Rules & Eligibility


1. Applicants must be based in El Paso or Teller counties of Colorado, proposing grant activities that will serve audiences in those counties.

2. Applicants must be arts-focused nonprofits or for-profits (i.e. galleries or dance studios), or individual artists age 21 and over. The applicant must be a legal entity, and arts & culture must be its primary focus – restaurants, general education schools, community centers, etc. that have other goals but include some arts programming are not eligible. Eligibility in terms of arts & cultural focus will ultimately be at the discretion of the Cultural Office. To verify or ask questions about your eligibility, please contact Angela Seals.

3. We are looking for proposed project ideas that are artistically strong and reach new audiences. They will take a variety forms, but we expect most to be artistic programs or promotional initiatives. Keep in mind that artistic excellence is important even if your project is a promotional initiative.

4. Project activities must occur in the 2020 calendar year.

5. Winners of Peak Arts Prize must take the following year off before applying again.


The Prizes

  • Large Organizations Category: $10,000 Grant
  • Small Organizations Category: $7,500 Grant
  • Individual Artists: : $4,000 Grant

Recipients of category grants will receive special PR support and visibility for their projects from program partners.

The Peak Arts Prize program is funded by The Fund for the Arts, a fund of the Pikes Peak Community Foundation. Grantees will receive their awards from the Cultural Office in two installments – one check for initial funding and one check midway through the project activities. Grantees will be accountable for successfully executing project activities by December 31, 2020.

Key Dates

Dec. 11, 12:00-1:00 p.m.

Community Info Session: 12:00-1:00 p.m. at Cottonwood Center for the Arts 

Jan. 6-Feb. 6 

Application window open for Peak Arts Prize 2020. Deadline on Feb. 6 is at noon.

Feb. 21

All applicants notified of whether they are in the top 9 and advance to People’s Choice Award round

Feb. 26-Mar. 11

People’s Choice Award voting on Voting ends Mar. 11 at noon.

Mar. 12

Results of judges’ granting decisions and Peoples Choice Award made public on


Applications are invited in three categories: Large Organizations (annual budget over $100,000), Small Organizations (annual budget under $100,000), and Individual Artists. Applications will be accepted January 6 – February 6 at noon, via the online entry form on this website.


The online entry form will require:

  • Answers to a few questions about your contact information, financial eligibility, how you will reach an audience new to you, and how you will do it well.
  • Three hi resolution photos that depict your project. These will be used to support promotion during the People’s Choice round, if you advance – if your project doesn’t yet exist, these images should depict the spirit or story of your project.
  • A “Support this Project” URL. If you advance to the People’s Choice round, the ballot will include a button under your project that people can click on to support you directly. This URL can be a donation page (like an organization’s donate page, or a GoFundMe or Kickstarter, etc.) or a webpage of any kind about the project that includes how people can volunteer or get involved.


Explain how your project will amplify your art to an audience new to you! Make a compelling case for how your project will be artistically strong and reach new audiences for your work. Smart phone videos are welcome. Keep the video under 3 minutes long, upload it to in high definition (at least 720p) and make it public. Copy its YouTube link, and paste that link in the online entry form.


We encourage applicants to take advantage of the multimedia production support available for free through Pikes Peak Library District’s Studio 21c. Learn more.




After the application window closes, a panel of expert judges  will use the judging criteria to select one grantee and two honorable mentions in each category.


  • 40% Community Reach – The potential for the project to grow audiences beyond the artist’s or organization’s current audience.
  • 30% Artistic Excellence – The technical level and quality of the art techniques pursued in this project, for its genre. Does not refer to technical video application production.
  • 20% Originality – The creativity, uniqueness, or innovation within the project proposed.
  • 10% Feasibility – The potential that the project proposed can be achieved by this applicant with the resources available to them, and by the end of 2019.

All applicants will be notified by end of business on February 21 whether they are among the nine projects (three in each category) that will advance to a special People’s Choice round, February 26 – March 11. During this round, our community can view the top nine application videos and vote to award a $1,000 People’s Choice Prize and donate directly to the projects from the ballot.

The judging panel’s granting decisions and People’s Choice Prize will be shared with finalists on March 11 and made public on March 12.



Rosenna Bakari, Ph.D., is an Assistant Visiting Professor in the Department of Counseling and Human Services at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, an author, and a leading spoken word artist with Hotcomb Poets and the local poetry community. She earned her Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Northern Colorado, an M.S. in counseling from the State University of New York, and a B.S. in psychology from Cornell University. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region since January 2019. 


Shelby Bobst  is the Philanthropy Associate at Pikes Peak Community Foundation, where she assists donors in achieving their philanthropic objectives. She earned her Master’s in Public Administration from UCCS, with graduate certificates in Nonprofit Fund Development, and in Grant Writing, Grant Management, and Program Evaluation. Shelby has had a passion for the arts for many years—ever since her first on-stage role as Red Riding Hood with Missoula Children’s Theatre in fifth grade—and owes much of who she is to her time spent in instrumental, vocal, and theatrical work. 


David Siegel is Executive Director of the Bee Vradenburg Foundation, where he works with businesses, arts organizations, and community leaders to continue the success of the arts in the Pikes Peak region. David is vice chair of the Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Advisory Board, Music Director for the Green Box Arts Festival, and serves on the Colorado Springs Lodging and Automobile Rental Tax (LART) committee. As a musician, David maintains an active performance schedule and holds a degree in violin performance from the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. 


Jenny Stafford is a partner in Spur Philanthropy, a foundation management firm that ignites impact through philanthropy in Colorado Springs and beyond. Through this work, she serves as the director of the GE Johnson Foundation and an advisor to the John and Margot Lane and Bloom Foundations. Jenny received her BA in art history from the University of Maryland and her masters from University of Colorado. Her career since has been devoted to arts, culture, and community, including positions at Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Pikes Peak Community College Foundation, and Children’s Hospital Colorado, Colorado Springs. 


Taylor Tschida is Program Manager for Colorado Creative Industries, the state arts agency for Colorado, a division of the Office of Economic Development and International Trade in Denver. She manages the Career Advancement Grant, Change Leader Institute, and Military Arts Connection. Taylor recently joined the CCI team after serving four years under the Colorado Office of Film, Television and Media. Taylor received a BS in Recreation, Tourism, and Hospitality from the University of Northern Colorado. 

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