Cultural Community Programs#
Integrating Art and Culture into Fort Collins
Cultural Community Programs aim to integrate arts and culture experiences into the Fort Collins community by activating unconventional public spaces. The Program includes a broad focus on all art forms and disciplines with an equitable engagement strategy.
The Program is envisioned in the 2019 FoCo Creates Arts and Culture Master Plan. The Program has been funded through American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) appropriations initially in 2022, and again for the 2023-2024 budget cycle.
The Program intends to provide accessible opportunities for Fort Collins community members to experience and engage with local arts and culture. The following approaches are used by the Program:
- Pop-up performances: Artists and creatives pop-up in public spaces such as along trails, in parks, or within neighborhoods. Pop-ups series are often aligned to a specific art form and theme.
- Supporting external events: Events planned by local non-profit organizations and community members may align to the Program's vision for accessible arts and culture experiences and the Program may support events by funding artists and creatives when alignment is strong. The Program does not support fundraising or for-profit events, events that charge admission or ask for donations, and does not engage in grant making.
- Co-creation: By deferring to community members and artists, the Program leads with co-creation in nearly all engagements to elevate and highlight the ideas of community members.
- Curation: The Program curates arts and culture programming while aiming to include all art forms and disciplines over time to highlight the diversity of creative people and artistic disciplines in our community.
Cultural Community Programs celebrated one year of public programming in June 2023. The Program's Annual Report is available to view by following the button below. Between June 2022 and June 2023, the Program accomplished the following:
- 108 unique engagements
- 33 internal and external partnerships
- 249 artists hired, including individuals part of groups
- 4,700+ community members engaged, actively and passively
Where can you engage with the Program?#
Cultural Community Programs are designed to meet people where they are in places they already plan to be. This approach is intentional and leads to serendipitous and meaningful experiences. You may notice our promotional posters in the community. Often, they lack specific information about where to find the program. This is intentional! We hope to generate a buzz and excitement within the community that you can stumble upon unique art and culture any time, while also being intentional about where we introduce programming. The Program also empowers artists facilitating engagements to spread the word on their own platforms.
Check back often as we will include more specific information on this page from time to time. And, be on the look out for unique, unexpected art pop-ups wherever you may be, especially during warmer months when outdoor activities are most suitable. During colder months, we tend to curate programming that supports specific partners.
Cultural Community Programs are constantly occurring across the Fort Collins community. Find more information about our current publicly accessible projects below.
In partnership with Colorado State University's Dance Department, come dance with us during free, pop-up dances planned to occur in the community this fall. Check back for details on date, time, and location.
In 2022, Community Dances occurred in City Park, Rolland Moore Park, Lee Martinez Park, Buckingham Park, at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, Downtown Library, Columbine Health, and more.
Below you will find a summary of various programming that has taken place over recent months.
Our Animal Body#
Our Animal Body was a literary art project that included a 10-foot found-object sculpture which served as the collection vessel for community responses to five writing prompts encouraging community members to think about our similarities and differences to the natural environment. In March, a community event led to the development of collaborative poem, which was then printed in a zine. Nearly 100 copies of the zine have been distributed to coffee shops, Free Little Libraries, and other locations.
Dancing in Our Sorrow and Joy#
In partnership with Full Expression! A Dance Collective, Dancing in Our Sorrow and Joy brought musical theater, contemporary dance, belly dance, and live music to two Fort Collins Parks in April. Over four performances, more than 200 community members were immersed into micro-performances that featured 12 local creatives. Click the button below to view photos from Dancing in Our Sorrow and Joy.
Let's Ride: an arts-bound transit experience#
Throughout May 2023, five musicians and four literary artists popped-up at select transit stations in partnership with Transfort. During nine 1-hour pop-ups, community members listened to live, local music, picked free poems, and had poems written for them on the spot. Click the button below to view photos from select Let's Ride pop-ups.
In June 2023, eight local LGBTQ-identifying musicians each performed 1-hour performances while riding in the back of a cargo bike provided by the Fort Collins Bicycle Co-op. Each artist was taken along a unique route where they filled the atmosphere with music, serenaded individuals, or played a song or two for small groups they stumbled upon.
Interactive chalk art#
During this unpromoted series in July 2023, 10 local artists installed interactive chalk art in various locations. Artists were prompted do inject their unique artistic style into a drawing they could complete in one-hour. The results were fun, seemingly random chalk art taken to the next level. Installations lasted until the rain washed them away, which ranged from minutes after completion to a day or two after.
Throughout August 2023, 9 local artists popped-up to facilitate free printmaking activities highlighting several printmaking techniques ranging from gel prints, cyanotypes, and basic relief printing. Did you know? The word "impressit" is a Latin word used by printmakers to identify work they created themselves. This series offered community members the chance to create their own unique prints and make their mark. Click the button below to view photos from select ImpressIt pop-ups.
Traditional Serenatas are a unique way of expressing adoration of a romantic partner in many Latin cultures. Serenatas typically include Spanish-language songs that speak to feelings of love and gratitude. This series featured four musicians or bands who performed at 10 unique locations between mid-September and early-October 2023.
View images below from a variety of Cultural Community Program engagements, particularly engagements beyond our pop-up series.
Elisa Garcia performs during Las Serenatas pop-ups in Alta Vista in September 2023.
Community members create prints with artist Chelsea Ermer during ImressIt pop-up in August 2023.
Students make jewelry with artist Amanda Laudermilch in August 2023 during a Recreation Department back-to-school event.
Aerica Raven chalks at Avery Park in July 2023.
Local musician Alysia Kraft serenades community members during Rainbow Rhythms in June 2023.
Poet Cori Storb sets up at W. Elizabeth and S. Taft Hill Rd. during May 2023's Let's Ride series.
CSU dance students perform at Old Town Library with the Library's all-electric mobile library, Evie, in May 2023.
Graphic artist Seojung Lee instructs a community member on t-shirt screen printing at Funktional in April 2023.
Belly dancer Kisha Witty performs during Dancing in Our Sorrow and Joy in April 2023.
A community member helps assemble a collaborative community poem titled Our Animal Body in March 2023.
Musician Russick Smith performs at Sugar Beet Park in September 2022 during the Programs first pop-up series.
CSU dance students perform at Buckingham Park in November 2022.
Members of Studio Colombia perform on CSU campus for 2022 Latin Hispanic Heritage Month.
Members of the Iron Family Singers and Dancers perform during the Programs first activation on June 21, 2022.
For more information about current or past programming, contact Nick Heimann, Cultural Community Programs Manager, at email@example.com.
The Program curates all programming; there is not an application or request for proposals process. However, if you are interested in showing us your artistic talent, contact Cultural Community Programs Manager. Please note that we receive a high volume of emails introducing creatives to the Program. We may not respond. We may reach out in the future if planned programming aligns closely with your art.