Cottonwood Center for the Arts is a community impact organization located in downtown Colorado Springs. Our mission is to engage the Pikes Peak Region in art through learning, exhibits, and performances, hosting a diverse and creative community of workspaces for artists. Our vision is to create an environment for a thriving arts community leaving a legacy or arts, culture, and beauty to future generations. We achieve this through a three-fold approach which encompasses Campus, Access, and Perception (CAP).
Campus at Cottonwood includes our building, alley, parking facilities, and our neighborhood. We consistently initiate and pursue capital improvement projects which include new flooring, windows in artists’ studios, upgrades to our heating and air conditioning systems, and beautification projects to make our building as welcoming and safe as possible. If you’re travelling the halls and find that the lights are off, flip them on! We strive to be as energy efficient as possible and many of the lights around the building are on timers.
We have a vested interest in the development and success of our neighborhood and continue to develop programming and projects that will drive people to our neighborhood, ensure economic stability and growth, and support local businesses.
Access at Cottonwood means access to art for all in our community. There is no admission cost associated with visiting our facility. We want every person who has an interest to walk through our doors and experience art. Classes are kept as low-cost as possible to encourage growth and development. Partnerships with organizations such as Finding Our Voices, TESSA, and PAGE allow us to share the voices of those who may not always be heard, and offer healing and support to those in our community who need it most.
Open calls for entries allow local artists the chance to show and sell their work in our juried gallery shows. Studios are designed to create an arts community within Cottonwood that fosters support and development from the inside out. Our newly developed theater space houses four community theater groups, Star Bar Players, THEATREdART, COUNTER/Weight Theatre Lab, and the Puffin and Raven Theatre Company. These intimate theater productions round out our arts community with the passion and expression that only comes from the stage.
Perception at Cottonwood means changing the perception of art in our community and the way artists are perceived as business professionals. While our main goal is Access to art at every level, we strive to show art in our galleries and performances on our stage at the highest level.
All of our shows with open calls for entries are juried by professionals in the Colorado Springs art community such as gallery curators, arts administrators and academics, and even working artists. We constantly encourage development and progression in art through our jurying process, facilitated open critiques, and through our hand picked instructors for both adults' and children's classes.
As our Executive Director, Jon Khoury, always reminds us: what future generations will remember is not how big our houses were or how many cars we drove, but the arts and culture we created and the beauty we leave behind. Please join us at Cottonwood to foster arts, culture, and beauty in Colorado Springs.