Last night, to a packed house in Studio Bee, local arts leaders formally came out in support of City for Champions
Organized in part by COPPeR
, the forum featured brief speeches from seven in the creative community, as well as COPPeR executive director Andy Vick
: David Dahlin
, president and CEO of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
; George Preston
, general manager of Classical 88.7 KCME-FM
; Jon Khoury
, executive director of Cottonwood Center for the Arts
; Marta Lacombe
, 2015 Colorado South President, American Institute of Architects
; Lara Holman Garritano
, creative district manager at the Downtown Partnership
; Nathan Newbrough
, president and CEO of the Colorado Springs Philharmonic
; and David Siegel
, executive director of the Bee Vradenburg Foundation
Their support for C4C ranged from a variety standpoints, varying from a simple 'What do we have to lose?' to more serious arguments. Newbrough, citing Colorado Springs' early artistic history, urged the audience not to "squander our inheritance," and that C4C, though not without risks, could lead to an entirely new local paradigm, if we choose to take advantage of it. "Idleness is not love," he said.
Dahlin called it a "once-in-a-generation opportunity," and Vick and Siegel pointed out the economic benefits (by way of recent Americans for the Arts studies
) that the arts could have, piggy-backing off C4C. Each urged the early and often involvement of the arts in these planning processes, something that C4C spokeswoman Laura Neumann
says is already happening, as the speakers have connected with the four C4C project managers for further planning.
Neumann said that this was the best crowd she'd seen yet at a C4C public event, and that this would be the last meeting for several months as planning goes forward.
It's not clear yet what arts involvement will look like for C4C, but Siegel was blunt: We can't just "slap a painting on the wall after the ribbon cutting and congratulate ourselves for [supporting] the arts."