#Celebrating80Years: 2017 marked 80 years of working with Colorado’s nonprofits as they seek to strengthen their communities. Throughout 2018, we will be looking back on this history of the outstanding organizations and the people the Trustees have had the opportunity to support. On the blog you will find a history of the Foundation’s grant making and a representative organization from every year since our founding in 1937.
A centerpiece for entertainment in El Paso County, the Pikes Peak Center in downtown Colorado Springs now hosts more than 200 performances annually, from opera to symphony to ballet. In line with Julie Penrose’s love for music and the arts, El Pomar granted a total of $ 3.1 million toward the construction of the center from 1977 to 1980 and an additional $2 million for building improvements in 2004.
Grantee Spotlight: Pikes Peak Center
While known in Colorado Springs today as a center for entertainment and culture, the Pikes Peak Center was built in part to help revive the city’s downtown business district in 1982. The Great Hall of the Center was constructed with an eye toward aesthetics and has since received international admiration for the unique design and acoustical elements. The Pikes Peak Center is an important part of the Colorado Springs community; it is owned by El Paso County and managed by the Broadmoor World Arena, a 501(c)(3).
With nearly 2,000 seats and more than 200 shows performed annually, the Pikes Peak Center is a vital asset to the artistic and cultural identity of Colorado Springs. The Center has showcased a variety of operas including La Traviata, performances with both the Colorado Springs Philharmonic and world-renowned violinist Joshua Bell, and a rendition of a holiday favorite, The Nutcracker. In the Center’s growth, it also began to host a variety of touring shows, ranging from rock artists such as Alice Cooper to comedians like Tim Allen. As a nonprofit organization, the Broadmoor World Arena Youth and Community Assistance Fund helps other 501(c)(3) organizations rent space at both the Pikes Peak Center and Broadmoor World Arena for various community events.
El Pomar in 1977:
In 1977, El Pomar Foundation awarded 39 different grants for a total of $5.1 million. There was an emphasis on supporting arts and cultural organizations as notable grants were made to the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Central City Opera House Association, Pikes Peak Center, and Colorado Springs Symphony.
Image from: http://www.pikespeakcenter.com/venue-info/venue-info-1
Spotlight by Kathryn Benson