Debates and Discussions

Reader: If the arts come together, we can move a Fourteener!

Yesterday, Show and Tell asked readers to weigh in on the nine questions on the table for three creative artists/entrepreneurs -- Lonnie Hanzon, Jimmy Sellars, and Marie Gibbons -- on the panel for last night's EatART panel at Fresh City Life.

I was the moderator, and the conversation turned out to be so lively that the panel only got to a handful of the questions. But Picklehelm Productions, a northern Colorado outfit, took the request to heart, and issued a major missive:

1.In this current economic climate, how have your priorities as an artist shifted?Colorado has the unique problem of being like the internet: everything for free. I'm trying to create a better economic environment by building solid business.2.Has the way in which you promote the arts changed because of the economy?You have to provide value, value, value.3.What is your vision for the long term?The long term aspect is good we have all the right elements to put together a tremendous scene and do alot of business however, it is going to take some significant cultural changes to pull it off but I think people are ready.4.What imaginative and practical approaches are needed to sustain the arts through this period?Well its time to change the way we do business of art, fashion, music etc. We need to not look at ourselves as a one horse cow town with no value. We need to realize our intrinsic value and show people that value and then charge a reasonable rate for it. This will even create jobs.5.Can there exist a connection between authentic, personal vision and responsibility to your community - artistic or otherwise?Art is community and community is art they are inextricably tied together. That is why I'm creating Denver Fashion Week. Its a new kind of fashion week whose focus is on business, buyers, and making designers money. The languishing fashion industry can set an example for other artistic endeavors in Denver. I also own Picklehelm Productions and between our 5 divisions we are busy building the arts scene in Northern Colorado and in Denver as well. Its through avenues like this we build a solid art community and create the cultural change.6.What new opportunities are there to deepen the value of the arts to individuals, to society and to the economy?Entertainment is a big industry and art is a big industry however no one has come up with a solid business model upon the subject as if yet. The key is value and providing entertainment in a uniquely colorado way. Colorado isn't just about skiing and snowboarding anymore. We are diversifying.7.What is the role of the arts in building a strong future for the nation?Art not only has the opportunity to change thought on a variety of subjects but it has the unique opportunity to be practical as well in design and a variety of applications. Its integral to the economy and the future of useful and spectacular goods. Colorado can become the silicon valley of design.8.How can (or should) the community protect and strengthen their ties to local arts?The community needs to support the arts by helping to make funding available, regular attendance and the proper setting up of public organizations to move art forward. If the whole city can come together on something like this we can move a fourteener!

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun