OCC-Manitou shuttle added feature for this year's 'corridor' ArtWalk
OCC has 17 ArtWalk participants; first event April 6March 22, 2018
It's been 15 years since a free shuttle connected Old Colorado City and Manitou Springs.
That's going to change from April to December, at least for the 2018 First Friday ArtWalks, which will start April 6.
During ArtWalks, from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m., people can ride at no cost on a free bus that will run every half-hour between
In cooperation with the plan, Manitou agreed this year to move its monthly ArtWalks (also April-December) from the third Friday to the first - thus matching up with OCC and downtown.
Old Town will actually serve as a shuttle transfer point, because two other ArtWalk buses - also free - will be running loops, 20 minutes apart, to connect OCC with five downtown-area art locales. (See graphic, second from top of this page.)
The ArtWalk shuttle plan emerged at the March 12 Colorado Springs City Council work session, as part of the process to have council informally recognize the downtown-to-Manitou avenue segment as a “creative corridor.”
Making the corridor presentation to council were Karen Cullen, executive director of the Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) business group; and Andy Vick, executive director of the nonprofit Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region (COPPeR).
With the transfer set-up, the shuttle “will be a huge benefit to Old Colorado City,” Cullen said afterward. “If you want to go to Manitou, you have to go through OCC.”
Council's corridor resolution, supported by consensus March 12 and scheduled for a confirming vote March 27, boasts that Old Colorado City supports more than 400 artists and 15 galleries, and adds, “With murals on structures and stores wedged between buildings, art and innovation [are] not confined to shops alone, but located throughout the design and charm of the historic gold rush city.”
The downtown-to-OCC shuttle started last summer. The shuttle funding is provided by COPPeR, with financial help from the city.
On the shuttles, according to the COPPeR website, “local artists and performers [will] entertain you, guide you and share stories and interesting facts about our community.”
For about 20 years, ending in 2003, a free summer shuttle service - featuring for much of that time the colorful, open-air “jolly trolleys" - had run between Manitou and Old Colorado City. According to a Westside Pioneer article in 2005, the service ended mainly because of rising costs. (That article can be found at this link.)
Organized by several gallery owners, Old Colorado City's First Friday ArtWalk is starting its 13th year. The time frame is 5 to 8 p.m. There is no charge. Locations are usually marked with event flags.
People can visit as many locations as they like in a free, self-guided way. Most offer refreshments, live entertainment and/or art demonstrations.
OCC's 17 participating shops/galleries this year are all within the historic shopping district, along Colorado Avenue from 24th to 27th Street. They are as follows (street number in parentheses):
45 Degree Gallery (2528-B), Arati Artists Gallery (2425), By Design Gems (2520½), Chavez Gallery (2524½), Colorado Creative Co-Op (2513½), Colorado Fine Art Works (2616; #1), Cucuru Gallery Café (2332), Febra's Boutique & Gallery (2532), Hunter-Wolff Gallery (2510), Laura Reilly Fine Arts Gallery (2522), Oaks Glass Gallery (2616; #16) Running Wolf Gallery (2514), Safron of Manitou Springs (2511), Second Floor Studios (2418; upstairs), Silver Sparrow Beads (2501; #101), Squash Blossom (2531) and Thunder Mountain Trading Company (2508-A).
According to Sharon Wolff, owner of the Hunter-Wolff Gallery and lead OCC ArtWalk organizer, the event has also found additional sponsors this year. "That allows us to better promote the event to gain a greater reach," she said. "Each gallery does its own thing for ArtWalk, and the monies do not go to the galleries for the event but for advertising and promotion. Every dollar is spent on marketing."
Westside Pioneer article