National grant awarded to Carbondale Arts |

National grant awarded to Carbondale Arts

Ernesto, a bison made of metal and wood by James Burnes of New Mexico, lives in Carbondale permanently thanks to an aggressive public arts program in the town, which is a designated state Creative District.
Courtesy Photo / Post Independent File

Carbondale Arts announced this week that the nonprofit organization is a recipient of the national DeVos Grant for Strategic Planning. The grant is to provide up to $75,000 to help foster artistic endeavors in the community.

Amy Kimberly, executive director of Carbondale Arts, said the organization usually applies for numerous local and state grants each year. But this is the first time it has applied for a national grant.

“This is exciting for sure, because it is a lot harder to get national grants,” Kimberly added.

Based at the University of Maryland, the DeVos Institute of Arts Management provides training, consultation and implementation support for arts managers and their boards.

The grant will serve as an opportunity for the community at large, not just the arts organization, to focus on financial diversification, long-term artistic and educational programming, marketing and communication, community and volunteer engagement, cross-sector collaboration, fundraising and board engagement, according to a news release.

Kimberly says that, with the grant, Carbondale Arts and the Carbondale Creative District, which is now in its third year, will be able to truly focus on the future and economic development.

“We can focus on how the next five to 10 years looks for the district and how it fits into the community, with the chamber, Carbondale tourism, Coventure, and more,” Kimberly added.

“So, we are not repeating services and instead are really strengthening what we have here,” she said.

The strategic planning grant will give Carbondale Arts up to $75,000 in expertise over the next year.

During the year-long process, Carbondale Arts will form three committees, including a task force, planning and advisory committee.

The task force, which is in the process of forming, will be comprised of Carbondale Arts staff and board members, Kimberly said. They are looking at townspeople to serve on the planning committee, or the “brain trust,” as Kimberly called it.

“We like to think of them as fun committees,” Kimberly added.

Kimberly said they are looking for people who are interested in the planning and advisory committees, including representatives from the business, arts and tourism sectors.

There will be eight meetings spread over the next year, beginning in late April.

Kimberly says those who are interested can contact her at Carbondale Arts at 970-963-1680 or email to

“The idea is for us to come up with a sustainable plan that really strengthens not only the creative district and arts, but will also strengthens and clarifies how tourism and Coventure and Creative District all work together to facilitate economic development here.” Kimberly said.

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