About DAC MicroGrants


Thank you for your interest in DAC MicroGrants.  Our 2016 grants have been awarded (see below).  Please download the 2016 Call to Artists for information about the program.  The 2017 application cycle will open in early January 2017.  For questions, please contact Cristie Scott, Executive Director at cristie@durangoarts.org.


DAC MicroGrants was established in 2014 as a funding opportunity for artists living and creating in Southwestern Colorado and rural counties of Northern New Mexico.  Understanding that a financial barrier is oftentimes all that stands in the way of an artists’ next critical step in their career, MicroGrants distributes ten (10) grants totaling $5000 to our regional artists, serving as a catalyst to further their work while living in our rural Southwestern communities.  This opportunity is open to DAC members as well as non-members.  In an effort to decentralize visual authority and support a diplomatic review process, DAC engages local community members to evaluate applications and award MicroGrants each year.  

DAC seeks to engage local artists and deepen artistic diversity within Durango and our surrounding communities.  No matter how ambitious or humble the proposal, MicroGrants aims to support innovation, creative development and maintain momentum in artistic careers.  Read more about MicroGrants in the news.

DAC MicroGrants is made possible by numerous individual donors and the Pritzker Traubert Family Foundation.


Past Grant Awards:

2016 AWARDEES – $1,000 Level


Durango, CO–20MOONS, a contemporary dance theatre company, utilized its 2016 MicroGrant to support their spring production, Human Nature Machine, which occurred in in mid-March. 

Human Nature Machine investigates the intersections of human nature, the natural world we originate from, and the world of technology we have created. Through a collage of contemplations in movement, sound and visual imagery, we examine & illuminate the intimate relationships & repeating patterns of these inextricably linked spheres of human influence. Our hope is to provide a fresh perspective that contributes meaningfully to the great puzzle of human existence: what is our place?

Visit 20MOONS’ website.

Six Dollar String Band

Durango, CO–Six Dollar String Band captures the exuberant, communal, and unifying spirit inherent in Old Time music. In their hometown — the mountainous and musically diverse micropolitan of Durango, Colorado — they are widely regarded for their tight, driving, and passionate sound.  Six Dollar plans to release its next 13-15 track album this year, and will utilize a MicroGrant to fund the vinyl pressing of 200 copies.

Tony Holmquist :: fiddle
Stephen Sellers :: bass
Brendan Shafer :: banjo, guitar

Visit Six Dollar’s website.

Six Dollar is more than just a band that has learned songs written while Woodrow Wilson was in office. Members are experts on the style in a musical and historical sense, with the ability to tie the genre into more modern things. — Bryant Ligget /The Durango Herald, January 1, 2015

2016 AWARDEES – $500 Level

Dan Groth

Durango, CO–Dan creates dream-like tableaus of mystery and subtle humor, which explore the contrast between microcosm and macrocosm, as well as the passage of time.  Building upon his recent development in the lithography printmaking processes, Dan plans to use his MicroGrant to fund a two-week collaboration with master printmaker, Aaron Shipps, who founded Bedrock Editions in Kansas City, MO.  Dan will not only have the opportunity to further his lithography skills and techniques, he will be exposed to a thriving community of artists.

The past two years have seen me recognizing the need to work creatively with others.  In year’s past, when I was working primarily in pen-and-ink, art-making was a solitary act that often expressed loneliness and isolation.  Traveling to Kansas City to work with Aaron will establish a lifelong collaboration, and this opportunity comes as I am making great strides in my art, where I am strongly desiring to work with other.

Visit Dan’s website 

Jeff Madeen

Durango, CO–Jeff’s work encourages the viewer to think beyond the obvious. Often politically charged and provocative, he offers encouragement for us to think for ourselves, hone critical thinking skills and go where the questions take you, often in new directions, and to create your own conclusions.  His 2016 MicroGrant helped defray expenses of a critically-acclaimed exhibit that occurred February 26-March 26 at the Durango Arts Center: Obedience, Conformity, Apathy…”It’s All Good!”   The exhibit joined two generations of artists, father and son, Bud Madeen and Jeff Madeen. Bud presented a series of nine canvases titled, The Freedom Series, as a culmination of 25 years of work. Jeff then provided his personal rebuttals through new works of photography, wood block prints, multimedia sculptures, paint on canvas, installation and video.

Visit Jeff’s Website

Cynthia McDowell

La Plata, NM–Cynthia is a wood-fire potter and ceramics professor at San Juan College in Farmington, NM.  Several years ago, Cynthia built a Manabigama style wood kiln and firing barn on her property in northwest New Mexico to support her full-time art career.  Her MicroGrant will support the purchase of new, larger kiln shelves to support greater efficiency and firing of oversized work for her own personal pieces and that of other artists who rely on this specialized wood-fire kiln as a unique resource in the rural community.

I am committed to a long life in ceramics, creating in my studio and firing with others.  Sharing my work with the world is very rewarding and I know it’s important to continue passing on this way of making.

Visit Cynthia’s Website

Kayla Shaggy

Bloomfield, NM–Kayla is a recent graduate of Fort Lewis College with a degree in Art, with a focus on marks, texture and shading in her evolving work.  Her MicroGrant will be used to fund the creation of an independent publication—a zine—about monsters, their various forms and the fears, doubts and personal experiences evoked from them.  The zine will be primarily black and white, 20 pages in length with 21 total images represented.  The publication will be printed in a quantity of 50 for regional distribution.

I want my viewers to seriously examine monsters in an earnest setting, the zine.

2016 AWARDEES – $250 Level

Tricia Gourley

Durango, CO–Tricia will utilize a DAC MicroGrant to further her artistic development as a textile artist by deepening her knowledge of working with natural dyes.  Specifically, funds will support her participation in at least two textile workshops this summer, including one hosted by DAC with master artist of KATAZOME and Shibori with Indigo, Akemi Nakano Cohn.  Tricia’s longterm vision is to establish a community fabric arts studio in Durango.

In working with natural dyes, I am able to reclaim a tradition infused a slow wholesomeness, one that has been pushed aside by the mechanization of the textile industry.

Del Greer

Durango, CO–Del is a recent graduate of Fort Lewis College working to transition her primary income to her art and design work, and unique artisanal goods.  Her longterm goal is to develop an independent online store, and a DAC MicroGrant will assist in elevating her Etsy shop with paid advertising, as well as allow her to purchase materials necessary to properly document her work.

My art is wide-ranging in terms of what I create from fine arts; painting, drawing to artesian craft, decor, accessories and illustration.  My various styles of art are linked by my desire to connect art with nature and spiritualism.

Visit Del’s Etsy shop

Gretchen Magwitz

Durango, CO–An accomplished artist, Gretchen’s metalwork is created as an invitation for people to look more closely at the world around them.  She utilizes various techniques such as forging, granulation, repoussé, chasing and fusing to create a variety of form and texture.  Gretchen’s MicroGrant will fund the creation of a website and documentation of her work to continue advancing her jewelry business.  In the meantime, you can view her work at Diane West Gallery.

As an artist in Durango, much of my time outside is spent sketching ideas and gathering stones to later incorporate into pieces.  My surroundings have made a huge impact on my work and the way I see its place in the world.

Shan Wells

Durango, CO–Three years ago, while Shan was creating a documentary for the Fort Lewis College Foundation, he became fascinated with the story of outlaw rustlers, Ike and Port Stockton and their relationship with a local editor who founded Durango’s first newspaper.  As he began researching their violent, dramatic lives he decided to create a historical graphic novel, using the actual history as a basis for the story.  Shan’s MicroGrant will assist in the production of the first issue of Fossils of the Early Snow.

The work has been an utter joy.  In trying to understand these themes through the medium of pencil and word, I have come to understand the roots of Durango in a way I think very few have, and it is this understanding I want to share via the finished work, in a form easily accessible to lay audiences.

Visit Shan’s website

Artist Testimonials

CO_Cottonwood_Basin_20130820_TM_geoWith the DAC MicroGrant I received I was able to meet and exceed my goals. My initial proposal was for a sum of money that would help me produce a series of post cards with my digital collages on them. Since I received to grant I started my own website, and have expanded the inventory of available products for sale. The first batch of post cards did not produce a huge source of revenue, but it did get my name out, and gave exposure to my website which directly lead to sales of larger, more expensive prints. The DAC program also gave me a great item to put on my artistic resume, which I believe was directly responsible for me receiving a spot in the 2015 CSArt Colorado program. This has been an awesome program, and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to participate.  | Chris Warren, $250 MicroGrant (2014) |

BaconThank you for the opportunity to have a DAC MicroGrant. BACON was able to accomplish everything we wanted and more with our grant. The money we used allowed us to record and produce our album! By the end of the summer, we had already sold out our original batch of CD’s and been given countless opportunities to play new venues across Colorado and beyond based on our album’s success. This huge step for BACON would not have been possible without the generous help of DAC.  | BACON, $500 MicroGrant (2014) |

MinnaJainWith my MicroGrant funds I was able to access mechanization tutorials and 3-D rendering software for 3-D printing of objects for use in wearable sculptures. I was able to create two performance installations in Durango, one in August 2014 and one in May 2015, and set up two more in Denver for 2015 and 2016. Additionally, I was able to send wearable sculpture to shows in MN and Finland. I was able to pay my performers stipends, pay a stipend to my photographer/videographer, source unusual materials and pay for the transport of myself and my pieces to Denver for a showcase with galleries who have agreed to host performance installations.  | Minna Jain, $1000 MicroGrant (2014) |