Join CRANE for a special Cookies with CRANE event on June 30 at 2pm at 441 Manitou Avenue. CRANE will be unveiling 4 new murals on the retaining wall – talk with the artists, explore the new murals, and, of course, have a cookie!


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Cookies with CRANE - April 12, 1:30-3:30

Join us for a drop-in style community meeting for local creatives to discuss our 2024 art calls. Drop in, have a cookie, chat with other local artists, and find out more about the sculpture and mural projects we are administering this year! April 12, 1:30-3:30pm at the Manitou Art Center. For more information, contact us at or 719-315-5338.

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Join us for a drop-in style community meeting to learn about our current programs and tell us how we can help Manitou Springs creative community fourish!

Wednesday, February 28th
8:30 – 10:30 AM
Manitou Art Center (MAC)

Can’t make it?  You can help by completing our quick community survey.

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In September, 2022, Flaminio Antonio’s “Comforting Melody” sculpture, a guitar crafted entirely from scrap metal, was installed near the Armadillo Ranch and Kinfolks in downtown Manitou Springs on a one year contract. The piece won CRANE’s prestigious Art Excellence award, and has since become a beloved part of Manitou’s streetscape. It is time for the sculpture to move on – unless we can raise the discounted $6,000 purchase price and save the guitar for all who live and visit Manitou Springs! Please help us raise the money to keep this lovely sculpture on the Avenue for decades to come. We have 2 anonymous donors willing to match up to $1,500 in donations, so when you give, your gift will be doubled!

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Creative Alliance Manitou Springs (CRANE) is partnering with the City of Manitou Springs to license artwork from a local artist that invites residents and visitors to ride the free electric vehicle shuttle. Winning artwork will be printed on vinyl, which will be applied to the shuttle. The award for the winning artwork is $2,000.
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You may have noticed that some of our permanent public art sculptures have been showing wear and tear after many years of service to the community. “Peeps” and other works that have been installed as part of our Art on the Avenue program have been getting hugs from school kids and visitors in every kind of weather for years. We are also repairing “Man in Z Moon” and “Twisted Figure.” We’ve been tracking the repair status of those pieces and wrote a Manitou Arts, Culture and Heritage (MACH) grant to help fund a portion of the repairs. However, we have $2500 more in repairs still needed and we ask for your help.

Can you help us fund repairs and maintenance for some of ManitouSprings?

Public art is free to everyone to experience year-round! If you love public art on the streets of Manitou Springs, your support will go a long way toward keeping our installations looking great and ready for more years of service.

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The Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce, Manitou Springs Creative District, and City of Manitou Springs are not at all surprised that the town once again ranks in the Top 10 Best Small Town Arts Scenes in America.  

“When visitors come to Manitou Springs, they know they can expect extraordinary scenery and arts experiences because those two elements are a fundamental part of what it means to spend time in this community,” said Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce executive director Leslie Lewis.

This is the third consecutive year that the town of just under 5,000 residents has earned a nomination from USA Today 10Best editors and travel experts. Manitou Springs and nine other small towns across the county qualified based on an evaluation of their museums, art galleries, performing arts and busy event calendars. 

“The vitality of our small town arts scene is hard to beat,” said Creative Alliance Manitou Springs executive director Becca Sickbert. “On any given day, we have lively music performances, gorgeous art exhibitions, terrific galleries and classes, not to mention a town filled with creativity of every kind.”

Voting begins on Monday, May 15th at noon EDT and ends on Monday, June 12th at 11:59am EDT.  Manitou Springs supporters can sign up for daily text alerts through June by texting “best” to 844-421-0719.

”It’s an honor for Manitou Springs to be nominated as one of the United States’ best small town arts scenes for three years in a row,” said City of Manitou Springs councilwoman Natalie Johnson. “This demonstrates the community’s dedication towards investing in our culture of arts and history.”

The USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards highlight top-notch attractions and businesses, providing readers with trusted recommendations. 


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Download Presentation Deck Here

UPDATE: Manitou Arts Culture & Heritage Grant Application Info Session Resources

Becca Sickbert, executive director of Creative Alliance Manitou Springs (CRANE), facilitated  the sessions with hybrid access — in person at the CRANE office and online via Zoom.  To access the grant application, visit the MACH Board’s landing page here.

To access the presentation deck, tap the large button above or click here to download a PDF.

  • Part 1 presents a brief overview of MACH history, funds available, where to access Plan Manitou, and what successful applications should include.
  • Part 2 begins at 16:00 and addresses what’s new this year with key guidance on how to create an account (hint: email account required and check your spam or junk folder).
  • You’ll also find some budget creation and entry basics, plus helpful tips for saving and completing your application.

If you’re planning a MACH-funded public art project for 2023, please contact CRANE for assistance no later than December 15.

More useful links:

  1. MACH Board landing page on the City of Manitou Spring’s website
  2. MACH Application Rubric
  3. Plan Manitou (adopted 2017)
  4. Appendix A (Long-Term Actions including Arts & Culture)

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