Bellco Joins Denver Art Museum as Free for Kids Presenting Sponsor

Two-year sponsorship will support access to art for all youth ages 18 and under

Bellco and the Denver Art Museum (DAM) today announce a new, two-year collaboration in support of the museum’s Free for Kids program. The Free for Kids program was launched in March 2015 with a generous five-year gift from longtime museum trustee, Scott Reiman.

Bellco’s presenting sponsorship brings additional support to the program, including enhanced learning and engagement opportunities and materials for youth visitors, as well as funding for outreach to underserved communities.

In progress: Free for Kids mural outside 1515 Restaurant in downtown Denver by artists Jaime Molina and Pedro Barrios.

Free for Kids offers free general admission to all museum youth visitors ages 18 and under through spring 2020, with the goal of securing ongoing support for the program. In the first calendar year of Free for Kids, school group visits to DAM increased by more than 50 percent.

“Bellco is thrilled to be a part of this incredible initiative to eliminate barriers and encourage more youth and families to visit the DAM,” said Doug Ferraro, President and CEO of Bellco. “Bellco was founded in Colorado 80 years ago by community members, for community members, and giving back has always been central to who we are as an organization. Given the DAM’s own rich history here in Colorado and its similar commitment to enriching our community, the partnership is a natural fit. It is truly an honor to support the museum as it strives to bring art alive for more kids than ever before.”

In addition to free general admission for all youth visitors, Free for Kids at the DAM includes free general admission for school tours and other youth group visits, such as summer camps and day cares and added a transportation fund, providing bus assistance for Title I schools. Free for Kids also enables the museum to cap youth pricing for all special ticketed exhibitions at $5.

“We are delighted to have the support of Bellco as a presenting sponsor of Free for Kids at the Denver Art Museum,” said Christoph Heinrich, the Frederick and Jan Mayer Director of the DAM. “Bellco supports our commitment to creativity and the transformative powers of art, and understands that young people who frequently encounter the arts experience a greater quality of life. Our partners at Bellco share our vision to bring the arts to all youth. Our citizens have repeatedly chosen to invest in arts and cultural access by voting in favor of the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD), and we hope that Free for Kids adds additional value to this long-term investment in the community.”

Bellco will support the partnership by promoting Free for Kids to its members at its 22 branches throughout the metro Denver region and by providing opportunities for kids visiting branches to channel their own creativity.

Today’s announcement is punctuated by an outdoor wall mural, also funded in part by Bellco, by renowned Denver muralists Jaime Molina and Pedro Barrios. The mural is situated in downtown Denver on the corner of 15th and Market Streets, on a wall space donated by Gene Tang and 1515 Restaurant. The mural is anticipated to be completed in the coming days.

“Our concept was directly influenced by our visits to the Denver Art Museum,” said artist Jaime Molina. “Watching my own kids experience the interactive spaces really shaped our idea of what kind of story we wanted to tell. The mural narrative is a grown-up teaching a child how to create and build, and embodies the power of showing a child how to create and then giving them the freedom to run wild with it.”

In celebration of the partnership as well as the mural’s near completion, artists Molina and Barrios joined Bellco and DAM executives, along with local families, in a special event at the museum on Tuesday, Nov. 22 from 10-11 a.m. Families and kids joined the artists and created mural elements inside the building.

For more information about Free for Kids, visit www.denverartmuseum.org/freeforkids.

Media Resources

The Denver Art Museum

The Denver Art Museum is an educational, nonprofit resource that sparks creative thinking and expression through transformative experiences with art. Its holdings reflect the city and region—and provide invaluable ways for the community to learn about cultures from around the world. Metro citizens support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD), a unique funding source serving hundreds of metro Denver arts, culture and scientific organizations. For museum information, call 720-865-5000 or visit www.denverartmuseum.org.

About Bellco

Founded in 1936, Bellco has more than 270,000 members and over $3.1 billion in assets. It operates 22 branches in the Denver metro area and one branch in Grand Junction. Bellco offers a wide variety of financial services including checking accounts, credit cards, auto loans, and mortgages, as well as mobile banking and business loans. As a member-owned cooperative, Bellco offers incredibly competitive interest rates on auto, home, and personal loans, plus higher yields on deposits. Membership eligibility is required. Connect with Bellco on Facebook and Twitter. Bellco is federally insured by NCUA and is an Equal Housing Opportunity lender.

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