Accomplishing More Together


Since 1996 the Community Foundation has been committed to supporting the safety and dignity of the LGBTQ+ community. Thanks to incredible leadership of people including Josie Heath, Margaret Katz, Jo Arnold, and Bob Morehouse – the Open Door Fund built a movement to support LGBTQ+ members of our county.

Nearly $2 million dollars has been raised from over 3,300 gifts to the Open Door Fund. The Community Foundation has awarded nearly $1 million to organizations in our community that uplift, offer community, and further the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. Our commitment to the LBGTQ+ community has been unwavering.

In recent years, we have watched in horror as the rights, humanity, and lives of LGBTQ+ people continue to be attacked. We have seen how important safe spaces, like Out Boulder County are to people seeking friendship, love, acceptance.


Dear TRENDS Diary -

I love to make surreal pieces that mess with people’s minds, and create art that gets the viewer to think.

I made a bench for Colorado Chautauqua and Cal-Wood’s “Art in the Park”. The bench is based on legends early civilizations would tell about how the days happened. The moon is in love with the sun and they’re chasing each other, or the sun needs to die every day for the moon to be born at night. Painting the bench reminded me of my previous relationship. We could both either be the moon or the sun. The title of the bench is “The Love that Separates Us.” You know you love someone, but at the same time, it just can't happen.

When I was growing up, my mother had figures of the Santa Muerte all around my house. The Santa Muerte is a Mexican folk religious deity, who kind of looks like the Grim Reaper. So I incorporate skeletons into my art. But there’s another reason for the skull and the heart in my art. They represent the fourth and seventh chakra, and I love the number 47. I always use desert landscapes to portray emptiness and loneliness inside the painting.


Dear TRENDS Diary -

We've never been business partners before, or even colleagues within a similar field. When we realized that starting our own farm was finally becoming a reality last fall, we brainstormed possible names. 

Brett suggested "Switch Gears Farm" while we were walking Puck (our pup) one night and we each took a turn to describe what it could mean. 

Brett said that the name is based on an idea that we never stay complacent with the current trends in agriculture, including whatever practices we are currently utilizing. There is always something new to explore in the world of food and we should be open to trying new things. 

Vanita joked that the name reflects our conversations sometimes - all over the place and constantly switching gears.

Brett's grandfather, who was a dairy farmer, was a big influence for starting this farm. As a kid, Brett was always asked to help with "just one more task" and hours would go by with his grandfather. 


Dear TRENDS Diary - 

My name is Miss Shirley, and I love reading books. There are times when I feel lonely and different and isolated and uncertain, but I often meet somebody on the pages of a book who provides me with comfort or encouragement. And that’s when I start to realize that some of the characters on those pages are real people walking around me in my day-to-day life. And that encourages me to introduce myself so I don’t feel so alone.

The only thing I love more than reading books is reading books to children. That’s why I host “Drag Queen Storytime with Miss Shirley” at libraries all over Boulder County. There are hundreds of great children’s stories that deal with characters realizing they are somehow different, going as far back as “The Ugly Duckling.” Books that show us how characters have struggled through that conflict and how they eventually grow to live as their authentic self. And if there is a unicorn or a narwhal along the way, all the better.