Mar 10, 2016

Chairman of the NEA visits Artspace

Jane Chu, chairwoman for the National Endowment for the Arts, sees how Artspace is beneficial to the economy of Loveland.

Chu made a visit to Loveland's Artspace and the Loveland Feed and Grain on Thursday. The NEA awarded a $50,000 grant to the program in 2013 to provide funding for the Feed and Grain renovation. She toured the facility with Artspace personnel as well as Margaret Hunt, director of Creative Industries Division & Space to Create, and Tom Schultz, president of The Boettcher Foundation.

The group went through the Feed and Grain, where Artspace consultant Felicia Harmon discussed the many art installations that the organization has held there and then moved to the Artspace Loft, where Chu had the chance to meet residents such as Sandra Gisonti. Caryn Sanchez, and Faith and Ken Gaithier and tour their homes.

Chu was impressed by the space and the variety of artists it houses noting it was a wonderful environment to create and not be judged.

For the greater community, Chu sees the benefits of the space, and it ripples out into the community.

"It really sparks vitality in the community," she said. By having a group like this and a place like this it will organically lead to boosting the economy as more activities bring people out into the community to not only art shows but restaurants and other events.

"Loveland has its own character and own personality, and it's something to celebrate," she said.

The National Endowment for the Arts is celebrating it's 50th year. Chu said part of the board's goals this year is to consider how people have created art in the past 50 years, and also to start to look ahead.

"We are about making sure creativity is thriving," Chu said.

Looking toward the future includes considering how the Internet has contributed to creating, as well as how communal spaces such as Artspace bolster creativity.

"I just toured the place, and I want to create, too," Chu said.

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