Friday, December 21, 2018

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo's Electric Safari makes USA Today 10Best list

Posted By on Fri, Dec 21, 2018 at 3:26 PM

  • Courtesy Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Once again, a Springs attraction has made its way to a prestigious — if in this case quite specific — top-10 list. USA Today announced on Dec. 21 that Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s annual Electric Safari was voted one of the best zoo light events in the country. They ranked fifth after a period of public voting.

This is the third year in a row that Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has made the list.

During Electric Safari, the zoo’s annual holiday attraction, 50 acres of zoo property are covered with 85 unique light sculptures and copious decorations, and the zoo provides extra experiences like animal demonstrations and visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Folks can enjoy the special light sculptures and longer zoo hours through Tuesday, Jan. 1, and meet Santa through Dec. 23. See below for a schedule of animal demonstrations and keeper talks, occurring throughout the event’s run:

6:30 p.m. – Otter Enrichment (Rocky Mountain Wild)
7:30 p.m. – Skunk Enrichment (The Loft)

6:30 p.m. – African Lion Keeper Talk (African Rift Valley)
7:30 p.m. – Bird Show (The Loft)

6:30 p.m. – Elephant Keeper Talk (Encounter Africa)
7:30 p.m. – Skunk Enrichment (The Loft)

6:30 p.m. – African Lion Keeper Talk (African Rift Valley)
7:30 p.m. – Bird Show (The Loft)
6 p.m. – Amur Tiger Enrichment (Asian Highlands)
7 p.m. – Skunk Enrichment (The Loft)
8 p.m. – Coati Enrichment (Monkey Pavilion)

6 p.m. – Reptile Encounter (Scutes Family Gallery)
7 p.m. – Bird Show (The Loft)
8 p.m. – African Lion Keeper Talk (Monkey Pavilion)

6 p.m. – Elephant Keeper Talk (Encounter Africa)
7 p.m. – Mountain Lion Enrichment (Rocky Mountain Wild)
8 p.m. – Moose Keeper Talk (Rocky Mountain Wild)
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Friday, December 14, 2018

Independence Center's Art of Accessibility program honored by Colorado Business Committee for the Arts

Posted By on Fri, Dec 14, 2018 at 5:16 PM

  • CayC Wolff

On Dec. 11, the Colorado Business Committee For the Arts, which encourages collaboration between businesses and arts organizations in order to elevate the arts throughout Colorado, announced its 2019 Business for the Arts Award honorees.

Among the six winners: The Independence Center, an Indy Give! nonprofit based right here in Colorado Springs. The Independence Center provides resources, services and community events to people living with disabilities in the Pikes Peak region, and advocates for their rights. Among their diverse programs, which include independent living services, health care resources and more, they offer an “Art of Accessibility” program.

Here’s what The Independence Center has to say about the program, in part:

Over the past two years, the Art of Accessibility initiative has invited and celebrated local people with disabilities as practitioners of art. By using the Independence Center itself as a pop-up gallery, the greater Colorado Springs community has been empowered to consider those questions of access and inclusion through the inviting and universal lens of art.

Though arts programming falls well outside its mission or range of experience, the Independence Center used this outreach tool more and more effectively with each successive iteration of the Art of Accessibility (AoA), which grew from a one-off exhibit into a semiannual festival of inclusive creative expression, from tactile paintings to adaptive fashion design to music and dance. At each juncture the arts served as a font of joy and a tool for advocacy, with intriguing results.

We wrote about one of AoA’s initiatives recently, a photo project meant to document barriers to accessibility throughout the community, as well as situations in which people with disabilities felt empowered and seen.

The CBCA honored The Independence Center for the entirety of the Art of Accessibility initiative, which will no doubt help the organization create their template “so other communities across Colorado can use their local arts scene as a driver for inclusion. “

Awards will be given to all honorees at a luncheon in March at the Denver Performing Arts Complex. See the full list of honorees on the CBCA website.
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Monday, December 3, 2018

Peak Arts Prize hosts information session for interested artists and organizations

Posted By on Mon, Dec 3, 2018 at 8:54 AM

In early 2018, the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region and the Pikes Peak Community Foundation launched a competitive grant initiative, the Peak Arts Prize, aimed at funding the pursuits of local artists and art organizations.

In three categories — large organizations, small organizations and individual artists — the program chose three finalists and opened voting to the public to choose winners. These winners were awarded prizes ranging from $2,500 to $7,500 to fund their pursuits.

Locals who want to get in on some of that sweet funding action might consider attending an information session on Dec. 4, 3:30-4:30 p.m. at the Tim Gill Center for Public Media. Last year’s winners will be on-hand to answer questions, including representatives from the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs (large organization), Colorado Street Art Company (small organization) and Jasmine Dillavou (individual artist).

While the Peak Arts Prize will not begin accepting applications until Jan. 10, this Q&A and info session should help artists begin to shape their ideas.

More information, including application requirements and last year’s winning video applications, can be found on the Peak Arts Prize website.

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Friday, August 3, 2018

The Unsteady Hand hosts benefit concert for new Parkinson's art program

Posted By on Fri, Aug 3, 2018 at 3:25 PM

Parkinson's Disease is predicted to affect 1 million people in the U.S. by 2020. - CHINNAPONG / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
  • Chinnapong /
  • Parkinson's Disease is predicted to affect 1 million people in the U.S. by 2020.

The Unsteady Hand, a new artist collective here in Colorado Springs, hopes to provide a space for people with Parkinson’s Disease and friends and family to explore artistic creation with guidance from local artists.

According to their website: “It is not uncommon for People with Parkinson’s (PWP) to become disengaged and isolated from their community. The explanations for separation can be physical, emotional or a combination of the two. We do everything we can to get through this mess called Parkinson’s as a community... a collective. The Unsteady Hand engages/re-engages fellow ‘Parkinsonians’ with the power of art and creativity.”

In advance of The Unsteady Hand’s first creative lab, the organization will host a benefit concert on Aug. 4.

Featuring Juannah, local pop-jazz-folk duo, the concert is free to attend, but organizers have asked for donations, 100 percent of which will fund upcoming programs.

According to the Parkinson’s foundation, the disease affects more than 10 million people worldwide, and can cause tremors, rigid limbs, and trouble walking or balancing, among other variable symptoms.

Hence, the title of the concert “Shake, Rattle, Be Whole,” which speaks to the truth of any disease, affliction or disability — it neither defines nor invalidates a person.

The concert will be held at Art 111, a downtown gallery currently exhibiting “Freedom,” featuring more than 20 artists interpreting the theme of freedom in diverse media.

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Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Center for Nonprofit Excellence hosts Nonprofit Day Conference for professional development

Posted By on Tue, Mar 6, 2018 at 4:12 PM

A wealth of nonprofit organizations make Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region their home, operating in every sector. The Center for Nonprofit Excellence, founded in 1991, offers opportunities for education, resource development and advocacy to those nonprofits, including a special event coming up on Friday, March 9.

Once again, the CNE will host its Nonprofit Day Conference, a full day of development for nonprofit professionals and board members, as well as the businesses and community members who contribute to and support local nonprofits.

Keynote speaker Paul Schmitz is the CEO of Leading Inside Out, an organization that helps build leadership in organizations and communities “to achieve greater social impact.” In addition to his presentation, there will be breakout sessions all day covering topics like marketing, volunteers, human resources and more.

If you are one of CNE’s nearly 200 members, the full conference costs $110, but non-members can still get the benefit of attending for $160. While online registration has closed, you can still contact CNE ( to see if there is space available.
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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Peak Arts Prize accepting video applications from artists and art organizations

Posted By on Tue, Jan 23, 2018 at 7:25 PM

The Pikes Peak Community Foundation and the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region have launched a collaborative grant program, the Peak Arts Prize, which is now accepting applications. Drawing money from PPCF’s Fund for the Arts, and administered by COPPeR, the Peak Arts Prize has opened its doors to not only arts-focused nonprofits, but individual artists and for-profit organizations as well.

Applicants must record a video, clocking in at less than five minutes, explaining the project for which they’re seeking the grant, the audience they hope to reach, and how they plan to accomplish the project. It’s a non-traditional method of grant application that both PPCF and COPPeR hope will widen the playing field.

“We wanted to allow different applicants to shine differently,” says Angela Seals, COPPeR’s deputy director. “For the applicants who are used to writing a traditional grant, it allows them to be more creative. And applicants who have never written a grant before or never qualified for a grant before might be excellent at telling stories through video.”

The grant process will take the form of a community contest. A panel of expert judges will select three finalists in each category (large organizations, small organizations and individual artists, definitions of which can be found on the Peak Arts Prize website), and then a public voting period (March 1-15) will determine the winners.

The grants, which both PPCF and COPPeR hope may grow in the future, will amount to $7,500 for the winner in the large organizations category, $5,000 for the winner of small organizations, and $2,500 for the winner of individual artists.

Seals says that the Peak Arts Prize is meant to invite the community to participate in a grant process with more access and visibility than artists may be used to. “We are inviting people,” she says, “and I hope they meet us there and apply, and send really creative and great applications.”

Applications will be accepted through Feb. 15, and do not need to be professional quality (smart phone videos accepted). See online for further guidelines.
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Monday, January 15, 2018

All Peoples' Breakfast and march builds on Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy

Posted By on Mon, Jan 15, 2018 at 2:37 PM

  • Alissa Smith
On Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, Monday, Jan. 15, the annual All Peoples’ Breakfast (organized by the Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission and the NAACP) saw more than 450 attendees, packed to bursting in Colorado College’s El Pomar Sports Center. Since the breakfast sold out days ago, organizers shuffled late arrivals into the bleachers to watch the program, making for a full house for the second year in a row.

The breakfast included CC students' visual art, poetry and dance; rousing performances by the Women in Red Gospel Choir and local hip-hop artist and activist Kevin Mitchell; thoughtful, facilitated table talks; and inspiring speeches from Sebrena Forrest (a member of the Mohawk Nation who also gave the invocation), and Rosemary Lytle, who discussed King’s concept of The Promised Land. She quoted his 1968 speech: “I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over, and I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land.”

The pervading message of the day: We will only get to that Promised Land by working together.

See photos from the breakfast and the ensuing march below.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Colorado Business Committee for the Arts to honor Kate Perdoni

Posted By on Tue, Dec 19, 2017 at 8:11 AM

Kate Perdoni will receive the CBCA's EY Next Wave Leadership Award in March. - COURTESY CBCA
  • Courtesy CBCA
  • Kate Perdoni will receive the CBCA's EY Next Wave Leadership Award in March.
When she isn't producing for Rocky Mountain PBS's Arts District program, acting as executive director for the Pikes Peak Arts Council and leading local bands Eros and the Eschaton and Spirettes, Kate Perdoni is probably doing something else to elevate the Springs' arts scene. As a result, the Denver-based Colorado Business Committee for the Arts will honor her during its March 13, 2018, luncheon, presenting her with the EY Next Wave Leadership Award. According to a press release dated December 14, 2017, the award "honors rising professionals who are leading the future of our cultural community."

“We have a few honorees that are statewide in scope, but she’s the only one this year who’s focused in [the Springs]," says CBCA program director Meredith Badler. “For us to be able to spotlight things outside the Denver Metro area is important.”

It's not the first time the CBCA has honored someone from the Springs — it honored arts consulting firm TRG Arts last year — but it's a step towards  plans to increase statewide reach and presence.

"We’re looking for [partnership opportunities] in Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Region," says Badler. “I think Kate’s going to be a great advocate for that.”

Read the full press release below:
CBCA Announces 2018 Business for the Arts Awards Honorees

Denver - Colorado Business Committee for the Arts (CBCA) announces 12 honorees for its 2018 Business for the Arts Awards, the only statewide event honoring companies and individuals for their outstanding partnerships and engagement with the arts. CBCA also reveals a new format for these awards, including the addition of two new categories connected to CBCA programs.

All honorees will be celebrated at the Business for the Arts Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 in the Seawell Grand Ballroom at the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Over 700 corporate, cultural and civic leaders will attend this inspiring, arts-infused event.

2018 Business for the Arts Awards Honorees

The Business for the Arts Awards Honorees are exemplary organizations that have gone above and beyond to support the arts and creative industries.

Bellco Credit Union has a strong and sustained commitment to philanthropy in the arts, including Denver Art Museum’s Free for Kids program.
Dazzle, Denver’s premier jazz venue and restaurant, has been supporting musicians, arts education and community causes of all kinds for over 10 years.
Delta Dental of Colorado enhances cultural vitality through sponsorship, programming and employee engagement, bringing art and smiles to faces across the state.
Downtown Artery is a creative hub in Fort Collins that supports a community of creators, including a performance venue, gallery space, classrooms, studios and a café.
Gensler, the international architecture firm, has made a lasting impact on Access Gallery through a decade of steadfast, growing and multi-faceted involvement.
RTD & City of Aurora, in partnership, made an extraordinary and exemplary investment in public art with the creation of the light rail’s R Line.
Stanley Marketplace opened its doors in Aurora with innovative arts partnerships ranging from experimental immersive theater experiences to pop-up art galleries.
Xcel Energy supports outreach and access to arts and cultural organizations across Colorado through philanthropy and an extensive employee volunteer program.

EY Next Wave Leadership Award

The EY Next Wave Leadership Award honors rising professionals who are leading the future of our cultural community.

Kate Perdoni, Producer of Arts District, Rocky Mountain PBS, has spearheaded cultural growth in Colorado Springs through her leadership of the Pikes Peak Arts Council and activation of DIY venues and pop-up events.

John Madden, Jr. Leadership Award

Named for CBCA’s founding chairman, the John Madden, Jr. Leadership Award recognizes a lifetime of extraordinary leadership and a legacy of support for the arts.

Hal Logan, Founder & Director, Basic Materials and Services LLC, has exemplified profound and dedicated cultural leadership at Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Scientific & Cultural Facilities District and more.

Colorado Attorneys for the Arts (CAFTA): Volunteer Attorney of the Year

New in 2018: The Volunteer Attorney of the Year recognizes an outstanding attorney who has provided pro bono legal services to Colorado creatives and advanced CBCA’s Colorado Attorneys for the Arts program.

Caroline R. Kert, Attorney, Law Offices of Daniel T. Goodwin, has provided pro bono legal services to artists, community outreach for CAFTA and supports the creative vitality of Colorado through her volunteerism.

Leadership Arts Alumni Network (LAAN): Cultural Leadership Award

New in 2018 as part of the Business for the Arts Awards: The Cultural Leadership Award recognizes an outstanding graduate of CBCA's Leadership Arts program who had made an impact on arts and culture in Colorado.

Cecily Cullen, Managing Director & Curator, Center for Visual Art, Metropolitan State University of Denver (Leadership Arts 2011), has been an enthusiastic advocate for the arts through her years of volunteer service, mentorship and community engagement.

The 2018 Business for the Arts Awards Honorees, John Madden, Jr. Leadership Award, and the EY Next Wave Leadership Award were selected by an independent panel of arts, business and community leaders.

Matt Chasansky, Manager, Office of Arts + Culture, City of Boulder
Renny Fagan, President & CEO, Colorado Nonprofit Association
Joe Lear, Principal, Davis Partnership
Clarence Low, President & CEO, Asian Chamber of Commerce
J. Schuyler Madden, Project Director, Museum of Outdoor Arts
Maureen McDonald, Principal, Maureen McDonald, LLC
Allison Scheck, Public Engagement & Operations Manager, City of Lakewood
The Volunteer Attorney of the Year Award was selected by the CAFTA Advisory Committee. The Cultural Leadership Award was selected by the LAAN Award Committee.

CBCA thanks our generous sponsors who make this event possible. Corporate sponsors include EY and John Madden Company. In-kind and media partners are CBS4, ColoradoBiz, Ligature Creative and The Publishing House.

Colorado Business Committee for the Arts (CBCA) advances Colorado’s creative economy by connecting business and the arts through arts engagement, advocacy, leadership training, research, and volunteerism. CBCA is a nonprofit member organization of leading Colorado companies who recognize the link between cultural vitality and economic success. Learn more at

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