Guidelines

PROJECT CRITERIA & OVERVIEW

The P.S. You Are Here grant program aims to award inspired, collaborative and community-driven placemaking projects that activate city-owned, outdoor public spaces and enhance the quality of life in the City of Denver’s neighborhoods. 

Projects should be display from 3 months up to 1 year, highly visible and physical in nature and can include but are not limited to: design interventions, community projects, artistic interpretations and public art, streetscaping, landscaping, and public amenities such as decorative benches, tables and bicycle racks

Applicants should provide detailed information on what the challenges and opportunities are that the community is addressing through the project.

Please note:

  • Public space is defined as an area that is free and open to the public, such as an alley, park, plaza, or streets
  • Proposals can be conceptual and do not need to identify all specific areas for implementation specifics (permitting, insurance needs, precise location details, design qualifications, etc.) around permitting needs. Grant recipients will receive guidance from the P.S. You Are Here committee to support these implementation areas for their project
  • Applicant are encourage to have highly collaborative partnership and inclusive engagement strategies in their communities
  • Please visit our toolkit to help you though your process 

2017 PROGRAM BUDGET

The City of Denver’s Budget and Management Office and Denver Arts & Venues partnered to develop P.S. You Are Here through capital improvement funding. In 2017 the P.S. You Are Here grant will fund $70,000 in grants.

  • Funding request may be up to $10,000 per project 
  • Grants must be matched 1:1 by applicants through cash or in-kind contributions (goods or services), volunteer time by a professional (valued at $20/hour)
  • The required match does not need to be confirmed at the time of application but must be verified prior to the funding and implementation period. 
  • Crowdfunding and fundraising through community engagement activities is encouraged
  • The 2017 funding goal is 7-10 projects

2017 PROGRAM TIMELINE

  • Call for proposals opens: Aug. 7, 2017
  • Submission deadline: Sept. 15, 5 p.m.
  • Award Notification: October 2017
  • Funding & Implementation Period: November 2017 - December 2018

PROJECT GOALS & OBJECTIVES

The P.S. You Are Here program plans to develop a long-term strategy for placemaking and neighborhood revitalization project that:  

  • Enrich the lives of Denver residents and visitors by integrating arts, culture and creativity into daily life and neighborhoods and making them accessible for all
  • Foster community collaboration; encourage partnership among artists and creative industries, businesses, and non- and for-profit organizations
  • Accelerate economic vitality, inspire neighborhood revitalization, and promote our vibrant communities as a destination to live, work, and play
  • Inspire creative and innovative thinking and showcase locally cultivated talent
  • Demonstrate cultural diversity, social equity, and inclusiveness through the engagement of arts, culture and creativity in neighborhoods
  • Nurture and honor community identity and heritage, preserve and commemorate local and multicultural traditions and histories
  • Animate and rejuvenate public spaces 
  • Increase public safety and awareness
  • Capitalize on community assets and identity
  • Create public spaces that promote health, happiness and well being

ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS

To be eligible, primary applicants must be place-based entities such as:

  • Registered Neighborhood Association (RNO) or neighborhood-based group
  • Business Improvement District, Maintenance District, Business Association or Chamber of Commerce, etc.
  • Art or creative district
  • Business or placed-based organizations (non- and for-profit)

The following INELIGIBLE APPLICANTS may participate through endorsement or partnership with the above eligible applicants, but may not apply directly:

  • Religious organizations, government agencies, political groups, district councils, hospitals, newspapers and schools
  • Non place-based organizations, businesses, ad-hoc groups and individuals 

ELIGIBLE PROJECTS

Proposals will be accepted and considered for projects that:

  • Are located in an outdoor, public space within the City and County of Denver and are consistent with city policies and adopted neighborhood plans. 
  • Have a project director that will initiate, plan, implement and be directly impacted by the project
  • Align with the program’s goals and objectives, are highly collaborative and demonstrate a capacity to build a stronger and healthier community within a neighborhood
  • Are physical, tangible structures that could inspire long-term, sustainable projects for public places
  • Are on display for a minimum of three months and a requested maximum of one year (timelines may be flexible on a case by case basis)
  • Are free and open to all members of the public
  • Demonstrate a 1:1 match of resources including volunteer labor, donated materials, professional services or cash
  • Can engage multiples sites or spaces within a Denver corridor or neighborhood
  • Comply with applicable design standards for accessibility based on the Americans with Disability Act (ADA)

ELIGIBLE EXPENSES

P.S. You Are Here funding may be used to cover expenses directly related and proportionate to the project, such as:

Planning & Personnel

  • Project management, volunteer coordinator, community organizer

Professional Services

  • Permits (parks, construction, etc.)
  • Professional consultants (designer, engineer, artist, etc.)
  • Insurance (see Insurance & Liability Coverage below)

Material, Supplies & Maintenance

  • Art supplies (paint, printing, etc.)
  • Building materials
  • Equipment rental (audio/visual, tents, tables, etc.)
  • Landscaping (soil, shrubs, plants, mulch, rocks, logs, etc.)
  • Installation / De-installation
  • Maintenance needs

INELIGIBLE PROJECTS & EXPENSES

Project funds may not be used for:

  • Projects on private property (unless combined with public spaces project)
  • Projects that have restricted participation and public access on the basis of race, gender, creed, origin, age, disability
  • Neighborhood entrance signage or wayfinding
  • Purchase of facilities
  • Projects that do not include a highly visible physical element
  • Maintenance, operation, or retroactive funding of existing projects
  • Activities that are not tied directly to program objectives
  • Re-granting
  • Fundraising activities
  • General operating expenses and activities
  • Festivals or general events
  • Surveys or studies
  • Financial awards 
  • Cash reserves and endowments
  • Food and beverage

CONTRACTING & PAYMENTS
•    All projects require a funding agreement between the grantee and the City of Denver
•    Typically award money is paid out in two parts, (1)after a contract between the City of Denver and the grantee has been completed (up to 60 days from approval date) and (2) near completion or execution

INSURANCE & LIABILITY COVERAGE

The following insurance MAY be required, depending on the scope of work:

Workers’ Compensation - State mandated coverage for employees injured on the job.  Colorado Workers’ Compensation law requires anyone with 1 or more employees to carry this type of insurance.  Sole Proprietors (those with no employees) are not required to carry Workers’ Compensation.   It is important to notify the City if this rule applies to you.

Business Auto Liability - Coverage for liability (negligence) claims by a third party related to the operation of an automobile.  Auto insurance is required of all contractors who will be operating a vehicle as part of their contractual duties for the City.  The standard limit required $1,000,000.  Contractors who use their personal vehicles can substitute their personal auto insurance for the business auto requirement.  It is important to notify the City if this rule applies to you.

General Liability - Coverage for liability (negligence) claims by a third party related to bodily injury (injury to another person) or property damage (damage to another person’s property). Limits will vary depending on the scope of work.  Minimum limit is generally $1,000,000.

Professional liability - Coverage for claims related to a "professional’s" error in judgment, planning, or design.  Examples of work requiring professional liability are architectural designs and engineering studies.  NOTE: if a third party is hired to do such work, that third party is allowed to carry the insurance.

In order to determine what type of insurance is required, final grantees will need to be provided details on:

  • What is the work? (medium, materials, weight, size)
  •  How many people are part of the process from inception to completion
  • Are these people employees or all sole proprietors
  • Is specialized/certified knowledge required of the project such as engineering studies or architectural rendering
  • How will it be installed, where will it be installed, who will be installing it
  • If the public will have access to the space during the installation
  • What, if any, special equipment is necessary to install and who will be handling the equipment

IMPORTANT!  Your contract with the City includes indemnification.  You are responsible for any claims that arise out of your work with the City.  Even if insurance is waived, it is in your best interest to determine any exposures and potentially purchase insurance to cover that exposure.

ACCESSIBILITY

Applicants should consider how their programs and services are accessible to individuals with disabilities. This includes access accommodations for both the project and programs. These design standards shall be based on the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and can be found at ada.gov. Assistance can also be found by contacting the Denver Office of Disability Rights: 720-913-8485

SELECTION REVIEW CRITERIA

Submissions will be reviewed by designated representatives of the City and County of Denver including Arts & Venues, Public Works, Community Planning & Development, and Parks & Recreation. The following factors and criteria will be used to evaluate proposals:

  • Neighborhood Participation & Community Partnerships (25 Points): Clearly define how the project will provide a creative solution for specific issues in the proposed area. Demonstrate community support, collaboration and how the project will create strong partnerships in the neighborhood.
  • Creativity, Artistic Quality, Scope & Merit (25 Points): Proposals should be innovative, well-defined, goal-oriented, original and visually compelling and draw on community resources and talent.
  • Planning, Feasibility & Maintenance (20 Points): Proposals should demonstrate how feasible the project is in terms of timeline, budget, and available resources. Explain how the project will be safely installed, maintained, and removed.
  • Economic & Community Vitality (15 Points): How well does the project address the objectives of the grant program and catalyze a vision to enhance the vibrancy and economic vitality in a neighborhood. Measurement tools for reporting on the success of the project addressing challenges or opportunities in the neighborhood.
  • Community Benefit & Social Impact (15 Points): How the project represents and boasts community identity, heritage, engagement and sense of place.

POST- PROJECT EVALUATION

Through multiple phases of the project, grant recipients will be required to provide an project evaluations that includes expense reporting, project documentation (photographs, video and/or literary), related press, and an assessment of whether grant objectives were met and how the project was successful.

APPLICATION CHECKLIST

Proposals for the P.S. You Are Here grant will only be accepted if the application form is completed and submitted online with required documentation including:

  • Project Budget
  • 1-2 Images, examples or sketches of your proposed project
  • Minimum of one letter of endorsement (formal letter or email) from area council person, registered neighborhood association, business association or other place-based community organization
  • W9

GRANTING STAFF & REVIEW COMMITTEE

The micro-grant program will be administered by the Create Denver initiative through Denver Arts & Venues with the support of a review and election committee consisting of representatives from Denver Arts & Venues, City Attorney’s Office, Community Planning and Development, the Department of Finance, the Office of Economic Development, Parks & Recreation and Public Works. Staff and Committee members include:

Staff contact:
Lisa Gedgaudas, Denver Arts & Venues
lisa.gedgaudas@denvergov.org 

Review committee:
Rosalind Alston, Agency for Human Rights and Community Partnerships
Michael Chavez, Denver Arts & Venues
Brad Dodson, Division of Real Estate
Giles Flanagan, CFO Real Estate Group
Karen Good, Public Works 
Tariana Navas-Nieves,  Denver Arts & Venues
Laura Perry, City Budget & Management Office
Michael Sapp, Mayor’s Office
Chester Stevens, Community Planning & Development
Chris Yanez, Parks & Recreation