Museum Celebrates 20 Years of SCFD Support

The Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD), a funding source for more than 300 local cultural organizations, will commemorate its 20th Anniversary of funding cultural groups with Polarpalooza, a celebration at Denver Zoo on October 7, 2009. The anniversary celebration is a thank you gift to area citizens who have voted twice in support of the SCFD. Board members from SCFD, cultural attractions that receive SCFD support, State Representative Karen Middleton and State Senator Shawn Mitchell will kick off the celebration at 8:45 a.m. in front of the zoo's polar bear exhibit, followed by a polar bear feeding in honor of Popsicle, SCFD's polar bear mascot. The day will continue with the zoo offering free admission beginning at 9 a.m. and access to more than 60 SCFD-funded organizations offering free performances, crafts, activities and face paintings throughout the day.

The SCFD is comprised of diverse organizations representing the arts, scientific, historical and cultural fields.  Established in 1988 by 75 percent voter approval, the SCFD is a sales-use tax equaling a penny for every ten dollars spent in the following counties:  Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas and Jefferson.  This innovative tax generates approximately $40 million annually and is distributed to more than 300 organizations, ranging from small community groups to large regional attractions.

The SCFD is a national model for government funding of cultural organizations and provides direct, tangible benefits to the metro area.  For example, SCFD-funded organizations have a $1.7 billion annual economic impact and employ nearly 8,200 citizens.  More than 16.4 million visits were made to local cultural attractions in 2007.  That is three times the state's population.

Each year there are more than 1.7 million opportunities through on-site or outreach activities for school children to experience learning enhanced through programs provided by organizations like the Cherry Creek Arts Festival, Denver Zoo, Imagination Makers or the Scientific and Cultural Collaborative. Each year, Denver Art Museum, Botanic Gardens, Museum of Nature & Science, Denver Zoo and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts provide free or reduced admission to the residents of Colorado on specified days.

Quick Facts: SCFD and the Denver Museum of Nature & Science

  • Total Attendance at all SCFD Free Days 1989-2009 = 667,411 visitors
  • Total Year To Date Attendance at 2009 SCFD Free Days (9 so far) = 88,275 visitors
  • Total Annual Attendance at 2008 SCFD Free Days (8 total) = 49,865 visitors
  • The Denver Museum of Nature & Science serves 300,000+ schoolchildren, teachers, and non-school youth annually. Approximately 35 percent of these students need scholarships to participate. In 2008, 24,799 schoolchildren, youth, and teachers were served through SCFD scholarship funds.


About the Denver Museum of Nature & Science
The Denver Museum of Nature & Science is the Rocky Mountain Region's leading resource for informal science education. A variety of engaging exhibits, discussions and activities help Museum visitors celebrate and understand the natural wonders of Colorado, Earth and the universe. The Museum is located at 2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO, 80205.  To learn more about the Museum, check, or call 303-322-7009.

Many of the Museum's educational programs and exhibits are made possible in part by generous funding from the citizens of the seven-county metro area through the Scientific & Cultural Facilities District.

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