Who We Are: Creative Alliance Board Members

The Creative Alliance Board of Directors is composed of at least seven members with a majority of those serving on the Board required to demonstrate residency or significant involvement in the arts/culture/business community.

Ralph Routon, Chair
CRANE Colorado Springs Business Journal/Colorado Springs Independent Interim Co-Publisher | Manitou Springs Arts Culture & Heritage (MACH) Board Chair | Manitou Springs Resident

Farley McDonough, Vice Chair
Owner, Adam’s Mountain Cafe | President, Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce, | MSURA Board Member

Edie Greene, Secretary
Professor Emerita of Psychology, UCCS |
Manitou Springs Resident

Jeanne Solze, Treasurer
Chief Financial Officer, Cheyenne Village (Retired)

Fred Darpino, Board Member
Artist, Fred Darpino Studio & Gallery Owner

Julia L Wright, Board Member
Artist | Commonwheel Arts Festival Organizer | Manitou Springs Resident 

Mary Snyder, Board Member
Graphic Artist | Community Volunteer | Manitou Springs Resident

Taylor Trask, Board Member
Co-Founder, Head of Brand Strategy at Realistic | Filmmaker | Manitou Springs Resident

Read our Latest Report to the Community

How are we lifting artistic and economic vitality? Read more here!

Why We Work


Our vision is a thriving, vibrant arts and business community that moves us toward an inclusive and creative future.


We elevate and promote Manitou Springs creatives to lift artistic and economic vitality.


Our purpose is to support the visual, performance, holistic, literary and culinary disciplines through public art projects, marketing endeavors, educational and cultural programs, charitable activities, and the like.

Our Values

Collaboration & Inclusivity

We hold space for differences of opinions and approaches. We build a big tent that welcomes creativity across all disciplines and socio-economic backgrounds. We meet people where they are and create accessible programs. We listen to what the community needs and wants.

Respect & Community Pride

We listen, we celebrate, we focus on the positives and build on strengths. We advocate for Manitou Springs.

Transparency, Fairness, Accountability

We hold ourselves and others accountable. We share information and resources. We learn and report.

How We Work

Partnerships Are Everything

We work through community partnerships that activate both public and private assets. We build and support programs that connect arts, cultural, and heritage projects with businesses, city government, and community development efforts. All of our projects and programs are the result of needs indicated by our artists, creative nonprofits and business and gallery owners. We strive to build investment in our creative community: One hundred percent of our artists and other creatives are compensated for their work.

Creative Alliance Manitou Springs is funded primarily by grants and the Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce, Visitors Bureau & Office of Economic Development through partnership with the City of Manitou Springs. We operate as a State-Certified Colorado Creative District under the Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT). OEDIT certifies communities that contribute to the state’s economy through creativity, culture, and the arts. The program’s goal is to help communities increase jobs, incomes, and investments in creative places like Manitou Springs.

What is the Creative District?

Manitou Springs Creative District (MSCD) supports economic development through the Creative Industries. In partnership with key stakeholders, MSCD enhances the economic vitality of the community by inspiring artists, creatives, and visitors, while preserving the community’s unique cultural, historic, and natural setting.

Manitou Springs earned Colorado Creative District designation in 2017. The certification and reporting process quantifies the richness and density of arts nonprofits, programs, and creative industries in a proposed area in addition to the level of investment in community development as a whole.

A division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development, Colorado Creative Industries (CCI) is proud to administer the Colorado Creative District Program. The Creative District enabling legislation passed in 2011 (HB11-1031) and in 2013 (HB13-1208) offers vetted districts access to grant funding, tailored technical assistance, networking and training programs and access to advocacy tools. The Boettcher Foundation is a partner of the CCI in establishing the Colorado Creative Districts Program. Since July of 2012, CCI has supported the development of Creative Districts across the state to:

  • Create hubs and clusters of economic activity
  • Promote a community’s unique identity
  • Enhance areas as appealing places to live, conduct business and attract visitors

Lifting Artistic and Economic Vitality