In 2020, our community will undertake its second cultural planning process to produce the Cultural Plan for the Pikes Peak Region 2020-2030. The Cultural Plan will be developed through an open, inclusive process, and the plan will be implemented in the same spirit. It is a plan by and for the community, and as such is owned by the community. No one organization is responsible for its implementation. The Bee Vradenburg Foundation and Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region will serve as stewards of it on behalf of the creative sector.
Request for Proposals
The Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region, in partnership with the Bee Vradenburg Foundation and a committee of local creative leaders, seeks proposals from qualified consultants to develop the Cultural Plan for the Pikes Peak region of Colorado from 2020-2030. This Plan will build upon the region’s first cultural plan (which covered 2010-2020) and recent municipal and county plans, incorporating direct input from the community, to project a vision for the next decade of our creative sector’s development and relevance. The RFP is open until 5 p.m. on Sunday, December 1, 2019.
The Pikes Peak region spans El Paso and Teller counties of Colorado, surrounding Pikes Peak and including the expansive City of Colorado Springs, historic mountain towns, and peaceful rural communities. This remarkable setting has attracted generations of artists, so arts and culture have played an influential role in the region from the very beginning. Indigenous cultures have lived in this area for 5,000 years, leaving behind petroglyphs, Ute prayer tress, and other signs of historic creativity. The first permanent settlement was established in what is now Old Colorado City in 1859. Colorado Springs was established in 1871 to take advantage of the extraordinary scenic beauty of its surroundings to develop a “Little London” in the American West, and the mountain towns of Teller County followed in the 1890s. Now, the Pikes Peak region is home to over 700,000 people and rapidly growing. Over 400 arts and cultural groups and organizations now enliven the Pikes Peak region, and a 2017 study with Americans for the Arts defined the economic impact of the nonprofit creative sector as $153.3 million.
For much of the region’s history, artistic practice hummed in pockets of vibrancy, supported by volunteer-led organizations. The creative sector’s regional, collective identity began galvanizing over the past 17 years. In 2001, the Bee Vradenburg Foundation became the first local foundation dedicated to investing in the relevance, resilience and greatness of the arts, directly addressing the critical issue of underfunding and limited capacity in the creative sector. When the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region was founded in 2006, Colorado Springs was the largest city in the United States without a professionally-staffed local arts agency. The founding of the Cultural Office, in fact, resulted from the community’s first discussions about a cultural plan. Since that time, efforts by these organizations and many others have ushered in a new era of cooperation, collaboration, and vision for shared impact within the creative community. Particularly galvanizing initiatives have included the 2010-2020 Cultural Plan, wide-ranging, inclusive programs like First Friday Art Walks and Arts Month each October, cooperative promotional efforts like PeakRadar.com, and the emergence of two state-certified Creative Districts.
As the next decade approaches, the current creative community is poised for another effort to align a vision for its place on the rapidly growing Front Range. In the story of the Pikes Peak region’s arts community, the process of creating the next Cultural Plan together is a powerful next step. Its structure will guide and support the trajectory of our next decade of growth and influence.
Funding & Management
The cultural planning effort will be stewarded by the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region, which will serve as the fiscal conduit for all funding and expenses, and the administrative lead. The Cultural Office’s Executive Director, Andy Vick, and the Executive Director of Bee Vradenburg Foundation, David Siegel, serve as co-chairs of a volunteer Cultural Plan Steering Committee of creative leaders formed in October 2018. A committee of Cultural Champions is being formed in winter 2019-2020. Focus groups and community engagement efforts during the process will include artists, leaders of arts organizations and groups, for-profit creative businesses, arts patrons and donors, community partners and cross-sector peers, and many more. The Cultural Office’s Deputy Director, Angela Seals, serves as the project’s coordinator in support of a professional cultural planning consultant, to be engaged in January 2020.
Funding has been assembled from a combination of funds pledged from The Cultural Office, Bee Vradenburg Foundation, El Paso County, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funds are being pursued.
The cultural planning public process will begin in early spring 2020 and culminate in the release of the final plan during Arts Month in October 2020!
Questions can be directed to info@CulturalOffice.org.