Pikes Peak Arts Council

The Pikes Peak Arts Council is a non-profit organization founded in 1968 to honor, connect, and enrich local artists, working to ensure that artists are thriving in, and essential to, the Pikes Peak region. Join today!



The ABE Consortium, a program of the Pikes Peak Arts Council, promotes the growth of cultural arts in education in the Pikes Peak Area Schools (15 school districts). The Consortium brings awareness of cultural arts programs in the schools to business executives, school administrators, teachers, and parents, presenting special recognition and awards given at an annual luncheon for innovative arts education programs, excellence in teaching and business support of arts education. The Arts Council also presents artists awards and the Chamber of Commerce gives business and corporate awards for support of the arts. This luncheon brings artists, educators and business leaders together to raise awareness and encourage expansion of Arts Education. Recognizing business involvement in Arts Education at the annual ABE luncheon has resulted in increased interest and participation in school arts and cultural programs.

Each year, the Pikes Peak Arts Council gives Arts Business Education Awards to recognize innovative approaches in arts education in the Pikes Peak region. The Pikes Peak Arts Council is proud to assist in recognizing artists, educators, and business leaders within our community who contribute significantly to arts education. 

To make a nomination for the 2018 ABE Awards, please fill out the online form hereYou can also download the nomination form and send it via mail or email here.

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the 2017 program!

Arts Education Awards: 2017

Award in Arts Advocacy - Leah Lowe, District 12

“Ask any of her students,” says a colleague, “and you will find a child who loves Ms. Lowe.” 

Leah Lowe teaches art students at Skyway and Broadmoor Elementary schools to express themselves with individuality and technical competence. She collaborates with student groups to create campus-wide public art and works to involve parents. Leah is an active volunteer, member of the Colorado Arts Education Association, and President of the Board of public arts group Concrete Couch. Leah has propelled Concrete Couch, bringing art programs into the Senior Center and the homeless veteran's shelter. Through her advocacy and outreach, Leah single-handedly involves hundreds of children and adults in arts activities each year.

Award in Arts Education - Nathan Halvorson and the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center Youth Repertory Theatre

Nathan Halvorson has developed year-round educational programming at the Fine Arts Center for children of all ages, including day camps connected to main-stage performances and school break theatre camps, as well as adult classes. He oversees the professional development of high schoolers through the Youth Repertory program, a five-week intensive training for students pursuing careers in performance and design. These students have gone on to perform at the FAC, as well as to study at some of the finest performance programs in the country. Nathan has led critically acclaimed productions and classes at the Fine Arts Center, the Colorado Springs Conservatory, and the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.

Award in Arts Education - Aaron Cohick and the Press at Colorado College

Aaron Cohick is the Printer at The Press at Colorado College, offering workshops that teach students the basic skills of designing, printing, binding and publishing books. Aaron is an avid participator in community-driven arts projects, opening the Press to both students and the public to express themselves. He assists in producing posters to sell as fundraising projects for local and national organizations for which he has raised thousands of dollars, donating supplies and services. Aaron educates both students and the public about printing by offering broad accessibility. His independent press, NewLights Press, has published over 40 titles since 2000. 

Arts Education Awards: 2016

Youth Recognition in Arts Education: Sue Spengler and Xanthe Alexis, The Little School on Vermijo Music Program

Arts Opportunities in Education: Laura BenAmonts, Pikes Peak Community College Downtown Studio Art Gallery and Abby Kreuser, Kreuser Gallery for the PPCC Awards Show

Arts Advocate: Betsy McClenahan


Arts Opportunities Award:  The Manitou Art Center, Michael Howell and Amber Wyatt for Wunderkind, 2015

Arts Advocacy Award:  Aikta Marcoulier, Exec Director of Small Business Development Center

Youth Recognition Award:  Kim Costello, Academy Art & Frame Co.


Arts Opportunities Award:  Colorado Springs Youth Symphony Association

Youth Recognition Award:  Jay Patel and Sourabh Basak

Arts Advocacy Award:  Beth Carlson


Arts Leadership Award:  Donald T. Robinson

Arts Opportunities Award:  Ballet Folklorico de la Raza

Youth Recognition Award:  El Cinco de Mayo, Inc

Arts and Culture Advocate Award:  Senga Nengudi


Arts Leadership Award:  Victor and Barbara Tise

Arts Opportunities Award:  Concrete Couch/Steve Wood

Youth Recognition Award:  Colorado Springs City Council

Arts Advocacy Award:  The Warehouse Restaurant/Lawrence “Chip” Johnson


Arts Opportunities: Bemis School of Art

Youth Recognition: Ila Conoley

Arts Advocacy: John and Cindy Hooton

Arts Leadership: Linda Weiss

Youth Recognition: Posy Knight


Support of the Arts: Aventa Credit Union

Arts Opportunities: Club of Arts

Youth Recognition: The Laramie Project/Wasson High School

Arts Leadership: Marcia Hendricks


It's About Time: David Ball

In the Trenches: Greg Jamieson

Above and Beyond: Mary-K Burnett

Force for the Arts: Peggy Shivers, Shivers Fund

Force for the Arts: Susan Edmondson

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