Awards & Recognition

2017 in Review

As 2017 comes to a close, the Merage Foundations is pleased to highlight the successes that Black Cube, ELV, and Equitas have had on a local, national, and even international scale.

Black Cube, a contemporary nomadic art museum focused on increasing access to the arts for the public and sustaining artists’ careers, took their reach internationally this year. Two Artist Fellows, Joel Swanson and Laura Shill, exhibited their work at the Venice Biennale in Italy from May to November of this year. By being associated with such a prestigious event, both Joel and Laura have seen tremendous results in regards to their careers, moving the needle more than Black Cube could have ever imagined. Black Cube also earned over 57 media pick-ups and media mentions, highlighting the seven Artist Fellows, Pop Up Exhibitions, and Pop Up Projects. With that, Black Cube has engaged over 175,000 people with contemporary art, far out-reaching annual goals.

Early Learning Ventures (ELV) is dedicated to bringing high quality care and education to low-income infants and toddlers throughout Colorado. Over the last year, APA Consulting completed a Return on Investment (ROI) study that indicated that for every $1 invested in ELV’s comprehensive services, the child care provider will receive an $11 return. With many center and in-home providers consistently struggling with funding, this is a huge cost savings that can result in higher quality services being delivered. Additionally, The Policy Equity Group completed an evaluation of the implementation of EHS-CCP model in Arapahoe, Garfield, Mesa, and Pueblo counties. Results indicated that this model is an innovative and effective way to bring high quality, comprehensive care and services to low-income families.

Equitas, through their dedication to disentangling mental health from the criminal justice system, has made great strides on both a local and national scale. Within Colorado, Equitas encouraged the passing of six new bills, all focused on resolving this issue. Around $44 million in state funding will be allocated to mental health and criminal justice in the following years. Across the nation, Equitas has engaged more than 1,500 influential partners from across sectors to seriously consider this issue and ways in which it can be solved. Four new Course Corrections documents, which outline these solutions, have been drafted and are currently being reviewed by decision-makers, hoping to bring about positive, systemic change.

With such amazing strides being made in 2017, it will be great to see what Black Cube, ELV, and Equitas can accomplish in 2018.