Bringing a creative idea to life needs time, commitment and, yes, often dollar bills. Lots and lots of dollar bills.

The Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region is on board to be your Daddy Warbucks once again. Applications for the third annual Peak Arts Prize opens Jan. 6 and runs through Feb. 6. This year features larger grants, redesigned judging and a People’s Choice Award.

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Arts-focused nonprofits and for-profit large and small organizations and individual artists 21 and older are encouraged to submit project ideas that must occur within the next year and reach new audiences. Large organizations with an annual budget over $100,000 can win a $10,000 grant, up from $7,500 last year. Small organizations with an annual budget under $100,000 can win a $7,500 grant, up from $5,000 last year. Individuals can win a $4,000 grant, up from last year’s $2,500.

A panel of judges will select grant winners from nine finalists, as opposed to the past two years, when the public was tasked with the final vote. However, this year voters will be able to vote for the People’s Choice Award, whose winner will receive a $1,000 grant. Voters also can choose to make donations to any of the nine final projects.

Past Peak Arts Prize winners include Bliss Studio and Gallery, The Unsteady Hand, Chamber Orchestra of the Springs and artists Thom Phelps and Jasmine Dillavou.

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“There were assumptions that having public engagement meant people would pick the most entertaining projects, but not the most artistically strong,” said COPPeR’s Deputy Editor Angela Seals. “That’s not the case. There have been a mix of winners from classical music to street art. People are looking at meaningful engagement and something that sounds like an exciting project to happen in the community. It shows our community has an appetite for diverse art.”

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COPPeR receives about 35 applications every year for the prize.

“The projects we fund are supposed to amplify art to new audiences,” Seals said. “We want the community to get inspired by those nine great ideas, and to support those projects throughout the year as they unfold.”

Applicants will be notified by Feb. 20 whether they made it into the top nine. People’s Choice Award voting is Feb. 26 through noon March 11. Winners will be announced March 12. Go online to for rules and eligibility. The Peak Arts Prize program is funded by the Pikes Peak Community Federation.

Contact the writer: 636-0270

Contact the writer: 636-0270

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