As we embrace a new year, I reflect on a quote from an artist and musician I have admired since I was a teenager and had the good fortune to see live at Red Rocks many years later. Carlos Santana said — “There is no greater reward than working from your heart, and making a difference in the world.”
Thinking back over the past year, CBCA has indeed led with heart and made a positive difference in the lives of many Coloradans. We’ve faced challenges and embraced change, juggled growth and created new opportunities, evolved and accomplished many meaningful feats, all while building capacity within and outside of our organization. Connecting and supporting artists, businesses, cultural institutions and creatives of all kinds has been our drumbeat through thick and thin. Passion, dedication and innovation fuels our mission and vision perhaps more now than ever before as we focus on rebuilding our creative economy and business vitality to pre-pandemic levels. Working at the intersection of arts and business, CBCA continues to prioritize and invest in equity, inclusion, diversity and accessibility (EIDA) values and initiatives toward making the arts accessible for all in Colorado.
3 A’s dominated CBCA in 2022: Arts Advocacy, Advancing Creatives Intensive and ArtsConnect
Arts Advocacy – CBCA advocated on behalf of artists and creative industries influencing policy makers and advancing impactful state legislation in support of the arts and cultural sector, driving both economic recovery and community benefit. Two major CBCA advocacy initiatives, Colorado Cultural Champions and the Colorado Arts Action Network were also a focus for 2022.
Advancing Creatives Intensive (ACI) – CBCA accelerated the Advancing Creatives program, launched in 2020, to better serve artists and creative entrepreneurs through ACI. Last summer, CBCA held its first six-week intensive curriculum focused on goal setting, planning and professional skill building for a cohort of creative small business owners, helping them to achieve and succeed in their businesses.
ArtsConnect – CBCA is a gateway to connecting arts and business, and a primary way we do that for our members is through our monthly ArtsConnect events. With being forced to transition to virtual arts and cultural experiences during the height of the pandemic, we were elated to engage and entertain our members at a variety of live, in-person offerings throughout the year showcasing our state’s diverse and robust visual arts, dance, theater, music and museums. CBCA is the connective tissue bringing arts and business together in Colorado.
These three A’s will continue to be a priority in 2023 as: CBCA champions arts advocacy and policy priorities at the local, state and federal level; launches ACI in Colorado Springs February 10-12 and again in the Denver metro region later in the year; and anticipates continued growth of CBCA membership and members convening at monthly ArtsConnect events. Ongoing CBCA programs and events, such as Colorado Attorneys for the Arts (CAFTA), Leadership Arts, and two more Arts + Industry Forums focused on Arts & Wellness and Arts + Environmental Sustainability are also in the works for 2023. Furthermore, CBCA’s commitment to expanding its impact statewide will remain a focus in 2023 as well as its prioritization of EIDA initiatives.
Thinking back to just a year ago, we were cautiously planning programming with Omicron surging and we were hopeful another variant would not adversely effect our annual Business for the Arts Awards luncheon, the largest annual gathering of arts, business and civic leaders in the state. Although 2022 was not a sell-out event, as in most years, the pandemic tide had indeed turned and we were thrilled to welcome back our members, sponsors, partners, performers and recognize the honorees. A lot has transpired over the past year, and we couldn’t be more excited to celebrate this year’s honorees at the 2023 Awards on March 7!
In hindsight, it’s been another year of transformative change at CBCA and for the arts in Colorado, and I predict 2023 will continue us along this journey. There’s so much to look forward to with CBCA in 2023, and I do so with a full heart along with the conviction of CBCA’s staff, board, members and volunteers who all make a difference in growing our impact and spreading hope, joy, wellness and prosperity in and through the arts.
Christin Crampton Day