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DAC MicroGrants 2017-10-11T23:20:38+00:00













The 2017 MicroGrant selection is complete. Read about this year’s award recipients below!


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.

No matter how ambitious or humble the proposal, MicroGrants aims to support innovation, creative development and maintain momentum in artistic careers.

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 and past grant recipients to evaluate applications and recommend awards each year.

 Read more about MicroGrants in the news.

DAC MicroGrants is made possible by numerous individual donors.


Artists must be currently living and creating work in one of the five counties surrounding Durango, Colorado.  Eligible Colorado counties include: La Plata, Archuleta, Montezuma, Dolores or San Juan. Eligible New Mexico counties include: Ria Arriba and San Juan counties.

Artists of all media are invited to apply.

Funding may be applied towards artistic needs small and large, depending on the proposal.  DAC MicroGrants supports ambitious projects that embrace experimentation and focus on process, as well as emerging artist essentials, such as materials, supplies, professional development or website fees.

Previously awarded artists must wait 1 grant cycle (1 year) before reapplying to DAC MicroGrants.

Past Grant Awards:

2017 MicroGrant Awards

$1000 Grants

Rosie Carter

Cortez, CO
Visual artist
Artist website

My work in the past has focused on a small world: an examination of a very particular place in emotional and physical time and space. I lived in this world and inspected its fine particularities for most of my adult life, delving into notions of our own relevance. Getting to know this inner and outer world so intimately was immensely engaging, but as it must, CHANGE inserted itself and I parted ways with many aspects of that life.

So now I find myself exploring different directions in my art. Where once I held tightly to small details and spent a long stretch inspecting particularities, I’m now energized by expansion, by momentum, by the opportunity to engage with the dynamism of a larger world. This has been coming out in my work in many ways: I’m interested in using materials that lend themselves to a more fluid approach, I’ve been experimenting in creating work with less literal imagery, and I’m much more interested in seeing how the work evolves than holding tightly to a pre-conceived notion.

Over the course of the next year I propose to create a new body of work that manifests this recent shift in not only my perspective, but also my approach to my work.

This work would consist of twenty pieces all of which would be lit in some way. At this time I picture a combination of wall-hung pieces and free-standing sculptures that will use lighting to feature elements made of sheet metal, steel, wood, paper, wire, pen and ink and carefully hidden painted bits that will only reveal their colors when illuminated. I’m captivated by this idea but also open to it evolving and am excited to see what unfolds as I work.

During the course of this project I will investigate and learn how to utilize LED lights so they’re hidden and subtle, but also add to the emotion and presence of the pieces. I hope to use motion sensors and chain reactions to good effect. Additionally I will work with a sheet metal shop and other metal workers to help me fabricate certain parts of the pieces. I have some experience working with these materials and am always inspired by what I learn by employing professionals.

Upon completion of this new body of work, I endeavor to show locally but to also submit the work to opportunities beyond our region, informally representing Southwest Colorado and our own arts community in the process.

Hello, Dollface

Durango, CO
Artist website

Hello, Dollface’s mission is the advancement of self expression through the channel of music. The more we refine our craft, our sound undergoes perpetual evolution. Through our maturity we hone our technique, delve deeper into harmony, construct new melodic ideas and explore the never ending infinite path of rhythm.

For the refined listener our stylistic direction is moving towards the genre of neosoul but with a songwriters sensibility. Through this style, but not limited to any boundaries we aim to unite complex rhythms, extend harmony and unique phrasing together while keeping a palatable yet assessable melodic texture.

The core of the group consist of drums, bass, guitar, keys and vocals, however, we are expanding on each instrument to create as many possibilities of sonic depth. The group is building on its traditional instrumentation by incorporating the use of electronics, technology, samples, pedals, drum pads, sequencers and on board effects to diversify the sound in order to present a multitude of auditory options.

Hello Dollface’s direction is also evolving into a collective of many different musicians depending on each individual song needs. We are working closely with Dan Pucci a renowned arranger living in Phoenix, Arizona. Dan has been collaborating with the band to develop arrangements for violin, cello, alto sax, tenor sax, bari sax, trumpet & trombone. This instrumental addition will be used for recording, special shows, festivals, an album release and a possible arrangement for a show with members of the San Juan Symphony.

This continued direction ultimately helps foreshadow many of the lyrical and melodic ideas highlighted in the songwriting. It is our hope that the process of writing conscious and meaningful lyrics while extending boundaries within our existing genre that listeners can come away inspired, recharged, activated and united by our creative process; moreover, the band is committed to using the lyrical content to cultivate social change and activism. We are not only bound to the craft of creating this unique brand of music but we hold ourselves responsible to bring forth change, community involvement, collaboration and unification through our artistic medium.

Ultimately our new album will take on the entire scope of this direction and allow us to present a product to our fans, but also to labels, management, booking and promoters.

Hello, Dollface will utilize a MicroGrant to fund our newest full length album released in August 2017. It is our hope that this album will unite, inspire, create and build an innovative community through the power of music. Our desire is to share our love of music through multiple genres while connecting our audiences with conscious and meaningful lyrics. The album process would also allow for extended collaboration, strengthening the relationships within a broader community of artists.

Our intention is to employee multiple artists in this process through various artistic mediums. The album will be using 15 different musicians, visual artist for album artwork, a videographer for a feature music video, dance, spoken word and live protection mapping in addition to visuals for the album release show.

Full length album:

11 songs, 60 mins, 6 panel album cover, a video to correspond with title track, recording, mixing, mastering, duplication of 1000 cd’s, 100 limited addition records, crowdfunding campaign and a marketing strategy/ publication campaign.

$500 Grants

Tayler Hahn

Durango, CO
Community textile art
Artist website

As of late, the inspiration behind my artwork derives from our current political state, and the uncertainty and division it has brought to people across the nation. Our differences as individuals are being prominently noted in an unfavorable way, separating people on a global scale. With fear clouding our prevailing existence, individual and communal transformation is imperative for widespread suffering to come to an end.

My artwork stands for the possibility of acceptance, compassion, and an undivided society. This extraordinary transformation is taking shape in redefining what the American flag symbolizes to us.

Within the last couple of years, I have embraced hand embroidery and natural dye as my medium of choice. My relation to textile art, a craft tradition that has persisted throughout time, embodies a delicate balance between an undoubted respect of the ancient medium and a modern mark. Just after the founding of our country, the American flag emerged as a symbol of purity, perseverance, and triumph. With every stitch, glory was brought to the American people by the interlaced sensation of freedom. The American flag stands true as a central image within my artwork, but under a new context with a transformed connotation. The flag still embodies its original symbolism, but also takes on modern concerns such as equality, acceptance, and vulnerability in regards to the human experience.

Sewn Together

A Community Project by Tayler Hahn

Sewn Together is a creative project in which Durango community members will collaborate in the creation and exhibition of a 5′ X 8′ quilted

American flag. Students, adults, seniors, and artists will participate in making 6″ X 6″ quilted squares that will be sewn together to create the emblematic flag. Each square will be a true representation of the individual who created it. Their intentions, aspirations, and promise to our community interlaced within the final product, creating a transformed American flag that will permanently represent our empowered community.

The objective of Sewn Together is to unite the Durango community, and to create open discourse surrounding central themes such as compassion, acceptance, equality, and an undivided society. As of late, our differences have been prominently noted in an unfavorable way, causing widespread division to occur. In return, the project will focus on highlighting our diversity as well as parallel experiences as something to be celebrated. Free community art workshops will be held at local art collectives, senior centers, art studios, as well as high school and college classrooms. Our empowering conversations and creation will take place during these workshops, leading to communal transformation. Together we will redefine what the American flag symbolizes to us as individuals, as well as redefine what it means to our community.

Our current political state brings uncertainty and division to many across the nation and globe. For widespread suffering to come to an end, it is imperative for communal as well as individual transformation to occur.

The opportunity this project will bring about is monumental in uniting our community, and creating a space for transformation to be present.  Having a permanent work of art that represents our transformed, and empowered community will stand as a constant reminder of what we can achieve when we are undivided.

Shay Lopez

Durango, CO
Artist residency project

Eight months ago, I exhibited some of my wire sculptures in a solo show at Studio & in Durango. While many of these sculptures were figurative, most were non-representational tangles and twists — loops created by the intersection of curving lines, shapes formed where the trajectory of decisions overlapped, and each bend telling a story. These sculptures are three dimensional reminders of how we revisit ourselves and our stories, how we diverge from various paths, often to come “full circle” from our distorted and misshapen meanderings. My project proposal for the Durango MicroGrant is one example of this coming “full circle.”

In 1964, my father and grandfather began constructing a small adobe house on ten acres in the desert of southern Arizona with incredible vistas across the valley of the Santa Rita Mountains. Over the course of the next 52 years, a larger house would be added, as well as a pool area, an office, multiple patios, and an art studio. My parents built this unique home over time, filled it with art and items collected from their various travels. Colorful fabrics adorn the furniture. Mexican tile tops the counters. Masks on the brick walls, handwoven rugs on the brick and tile floors. As my father is a landscape architect, his courtyard and the surrounding desert have been tended as his own artistic masterpiece. Metal sculptures entwined with vines under a courtyard mesquite. A ceramic Mother Mary in an adobe niche looks down on the patio. My home for the first eighteen years of my life, that house in the desert is the single largest influence on who I am, as a person and an artist.

As a child, I was exposed to art wherever we traveled. On a trip to Sedona with my mother, we visited the architectural marvel that is Arcosanti, the creation of visionary Paolo Solari. As we wandered the concrete structures, I remember seeing a sign near some of Solari’s bells hanging in a lush grotto which read, The purpose of art is to create experience.

In 2005, my parents were able to purchase a house and land adjacent to their property, and so this compound now covers twenty acres. The other house on this other property however, remains vacant. Recently, I thought to myself, Wouldn’t it be nice . . .

Wouldn’t it be nice to bring some of myself back home, to put some of my being back into that place that gave me so much, to put my own touch on the property? Wouldn’t it be nice to share this place with other artists?

Since 2010, I have been fortunate to be involved with Studio& as an invited artist, and later as a partner/owner. I have participated in multiple exhibits in Durango, Denver, and Santa Fe, and have also attended two artist residencies. Without a doubt, the most rewarding experiences of this time have been those shared with other artists, whether it be collaborating in creation, problem solving during installation, or brainstorming possibilities in a conversation over drinks. I hope to establish this residency to promote and further the conversation between artists and their media, to share this place that inspired me, and to provide others an opportunity to visit their story. In doing so, I will be completing another loop, twisting another tale, telling another part of my own story, helping to create experience.

In the fall of 2017, I hope to turn an old family property in the desert of southern Arizona into an artist residency. I will be traveling to Arizona in March with a videographer to capture still photos and footage for a short film about the property. I am seeking a $1000 MicroGrant to make this happen. MicroGrant funds will initially go toward travel expenses, video production, videographer’s stipend, and editing, and will also be used for building a website associated with the property.

I think this proposal is unique in that the video I plan to make is not really the end product of my pursuit, but will be the first step toward making a dream come true. I hope that with a DAC MicroGrant I am able, down the road, to pay it forward to many other artists and creators who attend the residency.

Stew Mosberg

Bayfield, CO

Stew Mosberg is the author of two books on design; he co-authored a collection titled Soiree on the Summit and hundreds of articles about art and a variety of other subjects. He was the Colorado correspondent for ArtTalk Magazine and also published The Cultural Times art monthly magazine. He has written for The Durango Herald, Inside/Outside Magazine, Durango Magazine, Arts Perspective and The Durango Telegraph. He resides in Bayfield, Colorado where he is a freelance journalist, skis, fly-fishes, and stares in awe at the beauty of high-country and recently published In The Shadows of Canyon Road, a novel.
My project is a collection of short fiction pieces that vary in content, length, and subject matter; there are 31 stories covering subjects as diverse as: An artist’s life, futurism, human interest,organ donorship, cloning, murder mystery, and romance. The one common theme is they have surprise endings. Previously, I have published an art magazine, authored two non-fiction books on design, a novel, an anthology of fiction and non-fiction (a winner of the Colorado Independent Publisher’s award), plus hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles.

I have recently completed an anthology of eclectic short fiction and anticipate having it published by April, 2017. My previous novel In the Shadows of Canyon Road was the #1 best seller for several weeks at Maria’s Bookshop in Durango and reached the top 20% of sales on Amazon in 2015.

The objective is to self-publish my new work HIDDEN (the working title, which is a collection of 31 short stories) and Micro Grant funding will help with the initial production/publishing expenses.

Why self publish? In the past decade, the number of authors following traditional publishing routes has been in serious decline which includes those considered “A-list” authors. One reason for this is the amount of time it takes from the editing process (now mostly paid for by the author) to the time the printed version gets to the bookstore; as much as 18-24 months.

Rize Tha Rebel

Durango, CO

I have always rapped to express myself. My favorite part about Hip Hop is the energy it brings to the people that listen to it. Ever since I was young I remember listening to artists like Nas and just going wild. His message wasn’t necessarily clean, but that is what made it so real to me. I want to ignite the spark in others that Nas did in me. We live in a world with many issues, and I have always seen hip hop as an outlet to spread a message of consciousness. I love hip-hop because of the community, the connections that can be made between individuals can be achieved between whole crowds with the right vibe and message. The number one goal is to bring people together, and inspire others to express.

We sample from all sorts of genres when it comes to creating beats, so we can give our audience an emotional, beautiful experience. From old Japanese vocalists to jazz chord progressions, there isn’t much that we don’t use. Yantra (the beat producer for Rize Tha Rebel) adds luscious melodies and chord progressions along with snappy drums to add energy and emotion to our message.

The goal of our project is to convey a hunger for success, which is why we decided to name it “Hungry Vol. 1”. Our intention is to make people feel our energy and see our perspective, while tuning in to how they relate and turning it up on the dance floor. Life is beautiful, and short, so get inspired and do something fantastic. We hope you enjoy.

Our objective is simple. We need to record in a professional space, preferably in a city studio in which hip hop is regularly recorded. To this, we need to drive up to Denver, Colorado and pay an engineer to help us with the mixing and mastering of the final product. We have decided to record at the Decibel Garden, a studio in Denver in which many Colorado hip hop artists have used.

We will be recording this April and plan on releasing our project in early May. We need to get the project out before the summer so we can start to try and get going with live shows again. Having a portfolio is extremely important when it comes to landing opening positions for bigger acts. Currently, we have a couple photographers editing photos and assisting with our social media accounts so we can have an aesthetic, organized space to view our music.

Rize Tha Rebel’s verses are extremely complex, and hard to enunciate. So, it is going to be a bit challenging to give an exact budget.

We are recording 8 tracks for this project, but also bringing up another 3 or 4 to get recorded to release as singles so we have time to build another project and still give our listeners new content. Eleven tracks is a lot of music to record, and an engineer can be from 500-2000 dollars depending on how much help we need with recording. We are estimating that it is going to cost about 200 dollars for gas, and another 200 for food and lodging. I have spoken with representatives at the Decibel Garden and they told me that their prices vary and that we wouldn’t really get an exact price until we were there and working. Of course, we have been saving for quite some time already, so we can compensate for any extra charges. Recording professionally is a science and costs a ton of money. So, I thoroughly believe that we would utilize any micro grant fund to the full extent.

$250 Grants

Sam Bridgham

Durango, CO
Lego artist
Recent press

Through play, Lego brings us to where art and engineering intersect. As a child, I spent as much time in my mother’s painting studio as in my father’s factory, but I spent even more time wandering the fields, woods, and beaches of my New England home. Life was rich in time and raw material, but it lacked in pre-made toys and kits. My desire to create was born from the necessity to make my own play things out of any handy materials.

As a material and a medium, Lego permits authentic expressions of both naive and sophisticated art. My aim is to bring delight to the mundane by using Lego to convey color, shape, texture and the play of light at different times of day, across seasons, through weather and in settings as commonplace as they are unlikely.

My work often appropriates space, though I do not alter any surface, and I never use adhesives or fasteners. Many of my pieces also have found homes in nature and integrate with tree branches to mimic Autumn colors or Spring blossoms.

This is a golden age for Lego artists and I struggle to keep current enough to remain inspired but unintimidated by the quality of work being done in this medium. My best response has always been to re-inhabit the mind of that boy who could invent and play with invent without self-awareness or ambition.

I envision a project that will engage the community on three levels:

  1. A publicized Lego sorting party to separate donated Lego pieces into colors and shapes
  2. A mobile participatory Lego exhibit
  3. A series of installations around Durango through October, 2017

My work has always been a collaboration with the community in the sense that most of my Legos are donated by local families. The cost is the time it takes to process unsorted Lego into usable material for art. Further, exact amounts in specific colors and dimensions are unpredictable, but the bulk comes in the standard red, yellow blue and green Lego colors. Newly purchased Lego, on the other hand has the advantage of coming in any desired color and amount, but at prices ranging from $20-30 per square foot of flat material.

I propose using the bulk of the requested funds to purchase new Lego in colors not found in large amounts in typical donations such as purple or lime green or deep reds and blues. With a full range of color and tone in significant amounts, I will create and curate a mobile exhibit that can be set up in public places inside or out. This will consist of 4-6 standard 2×2 inch steel sign posts mounted on plywood bases that can be secured to the grounds or fixed to vertical surface or wall. The exhibit will be stocked with Legos and the public will be instructed and encouraged to build on them after the fashion of the Lego bombs I’ve been building around tow since last May. I will curate these exhibits to ensure that damage, theft and misuse of the materials is minimized

My primary creative project will be to create many more Lego bomb installations around Durango. These may appear on sign posts, brick building exteriors, bridge beams, etc. Some may be positioned along in sequences along walking routes while others may be location specific. Some may appear in small clusters in certain neighborhoods. In addition to sign posts, bridges and selected trees, my largest ambition will be to wrap brick building faces in Lego using the full range of color and tone available. Most locations are to be determined, however the Main Mall, the Smiley Building and a few spots other offer excellent possibilities with the respective building owners friendly to my work. Each will be curated and maintained for the duration of placement.

Late April requests for public donations and publicity for Lego sorting event

Late May—public sorting party at Rec Center

May construction and installation of portable exhibit

June –October Periodic set-up of mobile exhibits 1-2 x per month at various locations

June-October—Installation of area Lego bombs and building façade wraps

Michael Darmody

Farmington, CO
Land art


Local artist plans installation for Berg Park on Saturday

Read more here.

My name is Michael Darmody. I am an artist who lives in Farmington, New Mexico. In 1989 I graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree from the California Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles. My thesis art project was called Sacred Circuit. It traced the connection between the uranium mining on the Navajo Nation and the electricity supplied to CalArts. This, and the fact that my then-wife grew up in the heart of the Navajo Nation, made moving out here after graduating a no-brainer.

I taught art in a Bureau of Indian Affairs school on “The Rez” for three years before moving to Farmington, and have been here ever since. The “plan” was to work just enough to cover basic expenses and at the same time build a career as an artist. In the last twenty years or so, I have held a variety of jobs, including newspaper and public library graphic artist, Boys and Girls Club art teacher, substitute teacher, and land surveyor’s helper. For the last 18 years I have been an adjunct (that is, part-time) art instructor at San Juan College. None of these jobs have given me economic security. (in case you are wondering, I have looked for full-time jobs, usually university teaching jobs, outside of Farmington, but the best I ever did was come in second).

Even though making a living here has been difficult, the rich vein of subject matter I have been able to mine – energy and natural resource controversies, the painful history of Anglo-Navajo relations and their diametrically opposed world views, the general legacy of “The West” and related tourism, the shear beauty of this region’s geography, etc. – has made it more than worth while staying.

As my resume hints at, I have been very active in pursuing my art career. I make art and exhibit art frequently, sell art occasionally and win public art commissions and grants once in a blue moon. Too often I have developed art projects that have little or no chance of being realized because I have no working capital. I have filled several large sketchbooks with good ideas and detailed plans that more often than not have remained dreams.

Two summers ago that all changed. August 2015, I was invited by THE LAND/an art site, an arts organization based in Albuquerque devoted to exploring our relationship to nature, to develop a work of art that interacted directly with the 40-acre plot of undeveloped land they own in a subdivision just west of Mountainair, a village 60 miles southeast of Albuquerque. Now I have been a devotee of Robert Smithson and other Land Art artists for 30 years, so this felt like a dream come true.

I developed a project proposal that came to be called “Centerline. THE LAND folks liked it and so – along with 5 other artists who came from all parts of the world pursuing their own projects – I started making regular trips down to Mountainair to gather as much information about the site as I could in order to make as complete an inventory of every bit of information about that plot of land as possible. This included flora and fauna, geology and history, political and legal and whatever else there was. I wasn’t entirely certain how I would transform this archive into an artwork but I did produce an information graphic – “Phase I” – in time for display in THE LAND/gallery’s fall exhibit, titled “Transform”.

“Phase III” of my project included installing a line of surveyor’s stakes corner to corner along the diagonal of THE LAND’s square-shape lot. The idea was to foreground the site’s vulnerability to development. Turns out THE LAND does not own the mineral rights to its property. If someone, say a natural gas pipeline company, wanted to branch off from the existing utility right-of-way that crosses the southeast corner of THE LAND’s lot and tie it to another line by running a pipeline through there, they might just be able to do it. Hence the title, “Centerline”.

Well, we never got that far. Sad to say, the THE LAND has apparently gone out of business – at least I can no longer contact them and no one else seems to be able to either. It’s as if they vanished into thin air. There is a rumor that the couple that ran THE LAND decided to run off to Mexico and join a band of devotees of an Aztec shaman (the wife’s art practice embraces this world view).

But that line of surveyor’s stakes haunts me. I cannot let it go.

In a nutshell: If a fossil fuel company can do this, then so can I (if only just symbolically).

This project is called “R.O.W.”, which, in surveyor parlance stands for Right-of-Way, which usually signifies the route of a planned road, pipeline or other construction. (I worked as a land survey crewmember for several years, and have been fascinated by its implications ever since.)

R.O.W. will be a temporary work of Land Art in Berg Park, Farmington. It will consist of a straight line of surveyor’s lath, each stake complete with typical red flagging and information markings, planted in the ground every 30 feet or so, running due north and south from the top of Berg Park, near the Fairview Road entrance to Berg Park East, to the park’s southernmost boundary on the south bank of Willetts Ditch, a distance of approximately 1,500 feet. This line parallels an existing section line and should be a true meridian. It will cross the Animas, and run through woodlands and meadows, and be visible from several roads and trails, as well as from the bridge crossing the Animas at Berg Park East, but should not offer any obstructions to park visitors. It will be in place for a maximum of two weeks, after which it will be removed and leave no trace of its prior existence.

As part of the piece (think Christo in miniature), I will go through the usual process of determining surface and sub-surface ownership (mineral rights), permitting, liability coverage, One Call – “Call before you dig!” – notification (since R.O.W. will cross an existing pipeline), and whatever other legal requirements that govern any typical fossil fuel company’s right to install a pipeline or access road or other structure on public or private land. If necessary, I may have to go to court to force the issue. With DAPL protests and BLM fracking leases around Chaco Canyon in the news it seems like a timely project.

To that end, I will need the cooperation of several Farmington entities, including the River Reach Foundation (RRF) and City of Farmington Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department (PRCA), since they are both landowners (RRF has handed over management of its property to the Parks Dept), the PRCA Commission, perhaps the City Council too, and at least one other private landowner and a local energy company. I would like to enlist the Northwest New Mexico Arts Council in endorsing this project and perhaps act as fiscal agent in case any funds that come my way require this. (As of January 28, 2017, I have made presentations to RRF, PRCA and PRCA Commission, all of whom have given their verbal approval; I still await confirmation in writing. That other private landowner has given verbal approval as well. I have not heard back from the NWNMAC.)

I hope that people coming to the park will scratch their heads, wondering if the Parks Department or gas company or someone is planning on putting in a road, or a pipeline, or structure. They may be concerned that this is really possible. Or they might just be fascinated with it, try to see if they can follow the line through woods and meadows, or try to verify if it is really straight and on a true meridian. Its perfection is also something I am hoping to emphasize – a stark contrast between wild, improvisational nature and rigid, geometrical human culture.

The target date for actually installing R.O.W. is the fourth week of March, during Spring Break. For one thing, that way I would not have to miss work to do this (I am a part time instructor at San Juan College and a substitute teacher in Farmington Municipal Schools, and I don’t get paid unless I work). However, some RRF board members would prefer that I wait to coincide with their annual Riverfest event, Memorial Day weekend.

R.O.W.’s budget is roughly $500.00. I figure it won’t take that much money to buy survey stakes, flagging and markers, maybe $100.00 max. And I don’t really think that project-related publicity – posters, photos, etc. – will cost too much. But I may have to hire a real surveyor to make sure the line runs straight and true, and that could run $400.00 easy, even if the job is for only two days, even if I can get a surveyor friend to help me (he will have his own expenses to meet). And, if I have to take off work during the middle of the week to install the piece, say, in order to avoid crowds, I will need to make up the income difference (as mentioned above, I don’t get paid if I don’t work and I can’t afford to miss any assignments). I have started a GoFundMe Campaign for this purpose – https://www.gofundme.com/r-o-w-michaeldarmody. – but have no idea if it will work or not.

A Durango Arts Center MicroGrant of $250.00 will allow me the luxury of being “unavailable” to substitute for two days, if necessary. It could also be applied to surveyor fees and other expenses, as needed.

This project is very important to me. I have no doubt that it will have a significant impact on my artistic career, could make a noteworthy addition to the kinds of art Farmington has to offer and raise its visibility in the state, and quite possibly cannot be realized without your help.


Thank you.

Ryan Osborne

Hesperus, CO
Children’s Book Author

My little happy dream came on the cusp of that whole Mayan 2012 thing. Most everyone I came across was hoping for a shift, a rise in awareness, and looking back, we were all getting it in so many little ways. We’d heard it was the beginning of a new age that had been dawning since the 60’s, Aquarian and such. We even had a president that seemed to be acting to benefit the majority of people a fair amount rather than a select few. He had brown skin and was clearly the choice of the populous majority. I had heard it was the end of duality in opposition. I had heard it was now a woman’s time, that that which had been suppressed would become more impressive, and I believe it has, is and must be more it we are sustain human life on this planet. The Yin like inward side of things embodies to me a lot of this, and the Raven carries it through the sky and conveys it with other ravens and of course their slightly smaller cousins the crows. In the process I have been rife with ideas like: abundance more than some alternative and Peace, also more than ever before. For the book I’m doing my best to draw upon all this symbolism in a succinct way that taps into an enduring innocence and simplicity that predates all the thought and most of the words. Hopefully in doing so, we are allowing some old and tired and divisive ways to rest, go to ground and be transformed. We are letting the blackness in to reclaim the illusion of separation that scientifically, could never really exist. And now here, it appears this happy little bird has emerged with his quintessential darkness to be with a great many more than just me.

Raven Named Crow is original fiction written and illustrated in the children’s bedtime story tradition. All copies will include Spanish translation. It is a relation to place poem inspired first by the crows of my youth who yet often reside at Fanto Park, Durango, Colorado, 7th Avenue where I grew up. The bird nation inspiration spirals out from there to Horse Gulch, Main Avenue, City Market parking lot, even outside of Durango, to the mountains, the desert, and into New Mexico, Old Mexico, Alaska and back. The Raven Named Crow character came to me in a dream. I saw this bird with a maroon beanie over his eyes smiling, he was very happy, and also like when we see Stevie Wonder play music, very blind. It was the kind of dream that is pretty rare for me, where I wake up feeling super energized, and the vibrancy of it pervades the whole day to come. I went about my life for a little over a year thereafter. Having related the tale to a few friends here, I even asked one artist friend if she could try and draw him for me. It never matriculated but the thought was something that stuck with me and made me happy. A feeling I could be reminded of anytime a big blackbird would call, or fly by with wind whooshing under-each-wing-flap. Having felt the will to write since the fourth grade, ever practicing the craft, and dissecting words cognitively, the stories also accumulated. I had a long-owned fascination with a yin-like blackness, and merging it with my interest in the corvidae family the fiction was born out of the times and if no other than my own personal pursuit of balance. I had some money saved as a means to begin compilation and I was fed by the limitless love that a parent can have for a child. In the process of bringing Raven Named Crow out on to the page for people to enjoy, it all has helped to revitalize the child in me.

Raven Named Crow, RNC, was so animated he had to be in a kid’s book and with my then two-year-old son, that was all that I’d been reading at the time. One day in early April of 2013, I attended my first Durango Indie Author’s Group. Someone opened the meeting and announced that the group was designed for authors who are published or working on future publications, and I guess that is what I really needed to do at the time because when I introduced myself, I announced that I was working on this publication, and so it was hatched. On my way down the staircase, a designer approached and said she was interested in working with me.

The very next day, I was proposing this book to an Illustrator, Miki Harder, the best Raven artist I could think of for the job. We had never formally met before, but I knew where she had a second job, so I introduced myself. I told her how I had admired her work, and how Ravens and Crows had become a part of my life. I told her that I wanted to do something for these birds that seem to have fallen so out of favor. As an example, I related to her a story about this one loud, irascible, and incessant Raven on a Moab light post. It was in the parking lot above the grocery store picnic table where I was eating lunch. No telling exactly was going on with that Raven’s life, but the way it cried was laden with emotion. How it called and looked directly at everyone was very discomforting. If I had to guess, I’d say the emotion in its voice was akin to the death of a very dearest loved one. Again, my happy raven dream came to mind, and I tried to listen to the bird with compassion, even if I had to have my head down to do it. It was clear this being needed something more than food scraps. There, in the parking lot, it was like she or he needed to be legitimized in some way, and that is when just the opposite occurred. An older couple was sitting next to me and the woman started in with, “What are they good for?”

All her husband could quietly come up with was, “They clean up the trash off the side of the roads.”

At that conclusion, Miki stood there before me, in one of those timeless moments, at the entrance to the Diamond Belle Saloon, wearing her black and red corset attire. Her head somewhat fallen, and her light blue eyes, were tearing up and reddening at the whites. I began weeping as well.

Shortly thereafter, we began exchanging e-mails and comparing interests that aligned. We talked about the symbolism of Ravens and Crows being first one of blackness. Then we spoke of the lore around Ravens and Crows being as old and diverse as any in the Northern Hemisphere. The most poignant in our conversations were the Tlingit story of how Raven emerged from an utter blackness and created the world, and Miki brought Huginn and Muninn to the table. The birds, respectively named “thought” and “memory” sat on the shoulders of the Norse god Ullr, and as I understand it, would relay news from all over the world via the Raven Network at dawn. They were the fastest messengers of ancient times.

I began to write the stories. She liked the style and we began to work together often meeting once a week and conversing on the phone, text or e-mail whenever we needed. The coffee shop meetings were the best though. She would show me these beautiful renditions and it felt like everyone in there was a little curious to see. Titles don’t usually come to me before the work is done but this one did. I felt I had enough story for a series, but we needed to start with just one, and it was clear I was trying to do too much, too soon. Finally we landed on one simple bedtime story, part of a tradition of design to make children sleepy. “Good Morning Little Raven,” was the working title. Today, now after being rewritten numerous times, it wears the master title, Raven Named Crow.

The book itself will be some 32 pages long. 24 -28 of which will be illustrated in color to the highest quality. Most likely each page will be 11 inches tall and 8.5 inches wide. It will be released in hard cover, in order to endure the rigors of a toddler, and the pertinent information can be seen on the spine. Children of about two or three years of age will be able to understand this book when elders read it to them. The average seven-year-old should be able to read Raven Named Crow for themselves.

We have done all of this to do something we truly loved, and this is still the reason we want to finish the thing. It will be four years of work in April and we are so near. We have at least 85% of the artwork dialed. Our designer has become versed in our vision, and offered to work with us for free because to her it was inspiring. We also have numerous people who have pledged to buy the book, and we hope that everyone who reads it will feel some measure of peace before they go to sleep.

The objective of this children’s book project is to create and promote an exceptional local publication in the genre, and use the process to aid in future local collaborations.

This Proposed Allocation of Funds is for the purpose of finishing work on, and releasing the Raven Named Crow children’s book by the end of 2017. We are nearing the end of a four-year project. Details are included in the Artistic Statement.

Business plan: This is a passion-first project, as outlined in the Artistic Direction Statement to come on Feb 28. My business plan for this book is to break even or better on all expenditures with the initial release of this book on kickstarter.com. The book copies will effectively be pre-sold, through the crowd funding website. Before the Kickstarter campaign goes live, all expenditures will be accounted for and the break-even amount will be the funding goal for the campaign.

Ann Salviazul

Durango, CO

This current body of work continues to transform as it leads me in new directions and I search my inner self exploring my feelings, thoughts and biases surrounding homelessness. It pushes me to reach out, to speak to individuals I might typically avoid, to ask questions of those individuals and more importantly, questions of myself: Why am I uncomfortable? What am I afraid of? How do I respond in respectful, appropriate ways to these individuals?

I habitually carry a sketchbook because I find myself compelled to pick up pencil or pen and draw whatever I see or experience. This visual journaling provides me deep insight and is a sort of meditative practice as I witness and experience what life’s made of: my 93 year old dad, common-place items on a table, then my grandson’s premature birth; or sitting in the parking lot of Manna Soup Kitchen observing my fellow beings sitting on the curb after we’ve finished eating breakfast.

My artwork is created with watercolor, charcoal and pencil or pen. Studio produced paintings and drawings emanate from years of daily sketches, on-the-spot drawings and/or watercolor studies. All this informs the finished artwork, hopefully conveying the feeling of these ephemeral occasions along with a sense of place and time.

Currently I am working to create images and prepare an exhibit of life drawings and/or watercolor paintings of those society often terms “the less fortunate.” As part of a project begun while an Artist-in-Residence at Willowtail Springs Nature Preserve and Education Center I proposed to complete a body of thirteen images, a collaboration of brief personal narrative and related artworks dealing with my own perceptions of and connections to homelessness. My drive for this project is visceral and personal–and that’s what I hope the images will be. I want to put faces and stories to the terms “homeless” and “transient.” The project is an exploration of my experience when first arriving in Durango, frequently visiting and eating at Manna Soup Kitchen, as well as my search for understanding of a brother who died while living on the streets in the Salt Lake Valley.

An outline was forged and multiple studies begun during the residency from which full-size pieces must now be fleshed out, completed, then matted and framed for exhibition as well as narrative written before December 2017. I intend to complete approximately two pieces each month allowing another one to two months to work on framing, printing narrative, title cards/labels and announcements.

My objective is to present the framed images, accompanied by narratives, in an exhibition beginning November or December with hopes the exhibit will continue to be shown in local schools, Manna Soup Kitchen, the local police department, and the hospital during the following months in 2018.

I plan to complete matting, glass cutting and frame assembly of the finished artworks, as I have the equipment and skills to accomplish a professional presentation. I’ve received an estimate of $2,030.00 for framing materials from a local frame shop. This is based on archival mats, mounts, glass and moulding for a finished size approximately 24” x 36” for thirteen pieces. I respectfully request assistance to offset the cost of framing the artworks for this project, believing it has the potential to be an impactful exhibition, providing an opportunity for dialogue about our community’s homeless population.

Artist Testimonials

Tricia Gourley, 2016 MicroGrantee

I used my MicroGrant to help fund a two-week intensive textile workshop at Haystack Mountain School of Craft on natural dye methods. My intention was to learn more and refine my work with natural dyes. I could not be happier with the experience and knowledge I returned with. The workshop was very rich, built my confidence and offered so many new possibilities in how I can work with fiber. I recently graduated from Fort Lewis and have since found a studio space to set up a natural dye studio. Now I am finding the time to explore and experiment and build upon all that I learned at Haystack. I am very grateful that the Durango Art Center supports community artists both emerging and established. This was the first grant that I have applied for and I learned so much from the process. Thank you DAC!

20Moons, 2016 MicroGrantee

20MOONS used funds from the 2016 DAC Microgrant to offset production expenses for “Human Nature Machine,” a dance theatre production that ran March 10-13, 2016 at the Vallecito Room at Fort Lewis College. Funds received from the grant went towards expenses such as: venue rental, lighting equipment rental, costumes, performer stipends, and marketing costs. 20MOONS would like to thank the DAC MicroGrant program for helping to being contemporary dance theatre to the community of Durango!

Cynthia McDowell, 2016 MicroGrantee

Yes, goals were met. I ordered the new kiln shelves and bought a few extras as well. We were able to fire my wood kiln more efficiently and maximize load size, due to the larger shelves. I was able to teach some of the local wood firing ladies new ways to load the kiln and fire larger pieces. We are very happy with the shelf additions and will use them for years to come. They improve the kiln furniture inventory. I plan to make many more large serving platters and decorative pots this year. Since then, I have also built a larger studio and had an open studio sale.

Gretchen Magwitz, 2016 MicroGrantee

I used the DAC MicroGrant to purchase specialized lighting, backdrop/tenting materials, and two instructional videos on how to photograph jewelry. While spending more time behind the lens instead of the jewelry bench, I began to see my pieces with fresh eyes. It has inspired the use of more color and texture in my work. Photographing jewelry well has been more challenging than I thought and I now understand why people hire expensive professional photographers. But, I love a challenge and will figure this process out. I have also spent time studying and creating sample website pages for my final site. Learning the ins and outs of adding photographs, changing fonts, etc. Overall, I feel the biggest impacts have been in inspiring new avenues of my work and widening their format and exposure.

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 at the Durango Arts Center (Pivot Point), 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) |