The Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region
(COPPeR) and the Pikes Peak Arts Council
(PPAC) have undertaken a $10,000 partnership to fund pop-up arts performances throughout the region. The collection of events, dubbed ArtPOP, is part of Arts Month, the COPPeR-run local celebration of National Arts & Humanities Month.
ArtPOP marks a major change — it’s the first time that COPPeR’s Arts Month funds have gone to pay artists directly. The event budget, which includes $25,000 from city-distributed Lodgers and Automobile Rental Tax (LART) funds and $10,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), plus other sponsors, goes to promoting and advertising existing events, as well as running events like Artini and the Business & Arts Lunch. This year, COPPeR gave a $10,000 grant to PPAC to hire artists for free pop-up events across the region, including events in Manitou Springs and Divide.
"[Andy] had the idea for ArtPOP... and recognized that the cultural office didn’t necessarily have the bandwidth to create and administer 20 events," says PPAC executive director Kate Perdoni. "But that they had the resources financially, so they came to us to put the events together.”
“It made a lot of sense to collaborate with [PPAC] and leverage their connections in the community to expand our reach beyond what we could have managed on our own to keep growing Arts Month,” says Andy Vick, COPPeR’s executive director. “[Collaborations like this are] about empowering other organizations to support the broader mission of growing and empowering the arts community here.” He says that, as long as the funding’s available, he hopes to not only repeat the event but expand it next year.
Vick further says that this event not only supports artists, one of COPPeR’s core goals, it also works as marketing for Arts Month.
“I can choose to spend my money on traditional media advertising, which I’m doing...” he says, “but I can also ‘market’ Arts Month to the broader community by engaging local artists to go into the community and to present something new and engaging in nontraditional spaces...” Indeed, Vick explains that the primary goal of ArtPOP is to promote and increase engagement with Arts Month.
“Unlike many organizations around the country, we don’t have the resources to regrant directly to individual artists,” Vick says. He further explains that’s not a product of COPPeR’s priorities, but a matter of available grants in the arts ecosystem at large. He says it’s very difficult to find grants that can be used to fund artists directly. Typically, he says, governments and government agencies don’t pay for art directly, so COPPeR’s ability to put out grants for individual artists depends more on private donors.
“In Indianapolis, for example, they’ll get $100,000 from the Lilly [Endowment] to turn around and make 10 $10,000 grants for artists,” he says. “I would love to get to the place where we have the ability to do that, but that involves finding a funder who specifically wants to have their resources spent to support an individual artist. I don’t have that right now.”
For a full listing of ArtPOP events, check here
, and take a look at the map embedded at the bottom of this page. The Indy
will also be covering several ArtPOP events; we’ll keep a list of all of our previews below.