14th annual wine festival

Filed under: Opinion |

I have been in town about a year and a half now and as I meet with different groups and become more involved in the community I have noticed that there are, at times, “silos” — organizations working on similar projects or trying to achieve the same outcome.

Well, I am pleased that there are two groups that are working together for the common good.

After 13 years, the Colorado Springs Dance Theatre is joining with the Pikes Peak Community Foundation’s Mountain of the Sun celebration to create the 14th annual Colorado Springs wine festival. The event will be April 29-30 at the Broadmoor (sorry I couldn’t put that little “A” in there). There also will be seminars at the Garden of The Gods Club.

The proceeds from the event will benefit the “Fund for the Arts.” The group hopes that within 10 years it will have more than $2 million working to support community building efforts for many Colorado Springs arts groups.

One challenge I would throw out to the organizers is why only a two day event? Why not a whole week? Why only 10 vintners? Why not 50? Let’s think big.

I picture white tents in Confluence and Acacia parks, with the free shuttles running people between the venues. I picture Oprah Winfrey’s personal chef putting on a food exhibition. I picture the finale wine tasting taking place at the downtown convention center (I’m also picturing one of those).

If Des Moines, Iowa, can bring together 69 participating wineries with more than 400 wines and 6,000 participants why can’t we?

But even with picturing what the event might be, it will still be a great event – so mark your calendars. For more information contact Liz Youngquist at the Convention and Visitors Bureau at 635-7506, ext.130.

There may be an opportunity to work with another group here. Susan Edmonson and the Colorado Springs Leadership Institute graduates are working on plans for community engagement teams. Two proposed forums are the convention center issue (which I won’t go into this again&at least not at this point) and the idea of a Pikes Peak regional cultural commission. These two groups will probably become interrelated. The Fund for the Arts and the cultural commission would seem to make good partners. I am sure that Michael Hannigan and Susan Edmonson will be getting together.

Other groups around the city may also benefit from combining efforts or initiatives. How about all the leadership groups? Colorado Springs Leadership Institute, Leadership Pikes Peak, Springs Youth Challenge and the Chancellors Leadership at UCCS could come together on some issues. Maybe they will be…watch your CSBJ for future updates on these groups.

Arts Business Education Consortium

Another arts-related happening is the April 20 luncheon for the Arts Business Education Consortium at the Antlers Hilton. The event honors supporters of the arts from the community, schools and business. The CSBJ participates by presenting awards to businesses that support the arts.

I attended for the first time last year and was impressed, both by the event and the support of those in attendance.

Joyce Robinson and Lew Davis are co-chairs and the luncheon is underwritten by the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation. The economic impact of a healthy arts scene in the Pikes Peak region probably has not been tracked, but I believe that there can be little doubt that diversity and offering arts programs is beneficial. Colorado Publishing Co. has subsidized the Colorado Springs Philharmonic Magazine for just this reason.

For more information on the ABEC, please contact Joyce Robinson at 635-3220.

Publishers meeting

Two weeks ago I traveled to Portland, Ore., and spent several days with other business journal publishers. In addition to discussions about accounting procedures (which were actually quite interesting) we discussed initiatives at our respective papers, human resources issues and editorial excellence.

It occurred to me that we were all running our businesses in similar ways, yet at the same time there were differences because of our separate markets. In addition to Colorado Springs, the cities represented were Baltimore, Milwaukee, Portland, New Orleans, Kansas City and Minneapolis. As a publisher, I face the same challenges that most business owners and managers do – containing costs, increasing revenue and market share, as well as putting out the best product possible.

On that last note, we appreciate any feedback you have. So please call me when there is something you like in the CSBJ. On the other hand, if there is something that you don’t like, call our editor, Mike Boyd.