07.23.20

Virtual art auction benefits local artists, COVID relief efforts

The Colorado Chautauqua Association (CCA) – tasked with caring for the Chautauqua historic landmark district – relies heavily on lodging and events to fund its work and pay its staff. These activities have all been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

 
“Hospitality and public events drive our revenue, so we knew right away we’d be hit hard,” says Debbie Stewart, CCA Director of Development. “We realized we needed to be innovative and creative about off-setting some of the loss, even as we need to play our part to address the suffering happening around us.”
 
So Colorado Chautauqua launched The Creative Community Project, a virtual art auction fundraiser that benefitted local artists, the Colorado Chautauqua COVID-19 Relief Fund, and the COVID-19 Response Fund Boulder County.  
 
“We had more than 76 items in the auction catalog from 43 artists and donors,” continues Debbie. “Some 120 registered bidders participated in the auction, and the auction site received an estimated 5,100 unique views. Best of all, we grossed close to $26K! This being our first-ever online fundraiser, we were pretty pleased with how it all went.
 
“We’re just adapting as well as we can during this unprecedented time when so many people across our community are suffering. And we’re such big fans of the Community Foundation, serving people on the frontlines and doing it so well.”
 
Debbie went on to share that several participating artists, who were offered 25% of the proceeds, donated back to Colorado Chautauqua. As well, 10 pieces were donated to the CCA’s Galey Cottage, or Cottage 1, across from the Chautauqua Auditorium.
 

Creative Community Project

Artist: Gayle Crites.

Artist: Gayle Crites.

“We’re honored to showcase local talent at the beautifully refurbished Galey Cottage that opens to the public in August,” Debbie says. “We’re so grateful to the artists for their generosity.”
 
Cottage 1 was built in 1899. The Galey family continued to live there until 2017 when the cottage was sold to the CCA.
 
“It’s a very special place in that the Galey family played a crucial role in the survival of Chautauqua in the 1970s,” adds Debbie. “Back then, little was known about the history of the Chautauqua movement and the Colorado Chautauqua.
 
“Chautauqua was so decrepit that the city wanted to demolish it, and sell the property to a large hotel developer. Mary Galey led a campaign to save Chautauqua and helped the Colorado Chautauqua obtain National Historic Landmark status.”
 

This piece by artist Steven Hook adorns the Galey Cottage.

This piece by artist Steven Hook adorns the Galey Cottage.

This piece by artist Steven Hook adorns the Galey Cottage.

Galey Cottage sleeps 12 and is open to the public for nightly rentals as well as private events. The CCA will also be hosting small galas in the space.
 
Concludes Debbie, “While all our public events have been canceled for the first summer ever, our social-distancing-friendly cottages remain open for business and are a great place to go for a staycation!”

Creative Community Project

Artist: Lucy Yanagida.

Artist: Lucy Yanagida.