Art on the Avenue Some of the sculptures MSAC has installed
The Manitou Springs Arts Council was established in 2004 for the purpose of serving both artists and the community. MSAC is a Public Charity under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and serves as the umbrella organization for the arts in Manitou. MSAC supports the visual, performance, holistic, literary and culinary disciplines. This diverse and eclectic range of art is a reflection of the unique place that is Manitou Springs.
Manitou starts path toward becoming Creative District
by Larry Ferguson Pikes Peak Bulletin, July 3, 2014
"Manitou has always been known as being crazy and creative," said Natalie Johnson, executive director of the Manitou Art Center, "but we haven't had the organization to say, 'We're making it, we're successful and proud of it!'" Now, thanks in large part to Johnson's efforts, Manitou Springs · will have that opportunity. The city this week was selected to participate in a state program designed to enhance the economic impact of the arts in the community. As one of seven cities selected to be candidates in the two-year Creative Districts incubation program, Manitou will be eligible for direct funding and state-sponsored professional training programs geared toward attracting artists and creative entrepreneurs.
"This isn't funding to increase the amount of art around our community, necessarily," Johnson said. "It is more about being able to talk about, support and develop the business community's and city government's ability to use the arts to their advantage and bring it to the forefront when needed."
The Creative Districts program is offered through the Colorado Creative Industries of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. If Manitou completes the program's requirements during the next two years, it will shed the candidate title and become· an official Creative District.
The Manitou Springs Arts Council will be the fiscal sponsor and governing board during the two~ year incubation program. Johnson will be the director of the district, and a steering committee comprised of residents will be created.
Manitou was selected from 11 finalists to participate in the program. The final selection came after a visit from program officials this spring.
"They were really impressed with the level of community interest in art," Johnson said. "When they left at the end of the day, they said Manitou just made also encompasses locations on Canon and Ruxton avenues and nearby streets, including the U.S. Post Office, Miramont Castle and Manitou Springs Elementary SchooL
Johnson said the Manitou Creative District will soon receive an initial startup matching grant of $5,000. "After that, it's sort of a wait and see situation," she said. Among the program's stated goals:
Each April, hundreds of school students light up the avenue with a Lantern Parade organized by Concrete Couch. The parade starts at Soda Springs Park at 7:30 pm and ends up at Mansions Park. MSAC has been an ongoing sponsor of this event, providing funding to Concrete Couch to enable artists to work with the students on their creative, illuminating costumes.
MSAC is pleased to announce that it has increased its stipend from $350 to $500 under its public art program, "Art on the Avenue." "MSAC is interested in continuing to bring new artwork to town, and we hope that the increased stipend will encourage more artists to submit entries for our consideration," says Ben Kuckel, MSAC president.
Under the stipend arrangement, the artist remains the owner of the artwork, but loans it to MSAC for public display as part of its "Art on the Avenue" program.
Join MSAC and support the arts! 100% of your donation goes directly to our programs and projects! Once you join you'll receive an acknowledgement and a membership card. This card will entitle you to a 15% discount at Fast Frame (5154 Centennial Blvd., Colorado Springs, CO 80919), located next to FarmCrest at the corner of Centennial Blvd. and 30th Street.
Your MSAC membership card also entitles you to a 10% discount at the Manitou Art Center, 513 Manitou Ave. in Manitou Springs (and the discount increases to 15% if you are both a member of the MAC as well as MSAC).
Indeed, MSAC membership has its privileges! If you aren’t yet a member of MSAC, join today! Annual dues: $25/artist; $30/individual; $50/family. Make your check out to MSAC and mail it to P.O. Box 61, Manitou Springs, CO 80829.
Stickman was designed by Edward Rudolph and built by Louie Schwartz. With the passing of both of those men, Stickman came into the possession of Rudolph's partner Chuck Murphy, owner and CEO of Murphy Constructors of Colorado Springs. Murphy and Rudolph were planning to build an industrial park at one time and Rudolph quickly sketched out the figure who became Stickman, originally intended to stand in front of the industrial park.
Ed Rudolph was a three-time U.S. Olympic team speed skater who moved to Colorado Springs in the 1960s. His wife Gwen was a renowned decorator. Both were killed in a car accident in Wyoming in June, 2009.
He was doodling around and came up with Stickman, Murphy recalls. Rudolph and Murphy shared an interest in public art, which Murphy continues to very actively support.
Murphy has given Stickman to the Manitou Springs Arts Council.