor-loving mountain culture through thoughtful, nature-based visual and performing arts in BIFA.”

The BCA, known as “BreckCreate” for short, was developed by the town of Breckenridge to support and promote the arts. For more about the BCA, go to

For more about the NEA grant announcement, got to

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