Creative Economy Jumpstarts

Creative Economy Jumpstarts

In addition to promoting, researching, and advocating for the creative economy, the Cultural Office’s new Creative Economy program vertical will include new efforts to actively stimulate more economic activity in local arts. After all, the creative economy is composed of nonprofits, small businesses, micro-businesses, entrepreneurs, and a talented workforce that deserve more support, audience … and revenue!  

The Cultural Office is dedicated to supporting sustainable economic opportunity for local creatives, and this requires strategic interventions and diverse programs over time. On this page, you will find our short-term initiatives and long-term projects to support and raise economic activity for buying art, ticket sales, cultural attractions, venue rentals, etc. as these new interventions are developed and unrolled. 

If you have ideas from other markets, communities, or your own experience, we’d love to hear them! Reach out to Program Manager of Creative Economy, Dylan Craddock, at Dylan@CulturalOffice.org.

Peak Radar Opportunities Board

Find or list creative jobs, calls for art, auditions, and more in El Paso and Teller counties through the new Opportunities board on PeakRadar.com!

Listing opportunities is easy – it works just like listing events. From the Peak Radar user dashboard, just choose “Classifieds.” Help us make this THE central tool for finding creative opportunities by spreading the word and creating listings. (This tool is specifically called for in Arts Vision 2030!)

Level Up! Creative Professionals Night

On May 8th, 2024 the Cultural Office hosted its first LEVEL UP! Creative Professionals Night, the first business fair and professional development evening focused on the creative sector of the Pikes Peak Region. The event featured: a resource fair with over 20 tables covering topics from health insurance, finances, and business plans to art supplies, grant funding, and studio space – and a free headshot booth!

Immediately following, was “Social Impact and the Arts: Moving with Market Forces.” Keynote Speaker, Jonathan Liebert, CEO at the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado and founder of the Southern Colorado Impact Group, discussed critical, current considerations for creative organizations and businesses that have a social impact, and interviewed local creative business leaders for “on-the-ground” perspectives! Panelists included: Peri Bolts, Co-Founder, Eclectic CO; Lorrie Myers, Co-Founder, Who Gives A Scrap; and, TerryJosiah Sharpe, CEO, Anthem Music Enterprises.

Finally, there were mentoring circles designed by our partners at Bee Vradenburg Foundation, SCORE, and Non-Book Club Book Club.

This event was presented as part of our Level Up! programming, dedicated to making business resources accessible to working artists and creative businesses.

Special thanks to Anthem Music Enterprises for producing this highlight reel for the Cultural Office!

Buy Creative

This holiday season, the Cultural Office launched “Buy Creative”: a marketing campaign designed to get people out and shopping the arts this holiday season on the Avenue Creative Circuit. 

Using a two-factor approach, the campaign leveraged both in-person and online elements. Banners were hung across Manitou Avenue, along Colorado Avenue through Old Colorado City, and along Tejon St. through Downtown COS. Staff delivered Buy Creative window decals, stickers for customers, and point-of-sale signs to creative local businesses. Additionally, three guides were created for Peak Radar users: the market guide (which featured over 40 creative markets throughout December), the gallery guide, and holiday guide. These were promoted through various digital channels and allowed users to find new, fun ways to shop small, shop local, and shop creative this holiday season.

The Cultural Office will explore new partnerships and an incentive program for Buy Creative in 2024. 

Partnerships in Workforce and Programming Development

The Cultural Office joined the ACHIEVE committee in 2023, which is a monthly meet-up group for program managers focused on small business support and development. 

In 2024, the Cultural Office will help launch a creative sector partnership with Pikes Peak Workforce Center and a variety of community partners. Check back for more information soon! To learn more about Pikes Peak Workforce Center’s sector partnerships, click here

Chamber Memberships

The Cultural Office is proud to represent the creative community through several local chamber memberships. Below are their logos, click them to check each chamber out! 

Header picture is of the Commonwheel Artists Co-op Annual Labor Day Arts Festival, courtesy of Visit Manitou Springs.

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