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Durango opens application period for art and venue projects up to $50,000

Lodger’s tax revenue to support murals, performances, festivals and facilities
Chalk being used to make sidewalk art on east Seventh Street. Durango has opened an application period for the Lodger’s Tax: Arts & Culture Fund to support art, venues and capital projects. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

Durango artists, performers and musicians have a chance to secure project funding from the Lodger’s Tax: Arts & Culture Fund. Applications for the first funding period will remain open until June 30.

Applicants could receive between $5,000 and $50,000 depending on the scope and utility of their project.

A small portion of the taxes tourists and visitors pay to stay in Durango hotels and short-term rentals are being given back to local artists in the form of city funding for projects that contribute to public art and to promote the arts in Durango.

The funding comes from a 3.25% increase to the lodger’s tax voters passed in April 2021. Fourteen percent of lodger’s tax revenue was dedicated to arts and cultural organizations, while 20% of revenues were applied to city transit and 55% of revenues were dedicated to tourism marketing.

Funding for approved art projects must align with the City Council’s lodger’s tax policy, which the council approved in January. Basically, the tax put toward arts and cultural events, programs and facilities must be presented to the City Council for approval by the Creative Economy Commission.

Specifically, City Council’s lodger’s tax policy requires projects expand art displayed in public and in businesses; enhance performance venues, rehearsal spaces and creative work/live locations; and advance civic and community dialogue on creative matters.

Any projects approved should enhance Durango’s quality of life and cannot require long-term budgets that would restrict future City Council decisions, according to the policy.

A full list of eligible projects is available on the funding application at https://bit.ly/3z1BB5i.

The first funding application period is open until June 30 and a second is open until Aug. 31.


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