Tuesday, January 27, 2009

CCA Budget Cuts--Listening Session Set

Update on Friday's blog announcement:

Simply put: these cuts WILL impact our community in a MAJOR way. It's time to get involved.

In 2009, Colorado Council on the Arts awarded $197,690 to artists, arts organizations, youth at risk arts programs, and arts education in El Paso County. Statewide, they awarded $1,325,075.

CCA does more than award money. Their programs and expertise are visible in communities all around Colorado. They also conduct valuable research, like 2008's recent study on The Arts, Creative Learning & Student Achievement.

In response to the proposed cuts, which would dramatically reduce the CCA's impact across the state, a number of Listening Tours are being held. Artists, community groups, creative businesses, educators and municipal leaders are encouraged to attend a Listening Tour session and to invite their colleagues. CCA representatives will be in Colorado Springs on February 5, 2009.

CCA Listening Tour
Thursday, February 5, 2009
11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
(brownbag lunch)
Gay and Lesbian Fund for Colorado
315 E. Costilla
RSVP to info@coppercolo.org or call 719.634.2204

Please come. Tell your friends. Let's work together to try to fix this.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Emergency: CCA Budget Cuts

Just received the following in my inbox from the Colorado Council on the Arts.

Dear Colleagues,

The current proposal for the State’s budget balancing plan includes a 50% reduction for the Colorado Council on the Arts. Such a cut would seriously impact the agency’s ability to continue to provide the grants and services for artists, community organizations, schools, creative businesses, and government agencies at its current level. The agency has scheduled a Listening Tour from January 30 through February 10 to gather important public feedback regarding the critical areas in which state investment is essential to support our state’s creative economy. Public feedback is vital as the agency determines its future budget priorities.

Due to the budget uncertainty, the Council has also decided to postpone its March 12 grant deadline for the 2009-10 Grants to Artists and Organizations (GAO) and Success through Art (StART Schools) grants.

Artists, community groups, creative businesses, educators and municipal leaders are encouraged to attend a Listening Tour session and to invite their colleagues. The Listening Tour schedule is listed below and posted on the Council’s web site. Additional sessions may be added. If you have questions about the tour, email coloarts@state.co.us.

The Council has also posted an online survey on the web site, click here to access the link. This will only take a few minutes and will provide important input regarding the role of state funding for arts and cultural activities and creative enterprises in communities around the state.

While the budget process is underway during the current legislative session, Arts For Colorado, a volunteer advocacy organization, will be sending out legislative alerts, information, and suggestions on how to get involved and let your voice be heard. Be sure to opt-in to the Arts For Colorado mailing list. You may wish to speak directly to your state legislator as well. Click here to find out your state legislator.

We appreciate everything you do to help make the arts “Everywhere You Look” in Colorado.


Elaine Mariner

Executive Director, Colorado Council on the Arts

Friday, January 16, 2009

Gerry Riggs Memorial site

For 15 years, Gerry Riggs brought contemporary art to Colorado Springs. As director of the Gallery of Contemporary Art at UCCS and a champion of the local arts community, he was a lynchpin of the community.

In 2006 Gerry moved to Pagosa Springs to ski and play music. In 2009, he took his own life.

COPPeR sends out sincere condolences to all of his friends, family and colleagues. We are all extremely grateful for his passion and devotion to art and artists.

Please visit A Tribute to Gerry Riggs, where you can learn more about his legacy and share your own thoughts. A memorial service is planned for a week from today.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Arts and National Economic Recovery

We're all familiar with our no-coast, landlocked status--our plight here in Colorado is that it's easy to feel disconnected from what's going on a national level. And we certainly have had enough excitement in state and local government to keep our attention away from the upcoming presidential transition. But I have been reading a lot in the past few weeks about the presidential transition, and what is particularly compelling to me is the work that many national arts advocacy groups are doing to make sure that arts and culture are at the forefront of Obama's policy-making.

I'm reprinting this directly from the Americans for the Arts website, because I think it is so important:
Message from Bob Lynch, President and CEO, Americans for the Arts
"As our country embraces a new presidential administration, millions of people across the United States are hoping that this change in government can help usher in a new dawn for the arts. For years now, thousands of Americans alike - teachers, students, artists, community leaders, government officials, parents, and children - have felt a groundswell in creativity and in culture in our country. We can see and feel in our communities, schools, churches, and homes that the United States is on the verge of a new cultural renaissance. People in every community are working toward a new era of growth and expansion for the arts.

The recommendations of the policy brief can and will make a positive change for the more than 100,000 arts organizations in our country and the millions of Americans who value the arts in their day-to-day lives. It is our hope that by further empowering the arts we can bring our nation together in means both intellectual and spiritual, and economic and creative."
Please go their website and learn more about the incredibly valuable work they are doing.

A petition is also circulating that may be of interest to you readers out there: Quincy Jones has started a petition to ask President-Elect Obama to appoint a Secretary of the Arts. While many other countries have had Ministers of Art or Culture for centuries, The United States has never created such a position. Click here to sign the petition.

Personally, I'd rather sign a petition for the creation of an "Arts Czar." But then, I've always been partial to assonance.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Arts Summit Tag Cloud

These are the common themes to emerge from the Arts Summit. I created this tag cloud using www.tagcrowd.com, which identifies common themes and words and shows their frequency and prominence. The list used to generate this tag cloud came from the lists submitted by each table at the October 18 Summit.
created at TagCrowd.com

Friday, January 2, 2009

COPPeR on Colorado Culture Cast

Craig Richardson spoke with me and Kevin at the recent COPPeR Open house/FAC Modern opening. Click here to watch the entire segment.