SCFD Funds Open Access For Arts Lovers

Megan Quinn | Broomfield Enterprise | February 10, 2013

Taxes paid by Broomfield residents, others in seven-county district, provide free entry at facilities across state

Families looking for a budget-friendly outing can flock to free-admission days at local museums and theaters thanks to funding from the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District.

The funding, which supports programs such as dance centers, art galleries, music groups and public science programs, comes from sales tax from shoppers in Broomfield and six other counties. In addition to using the money to bring exhibits and programs to residents in those counties, the funding also helps facilities keep their doors open for free on specific days to share art and science with a wider audience.

An upcoming free day at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, which will offer access to many exhibits on Monday, draws crowds that might not normally visit because of budget constraints or other reasons. Nancy Walsh, director of museum programs, said the museum has beefed up its marketing about free days to bring in a diverse crowd to the museum's exhibits. The museum has 12 free days each year, which include extra features, such as free cultural performances, face painting and arts and crafts for children. "We want to be sure everyone has access to museum throughout the year," she said. On free days, "we want to make it a festival type atmosphere."