Colorado Ballet receives $75,000 Arts Innovation Grant from Bonfils-Stanton Foundation

Sanya Andersen-Vie - January 29, 2016

DENVER – Colorado Ballet received a $75,000 Arts Innovation Grant from the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation for its New Cultural Works Project.  The purpose of the Project is to explore Colorado’s people and heritage in order to create a diverse body of new works by emerging choreographers.  The Bonfils-Stanton Foundation is supporting the first year of the four-year innovation project.

“We plan to connect the long-standing tradition of ballet with today’s community and audience,” said Colorado Ballet Artistic Director Gil Boggs.  “The Company is best-known for performing world-class classical ballets and contemporary works by 20th and 21st century choreographers.  This new Project will develop cultural works to demystify the perceived elitism of dance and help Colorado Ballet adapt to shifting audience demographics.”

According to Boggs, now is the time to focus on creating new works to attract diverse new audiences.  With the Black Box Theater in Colorado Ballet’s new home at the Armstrong Center for Dance, Boggs says the plan is to expand the number of new works in our repertoire and this is the perfect venue where these works can be showcased.

Through the Project, Colorado Ballet will seek out underrepresented local talent, such as an up-and-coming choreographer or dancer with roots in Colorado’s heritage and cultural communities.  Boggs will consult with arts and community organizations and dance programs to tap into local talent.  Rather than imposing a choreographer’s narrative from outside the community, Colorado Ballet and the choreographer will go directly into the community to develop their story through dance.  The first year of the project will culminate in performances of new works in the Black Box Theater.

To develop the project from the community up, the Company will also form a Community Advisory Group with art, cultural and community leaders.  According to Colorado Ballet Managing Director of Advancement Mark Hough, these community leaders will inform the broad cultural vision from the community up and build the audience.

Additionally, the New Cultural Works Project will explore and document how cultural identity influences the creation of the artist and the execution of dance through performances.  Boggs says that the works will be a mixture of traditional, contemporary and ethnic dance.

Boggs says another goal of the project is to explore opportunities for the Company to tour and commission new works locally, regionally and nationally, while continuing to provide dance outreach to students.  By doing these, Colorado Ballet hopes to expand Denver’s dance scene and extend the Company’s profile nationally and leverage national support.

“Colorado Ballet is so thankful for this support and for Bonfils-Stanton Foundation’s strong commitment to the arts by providing venture capital to develop innovative approaches to community-based art making,” said Gil Boggs.  “I look forward to expanding our world of dance.”

About the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation
The Bonfils-Stanton Foundation strategically provides grants and fellowships to enrich Denver’s cultural landscape, and cultivate exceptional leaders. Each year the Foundation awards more than $3 million to arts organizations and nonprofit leaders who are critical to building and sustaining a vibrant community.

About Colorado Ballet
Established in 1961 by Lillian Covillo and Freidann Parker, Colorado Ballet is a non-profit organization celebrating 55 years of presenting world-class classical ballet and superior dance in Denver.  Under the direction of Artistic Director Gil Boggs, Colorado Ballet enhances the cultural life of Colorado through performances of the professional company, training at the Academy, and Education & Community Engagement programs.  Visit