COPPeR’s various programs are organized into 3 pillars of impact: Invite, Educate and Connect.
INVITE: At COPPeR, we invite residents and visitors to experience local arts through PeakRadar.com, Peak Radar Picks weekly e-blast, Peak Radar Guides and easily accessible resources at our Walk-In Arts Information Space and outreach booths at local events because we know arts and culture make our community an exciting place to live and visit.
- PeakRadar.com – PeakRadar.com is COPPeR’s signature audience development program. The site, a comprehensive arts and culture events calendar, is a vital tool for increasing cultural participation. Since its launch in June 2007, PeakRadar.com has brought awareness of a vast array and arts activities to residents and visitors and it continues to grow. In 2012, total visitors to the site increased 14.5% and average page views lept to 185,386 each month. The site now lists information for over 400 community-based arts groups and 365 profiles of individual artists. Listings include images, video, GoogleMaps, ticket-purchase links, and the ability to share information through Facebook and other sites with one click. Our partnerships with local government and the tourism bureau, as well as with print and radio media, amplify the power of cultural groups to reach new audiences. All of PeakRadar’s functions are designed to increase cultural participation in El Paso and Teller counties.
- Peak Radar Picks E-Blast: This popular weekly e-blast highlights 7-10 exciting arts and culture events in the region for the coming week, plus artists of the week, art classifieds and special ticket giveaways and discounts. Peak Radar Picks currently reaches over 6,000 subscribers and, through a partnership with the Colorado Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau, over 6,000 cultural tourists who designated Arts and Culture as an area of interest in visiting our region.
- The Peak Radar Guides – Peak Radar publishes valuable guides for residents and visitors, available for free in print and accessible online. The main resource is Peak Radar Pages, the primary print directory of arts nonprofits in the region, with 5,000 copies now distributed annually. In 2013, the popular Free Outdoor Summer Concert Guide was downloaded 46,000 times, with 500 print copies distributed. In June 2012, COPPeR launched the region’s first Public Art Directory for the City of Colorado Springs through PeakRadar.com. Through partnerships with regional community leaders, this directory hopes to expand to include the art collections of Manitou Springs and the Tri-Lakes area. And this fall, Peak Radar premiered its newest resource, the Fall Theater Guide, to connect visitors and residents with the lively theater seasons on local stages. These guides are distributed at community locations, tourism hubs and military bases.
- Walk-In Arts Center and Outreach Booths – COPPeR’s downtown storefront office serves the walk-in public daily with information about how to connect with local arts and culture. The space exhibits rotating shows by local artists, offers local artwork for sale and welcomes collaborations with area nonprofits. First Friday art openings are co-presented throughout the year with the neighboring University of Colorado Springs GOCA 121 gallery space, providing visibility for the downtown location, local artists and year-round programs of COPPeR. Staff and volunteer Arts Advocates shared resources about the arts at over 30 local events and festivals in 2013, including Family Day at Fort Carson, WhatIf Festival and Everybody Welcome Festival.
EDUCATE: At COPPeR, we educate and advocate for our artists and arts organizations through trainings about national best practices, research about the local creative sector and relationships with elected officials and civic leaders because we know a strong, unified voice ensures a healthy creative community.
- Training – COPPeR staff and board work to present workshops to arts organizations and artists in meaningful topic areas such as marketing, intellectual property law, audience development, governance and other best practices. Videos of these trainings are available online. As part of COPPeR’s commitment to strengthening our arts community, we have again offered a series of “boot camps” in 2013, all of which are designed to help artists and arts organizations become more sustainable and successful.
- Arts Impact Education – COPPeR conducts policy study at the state and national level, educates and serves as a primary resource for elected officials about cultural life in the region and trains volunteers to speak knowledgeably about the arts. In June 2012, COPPeR released the results of a national research study, Arts & Economic Prosperity IV – the Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts and Culture Organizations and their Audiences in the Pikes Peak region. This three-year study, a follow-up to the 2007 study by the same name, was conducted in partnership with Americans for the Arts and the National Arts and Business Council. The report has become a primary tool in COPPeR’s advocacy work to educate civic and business leaders about the role the arts play in the larger economic life of the region. COPPeR gives presentations throughout the year for Leadership Pikes Peak, El Pomar’s ELD advisory councils, and various community organizations. In May 2013, COPPeR launched the Arts Advocates program, an invited group of volunteers from diverse corners of the community trained in talking points about arts and culture. Arts Advocates will advance COPPeR’s outreach ability at local festivals and events and speak up for the arts on community committees. Through quality information, relationship-building and engagement, COPPeR works to cultivate a community that is knowledgeable about the role of the arts and supportive of creative industry.
- Collaborations with Local Municipalities – COPPeR works with the City of Colorado Springs for a variety of initiatives supporting arts and culture throughout the year. In partnership with the Office of Sustainability and Innovation, COPPeR assists the city in choosing local artists and exhibiting their work in the lobby of the City Administration Building each quarter. COPPeR also collaborates with the Mayor’s Office and Pikes Peak Arts Council (PPAC) to organize a series of Arts Walks with Mayor Bach. These walks promote physical fitness, give the public an opportunity to interact informally with Mayor Bach and create awareness of the role of public art in creating a sense of community. In Woodland Park, COPPeR is supporting the Downtown Development Authority’s plans to develop the business district into a Creative District recognized by Colorado Creative Industries. In Monument, COPPeR is working with local leaders to support local arts development and connect Colorado Springs audiences with Monument’s cultural events.
CONNECT: At COPPeR, we connect people and resources across sectors through the stewardship of our Cultural Plan, our business outreach program, the Art in Storefronts project, and leadership on diverse community boards and committees because we know creativity is a catalyst for regional innovation, growth, prosperity, and vitality.
- Cultural Planning – In 2010, COPPeR released the Cultural Plan for the Pikes Peak Region, a strategic 10-year plan to develop, enliven, enhance and promote arts, culture and creative industries in the Pikes Peak region to the benefit of our residents, our strategies and tactics for supporting the growth and diversity of cultural activities and offerings in the Pikes Peak region, and, in turn, pointing to methods in which the arts can strengthen all sectors of the community. In 2013 COPPeR will continue to convene groups of community leaders for “Coffee with COPPeR.” These gatherings allow individuals and organizations to provide progress updates on the plan as well as presentations on current creative initiatives in our region.
- Business Outreach Program and the Business and Arts Luncheon – Since 2012, COPPeR has brought the arts directly into the conference rooms and staff meetings of local companies through Arts Breaks. These short, live performances by local artists paired with presentations about how to connect with arts and culture in our region have begun shifting the tide of thinking in our business community to appreciate the value of the arts to our quality of life and local economy. COPPeR shares its resources with the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance to ensure that recruitment of new businesses to our region includes persuasive data and resources about the creative sector. The Business & Arts Luncheon has become a highlight of the professional social calendar each fall. It is widely recognized as a high quality, professional production unlike any other luncheon in the region for its lively and diverse performances by local artists, fast-paced program and cross-sector networking opportunities. In the 2013 attendee survey, 96% said they would attend this event again in the future.
- Art in Storefronts – COPPeR works to find a relevant, practical role for the arts in addressing community needs. After vacant storefronts downtown were discussed at an Urban Land Institute panel in the summer of 2012, COPPeR developed the Art in Storefronts program. Art in Storefronts works with business and property owners to reactivate vacant store windows by filling them with non-commercial art installations, artwork, creative businesses or pop-up shops to brighten downtown, increase foot traffic and showcase local artists.