After months of hibernation, painted pianos will emerge on Tuesday, May 12, for the summer, throughout Fort Collins. Then, the painting of new pianos for the sixth Pianos About Town season begins! On May 13, the first of ten unpainted pianos will be painted at the Art in Action tent in Downtown Fort Collins. Due to the renovation of Old Town Square, 2015 painting will take place in surprise locations in Downtown Fort Collins, adding an additional element of spontaneity to the program. The first location for painting will be at Oak Street Plaza.
Bohemian Foundation Music Programs Director Kristen Karabensh says, “The collaboration with local artists to paint the pianos and the opportunity for impromptu music interactions to occur is really what we’re going for; creating a unique Fort Collins feel. Pianos About Town is just another way of showcasing the vibrant role of music and art in our community.”
Five local artists have been selected to paint pianos and the City of Fort Collins Art in Public Places program is looking for five more local artists to paint or artistically decorate pianos. Ellen Martin, Visual Arts Administrator for Art in Public Places says, “the program is looking for diversity in styles and concepts for the artwork with a preference for new and exciting ideas.” Artists are selected through a proposal process. Interested artists should visit www.fcgov.com/artspublic to view project requirements and apply.
Returning artist Gale Whitman will kick off the season on May 13 at the Art in Action tent which will be set up at Oak Street Plaza. Gale has painted numerous murals for the City of Fort Collins’ Art in Public Places and Pianos About Town programs, “Painting a piano in a high-visibility spot in Old Town has given me more confidence in my abilities and willingness to share my art with others,” Gale says. “I love the way this program ties in visual arts with music—it allows me to feel a partnership with performance artists.”
Pianos About Town is intended to be a fun, interactive art installation that creates an additional element of whimsy and surprise in Fort Collins.
The original inspiration for Pianos About Town comes from British artist Luke Jerram who created a 60-piano installation touring the world, stopping in New York City in June 2010. The project was also inspired by a similar project on Denver’s 16th Street Mall. The first pianos were placed in Downtown Fort Collins during the 2010 holiday season and were an instant hit. This is the sixth season for Pianos About Town. To date, 57 pianos have been painted by 37 different artists as part of this program.
Pianos are acquired through donations made by community members looking to find a new home for their used pianos. Pianos are picked up, free of charge, from their previous home and brought to a storage area where they are cleaned, tuned, prepped for painting and readied for the outside elements. After that, the painting begins! Local artists spend approximately three weeks painting their pianos in Downton Fort Collins before the finished pianos begins their journey around Fort Collins.
Painting and decorating of the pianos continues throughout the year, but is moved to indoor venues during the winter months. Area businesses play a key role in the success of the project by "adopting" the painted pianos in their areas and covering them during inclement weather.
Bohemian Foundation today announced that it awarded $508,480 to 33 local nonprofits working to promote community engagement and improve the well-being of children, teens and families. Since its inception in 2001, Bohemian Foundation Community Programs has awarded more than $14.5 million in Pharos Fund grants to a variety of nonprofits serving the Fort Collins area.
“The Pharos Fund is such an important aspect of our work,” said Sara Maranowicz, Bohemian Foundation’s Community Programs director. “Through the review process, we learn a great deal from local nonprofits about community needs and how they’re working to achieve meaningful outcomes. We are inspired by the great work happening in our community and by all of the contributions these programs make in the lives of individuals across Fort Collins.”
Grants are distributed through Pharos Fund, a responsive grant making initiative of Bohemian Foundation that makes awards up to $30,000 to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations with programs that boost public awareness or encourage and enable our youth to become productive members of society. A committee comprised of Bohemian Foundation board members, Bohemian staff and community members selects grantees through a competitive application process.
A total of $508,480 was awarded to 33 organizations.
Bohemian Foundation will begin accepting applications for the next Pharos Fund round starting in August, 2015.
Bohemian Foundation is a private family foundation established in 2001. Based in Fort Collins, Colo., Bohemian Foundation works to empower citizens and impact communities through its responsive grant making programs and special initiatives.
Fort Collins’ sixth annual Project Homeless Connect is a one-day, one-stop event on April 10 that will offer hundreds of people who are experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness a range of free services from medical screenings to bike repair.
Project Homeless Connect will be held from 8 a.m.-noon at Northside Aztlan Center, 112 Willow St. A free breakfast will be available in the morning, and a free BBQ lunch will be served from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Nearly 60 local nonprofits, government agencies and businesses will provide on-site services. Homeward 2020, Bohemian Foundation and Colorado State University Student Leadership, Involvement and Community Engagement (SLiCE) co-produce the event with support from United Way of Larimer County.
Free services will include basic car inspection; bike repair; medical screenings; basic dental screenings for adults and children; eye exams; family photos; haircuts; housing information; veterans services; ID and legal services; employment services; counseling; government benefits; child care and children’s activities; bus passes; massages; toiletry packages; pet health care; and pet food.
During the event, each participant is paired one-to-one with a volunteer who helps the participant navigate the wide array of services and offerings available. Last year, SLiCE recruited more than 400 CSU students and Fort Collins community members to volunteer.
The Project Homeless Connect concept originated in San Francisco in 2004. In 2005, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness launched the National Project Homeless Connect Partnership. Since 2008, more than 200 cities across the U.S., Canada and Australia have adopted the initiative. Fort Collins welcomed its first Project Homeless Connect in 2010. Since then, more than 2,000 individuals and families experiencing homelessness in the Fort Collins community have participated.
Homeward 2020 is an assembly of community and agency leaders working in support of the Ten Year Plan to make homelessness in Fort Collins rare, short lived and non-recurring through a housing first approach. Homeward 2020 provides community leadership by serving as a convener, catalyst, data driver and advocate, and through the collective expertise and experience of its members.
Bohemian Foundation will host a “Bridges Out of Poverty” community training geared for nonprofit volunteers and board members, and facilitated by nationally renowned trainer Jodi Pfarr. “Bridges Out of Poverty” is a nationally-recognized training that allows participants to explore intergenerational poverty, collaborate with other community members and learn how community organizations may better assist children, adults and families experiencing poverty.
Community volunteers and board members working with Larimer County nonprofits, and other interested community members
9 a.m.-noon on Saturday, Feb. 7
The Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St., Fort Collins
How to Register: Visit bridgesnoco.org to register by Jan. 26. Space is limited
There is no cost to attend the training.