It is a summer full of would’ves, but that’s not stopping the Community Foundation Serving Southwest Colorado from raising money for local nonprofits.
It would have been the foundation’s sixth annual Community Concerts in the Secret Garden at the Rochester Hotel, but in a fit of creative planning, the fundraiser will take place virtually in private “Secret Garden” parties and on air.
“We knew we needed to be creative, so that this important grant opportunity wasn’t diminished during the COVID-19 restrictions,” said Briggen Wrinkle, Community Foundation executive director. “We looked for ways we could reimagine the events ... to create a safe and fun strategy to positively impact local musicians, as well as nonprofits in our area.”
Over the past five years, the Community Concerts in the Secret Garden at the Rochester Hotel event has raised about $75,000 for local nonprofits each year. Nonprofits need funding this year more than ever: Southwest Colorado nonprofits face an estimated $8 million in financial losses because of the pandemic.
During the fundraiser, nine local musicians and bands will play radio shows on KSUT, KDUR and the Point from 7 to 8 p.m. July 1, 8 and 15. Community members can contribute donations to support 10 local arts and culture nonprofits, with the goal of raising $50,000.
Typically, the event generates $1,500 grants. This year, each organization could receive up to $5,000. The 10 La Plata County organizations include: the Be Frank Foundation, Dancing Spirit, Durango Arts Center, Durango Independent Film Festival, Durango Playfest, KDUR, KSUT, Music in the Mountains, Pine River Arts and Stillwater Music.
“We want to ensure that we have thriving arts organizations in our community because we need joy, inspiration and whimsy in this challenging time,” Wrinkle said. “The inspiration provided by the arts will help us to heal.”