Manitou Springs is widely perceived as a place for artists and the arts. To nurture and sustain both artists and the arts, a proposal to create the Manitou Springs Arts Commission was presented to, and accepted by, the Manitou Springs City Council in 2004. After gaining 501c3 non-profit status, it spun off from being a government agency and became the Manitou Springs Arts Council (MSAC) in 2006.
Soon after the MSAC was established, it worked with City Council to create a “Process for Selecting and Displaying Public Art.” In 2007 the MSAC was granted the authority, after review by City Council, to select and display all public art in Manitou Springs.
A few highlights of the past are listed below. For a more complete list click here.
• Administer and curate the “Art on the Avenue” project, under which MSAC has brought 30 sculptures to Manitou Springs. Five are owned by MSAC and 25 are on loan from artists who receive a stipend for allowing them to be displayed.
• Support and help sponsor District 14’s ongoing art project which enlivens downtown via 60 colorful banners created by our public school students for the city’s lamp posts.
• Support a variety of Concrete Couch’s projects whereby teens and adults use their creative and artistic talents on public art projects including unique mosaic benches at Cheyenne Spring Park, mandalas in Soda Springs Park, artistic public restrooms in Soda Springs Park, stone and tile benches along CreekWalk Trail, lettering in the sidewalk at Soda Springs Park, the annual Lantern Parade, and others.
• Sponsor the Little London Winds summer music concert series as well as the annual Manitou Chamber Music Festival which takes place in July-August each year.
• Co-host, with the Manitou Springs Heritage Center, the Beer and Wine Garden at Commonwheel Artists’ Art Festival to share information about the mission and support local music talent featured on nearby stage.
• Partnered with the Manitou Art Center, other organizations, the Chamber of Commerce and City Officials to obtain a “Creative District” designation from Colorado Creative Industries (a Colorado state agency), and serving as the fiscal organization for the “Creative District.”