Arts supporters in the business world were recognized Tuesday for their contribution to the city's creative life at the sixth annual 2013 Business and Arts Awards Luncheon.

The event honored The Ivywild School and The Mining Exchange - a Wyndham Grand Hotel in the categories of creative workplace and philanthropy, respectively. Ron Brasch and Una Ng-Brasch received an award as business leaders in the arts.

The awards are sponsored by COPPeR, the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region, and the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance.

"The arts are a priority in all we do," said Amanda Bristol, a co-founder of Ivywild. "They bring a richness and bring out the best in people. You work better in a vibrant atmosphere where you're not just staring at four blank walls. You need to be filled up."

The four-star, downtown Wyndham was praised for its reputation for excellent service and support of the arts, with works by local artists hanging inside the hotel and its involvement with the Colorado Springs Conservatory, Fine Arts Center and the Colorado Springs Philharmonic.

Brasch is a merger-and-acquisitions specialist, and also an artist: He's a storyteller and a poet, and has performed in The Story Project at the Smokebrush Foundation and participated in the Pikes Peak Library District poet laureate program. Ng-Brasch works in the education department at Colorado College. Both have served on various local arts organization boards.

"Working with the arts organizations really isn't work," Brasch said. "This has been the most fun that we've had. We don't do these things for recognition. It's been great fun and nice to see our colleagues here cheer us."

Folks from the city's arts organizations and businesses watched performances on four stages by the Colorado Springs Chorale, Pikes Peak Philharmonic, Thin Air Theatre Company, bluegrass band Grass It Up and others.

"It's really where the rubber meets the road when it comes to getting your art out there," said David Jeffrey, member of Grass It Up. "We've got a lot of great artists in the world, but if you don't learn to join the two together, you have a hard time being sucessful with your art. It's as important as being a good artist, and in a lot of cases, it's more important to be a good business person than it is to be the best artist in the world. If you don't know how to get your voice or your art to the marketplace, you're selling yourself short."

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Contact Jennifer Mulson at 636-0270.

A&E and features reporter

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