Archive for the ‘People’s Choice Awards’ tag
Enterprise: from entreprendre to undertake, a project or undertaking that is especially difficult, complicated, or risky; readiness to engage in daring or difficult action; initiative; a unit of economic organization or activity; a systematic purposeful activity.
As we have discussed in previous posts about the creative economy and creative communities, at the center of these phenomena lie partnerships between enterprise and creativity, or at least creative and entrepreneurial agents. Such partnerships are also connections between the work we do and the people we are. Many entrepreneurs are highly creative people and many creatives people are also enterprising. That is, both groups take into their own hands (undertake) work they see in need of completion. These people see needs many of us do not; they are also compelled to jump into these voids, in a spirit of true creativity, in order to meet such needs. They spark conversations with their risk taking, and in doing so, open up new conversations about how we should think and be together. Some are driven by the imagination of individuals, others by familial bonds, but all by a deep passionate commitment to making a part of the world just a little more livable for all of us.
In these late modern times, we are so concerned with the economic dimensions of society that we see entrepreneurial activity in terms of start-up businesses and industrial clusters. Indeed, it does not take much to see all the entrepreneurial sprouts in green technology in Fort Collins. All of them innovative ideas driven by pressing social and economic needs, both here and abroad. These creative enterprises (yes, creative, because they are bringing to life new forms) are highly vulnerable and like most creative enterprises and entrepreneurs of old, dependent on benefactors and sponsors for their continuing production. To keep their creative and economic fires burning, they organize in clusters such as RMI2, Clean Tech, and Bio.
Artists also, no matter of what stripe, seek the same cluster of familiarity in order to support each other in their fragile early careers as we have discussed in terms of the diverse artist groups and collectives that exist in Northern Colorado. For example, in a small arcade on Oak Street, near the Taj Mahal, a new gallery called Leap of Faith Fine Art Gallery features a diverse group of upcoming artists, offering them a chance to display their work for low fees. There is local photography by Mike Murphy, Paul Weber and James Leveillee; original paintings from David Fedeli, Dave Reiter, Don Brown, Bereniche Aguiar and Connie Uroze; as well as ceramic sculpture from Don Campbell, alabaster by Karin Troendle and hand crafted oil candles by Lady D. My son fell in love with a river scene coffee table by Robert Franklin while the work of Georgia Rowswell inspired me. Stop by and check out their work! Leap of Faith is currently running a ‘people’s choice’ contest with different works of art until the end of June. Each artist in the contest submits a piece for $5 and then the public votes on their choice. The winner is awarded the pot of submissions! These contests are held every 2 months, so if you would like to enter, contact the folks at Leap of Faith at 970.493.LEAP or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, there is perhaps a quintessential meeting of enterprising creativity at the French Nest Market, held in the Civic Center Park from 9am to 3 pm every second Saturday between July and October (July 11th, August 8th, September 12th, and October 10th). It’s the allure of Paris in the springtime transported to Northern Colorado, featuring an open-air vintage, antique, and artisan market. As Alissa Bush, co-owner puts it, “It’s a destination. A place where you can spend the entire morning; a little shopping, a little eating….” So, if you are interested in vintage, antique, new, unique, funky, homemade, handmade, or otherwise made goods and if you’re local, eco-friendly, and/or ultra-hip, the French Nest Open-Air Market may be just the place for you! The French Nest group of entrepreneurs will take care of the enterprise part so you can do the creative part and get your work known in Northern Colorado! For more information, email email@example.com.
I hope to see you there!
Here’s to enterprising creativity in everyday life!
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On Monday morning, we had the very distinct pleasure of speaking with Mary Harnett, past Secretary and Director, now Education Coordinator for CoCOA, the Colorado Coalition of Artists. Mary herself is a fine artist, an oil painter of southwest landscapes here in Fort Collins, and has been with CoCOA from its beginnings as an artist cooperative in 2003.
As with many art groups, CoCOA is relatively unknown in our community, despite considerable outreach efforts into our community. However, this week, they are holding their annual member’s exhibit with their first ever People’s Choice Awards, where visitors to the exhibition at the Poudre River Arts Center Main Gallery can vote on different pieces. If you have time this week, the exhibit runs Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10-5 each day and CoCOA members will be on hand to answer any questions about the art or artists that you may have. The winners will be announced June 16 at the general meeting.
CoCOA is a non profit, volunteer led and run organization, dedicated to supporting a community of artists in the area. CoCOA was originally a small group of artists who came together at one artist’s studio to do live drawing together. Through this experience, some of the artists, particularly Rachel Herrera, a well known artist in Fort Collins, started the organization and obtained a separate building on Mason Street. From there, CoCOA rented out studio spaces for artists and a space for artists to give workshops and classes as well as continue their core work in live and figure drawing.
CoCOA, as a cooperative of artists, is one tribe of our larger community of artists here in Fort Collins and Northern Colorado. Most artists, are individuals, creating individual pieces and yet, far from competing with each other, in order to survive, artists tend to gather together to support their work. Mary discusses many of these groups in the podcast moving across diverse forms of art – visual arts, music, crafts, theater, fly fishing etc. While it is not common for a diverse range of artists from these groups to perform together in an interdisciplinary fashion, they do tend to enter the community to share their works in similar spaces and events.
In this respect, community partners, especially businesses, are extremely important to such creative groups and communities. Donations, be they financial or products, are important, but CoCOA also uses creative techniques to encourage artists to continue their work. One program invites pledges from individuals for hours of artist time, while another, like the support of Everyday Joe’s, donates space and a portion of sales from a drink named after CoCOA back to the cooperative. Finally, CoCOA has a lecture series for the public featuring artists, psychologists and City representatives who will discuss their Art in Public Places Program.
In the future, CoCOA would like to hold a wildlife exhibit and partner with the Division of Wildlife to continue their community outreach. Volunteers have also gone to schools and the Drug Courts to teach art and these activities are projects CoCOA would like to continue. Perhaps most importantly, like most creative community organizations, CoCOA will need to become more formalized and supported operationally through grants so that they can manage themselves with paid positions as well as volunteers. This is a crucial transition point for such organizations, and as a result, for the sustainability of a creative community and economy.
We hope you enjoy our conversation with Mary about the past, present and future of CoCOA, its partners and like minded artists groups, as well as the actions necessary for supporting a creative community. Please pay a visit to the exhibit at the Poudre River Arts Center to vote in the People’s Choice Awards if you have time this week and check out the beautiful work of our community. As we move through the rest of the year, keep an eye out for opportunities to explore, experience and contribute to our creative endeavors here in Fort Collins and Northern Colorado.
Remember – Art is Us.
Entrancing. Provocative. Celebratory. Poignant. Mythic. These are just some of the ways I have heard people in the community describe their engagement with the ideas and performances shared by the Imagination Fair and Laurie Anderson this past weekend. My family was downtown on Friday evening to capture the performances and music there on an early summer evening and witnessed the atmosphere created by That 1 Guy and others on the Oak Street Plaza. So caught up were we in the relaxed, fun filled atmosphere, we did not even make it to see what was happening at Opera Galleria! Others, however, journeyed on to be captivated by the Laser Harps and the works of local artists presented in CoCOA’s annual member exhibition at the Poudre River Arts Center as they voted on the People’s Choice Awards and celebrated our own local art community at the First Friday Gallery Walk.
Then on Saturday, a close to full house at the Lincoln Center witnessed the extraordinary talent of Laurie Anderson as she mixed music, metaphor, social commentary, light, life and air to fill that space with imagination, laughter and reflection. With stories ranging across the continent and beyond, Anderson enthralled the audience with accounts of small Amish boys learning to kiss without affection, hitch-hiking to the North Pole, staying in bed all day and teaching adult students at night school, narrowly escaping a hatchet and more successfully escaping the burn ward as a child, not to mention the precise performances of working at McDonald’s. She, the “ugly one with the jewels”, also spoke on indigenous people’s encounters with that strange tribe that calls themselves ‘anthropologists’, all the time reminding the audience of the ways we learn to be with each other and the multiple and diverse motivations for our actions, be they money, salvation, education and of course, self-preservation and identity.
Outlining “the stories of stories”, Anderson asked the audience “what are days for?” and to reflect on what some have described as the end of ‘American Empire’, when the people realized, like her little dog, that “attacks could come from above as well.” It was an evening of remembering (re-membering, or the ways in which we bring people from the back of our mind to the forefront of same) and forgetting, not to mention reflecting on what we choose to remember and forget in our stories. As I watched her skip lithely on stage to acknowledge her standing ovation for the third time, I dreamed that I might find myself at her age, capable of such wit, energy, art and love of life. It was an evening that will stay with me for a long time.
Tomorrow, the Science Café presents Dr Arlyn Andrews of the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Laboratories) in Boulder. Dr Andrews’ presentation is entitled “Carbon Detectives” and discusses her colleagues’ efforts to monitor and understand the global carbon cycle and the importance of taking quick action to reduce carbon dioxide pollution. The event is free and starts at 5:30pm at the Stonehouse Grille - we hope to see you there!
Don’t forget to leave us a comment on your experiences of these events – it would be great to hear from you!