Friday, February 4, 2011

Checking in with Christina McGrath

Posted By on Fri, Feb 4, 2011 at 11:36 AM

It's only the third week of her new job as executive director of COPPeR, but Christina McGrath is still giddy about the position.

COPPeR wants your thoughts.
  • COPPeR wants your thoughts.

“It’s been wonderful. I got into my office on that first day, that Tuesday, and have just been pinching myself ever since.”

McGrath says she's most impressed so far by the people she's been working with, as well as the behind-the-scenes roles COPPeR takes for the community (namely, the research it conducted for its cultural plan and what it will contribute to upcoming national studies such as the Arts & Economic Prosperity IV survey and the Western States Arts Federation's Creative Vitality Index).

“It’s amazing what COPPeR is able to do with its resources."

Much of this McGrath learned from former ED Bettina Swigger, who left for a position in California earlier this year. McGrath says she worked with Swigger only a few days, and spent that time looking over Swigger's shoulder and downloading as much information as she could.

For the next several months, McGrath says she will be working with the plans COPPeR has already implemented, including publishing a new edition of the COPPeR Pages (a guide of arts and culture organizations) later in the spring (McGrath says it will also have a new name, something more connected with Peak Radar).

She will also be gathering information and soaking up ideas and opinions from locals.

"I view the next couple of months as being an opportunity for me to meet with different people, stakeholders in the community — businesses, artists, arts organizations and visitors to the Pikes Peak Region — just to hear what their ideas are and then kind of incorporate them into what we’re doing.”

For more on COPPeR, and a chance to meet and talk with McGrath, head to the COPPeR offices tonight for a free public reception from 6-9 p.m. If you can't make it however, McGrath says she welcomes visitors to her office anytime to talk.

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