Scientific and Cultural Facilities District grant recipients bring arts, sciences and history opportunities

Funds awarded to 12 Douglas County-based organizations

The SCFD funded Highlands Ranch Cultural Affairs Association brings the International Youth Ballet’s acclaimed production of “The Nutcracker” to Douglas County during the holiday season.

Did you know that when you experience HawkQuest’s birds of prey demonstration, an art exhibit by the Roxborough Arts Council, or a performance by the Highlands Ranch Concert Band, you are benefiting directly from the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD) at work in your community?

In support of these local organizations and more, $850,436 in Tier III, County SCFD funds were distributed on Oct. 22 by the Board of Douglas County Commissioners to 56 SCFD-eligible, arts, culture, science and heritage nonprofit organizations, including 12 Douglas County-based organizations, all of which will deliver cultural and science programming to Douglas County citizens.

“I am grateful these citizen-approved funds are available to bring cultural opportunities to our community,” said County Commissioner Lora Thomas. “The organizations awarded SCFD grants are helping to strengthen the cultural vitality of Douglas County and contributing to our quality of life.

The 12 Douglas County-based organizations — receiving $474,412 of the total funds distributed (approximately 56 percent) — include: Cherokee Ranch and Castle Foundation, David Taylor’s Zikr Dance Ensemble, Inc.,  Denver Concert Band, Inc., HawkQuest, Highlands Ranch Concert Band, Highlands Ranch Cultural Affairs Association, Highlands Ranch Historical Society, Lamb Spring Archeological Preserve, Lone Tree Symphony Orchestra, Roxborough Arts Council, South Suburban Community Orchestra and St. Luke’s Performing Arts Academy. The additional 44 recipients funded offer programming in Douglas County or invite residents to their on-site facility or event.

Recipients of Tier III, County SCFD funds are first evaluated through the SCFD eligibility process. Once eligible, they apply for funding through the formal SCFD grant process. This process ensures that all organizations meet specific criteria, as outlined in the SCFD state statute. At the County level, grants are evaluated by the statutorily-required Douglas County Cultural Council who determines the annual distribution via a funding plan. The funding plan is then sent to and evaluated by the Board of Douglas County Commissioners for approval, after which the funding plans are presented to the SCFD Board of Directors.

Denver Metro area voters created the seven-county SCFD in 1988 to ensure public access to the arts and sciences through public financial support for scientific and cultural organizations. It was most recently renewed by voters in 2016. Each year, SCFD helps fund nearly 300 area organizations via the collection of a 0.1 percent voter-approved retail sales and use tax. The district-wide tax equates to one cent collected on every $10 spent.

For more information about the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District, please visit the SCFD website at

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