Monday, December 29, 2008

Year-End Reflections

It's December 29, 2008, and I'm staring down a pile of year-end work, getting a bit introspective about the past year. In COPPeR-specific terms, we had a banner year. While several of our formal programs launched in 2007 (The COPPeR Pages, PeakRadar), 2008 was really the year we became "real." We moved into our downtown office and arts information space (and then moved across the street in August!), we hired full-time staff and we dove into our work connecting people with arts and cultural opportunities in the Pikes Peak region. From our collaborative "Art Creates Community" bumper sticker advocacy campaign to the inauguaral Arts and Business Awards Lunch we co-hosted with the Chamber; from the release of the Sounds of the Pikes Peak Region CD to the launch of our cultural planning process, it truly was an exciting year. I am very proud of the ways in which we have been telling the story of our strong creative community, but the fact is, we here at COPPeR are storytellers, and without the numerous artists, arts organizations, cultural institutions and arts educators in our community, we would have no story to tell.

That's why I feel it would be disingenuous to ignore the turmoil that is taking place around us. The past few months have been filled with economic uncertainty, and I believe it's time to get real about what we may face in the coming months. The current recession is unlike anything our country has faced in many, many years, and the new global economy is shifting and changing in an unprecedented manner. Here in Colorado, we often feel the effects of such events later than our friends on the coasts. (I have a friend in New York who works for Morgan Stanley and is a big supporter of the arts who posts daily status updates on facebook: "___ still has a job." He's been doing this since October.) For example, we are extremely fortunate that the housing market in the metro Colorado Springs area has not been affected by the mortgage crisis nearly as badly as other communities around the country.

However, the budgets of the City of Colorado Springs and El Paso County are in serious condition. Voters struck down ballot initiatives that would have provided essential services to our community. Sales tax revenues are down. Businesses are closing. Unemployment is up.

And unfortunately, in our society, the arts are often the first thing to be eliminated when times get tough. Nonprofit arts organizations are especially vulnerable when charitable giving is down across the board. Food banks are experiencing extremely high demand for their services, while simultaneously suffering from fewer donations. We as a society are trained to think of the arts as an auxiliary function to basic human existence and not as a core part of who we are. Of course you out there who are reading this know that is patently untrue. Now, in fact, it is more important than ever to recognize the importance of creativity, innovation and imagination. Our future depends on it.

And guess what? Times will continue to be tough. I was especially saddened this fall to see the closing of WeUsOur in Manitou. And coming up this week, Edifice Gallery is also closing its doors. Both commercial galleries, they served as incubators for fresh, young, hip and wacky talent that just isn't seen in many other galleries. Their openings always had imaginative urban art, great music and incredibly quirky people. I'm unsure how their closing will affect some of the younger art community. Similarly, Smokebrush has trimmed down their exhibition space and staff (though with some exciting new educational programs planned for Woodland Park). Unfortunately, I have a feeling we'll see more of this in early 2009.

The good part? I feel confident that we will see great insight and action from our established arts leaders. The Dream City initiative is connecting and enriching people across sectors to engage in long-term planning for our region, with the power of the arts at the core of its message. We also have many new arts leaders in our community, among them Nathan Newbrough at the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Sam Gappmayer at the Fine Arts Center, Caitlin Green at the UCCS Gallery of Contemporary Art and incoming executive director Amber Cote at Futureself. What I find most inspiring, however, is the hundreds of individual artists who have felt inspired and empowered to become part of the broader community. We can and must depend on their vision and leadership if we are to succeed in making this a community united by creativity.

On a national level, we have an incoming president who is looking to celebrate the arts. Thanks to the superior advocacy work of Americans for the Arts, Obama is able to talk about the importance of the arts in a meaningful way. After the bitter 2008 election, this is good news for arts supporters.

When times get tough, people start having difficult conversations. I'm optimistic that those conversations will generate positive change and worthwhile activity. I encourage you to visit Westaf's year-end prediction post by clicking here. Also, check out the blogroll on the right column of this blog to see what other arts bloggers are talking about around the nation.

I hope to see you at a concert, play, opening, festival, coffee shop, class, workshop or some other creative place soon. Happy 2009!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays from COPPeR

Happy holidays!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Notes from Americans for the Arts' National Arts Marketing Conference

Kevin Johnson’s Americans for the Arts National Arts Marketing Project Conference (AFA NAMP) Summary

I don’t have a marketing background, I’m more of a techie. So when COPPeR's Executive Director Bettina Swigger encouraged me to apply for a scholarship to the AFA NAMP Conference, I saw a great opportunity to learn a ton. I was fortunate enough to receive a full-scholarship to the conference that paid for my round-trip airfare, hotel and conference fees. I felt like I was in way over my head at times, but I did my best to tread water and really enjoyed myself at the conference—and I learned a lot of valuable information from the presenters, other conference attendees, and from the experience itself. I’ll just briefly tell you about what I considered to be the highlights of the three-day event.

Day 1 Keynote - Word of Mouth with Ed Keller from Keller Fay Group
Everyone’s heard that “word of mouth” is among the most effective marketing tools any business can utilize. But Keller offered evidence that indicates that this isn’t just hooey: he claims that the small minority really does make a big impact. In his book The Influentials, Keller writes that one American in ten tells the other nine how to vote, where to eat, and what to buy—these people are the Influentials. So who are these folks? They’re the people who make society, culture and the marketplace run. They’re the people who are self-reliant, active and engaged with their communities, they’re connected socially and civically, and they act on their passions–whether it’s a passion for creating beauty, or for what they believe really matters—so what results is that these people motivate, inspire and influence others.

Although we are regularly bombarded by advertising that is assumed to have this phenomenal power over the consumer, Keller says people still overwhelmingly make their decisions about spending their time and money by talking to other people. Some of the research Keller cites indicates a substantial differential when comparing the measured effectiveness of advertising versus the consultation of friends, colleagues, neighbors, strangers (and even in some cases, family!) The areas Keller identifies as most susceptible to the influence of word of mouth include the obvious—which restaurants to try, attractions to visit, and web sites to use—and some that surprised me, like which prescription drugs to try and what to do about retirement planning.

He talked a lot about utilizing social networking technologies like Myspace and Facebook. “Be where the information is,” Keller says.

The next session I’d like to outline was called Online Space: The Final Frontier
This session demonstrated how some cutting edge arts organizations utilize new media and Web 2.0 tools like streaming video, blogs, podcasting and web site interactivity to engage with and add value to the lives of their audiences.
The Science Museum of Minnesota’s Science Buzz web site showed how a museum, for instance, can integrate their exhibition components into interactive materials generated by both museum staff and site visitors. The innovative content associated with Science Buzz has changed the way visitors perceive the Science Museum and has spurred new partnerships and funding opportunities.

Then in a lunchtime session, Karen Brooks Hopkins from the Brooklyn Academy of Music spoke about the intersection of marketing and fundraising. I found this to be one of my favorite moments while at the conference—the food was pretty good, but the presentation about BAM’s operations was stunning. BAM both maximizes the use of their facilities (which are numerous and very impressive) and ensure that their marketing and fundraising efforts “speak with one voice” as she put it. I can’t really do justice to what she was able to deliver, so I’ll just say that I highly recommend checking out BAM’s web site to get more information. (

Next: Advanced E-mail marketing – Eugene Carr from Patron Technology detailed strategies for creating compelling subject lines for mass email messages, design tips that can be the difference between a closed window or a click-through, some low cost/high impact list building techniques, and behavioral list segmentation.

If you don’t already, I would suggest using a service like Constant Contact or PatronMail for your mass-communications. These services can be relatively low cost (especially for nonprofits) and include vital tools like list management features, metrics for tracking your efforts, ready-made templates in a variety of styles to quickly build your emails, and survey technology to gather feedback from those that you serve.

Some tips: most of these are really simple things like send your e-blast out on a consistent basis so that readers learn to expect it, offer occasional low-cost giveaways to increase subscriber interest, always ask the people you’re in front of if they would like to subscribe and be judicious in the use of exclamation marks, all-caps and other potentially annoying text embellishments—rather, choose your words carefully so that you can more effectively communicate your excitement.

Learn how to interpret your email statistics so that you can determine when you need to make adjustments. You can also analyze the particular interests of portions of your database which you can then segment into smaller, more focused groups. By focusing on the preferences of a specific group, you can deliver a more compelling, and thus effective message to your audience.

Day Two’s keynote was delivered by Alan Brown from WolfBrown Consulting. Alan delivered an unexpectedly entertaining presentation on customer database segmentation. His work focuses on understanding consumer demand for cultural experiences and on helping cultural institutions, foundations, and agencies to see new opportunities, make informed decisions, and respond to changing conditions. By using values-based questions in the creation of audience participation surveys, he’s able to offer measurement tools that assess the intrinsic impact of performing arts experiences. By analyzing this information, arts presenters can make better informed choices about the programming they offer. None of this sounds terribly interesting, but I swear to you, he was a hoot and the techniques produce powerful results.
Neat stuff – I am a sucker for great design, and I picked up—literally--pounds of marketing collateral during my time in Houston. One particular campaign that I thought was really cool was “Get Your Art On” produced by the Austin Circle of Theaters. This two-week city-wide celebration of arts and culture coincided with the Americans for the Arts National Arts and Humanities month and the CreateAustin initiative, which is a community visioning project similar to the DreamCity 2020 endeavor that you’ve no doubt heard about. They produced a slew of cleverly executed marketing pieces including stickers, a series of whimsical postcards, posters and even coffee sleeves—all starring a very cultured Armadillo and all emphasizing how the arts truly matter in their community.

Finally, the coolest thing about the NAMP conference was discovering that thanks to the leadership and invaluable experience of people like Susan Edmondson and Bettina Swigger, COPPeR is already doing a lot of these things. For me, it was an affirmation that we’re heading down the right track and made me really excited to come home and get back to work.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

YouTube Symphony Orchestra

The latest in social media/arts intersection: Behold the YouTube Symphony Orchestra!

Any local musicians planning to participate?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Congratulations to the Chorale!

Congrats to Don Jenkins of the Colorado Springs Chorale for his well-deserved special recognition for making the Pikes Peak Region the best place to work and live through his work with the Chorale at the Chamber's Annual State of the Region Luncheon. Kudos to the Chamber for recognizing great music's ability to contribute to our quality of life. I love to see the arts celebrated in this fashion!

Don has been a true friend to the arts in this region for many, many years (I won't say how many). He's also been a real champion of the work COPPeR is doing to raise the profile of our arts community. And I'm proud to say he has been an inspiration - and instigator - to me personally and professionally. Congrats, Don. Bravo!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Dream City Video

Check out the new SpringsTV video about Dream City: Vision 2020.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Dream City Exhibit at the FAC Modern

Now through January 10, please come visit the Dream City exhibit at the FAC Modern. Opening reception (and an open house here at COPPeR) tonight, December 5 from 5-8 p.m.

The Dream City initiative has inspired community collaborations centered in artistic and creative production. The Fine Arts Center, in partnership with COPPeR, the Gazette, FutureSelf, and Pikes Peak Community College, present Dream City 2020: Through the Eyes of the Artist-Past, Present and Future. To represent the past, a selection of historic photographs by Harry L. Standley from the collection of the Pioneers Museum will be on view. These photographs capture the nostalgia of Colorado Springs’ past with views of Tejon St. and other familiar places. Our present and visions for the future are showcased through the works by artists with very different perspectives. New works by beloved local professional artists Jay Miller and Laura Ben-Amots will be on view alongside works from up-and-coming amateur student artists. All their works were inspired by one particular photograph by Standley as a point of departure, and the finished outcome gives the viewer a sense of pride and hope for our city--a “Dream City” that can be envisioned and become a reality.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Little London

For a while now, we've been talking about the possibility of creating an Arts Pass--a ticket package to multiple venues in the Pikes Peak region. It looks like this instinct is right on. London's cultural plan includes a similar program, using technology that most everyone has--the Oyster card for the Underground. Click here to read more.

Happy Thanksgiving from COPPeR!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Cultural Planning Task Forces

Another brilliant sketch from the Arts Summit on the left!

Based upon key areas of community need identified at the 2008 Arts Summit, our core cultural planning team has identified several task forces to take us into the next phase of our cultural planning process. If you would like to become involved in any of these areas, please e-mail me at And if we've completely missed something, please let us know!

In alphabetical order:

Arts Districts:
Across the board, this was one of the most popular ideas at the Summit. In addition to developing a strong downtown arts destination, we need to ensure that there are opportunities to engage in the arts in all the distinct neighborhoods and communities throughout the Pikes Peak region.

There is a definite need to get some continuity around who we as a community are. The community conversations currently taking place through Dream City will inform our plan, as will different branding efforts being pursued by the Colorado Springs Economic Development Corporation and other entities.

The arts bridge ethnic and cultural divides, helping us to better understand people of different backgrounds and viewpoints. We must embrace and engage with our diverse populations and cultural backgrounds in order to move forward in to the increasingly diverse 21st century.

In addition to ensuring that arts and culture are an integral part of K-12 education throughout the Pikes Peak region, there is a need for enhanced authentic arts learning at all age levels. Of course, we are all aware of the benefits of an arts education, especially in light of the Colorado Council on the Arts' new study on the Arts, Creative Learning & Student Achievement.
Military Population:
In summer 2009 more than 8,000 soldiers from Fort Knox will be coming to Fort Carson. This represents a tremendous opportunity for us to engage these new residents and their families in our rich arts and culture community. We know that the arts build community identity, inclusion and pride. What better way to welcome these soldiers to our community?

Public Art:
Public art is a highly visible way to identify a community as arts-friendly. While working with existing public art efforts such as Art on the Streets, this task force could begin to explore how neighborhoods can develop a stake in developing community mural projects and other ways to integrate public art in an affordable way.

This task force will need to connect with existing efforts to determine arts-specific transportation issues. This is a great chance to connect with the Quality of Life Indicators project.

A small task force has already been formed to address the research and development of an indoor/outdoor amphitheater. There is a need for small venues, as well as a mid-size venue (500-800 seats).

Monday, November 17, 2008

Quality of Life in the Pikes Peak region

Much of the work we do here at COPPeR is dedicated to cultivating understanding about the intrinsic value of the arts. We understand that a robust, healthy arts and cultural community has the power to boost our region’s economic vitality, education and innovation, tourism, downtown and neighborhood development, cultural understanding and civic pride.

So naturally, we're interested in the quality of life of our region. A new community initiative, spearheaded by United Way, started in 2006 to try to track our current demographics and quality of life. The data, or indicators, are quantitative measures of the quality of community life. They reflect a combination of idealism (what we would like to measure) and pragmatism (what we are able to measure) in nine different categories, which reflect a comprehensive view of the community - from transportation to education, from teen pregnancy to child reading levels. It is clear that ignoring any one of these areas has a negative ripple effect on the others. In turn, when these areas are strong they positively influence our lives in a variety of ways.

In 2008, I had the honor of working the Arts, Culture, and Recreation portion of the 2008 Quality of Life Indicators Project. The report was published this Fall. Click here to read the report online.

In 2009, the report will be linked to the Dream City initiative. This is an exciting opportunity because now, as we have the tools and systems in place to determine where we are now, we can link key areas of performance to methods for producing a better quality of life in the future, and inspire decision-making and action.

I encourage you all to read the report. Planning for the 2009 report is underway.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Goals Identified at the National Performing Arts Convention, June 2008

Since the National Performing Arts Convention was held just up the road in Denver this summer, many representatives from arts organizations in the Pikes Peak region were able to attend. It was thrilling to see so many people represent our region at a national conference. One of the most ambitious components of the conference was to come together as a national performing arts community and identify goals to work on. They are below. Learn more about NPAC here.

On a National level, Establish Value/Advocacy for the Arts
1. Organize a national media campaign with celebrity spokespersons, catchy slogans (e.g. “Got Milk”), unified message, & compelling stories (27%) Watch Americans for the Arts TV spots and ad campaign here
2. Create a Department of Culture/Cabinet-level position which is responsible for implementing a national arts policy (23%)
3. Lobby elected political officials for pro-arts policy & funding; demand arts policy platform from candidates (14%)
4. Arts Education
5. Devise an advocacy campaign to promote the inclusion of performing arts in core curricula (36%)
6. Enlist artists as full partners in all aspects of arts

On a National level, Embrace and Cultivate Diversity
1. Charge national service organizations to create dialogue at convenings, create training programs, promote diverse art & artists, & partner with grassroots organizations who are already connected to diverse communities (43%)
2. Diversify boards, management, & staff in all national arts organizations (26%)
3. Create a media campaign with artists from diverse communities including celebrities to provide exposure to diverse art (15%)

On a State/Local level, Establish Value/Advocacy
1. Create an arts coalition to get involved in local decision-making, take leadership positions, & strengthen relationships with elected officials (21%)
2. Forge partnerships with other sectors to identify how the arts can serve community needs (21%)
3. Foster cross-disciplinary conversations to share data & best practices, develop common goals, & create joint activities/ performances (14%)

On a State/Local level, promote Arts Education
1. Mobilize and collaborate with K-12 & higher education institutions to strengthen arts education and arts participation as core curriculum (23%)
2. Strengthen relationship with school boards & policy makers through lobbying, electing “arts friendly officials”, involvement in local politics (17%)
3. Integrate arts teaching in educators’ professional development & integrate teaching programs in artist organizations (16%)

On a State/Local level, Embrace and Cultivate Diversity
1. Open an honest dialogue across community groups and sectors to share priorities & identify barriers to participation (31%)
2. Partner within the arts, as well as with community organizations, to build relationships (23%)
3. Expand beyond traditional venues to establish new points of access (17%)

On an Individual/Organizational level, Establish Value/Advocacy
1.Build relationships with non-arts groups, including governments, corporations, community development organizations, etc. (26%)
2. Create opportunities for active participation in the arts for all ages (including interactive websites, open rehearsals, etc.) (24%)
3. Expand relationships across the community to find & develop new leaders (e.g. through Board dev.) & local champions for the arts (12%)

On an Individual/Organizational, promote Arts Education
1. Lead lifelong education programs that actively involve people in multi-generational groups. “Make the arts part of a life long wellness plan.” (23%)
2. Directly engage teachers to integrate the arts into their teaching and create professional development programs to address their needs. (19%)

On an Individual/Organizational, embrace Diversity
1. Discover arts in your community offered by cultures other than your own and establish peer relationships (37%)
2. Set long term goal and plan to have staff, board, programming, and audiences reflect the demographics of your community (32%)
3. Create an internship / entry-level staff program that attracts and recruits diverse staff (15%)

How do you think the Pikes Peak region is doing with these goals?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Individual table results.

Here are each table's thoughts:

Table 1
Collective Arts Marketing and Fundraising
Amphitheater/ venues/ com. Centers – Artists offer free shows
United way for arts; Co-op for artists
Utilize all available space
Need more public art, com. Centers, amenities, communication and collaboration amongst arts organizations
Arts in Colorado Springs is like gardening here- everything dies an you have to start over
Create investment, not just financially; create ownership
The arts need to be “branded”
Arts Districts: Old colo. city; mini arts districts
Partnerships: business, city, all the arts, collaboration, Chamber of Commerce, EDC
“We” not “Them”; investing yourself – be a part of it
Arts “WPA”
Art Angels
Branding Colo. Spgs. “Get high on art”
“The Scar” amphitheatre
Shop widow art and chalk art festival(sidewalks) (Fountain area)
Hillside Gardens Art Fest and Arts Center Space
Colo. Spgs. = Art Heaven

Table 2
Black box theaters in communities throughout the Pikes Peak Region
Use existing structures in parks and schools as new art spaces
Schools – arts into schools and schools reaching back to the arts (school newsletters to include arts calendars)
Outreach to military, parents and under-served audience groups
Art pass – low or no cast way to build audiences – to be used for x number at events (5,10,20 uses)

Table 7
Marketing Colorado Springs as an arts community
Educational experience/component at all arts events
More community arts centers throughout PP region
Was Tejon going two-way a mistake? It didn’t help vision for downtown which leads to an artistic destination and ultimately an arts center like NYC, Denver
Smaller theater and outdoor amphitheater next to Pikes Peak Center
Transportation to events; drive more traffic downtown; pedestrian mall
Continuing Education – building audiences through exciting, unique, series of educational programs that give people toe-hold into arts they might not know about.
Making downtown a destination
Giving people a reason to come downtown
Creating an arts district with walking mall, mixed-used residential, commercial
Transportation – bring back the trolley!
Give people a unique way to move from satellites to downtown- fun! Educational! Free!
Community centers- building interest in the arts in neighborhoods
Education in schools
PeakRadar – efficiency of communication
Drawing connections between different art forms - collaborations at events
Need more venues for all kinds of art within a mile or two of home
United Arts Fund – get all creative individuals together, collective fundraising
Artist Co-ops: central place for artists to create, collaborate, share equipment (BAC in Manitou?)
Communication through myspace and facebook

Table 13
Visibility – physical; hub or clearing house
Large event(s)
Community Centers- Networking to connect the happenings
Art Happenings
Hub does not have to be physical
Common Cents for the Arts; Art matters meters – pennies (united arts)
Use scar on mountain for amphitheater; Reclamation of Old Colo. City
Arts-dedicated transportation
All events have interactive component
Tejon – Pedestrian mall – arts district
Arts pass to events
Annual Arts event with a national draw
Connect art with outdoors
Arts community centers all over the city
Cultural Fund – COPPeR pot

Table 8
Audience development via concentric circles that begin small and grow to include all of Colorado Springs and surrounding areas by 2020
More types of art
Wings to fly on Soaring Funds; cultural fund – COPPeR pot
More community centers – including a 500-1000 venue
“Centers of Arts Excellence” Based in schools (based on excellent D11 Galileo School model)
ACCESS – marketing, COPPeR Card (pot fund)
Art Shuttles – Buses so people can come from outlying areas
Schools – to get students to art education and exhibits (schools are under-used for visiting arts and teachers)
Table ?
Use beautiful mountain backdrop to feature arts/culture, green, healthy, renewable energy
Strengthen communication for events
Get art in the Airport
On highways – billboards
Peak Radar, other electronic media
Implement arts bus
FREX/ Light Rail
Integrate populations – military, ranch, athletes, outdoors with arts/culture events
Additional community center for school events
Need a destination “themed event”
Embodies – history, music, visual arts, downtown, “Come to Colorado”
Table 11
Parade of homes – showcase different art venues at each home to communicate what available to newcomers and those in newer communities of Colo. Spgs.
Educate importance/value of art; reach parents, raise children to be “new” audience
Satellite art communities – spark interest locally and provide base for bigger venues
Alternate venues for presenting arts
Include Fort Carson, North East and East
Art League (like soccer leagues)
Communicate arts through media i.e. local news
Not just getting people to come to arts events, but be able to be critical (knowledge about the arts)
Educate, communicate, connect

Table 6
Connecting our community to arts/culture resources through transportation to community centers. Re-purposing public spaces, using outdoor spaces for amphitheater performances
Investing in arts venues to expand the economic benefit to the community to maintain life and vibrancy – sustainability
Example: KRCC – earthship
Fire station moved to Pikes Peak Ave and remodel for performance space
Connect the arts to our communities sustainability
Pedestrian art space
Revitalizing Acacia Park – tea garden
Table 4
Introduce film to the community
More visual – screenwriting class
Offer discounts – start youth program
Link galleries together
Pedestrian mall – Acacia Park
Use unused park space
Amphitheater in Amer. The Beautiful Park
Bring outside groups in
Art pass – earn ticket discount for filling out demographic marketing questionnaire and going to events
Focus on areas outside our region too
Table 10
Theme: connecting/ inclusivity/ mobility/ accessibility/ innovation/ challenge the status quo
Arts district with an arts center or using existing art center
Create satellites throughout
Innovation center – include beautiful and provocative art
Future self community art center – underserved community, art studio lofts with living and creative and exhibition space, Healing Arts Center
Arts Fund
Common Cents for the arts: donations – art matters meters that are physical representations of art
Van Gogh bus line
Include military communities
Arts degree programs

Table 3
Public transportation specifically for arts
Arts districts with tax funding
Light rail
Several more art venues
Create mini art communities

Table 5
Community arts districts – more than one!
Outdoor amphitheater
Advertising co-op
Bullet train/ monorail – better trans. Linking all areas
Everyone should feel that they should and can be proud of their community
Theme based collaborative
Programming (for ex-PPLD “All PP Reads”
Show me the money! Gas or sales tax increase and be specific where the money goes
We need Tom Fleecs/Samantha Davis type people (art coordinators) in every school district
General expansion of the arts programs/ cross discipline education

Table 12
Cultural resource centers or schools
Art on the move
Connecting our history and trans. With the trolley
Multiple media paths
Utilize public school system in collaboration w/ non profits
Trolley from Manitou to downtown to north east areas

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Friday, October 24, 2008

Accomplishments in the past five years

At the 2003 Arts Summit, arts organizations came together to identify needs in the community. In 2008, another summit was held to chart the future of the community. This slideshow shows accomplishments in the past years and identifies some of the goals set at the 2003 Summit.

Arts Summit Slideshow

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Your ideas

Abby, COPPeR's intern, found this sketch left behind at the summit. Are these the renderings of Steve Wood? They are gorgeous!

At the Arts Summit, small groups created maps of the Pikes Peak region to graphically represent their visions for the future. Here are some of the big ideas the groups presented.
In no particular order:

Inclusiveness to reflect our community's diversity
Easy access to transportaton
An arts district (pedestrian-friendly, downtown)
Use trails and open spaces (an arts hike?)
insert arts in to community centers, build more community centers
A fund for the arts (tax or otherwise): Common Cents for the Arts
Include the military in our arts scene
Challenging and provocative artwork
More venues, both large and small
Every arts program should have an interactive/educational component
More arts in the schools
Brand our region as an arts destination
An arts season "pass" to multiple organizations
More public art

One of the more loudly expressed ideas was the invention of an arts bus to be called the Van Gogh. Hello, zeitgeist! click here to view the latest Americans for the Arts ad campaign, also featuring our friend Vincent.

Many in attendance were so fired up about the possibility of building an indoor/outdoor amphitheater (perhaps covering up the "scar" on the mountain) that they have started a task force of sorts. Check back here for more information.

2008 Arts Summit--What the heck was it?

The 2008 Arts Summit was intended as an opportunity for our arts community --
artists, arts educators, arts administrators, and stakeholders. --to come
together to chart our vision as an arts community. Your participation
and energy was the first step in efforts to create a cultural plan for the region. Many additional conversations and feedback-gathering mechanisms will take place in the coming months with business leaders, regional/neighborhood representatives, arts patrons, and other civic leaders.

The cultural planning process is part of a community- wide visioning effort called Dream City: Vision 2020. Our core cultural planning team created the arts summit as THE FIRST STEP in the cultural planning process, but it will take the efforts of many to keep this process on track. If you would like to become involved in our cultural planning team, please contact us at

Our cultural planning process is part of the statewide Collaborative Community Planning Process.

Monday, October 20, 2008


COPPeR already has a presence on MySpace and facebook, but I'm happy to relate that we are now proud members of the blogosphere!

Saturday's Arts Summit was a grand success, with more than 150 people in attendance. It is my hope to make this blog a continuation of the conversations that began there. Please add your comments and start the conversation!

(Photos from all of your Charrettes will be posted soon!)

Your fellow friend of the arts,

Bettina Swigger