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Steve Wood, founder and executive director of Concrete Couch, talks in front of a giant mouse artwork made from recycled items in this undated file photo.

Five arts and culture organizations in Colorado Springs are thousands of dollars richer.

Colorado Creative Industries announced the recipients of its Colorado Creates grants, a program that provides financial support to nonprofit cultural organizations and government agencies to help keep the art flowing and bring jobs to communities.

Concrete Couch, a nonprofit that blends the forces of kids and adults to build community through creative projects and programs, was awarded $7,500. The money will go toward free arts programming and Concrete Coyote, an up-and-coming Hillside neighborhood park, built and paid for by the community with free programs open to all.

"(It's) great. It’s COVID — money’s super tight," said Concrete Couch Founder and Executive Director Steve Wood. "We’re trying to build this giant community art park. In a way, it's been perfect timing with COVID — we can have classes and keep them safe. We've had 850 classes since COVID hit. They’re free; we haven’t made any money."

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Colorado Creative Industries, a division of the state Office of Economic Development and International Trade, promotes, supports and grows the state’s creative industries to drive the economy, create jobs and enhance quality of life.

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“We admire the strength and dedication of these hard-working individuals and groups who stayed committed through one of the hardest years our economy has faced," said Director of Colorado Creative Industries Margaret Hunt. "Arts contribute significantly to our well-being and sense of community.”

Colorado Creates 2022 grant recipients:

- Colorado Springs Children's Chorale, $8,500

- Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, $10,000

- Concrete Couch, $7,500

- Green Box Arts, $8,500

- Opera Theatre of the Rockies, $6,500

Contact the writer: 636-0270

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