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Ignacio community arts center approved as an enterprise zone

Donors to Dancing Spirit will be incentivized by the contribution project
Donors to Ignacio’s Dancing Spirit Community Art Center are now being incentivized by the Enterprise Zone Development Commission. (Courtesy of Cora Shubert)

Donors to Ignacio’s Dancing Spirit Community Art Center will be getting some incentive in 2023.

The grassroots artist co-op organization has been approved by the Colorado Economic Development Commission as an Enterprise Zone Contribution Project, which will give donors to the community center a 25% state tax credit if they donate more than $100, or a $12.5% state tax credit for in-kind donations. The credit is in addition to the federal tax deduction for contributing to any 501(c)(3).

“I asked Tami Graham of KSUT how she had gotten the money to fund so many things at the radio station, and she told me all about the enterprise zone,” said Kasey Correia, executive director of Dancing Spirit Community Art Center.

“We wrote an existing revitalization grant and we reached out to Terry Blair (Burton) at Region 9 (Economic Development District of Southwest Colorado),” said Grant Specialist and Consultant Bobbie Hall. “She was really helpful with the application process and made it easy for us. It only took about eight weeks to go through.”

Dancing Spirit offers children and adults of the Ignacio community, as well as those in the rest of La Plata County and Pagosa Springs, art classes and workshops, including painting and pottery instruction. Many of the community center’s classes are provided for at-risk and home-schooled youths. Dancing Spirit also runs art therapy sessions for the inmates of the Southern Ute Detention Center.

Part of the donations given to Dancing Spirit will go toward the new building it will be constructing in Ignacio on land it recently purchased through grant funding and fundraisers.

“We set the bar lower for the amount residents could donate to receive the state tax grant, because we know our community is working with lower incomes than other areas,” Correia said.

Correia also wanted to emphasize the “in-kind donations” addition to the contribution project.

“Artists can contribute their work to Dancing Spirit and receive a 12.5% tax credit, which is wonderful,” she said.

Ignacio has been classified as an economically distressed area by Colorado’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade and met the criteria for the Enterprise Zone Program. The Colorado Legislature created the EZ Program to encourage development in economically distressed areas of the state, worsened by high unemployment rates, low per capita income and slow population growth, according to the state website.

“We’ll be providing more information about Enterprise Zone on our website,” Correia said. “There will be a direct link with everything donors need to know.”