Arts @ the Feed & Grain

Community Foundation of Northern Colorado

Funding Received: 2013
Loveland, CO
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
August 1, 2013

August puts the spotlight on the arts in Loveland and offers a remarkable demonstration of how temporary events can have a permanent effect on a community—and a movement.

Arts @ the Feed & Grain celebrated 2nd Friday in August with a new show at In the Meantime Gallery, featuring three artists (Carrie Johansing-Heintzelman, Doug Sink and Felipe Echevarria )as well as music by The Jamesons. On display in the Feed & Grain were early methods of advertising through the arts. Nine painted theater curtain backdrops dating from the 1950s, created by multiple generations of a single family, were hung in the large Feed & Grain warehouse.

For more information about these colorful curtains:

Unlikely Coalitions Grow Long-Term Benefits
On the second weekend in August, Loveland now hosts three separate arts shows, Art in Park, Sculpture in the Park and the Loveland Sculpture Invitational, and attracts more than 50,000 visitors to view the art and interact with artists from all over our state and our country.

In 1964, the Thompson Valley Art League began hosting a small arts & crafts festival, Art in the Park, attracting a loyal following to small booths set up in Loveland’s North Lake Park. Celebrating its 49th year, the show grew in professionalism under the direction of Megan Tracy, also director of Arts @ the Feed & Grain. A qualitative difference was evident to artists and the public, and the increased sales reflected that focus.

The 30th anniversary of “Sculpture in the Park” reminded us of the humble beginnings of an event intended to showcase Loveland’s early bronze sculpture artists and its accompanying foundry and gave us all a chance to reflect on how far Loveland’s art scene has come since then.

In 1984, before the arts were seen as community catalysts in much of the country, an unlikely coalition of local volunteers - the Chamber of Commerce, the City of Loveland and five Founding Artists - brought 55 artists to a park space in north Loveland to exhibit their sculpture and enjoy each other’s company. Sales this year from the 150+ sculptors topped $1 million.

Sculpture in the Park spun off the Loveland Sculpture Invitational, now in its 22nd year, on the same weekend. Now host to more than 200 sculptors, the Invitational donates a portion of their silent auction proceeds to arts education in Loveland’s schools.

Permanent Impacts from Temporary Events
Proceeds from Sculpture in the Park are plowed back into art purchases for the Benson Park Sculpture Garden and donated to the City by the Loveland High Plains Arts Council, creating a permanent public art collection worth millions for all of Loveland.

Inspired by that first Sculpture in the Park show and led by a visionary Mayor, Ray Reeb, the Loveland City Council enacted the first municipal Art in Public Places program in Colorado, within three weeks of that first show in 1984. Loveland’s program, which mandates that 1% of all municipal capital project budgets is applied to public art, now serves as a model for communities throughout the country.

John Villani, author of the annual “Best Small Art Towns in America,” was first inspired to write his book after visiting Loveland for one of the early Sculpture in the Park shows. His survey of arts-driven small towns now features communities across the country putting arts at the core of their revitalization efforts.

Identifying community needs and convening coalitions to address them is at the core of the mission of the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado, sponsor of Arts @ the Feed & Grain.

Now celebrating 38 years of community service, the Community Foundation has rallied Northern Colorado donors and organizations to support significant arts projects like the Rialto Theater Center in Loveland and the Lincoln Center Performing arts complex in Fort Collins. The Foundation is committed to helping communities within the region become creative, sustainable, authentic places which reflect their unique culture and history.

Ray Caraway, President, reflects on the importance of this project to the Foundation’s mission: “At the Community Foundation, we have witnessed the inspiring and powerful impact from bringing people, ideas and resources together in support of important local issues. Artplace America’s grant in support of Arts @ the Feed & Grain recognizes the significant role that the arts can play in catalyzing community revitalization efforts for Downtown Loveland. We’re excited to see the positive momentum this project can generate for the city and surrounding communities in Northern Colorado.”