Eighteen arts organizations will share $50,000 from the 2013 Peak Arts Fund, a campaign to raise public awareness of and financial support for eligible arts nonprofits.

The Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region (COPPeR) announced at a wrap-up party Wednesday at Ivywild School that during the five-month campaign, 132 individual donors and 16 businesses helped the fund reach its goal.

Checks were distributed at the party attended by artists, staff and boards of local arts organizations, donors and businesses that supported the campaign.

Campaign co-chairs were Jocelyn "Jolly" Wall, vice-president of Kirkpatrick Bank and Toby Gannett, entrepreneur, civic leader and board member for the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance. Wall said, "Peak Arts Fund reminds us that the arts are all around us each day, woven into the fabric of our communities ... and that it is necessary to support them if we want to continue to benefit from all they contribute to our lives."

COPPeR reported that it feels a healthy arts and cultural community is vital to economic development, education, civic life and a sustainable future for the Pikes Peak region. Local arts nonprofits generate $72 million in annual economic impact and create over 2,000 jobs, an economic impact significantly above the national median, according to COPPeR.

Gannett said, "A vibrant arts community is an indicator and instigator of innovation, the kind of innovative culture that 21st century businesses need in order to thrive. A strong creative community and strong business community fuel one another in a flywheel of cultural and economic development."

COPPeR reported a 9% growth in the number of area arts and cultural nonprofits over the past four years, now totaling 240.

The 18 arts nonprofits supported by this year's campaign: Business of Art Center, Chamber Orchestra of the Springs, Colorado College Summer Music Festival, Colorado Springs Children's Chorale, Colorado Springs Choral Society, Colorado Springs Conservatory, Colorado Springs Fine Art Center, Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Colorado Springs Youth Symphony Association, Cottonwood Center for the Arts, Imagination Celebration, Millibo Art Theatre, Opera Theatre of the Rockies, Ormao Dance Company, Rocky Mountain Women's Film Festival, THEATREWORKS, Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts, and Velvet Hills Show Chorus.

Peak Arts Fund is a program of COPPeR, a nonprofit with the mission of connecting residents and visitors with arts and culture to enrich the Pikes Peak region.


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