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Business support of the arts likely growing in Colorado Springs

Tags: Recent News

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Wayne Heilman, The Gazette 

Raising money from businesses for arts and culture organizations has never been an easy sell in Colorado Springs, but some groups are reporting greater success in the past few years as the local economy has improved and the role arts play in recruiting millennial-generation employees has grown.

No group actively tracks business support for the arts, but Andy Vick, executive director of the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region, and Dirk Draper, CEO of the Colorado Springs Chamber and EDC, believe local businesses are increasing their support of arts organizations ranging from the Colorado Springs Philharmonic to the Manitou Arts Center.

That support ranges from donations and volunteer help to sponsorship of major programs and shows and hiring musicians, artists and actors to perform at corporate events or create gifts for clients.

"Business support for the arts is increasing just as all philanthropy has grown as the economy improves," said David Dahlin, CEO of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. "It does seem to be a little easier to get businesses to do a sponsorship or underwriting. While our corporate support is growing, it's not a huge part of our budget."

The El Pomar Foundation often plays the role in Colorado Springs that large corporate headquarters do in other cities as the largest donor to many organizations. The $500 million charity gives more than $20 million annually for arts and culture, civic and community initiatives, education, health and human services. 

Read the full article here