ARTINI5:30-8:30 p.m. Friday, The Mining Exchange, A Wyndham Grand Hotel & Spa, 8 S. Nevada Ave.; The Gold Room, 18 S. Nevada Ave., free, ages 21 and older; 634-2204, artsmonth.

Something else: Business and Arts Lunch, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Oct. 5, The Antlers, 4 S. Cascade Ave., $50, 884-2832,; Pikes Peak Litter Letter Project, to help with cleanups email becky@; Arts Month Bingo, accomplish tasks, such as meet an artist or attend Artini, and first 100 with a Bingo will win tickets to an Ent Center for the Arts production;

Get a generous and free helping of live music, performance, fashion, body painters, aerialists and more to kick off Arts Month.

The fifth annual Artini will be the Pikes Peak region’s official foray into the coast-to-coast initiative throughout October. About 1,000 people showed up at last year’s festivities. Arts Month was started in 1993 by Americans for the Arts, a nonprofit organization that works to advance the arts across the country.

The party is Friday at The Mining Exchange, A Wyndham Grand Hotel & Spa, and The Gold Room.

“We’re trying to showcase the diversity of arts and culture in our community,” said Andy Vick, executive director of the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region, “and give people a reason to get excited about Arts Month.”

As a way to keep things fresh, the event has a new location this year. Divided between two downtown locations will be musical headliner Grant Sabin and the Juke Joint Highball, a photo booth station, hands-on art activities and a signature martini. Five food trucks will be outside. Attendees must be 21.

Arts Month features a number of activities, some new and some repeats of successful endeavors from previous years. Back for a repeat performance is ArtPOP, 20 free pop-up performances, exhibits and other creative experiences in various locations throughout the region. Visit for a complete list of pop-up opportunities.

New this year is the Pikes Peak Litter Letter Project, a collaboration between COPPeR, Concrete Couch, the Pikes Peak Outdoor Recreation Alliance and other organizations that will culminate in a piece of public art at U.S. 24 and 21st Street. Giant metal letters filled with trash from regional cleanups will spell out the word “inspire.” It will be up through October.

While an arts event is a pleasurable way to spend a few hours, there’s more to it than that. The local nonprofit arts and culture sector generates more than $150 million every year, said Vick. Arts and culture tourists stay longer and spend more. And if we want the workforce to grow and attract younger folks, who search out a more vibrant community of music, dance and other activities, we have to create the right climate for them to stay and become employees and community members. Cultural experiences are also important for education, especially children. It can help them become better learners and more innovative and creative in adulthood.

“It’s important for our own pleasure to experience arts and culture,” said Vick. “It brings people together. It’s about creating community.”

Jennifer Mulson, The Gazette, 636-0270,

Contact the writer: 636-0270

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