Why We Give - The Eulipions Fund

Dele Johnson

This article originally ran in The Denver Foundation's Summer 2019 Issue of Give Magazine.

The term "eulipion" was coined by jazz musician and virtuoso Rahsaan Roland Kirk: It means "author oflove" or "journey agent." It was a natural fit for a Denver-based nonprofit that places art and expression at the center of its mission. Eulipions, Inc. fosters, promotes, and preserves artistic expression with an emphasis on Colorado's African-American heritage and lifestyles. 

In November 2000, the group opened The Eulipions Fund as a field of interest fund at The Denver Foundation. The fund provides grants to generate, assist, increase, and encourage performing arts in Colorado's African-American communities. Recognizing an opportunity to fill a need in their community by funding the arts, the Eulipions Board of Directors wanted to create "an endowment to benefit all arts groups," says Board Member Darrell Nulan. 

With this vision as their North Star, Eulipion members have spent nearly two decades focused on supporting local organizations that prioritize the enrichment and expansion of the performing arts and African-American heritage in communities spanning Metro Denver. To date, they have granted close to $899,000. Acknowledging that there is more than one way to advance the performing arts in communities of color, Eulipions has directed its philanthropy in a multitude of meaningful ways. 

"We dream of inspiring others to follow in our footsteps."

It provides general operating support to organizations working to increase exposure to the performing arts within their community. It has supported institutions that provide education and training to performers at all levels of ability­novice, intermediate, and expert alike. 

Eulipions has also funded organizations that offer historical reenactment, a form that harmoniously combines art and education, as an opportunity to underscore African ­American heritage and lifestyles through performance. 

Among those funded by Eulipions, you'll find what Board Member Venita Vinson deems "community-based and arts-driven" staples of Metro Denver's communities of color including Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, the Colorado Black Arts Festival, the Black American West Museum, and Su Teatro's Wordfest. 

As Eulipions continues its philanthropic support of self­expression, social activism, and education through the performing arts, the group hopes to one day "expand beyond Metro Denver and fund organizations and institutions in other parts of the state," according to Board Member Wayne Cauthen. The goal is to "dream of inspiring others to follow in our footsteps" by supporting performing arts in the community with their time, talent, testimony, and treasure. 

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