participate in and support arts and culture in our community. You
know and appreciate the power they can have in creating a vibrant and
thriving city. As the CEO of your Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center,
like you, I believe arts and culture are fundamental to a healthy and
flourishing community, and I am asking for your help.
My first week
on the job I met with four families whose kids had participated in
our Youth Documentary Film
Academy, an exciting collaborative effort between the FAC,
filmmaker Tom Shepard, and other community members. Parents from each
of these families thanked me for helping their child find a passion.
They wanted me to know that their children had a newly-found
confidence and vitality developed through the artistic expression of
their stories, some of which were difficult and painful. I was amazed
at the talent of these young artists and the emotive power of their
As a testament
to the power of this program, one of these kids, Bailey Francisco,
was honored in October as this year's Rising Star at the Pikes Peak
Arts Council Awards!
We want to
open doors of artistic expression and experience for many more in our
community. We want to do more innovative programs. Unfortunately, we
don’t have sufficient resources. We can only do so with your support.
country, organizations like ours receive substantial portions of
their funding from government sources. Last year, we received less than
1% of our funding from any public sources. That means
we are uniquely and totally dependent on the generosity of
individuals like you who agree that it is vital for the health of our
city to have a thriving and accessible arts community.
Our Board of Trustees
believes in the Fine Arts Center so strongly that they have pledged more than $100,000
of their own resources this year to our cause. And now they are
issuing a challenge to the community to match that amount in our
consider giving generously. As you reflect on your charitable giving
for the year, I ask you to move the Fine Arts Center higher up on
your list of priorities. Your tax-deductible gift will support our
programs for at-risk youth, for children from under-resourced
communities who lack arts education in their schools, and for
military personnel participating in our Military Artistic Healing
programs. Your gift buys art supplies and theater make-up and pays
for great art exhibitions that we bring to town. And during this
year-end season, you
can answer the challenge from our committed Board of Trustees with
your own valuable donation.
culture are good for the soul. For the soul of the individual and for
the soul of the community. Join us in creating a vibrant and healthy
city. Help us reach more young people like Bailey with the power and joy of art.
I look forward to seeing you soon, and often, at your Fine Arts
All the best,
Why the arts pay
1. True prosperity . . . The arts are fundamental to our humanity. They
ennoble, inspire us and build bridges among different cultures. 2.
Improved academic performance . . . Students with an
education rich in the arts have higher GPAs and standardized test
scores, lower drop-out rates, and better attitudes about community
service. 3. Arts
are an Industry . . . Nonprofit arts organizations
generate $135 billion in economic activity annually, supporting 4.1
million jobs and generating $22.3 billion in government revenue. 4. Arts
are good for local merchants . . . The typical arts
attendee spends $24.60 per person, per event, not including the cost
of admission on items such as meals, parking, and babysitters. 5. Arts
are the cornerstone of tourism . . . Arts travelers
are ideal tourists—they stay longer and spend more. 6. Arts
are an export industry . . . U.S. exports of arts
goods (e.g., movies, paintings, jewelry) grew to $64 billion in 2010,
while imports were just $23 billion—a $41 billion arts trade surplus
the 21st Century workforce . . . Creativity is among
the top 5 applied skills sought by business leaders. 8.
Healthcare . . . Nearly one-half of the nation’s
healthcare institutions provide arts programming for patients,
families, and even staff. 9.
Stronger communities . . . A high concentration of
the arts in a city leads to higher civic engagement, more social
cohesion, higher child welfare, and lower poverty rates. 10.
Creative Industries . . . 905,689 businesses in the
U.S. involved in the creation or distribution of the arts that employ
3.4 million people. SOURCE: "Top
10 Reasons to Support the Arts," 2014, Randy Cohen, Americans
for the Arts