Colorado Attorneys For The Arts
Our local quality of life, regional economic development and national reputation relies on a vibrant creative sector. Colorado Business Committe for the Arts (CBCA) advances Colorado’s creativity vitality by connecting business and the arts. The Colorado Attorneys for the Arts (CAFTA) which rolled out across the state in 2015 is a program of the CBCA and is a pro bono legal referral service, connecting creative entities to volunteer lawyers.
- CAFTA enables qualifying creative individuals and groups to receive pro bono legal support. Legal advice is critical for all business success, including creative enterprises. However, many arts professionals cannot afford market rate legal services. By matching artists with volunteer attorneys, they can focus on what they do best: make art.
- Volunteer attorneys address the arts community’s legal issues by lending their expertise. CAFTA provides a unique community service and professional development opportunity for law firms and their attorneys.
- Colorado’s creative vitality depends on the success of our artists. CAFTA partners with the legal community to boost artists’ career growth and self-sufficiency. A thriving, professional arts community results in economic development, job creation, tourism and higher quality of life for Coloradans.
Who does CAFTA serve?
CAFTA serves individual artists, cultural nonprofits and creative businesses across Colorado. Our definition of “arts” and “creative” is open and inclusive. Clients may include filmmakers, musical groups, visual artists, photographers, actors/directors, craft artisans, writers, designers, creative entrepreneurs and nonprofit cultural organizations. Clients must demonstrate financial need in order to be matched for free legal services.
Who are the volunteer attorneys?
CAFTA works to connect potential creative clients with volunteer attorneys in our database. CAFTA volutneer attorneys represent a wide range of practice areas and legal expertise. They hail from national firms with Colorado offices to general practitioners. Registering as a CAFTA volunteer attorney is not a commitment to take on a particular matter or client. It means you will be notified about pro bono opportunities and you can offer assistance based on your expertise, availability and interests.
What types of cases does CAFTA accept?
CAFTA’s volunteer attorneys provide pro bono legal services on specific, arts-related matters. CAFTA addresses the following general legal areas:
- Corporate and general business
- Intellectual property (copyright, trademark and licensing)
- Contract drafting, review, and negotiation
- Dispute resolution (mediation and negation)
- Nonprofit formation and tax exemption
- Employment and labor
Legal referrals are only provided for matters related to your or your business’ work in the creative industries. For example, a CAFTA volunteer attorney can help with a landlord/tenant issue but only if it is related to a studio or business space (not a personal residence). Other examples of CAFTA cases include: performance contracts, photography licensing agreements or negotiations between artist and gallery.
CAFTA does not provide referral for some legal matters, such as traffic, criminal, divorce/domestic/family, or personal injury. For disputes and adversarial situations, CAFTA volunteer attorneys can assist with negotiation and settlement but are not expected to assist with litigation or arbitration. CAFTA cannot guarantee a referral for pro bono legal referral.
If you would like to learn more, sign-up for the General CAFTA Mailing List. Questions? Contact Meredith Badler, CBCA Program Manager at 720-428-6720 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to the CAFTA Advisory Committee
Dave Ratner, Creative Law Network (Committee Chair)
Cecily Cullen, Center for Visual Art at MSU Denver
Mark Davidson, Lewis Roca Rothgerber LLP
Lisa Gedgaudas, Create Denver at Denver Arts & Venues
Bob Keatinge, Holland & Hart LLP
Bryce Merrill, Biennial of the Americas