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Voting is now open for the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region and Pikes Peak Community Foundation’s People’s Choice Prize of Peak Arts Prize 2020, a special grant of $1,000 and part of the larger Peak Arts Prize 2020 program.

Voting deadline is noon on March 11 online at PeakArtsPrize.org/VOTE.

Peak Arts Prize funds projects that amplify local arts to new audiences. This year, 31 applications from across the region were received. A panel of five expert judges chose the Top 9 projects, the Top 3 in each category. These projects advance to this People’s Choice Prize round. Of these nine, three are the Peak Arts Prize 2020 grant recipients. One will receive the $1,000 People’s Choice Prize entirely based on the votes of the community.

New this year, the community can also donate to the projects directly from the ballot, introducing crowdfunding to the program for the first time. This new feature is inspired by the generosity of the original philanthropists, Carl and Edith Ellyas, whose estate began the Fund for the Arts that powers Peak Arts Prize.

Peak Arts Prize is funded by Pikes Peak Community Foundation’s Fund for the Arts, founded in April 2004 when Carl and Edith Ellyas left their estate to the Foundation. Based on the Ellyas’ great love of the arts, the fund was established to foster sustainability and growth for arts organizations and artists by increasing financial support and building awareness of the significance of the arts and artists in the community.

”Our partnership with the Cultural Office and Peak Arts Prize enables us to realize the Ellyas’ dream of supporting creativity and artistic expression in Colorado Springs. While the fund was inspired by the family’s estate gift, residents and businesses in the Pikes Peak region are welcome to contribute, opening the door to more opportunities for arts organizations,” said Lori Bellingham, vice president of philanthropic services, PPCF. “The celebration of this Fund is that it was created by a family with modest means, who lived in the Bonneville neighborhood, but its impact is immeasurable. We are naive to think we have too little to give. Each and everyone one of us can be philanthropists.”

The results of the People’s Choice Prize, and the official grantees of Peak Arts Prize 2020, will be announced online at PeakArtsPrize.org March 12. Funded projects will all happen before the end of the calendar year.

The video applications for the projects on the People’s Choice Prize ballot, describing their project in three minutes or fewer, can be viewed online at PeakArtsPrize.org/VOTE.

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