The Beet Street Blog

Archive for the ‘Case Studies’ Category

Arts Incubator of the Rockies Curriculum Design Unveiling

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The Arts Incubator of the Rockies (AIR) is proud to announce a public unveiling of the AIR Curriculum Design that will highlight the hard work, time, and creativity that has been put into place over the past three months of developing the core curriculum.

On Wednesday, April 25th, AIR will be hosting an “Unveiling of Curriculum Design” from 5:30pm-7:00pm at the Lincoln Center, Canyon West room.

Interested visual artists, writers, musicians, performers, designers, arts administrators, other creatives, and community members are invited to attend the presentation to learn more about the developments of what AIR will be offering beginning this fall.

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How to Choose the Best “Call for Entry”

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A Call for Entry is a great way for artists to gain exposure and stay active in their creative works. It can include any form of request from an art studio, exhibit, gallery, or even a contest.

There are differences among these types of entry requests and depending on the type of “call” is how you should plan your application response.

Call for artist websites are filled with opportunities and it can be hard to narrow down which ones you should take the time to apply for. So, how should you decide?

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Christo’s “Over the River” Project

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A dream in the making since 1992 – Christo’s “Over the River” project has been one with its trials and tribulations.

Not only does this artistic project extend beyond anyones imagination of possible outdoor art, it also reaches into some environmental issues and controversial topics.

Christo’s plan (as seen in the image) is to suspend 5.9 miles of fabric over a 42-mile stretch of the Arkansas River between Salida and Cañon City in south-central Colorado.

Cool? Some say yes, some are unsure.

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What’s in a Name?

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Thinking of changing the name of your art business? You might want to consider these 6 points before playing the name game.

You want a title that customers know, that brands you, and represents your art as well as the business you have created behind it.

Once already establishing a name for your business it might seem hard to create a new image for yourself but, fear not! has created 6 tips that they consider to be the most pertinent from an artist/creator point of view.

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Tom Borrup talks about creative economy and rejuvenating communities!

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Listen to the podcast:

Welcome to the first podcast for this blog, featuring Tom Borrup, a leader and innovator in non-profit community and cultural work for over twenty-five years. Tom’s work explores the intersections between

culture, community building, and economic development  and he consults with foundations, nonprofits and public agencies across the U.S. in strategic planning and program evaluation. He has been especially involved with projects nurturing artists and other cultural assets in diverse urban communities, and has served on multiple boards for arts funding and leadership development. Over the course of his career, Tom has consulted with the Rockefeller, Ford, Wallace, and Andy Warhol Foundations, as well as the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. He received his B.A. in Liberal Arts from Goddard College, and continued there to receive his M.A. in Communications and Public Policy. Tom currently teaches for the Graduate Program in Arts Administration at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, and for the Institute for Arts Management at the University of Massachusetts.

When we talked with Tom, we asked him about his views on creative economy and its influence in contemporary times. He shared with us the ways in which the forces of globalization have forced communities to focus on and encourage their multicultural nature as a source of creative efforts and perspectives as well as a continual source of inspiration and learning. Our increasing knowledge of the world around us is forcing us as individuals and communities to revisit the ways in which we function and to think creatively as we adapt new ideas and new cultures into our lives. For Tom, this perspectival shift is becoming central to community survival.

Creativity is about being inquisitive and being open to new ideas as well as new ways those ideas can be put together. Artists are central to the sustenance of creativity as this is part of their natural way of working and being as individuals. Thriving communities are open and welcoming to new ideas and new people. Cultural celebrations bring people together and are a baseline ingredient for encouraging a true sense of community. Tom shares with us several examples from his work over the years as well as how different arts organizations and community initiatives encourage creative communities to thrive. We hope you will learn as much as we did about participating in community based arts from Tom and look forward to seeing you all at our own Finding Home celebrations over the month of April!

With thanks to frenchista and pbo31 for the images!

Kirsten Broadfoot

Make yourself at home!

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What does “home” mean to you? Does home mean a building, or somewhere that you feel comfortable? What tastes or smells like home? Collard greens, tortillas, steaming rice or noodles–green bean casserole? How long has your family called Fort Collins, or Colorado, or the United States your home? If you are Native American, the Americas have always been your ancestral home, if not it’s likely that someone in your family’s past journeyed from somewhere else–to what today we call the United States. Some of our ancestors were forced to cross the Atlantic, others made epic journeys and stayed, while many others did not. (According to Irving Howe, for example, one-third of European immigrants who came to North America between 1908 and 1924 returned home).

Since U.S. schools have traditionally framed themselves as agents of assimilation, we have been taught that immigrants who assimilated were successful, although researcher Richard Rothstein shows that during the immigration period from 1880 to 1915, very few Americans did well in school–immigrants of all backgrounds did poorly. The myth of “first generation” immigrants making it in their new home is not supported by research; indeed, it shows that only successive generations achieved more academically! The process of finding home is often tough and traumatic.

For generations, many Americans imagined themselves thrown into the melting pot, or in the case of African Americans they constructed culture while they were denied the opportunity to jump in. Not all Americans are the descendants of immigrants, and today, few people find the concept of a melting pot of culture appealing–the high temperature of the metaphor evokes the actual pain of assimilation! We prefer to imagine ourselves as a patchwork, a nation that is more like a quilt with different cultural traditions and contributions forming the pattern. Our eclectic foodways, as mentioned earlier for example, reflect the contributions of family dinners from around the globe, and should serve to remind us that finding home takes different ingredients.

Early immigrants are celebrated for laying the foundations of U.S. culture and economy, while new neighbors are often blamed for the inequity they face in our society. On one hand, we celebrate and mythologize European immigrants of the past, and on the other, we often stereotype or even fear people currently trying to find their way home.


Guillermo Gómez-Peňa

Guillermo Gómez-Peňa visited Fort Collins last year–check out his Strange Democracy performance to get his take on anti-immigration hysteria. What part do you and your family play in this still unfolding story? Between April 2 and May 3, Beet Street‘s Finding Home Series celebrates our collective past–everyday our histories and lives make Fort Collins lively and vibrant. How will you participate? How will you celebrate your story? How will you celebrate your home?

These are important material questions. One half of the world’s population, for example, approximately 3 billion people on six continents, lives or works in buildings constructed of earth. Between 1927 and 1935, New Mexico immigrants John and Inez Rivera Romero built a four-room adobe house in Fort Collins’ Andersonville district. Members of the Romero family called that house “home” until the Poudre Landmarks Foundation purchased it in 2001. The Romero House stands as a monument to many immigrants who worked skillfully to create an inexpensive, yet sound, home in a short period of time. Finding home meant making adobe bricks–sand and clay mixed with water and straw, then drying them in the open air. The Romero House (renovated into the Museo de las Tres Colonias) serves as an interpretative center to celebrate the contributions of the Hispanic community in northern Colorado. Find out what’s planned for April in our home town and come and celebrate with us!

Thanks for the mouth watering photo by 水泳男!

Deborah-Eve Lombard

America’s Malls | New Home For Art?

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main street
Raise your hand if you have a sad ageing mall that is more dead than alive in a town near you. My hand is raised. A few weeks ago I visited the mall and did a lap just to see the state of the mall’s economy. This was days before Christmas and I had no problem navigating the mall, no crowd to deal with. In fact I think a game of touch football could have been played in those hallways and no one would have been bothered.

It reminded me of my childhood visits to Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry. (Which I have to admit is still one of my favorite places on planet Earth.) The museum has an exhibit called "Yesterday’s Main Street," which is a reproduction of 1910 Chicago. The decaying mall reminded me of the "Main Street" of my youth, the mall. I remember spending hours in a crowded mall full of stores and a food court crammed with eateries. It is a bygone era. Today we live in the age of "lifestyle centers."

But what to do with those dying malls? Even though they are in a sad state they are not quite ready for the wrecking ball yet.

Our current economy finds art organization in a similar boat. Funding is drying up and survival is in question. Can the two help each other? In Missouri the answer is, "yes they can."

Crestwood Court, a mall in St. Louis, is becoming home to a new art scene. The Southeast Missourian reports that a local theater company turned an empty store into the company’s theater and a vacant Dillards has become an art gallery over flowing with visual art. Due to the state of the mall the rent is "just North of nothing" according to the gallery owner.

This of course is nothing new to the art world. Artists have often taken over buildings discarded by society. The Factory is probably the most well know. Warhol’s New York studio that cost about $100 a month in the 1960’s. But all over the world can be found abandoned buildings from the industrial age of our nation being used for studios and galleries. Crestwood Court in Missouri may just be the first of a new trend.

Tough times force people to be creative. This is a great modern example of two cultures coming together to keep each other alive.

Read the full article here.


Thanks kthyprn for the use of the photo.

Written by Daryle Dickens

January 6th, 2009 at 7:00 am

Art Installation Brings NYC $69 Million

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The purpose of this blog is to discuss the power of art and culture on economies, communities, and future generations. I believe we can start with a simple example as a first step to getting this blog off the ground, The New York City Waterfalls. A large art installation that took place in NYC over the summer. This description is from the city’s official press release:

“The exhibition of four man-made waterfalls of monumental scale are on view on the shores of the New York waterfront: one on the Brooklyn anchorage of the Brooklyn Bridge; one on the Brooklyn Piers, between Piers 4 and 5 near the Brooklyn Heights Promenade; one in Lower Manhattan at Pier 35 north of the Manhattan Bridge; and one on the north shore of Governors Island. The Waterfalls, which have been designed to protect water quality and aquatic life, will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, except Tuesdays and Thursdays, when they will run from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. The Waterfalls will be lit after sunset.”

Now let’s look at some numbers. It cost $15.5 million in direct spending for the waterfalls. That includes building materials, promotion, installation, and dis-assembly of the work. Money that no doubt fed directly into the local economy via contractors, ad agencies, construction crews, and the like.

There was an estimated 1.4 million visitors to the waterfalls and it is estimated that they spent about $26.3 million incrementally. And lastly there was an estimated $26.8 million in “indirect spending from these expenditures.”

These dollar amounts come from New York Economic Development Corporation who hired an independent firm to do the economic study. Mayor Bloomberg seems quite proud of the $69 million the waterfalls are said to have brought into the city. He also spoke of other indirect benefits the waterfalls had:

“People didn’t buy tickets or pass through a turnstile to experience the Waterfalls, but this exhibition brought people to areas of the city they might not otherwise ever have visited. We’ve always understood that we have to encourage big, bold projects that set our City apart, and this will be increasingly important while areas of our economy are struggling from the turmoil on Wall Street.”

Written by Daryle Dickens

November 17th, 2008 at 11:26 am