Member Spotlight on Bonfils-Stanton Foundation

For the month of February 2016, GIA’s photo banner features art and projects supported by the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation in Denver, Colorado. In 2012, Bonfils-Stanton Foundation began the process of shifting support from a broad array of arts, human service, and science/medicine organizations to focusing all of their philanthropic funding to arts and cultural organizations. This grantmaking shift was completed in 2015 and that is when they became a more active member of GIA. In addition to arts funding, the Foundation also supports nonprofit leadership through its Livingston Fellowship Program.

Bonfils-Stanton is excited to be fostering dialogue on diversity and equity in the arts by convening community conversations on how arts organizations can better serve more diverse audiences. President and CEO Gary Steuer wrote a recent blog post detailing their efforts to enhance arts engagement with diverse communities. He writes:

The goal was to elicit honest dialogue about the barriers and successes of engaging diverse audiences… I think we all recognize — the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation included — that this can be difficult work. It can sometimes be uncomfortable, it can take us out of our comfort zone, and to do it right sometimes requires significant institutional change.

Two projects worth highlighting — both in dance — would be their partnerships with Wonderbound and Cleo Parker Robinson Dance. The Foundation was instrumental in guiding the evolution of Wonderbound, a modern dance company committed to working with live music performed by local musicians of all types and integrating other art forms from poetry to visual arts. Wonderbound has embedded itself as an agent of change within a community perceived as challenged, the epicenter of Denver’s homeless population.

Cleo Parker Robinson Dance is Denver’s most prominent African-American cultural organization with a national and international profile. The Foundation just recently committed to a significantly increased level of support (a 400% increase!) in order to invest in building a stronger infrastructure to enhance development, communications, and the operations of their school and theatre.

The Foundation is also pleased to support Youth on Record and specifically, their new concert and recording session initiative, structured as a social enterprise. Youth on Record is an innovative community-focused nonprofit that uses music to change the lives of at-risk youth. This new initiative will attract national musicians to drive earned revenue through concert ticket sales, corporate sponsors, album, and merchandise sales.

Bonfils-Stanton Foundation has been a GIA member since 2007.

Learn more about Bonfils-Stanton Foundation’s grantmaking programs.

You can also visit the photo gallery on the Photo Credits page.