Press Room - Bohemian Foundation

Bohemian Foundation's Communications Department is ready to assist members of the media, as well as grantees interested in publicizing their awards.

Bohemian Foundation Shares Updated Goals

Bohemian Foundation today announced the broadened scope of its work, its refreshed Community Programs goals and the naming of an executive director. This week the foundation also will launch a new website to provide clear and current information about its work locally, nationally and globally.

Established in 2001 by Fort Collins philanthropist Pat Stryker, the foundation has grown and developed over the past 14 years. Bohemian Foundation launched with a single local grantmaking program—the Pharos Fund. Since then, a larger Community Programs area has formed alongside the Pharos Fund. A Music Programs area was developed next, with the goal of building community through music.

The foundation today announced two additional program areas that have grown beyond their initial stages to become well-established grantmaking areas for the foundation. The foundation’s Civic Programs area, which started on a small scale in 2004, supports organizations working nationally or within Colorado to strengthen democracy. The foundation’s Global Programs area, which began as a pilot in 2010, makes grants to organizations working around the world to address challenges related to public health, poverty and the environment.

Today the foundation also announced refreshed goals in its Community Programs area. The updated goals represent the ideals that have shaped the foundation’s work since its start. These goals are: encouraging and enabling youth to thrive; empowering individuals and families on the path toward economic stability; and strengthening our vibrant community.

Bohemian Foundation’s largest local grantmaking program, the Pharos Fund, aligns with the broader Community Programs goals, making funding from the foundation accessible to a wider range of eligible organizations. Grant applicants will use a new, online application for the Pharos Fund, and will have access to workshops and guidance from foundation staff during the application process.

Leading Bohemian Foundation is Cheryl Zimlich, who was recently named executive director, a role she has filled on an interim basis for the past few years. Zimlich also is a member of the Bohemian Foundation Board, a respected community leader, and a 20-year volunteer in the education and nonprofit sectors. In addition to her service at Bohemian Foundation, Zimlich has held board and leadership positions in more than a dozen local and national organizations.

Also reflecting Bohemian Foundation’s refreshed focus is a newly launched graphic identity and website at The foundation’s new graphic identity and web presence aim to provide easily accessible information about the breadth of Bohemian Foundation’s work in all four of its program areas.


Bohemian Foundation Announces Refreshed Community Programs Goals

Community Programs is Bohemian Foundation’s oldest program area and houses its best-known responsive grantmaking program, the Pharos Fund. Today the foundation announced a refresh of its Community Programs goals, as well as a new Pharos Fund application that incorporates these new goals.

Bohemian Foundation’s new Community Programs goals reflect the ideals it has maintained over the years. The updated goals build on the history of the foundation’s work and include: encouraging and enabling youth to thrive; empowering individuals and families on the path toward economic stability; and strengthening our vibrant community.

Bohemian Foundation’s largest local responsive grantmaking program, the Pharos Fund, aligns with the Community Programs goals, making funding from the foundation accessible to a wider range of organizations. Through Pharos Fund, the foundation makes awards of up to $30,000 to eligible organizations serving the Fort Collins area. Since Bohemian Foundation’s inception in 2001, it has awarded more than $14.5 million in Pharos Fund grants.

Eligible organizations can apply for a Pharos Fund grant through the twice-yearly application process. The Pharos Fund guidelines and application have been updated, effective for the next grant application deadline on Sept. 10, 2015. Changes are designed to simplify the application process and to assist nonprofits in articulating their outcomes and community impact, as well as how their work advances the foundation’s Community Programs goals. The new application also provides more flexibility in how nonprofits submit budgets and financial information. Pharos Fund applications now will be submitted through a new online Bohemian Foundation grantee portal. Bohemian Foundation’s Community Programs staff will offer workshops and assistance for organizations as they prepare for the application process.

The updated Pharos Fund guidelines and a sample application template will be available online in July. Pharos Fund and grantee portal workshops are scheduled from late July to late August. The new Pharos Fund application will open on Aug. 3, 2015, and the next Pharos Fund application deadline is Sept. 10, 2015. Visit to view the updated information and register for the workshops.


Pianos About Town Celebrates Sixth Season in Surprise Downtown Locations

After months of hibernation, painted pianos will emerge on Tuesday, May 12, for the summer, throughout Fort Collins. Then, the painting of new pianos for the sixth Pianos About Town season begins! On May 13, the first of ten unpainted pianos will be painted at the Art in Action tent in Downtown Fort Collins. Due to the renovation of Old Town Square, 2015 painting will take place in surprise locations in Downtown Fort Collins, adding an additional element of spontaneity to the program. The first location for painting will be at Oak Street Plaza.

Bohemian Foundation Music Programs Director Kristen Karabensh says, “The collaboration with local artists to paint the pianos and the opportunity for impromptu music interactions to occur is really what we’re going for; creating a unique Fort Collins feel. Pianos About Town is just another way of showcasing the vibrant role of music and art in our community.”

Five local artists have been selected to paint pianos and the City of Fort Collins Art in Public Places program is looking for five more local artists to paint or artistically decorate pianos. Ellen Martin, Visual Arts Administrator for Art in Public Places says, “the program is looking for diversity in styles and concepts for the artwork with a preference for new and exciting ideas.” Artists are selected through a proposal process. Interested artists should visit to view project requirements and apply.

Returning artist Gale Whitman will kick off the season on May 13 at the Art in Action tent which will be set up at Oak Street Plaza. Gale has painted numerous murals for the City of Fort Collins’ Art in Public Places and Pianos About Town programs, “Painting a piano in a high-visibility spot in Old Town has given me more confidence in my abilities and willingness to share my art with others,” Gale says. “I love the way this program ties in visual arts with music—it allows me to feel a partnership with performance artists.”


Whitman's concept drawing


Pianos About Town at a glance:

Pianos About Town is intended to be a fun, interactive art installation that creates an additional element of whimsy and surprise in Fort Collins.

The original inspiration for Pianos About Town comes from British artist Luke Jerram who created a 60-piano installation touring the world, stopping in New York City in June 2010. The project was also inspired by a similar project on Denver’s 16th Street Mall. The first pianos were placed in Downtown Fort Collins during the 2010 holiday season and were an instant hit. This is the sixth season for Pianos About Town. To date, 57 pianos have been painted by 37 different artists as part of this program.

Pianos are acquired through donations made by community members looking to find a new home for their used pianos. Pianos are picked up, free of charge, from their previous home and brought to a storage area where they are cleaned, tuned, prepped for painting and readied for the outside elements. After that, the painting begins! Local artists spend approximately three weeks painting their pianos in Downton Fort Collins before the finished pianos begins their journey around Fort Collins.

Painting and decorating of the pianos continues throughout the year, but is moved to indoor venues during the winter months. Area businesses play a key role in the success of the project by "adopting" the painted pianos in their areas and covering them during inclement weather.

The Pianos About Town program is a collaborative effort between Bohemian Foundation, the City of Fort Collins Art in Public Places program and the Fort Collins Downtown Development Authority.


Bohemian Foundation Awards More Than $500K To Local Nonprofits

Bohemian Foundation today announced that it awarded $508,480 to 33 local nonprofits working to promote community engagement and improve the well-being of children, teens and families. Since its inception in 2001, Bohemian Foundation Community Programs has awarded more than $14.5 million in Pharos Fund grants to a variety of nonprofits serving the Fort Collins area.

“The Pharos Fund is such an important aspect of our work,” said Sara Maranowicz, Bohemian Foundation’s Community Programs director. “Through the review process, we learn a great deal from local nonprofits about community needs and how they’re working to achieve meaningful outcomes. We are inspired by the great work happening in our community and by all of the contributions these programs make in the lives of individuals across Fort Collins.”

Grants are distributed through Pharos Fund, a responsive grant making initiative of Bohemian Foundation that makes awards up to $30,000 to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations with programs that boost public awareness or encourage and enable our youth to become productive members of society. A committee comprised of Bohemian Foundation board members, Bohemian staff and community members selects grantees through a competitive application process.

Full List of Spring 2015 Pharos Fund Recipients:

A total of $508,480 was awarded to 33 organizations.

  • Organization
  • Award Title
  • Award
  • Organization: Book Trust
  • Award Title: Empowering Poudre School District Students Through Literacy
  • Award $30,000
  • Total
  • $508,480

Bohemian Foundation will begin accepting applications for the next Pharos Fund round starting in August, 2015.

Bohemian Foundation is a private family foundation established in 2001. Based in Fort Collins, Colo., Bohemian Foundation works to empower citizens and impact communities through its responsive grant making programs and special initiatives.


Dozens of Fort Collins Organizations and Businesses Will Offer Free Services to Individuals and Families at Project Homeless Connect on April 10

Fort Collins’ sixth annual Project Homeless Connect is a one-day, one-stop event on April 10 that will offer hundreds of people who are experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness a range of free services from medical screenings to bike repair.

Project Homeless Connect will be held from 8 a.m.-noon at Northside Aztlan Center, 112 Willow St. A free breakfast will be available in the morning, and a free BBQ lunch will be served from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Nearly 60 local nonprofits, government agencies and businesses will provide on-site services. Homeward 2020, Bohemian Foundation and Colorado State University Student Leadership, Involvement and Community Engagement (SLiCE) co-produce the event with support from United Way of Larimer County.

Free services will include basic car inspection; bike repair; medical screenings; basic dental screenings for adults and children; eye exams; family photos; haircuts; housing information; veterans services; ID and legal services; employment services; counseling; government benefits; child care and children’s activities; bus passes; massages; toiletry packages; pet health care; and pet food.

During the event, each participant is paired one-to-one with a volunteer who helps the participant navigate the wide array of services and offerings available. Last year, SLiCE recruited more than 400 CSU students and Fort Collins community members to volunteer.

About Project Homeless Connect:

The Project Homeless Connect concept originated in San Francisco in 2004. In 2005, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness launched the National Project Homeless Connect Partnership. Since 2008, more than 200 cities across the U.S., Canada and Australia have adopted the initiative. Fort Collins welcomed its first Project Homeless Connect in 2010. Since then, more than 2,000 individuals and families experiencing homelessness in the Fort Collins community have participated.

About Homeward 2020:

Homeward 2020 is an assembly of community and agency leaders working in support of the Ten Year Plan to make homelessness in Fort Collins rare, short lived and non-recurring through a housing first approach. Homeward 2020 provides community leadership by serving as a convener, catalyst, data driver and advocate, and through the collective expertise and experience of its members.


Bohemian Foundation Hosts Training Session For Northern Colorado Community Members

Bohemian Foundation will host a “Bridges Out of Poverty” community training geared for nonprofit volunteers and board members, and facilitated by nationally renowned trainer Jodi Pfarr. “Bridges Out of Poverty” is a nationally-recognized training that allows participants to explore intergenerational poverty, collaborate with other community members and learn how community organizations may better assist children, adults and families experiencing poverty.

Who Should Attend:

Community volunteers and board members working with Larimer County nonprofits, and other interested community members


9 a.m.-noon on Saturday, Feb. 7


The Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St., Fort Collins

Pianos About Town at a glance:

How to Register: Visit to register by Jan. 26. Space is limited

Contact Sara Maranowicz at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information

There is no cost to attend the training.