The Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region is well-known for its regional programs that promote cultural participation and tourism, most notably PeakRadar.com and Arts Month each October. As part of its next chapter following the hire of Angela Seals as Executive Director in March, it is expanding program support for the local creative economy and creatives themselves.
“The next chapter of our work in this fast-growing community is to help our creative community grow in pace, and seize more opportunities.” Seals says. “So we are building new programs that will stimulate the creative economy and also support the development of the creative people who are the heart of it.”
To lead this expanding work, the Cultural Office announces two new staff members in new positions!
Program Manager of Creative Economy
The Program Manager of Creative Economy will support the vitality of the Pikes Peak region’s creative sector as a program manager, researcher, liaison, and local advocate for the arts on economic issues. The Manager will strengthen the Cultural Office’s collaboration with diverse chambers of commerce and business initiatives, develop interventions and programs that build capacity for the creative sector, conduct & release research like the Arts & Economic Prosperity Study, and lead the Arts Month campaign each October. Their efforts will link the creative sector to larger regional efforts and resources in small business/startup support, economic development, talent attraction & retention, and more. Through this role, the Cultural Office will build a stronger creative economy that empowers artists, creative businesses, cultural nonprofits, and the entire community.
The Program Manager of Creative Economy will be Dylan Craddock, who will bring the position to life with her strengths in research, community development, and project management. Craddock is a Colorado Springs native whose nonprofit experience and studies in Spanish language & culture have spanned Memphis, Peru, and Argentina. In her most recent role in the community as an El Pomar Fellow since 2021, she worked closely with many regional partners of the Cultural Office, as well as the Forum for Civic Advancement, and the RISE Coalition in Southeast Colorado Springs. Craddock earned her B.A. in International Studies and Spanish from Rhodes College, was a Fulbright Scholar, and is certified in project management through Project Management Institute and Equitable Community Change through Cornell University.
Program Manager of Education
The part-time Program Manager of Education will support the growth and development of creatives in the Pikes Peak region across their lifetime, from K-12 arts education to creative workforce development to leadership development. By approaching this continuum of learning holistically, the Cultural Office supports a stronger pipeline for the people who power a healthy creative economy and creative future. This new role will be a connective coordinator for regional creative learning, lowering barriers and building new collaborations and livelier resource sharing between the people and programs working “on the ground” in local education. In alignment with Arts Vision 2030, one focus will be to increase equitable access to arts education and amplify the development of emerging arts leaders and arts leaders of color.
The Program Manager of Education will be Jeresneyka Rose, a well-known local artist, educator, and community advocate. She has developed and led influential arts projects across the region, building curriculum and facilitating educational engagement with communities from children through seniors. Rose’s recent projects include Hillside Hub Oral History & Mural Project with Food to Power, Panorama Park Tile Art Project in partnership with Trust for Public Land, and Pencils in the Park in partnership with Generation Wild at the Catamount Institute, and several local schools and community organizations. Her public speaking, volunteerism, and activism have advanced issues like mental health, education, gun violence, and food insecurity. Rose was the 2022 recipient of the Colorado Springs Mayor’s Young Leader Award in Creative Industry and Trust for Public Land’s Community at the Center Award, in addition to serving as their CORE Fellow liaison to Southeast Colorado Springs and other local communities since 2021.
Craddock and Rose were selected from a competitive hiring process that included over 50 regional applicants. “We are thrilled to have Dylan and Jeresneyka join us.” Seals says, “They bring a powerful combination of skills and experience, charisma, and passion for our community. With this team, we’re ready to really lean into our future impact.”
Both positions will begin in early June.
The Cultural Office invites the community to meet its full staff and celebrate recent changes at COPPeR’s Next Chapter Party at Lulu’s Downstairs on Wednesday, June 28 at 5:30-7:00 p.m. The event is free but registration is required. Details at www.PeakRadar.com/event/coppers-next-chapter-party.
Learn more about the full Board and Staff of the Cultural Office here.