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 culturalplan@coppercolo.org. 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