MANITOU SPRINGS — As Southern Colorado continues to rebound, a local community which thrives on its art culture is now being recognized as one of the top in the nation.
USA Today ranked Manitou Springs in the top 10 best small town art scenes in America. While it's a small town filled with color, culture and artwork, it's now making a big name for itself in the art world.
"Manitou Springs celebrates and grieves through art. Everything we do comes back to our cultural shared experience," said Becca Sickbert, the executive director for the Manitou Springs Creative District. "We have art on every corner when it comes to our downtown, and we are so intentional about how we place public art sculptures around."
Travel experts took into consideration things like museums, art galleries, performing arts and community events. Manitou Springs placed ninth on the list.
"It's not surprising because Manitou Springs has just baked art into its very fabric," said Sickbert.
Manitou Springs has thrived on community artwork since the mid-1800's. For Nathan Foutch, a local resident, that was enough to make him move to the area about seven years ago.
"I wanted something to respect my love of artwork and free spirit. Manitou was the best choice," said Foutch.
The community has also been supportive of the arts scene. A sales tax initiative called MACH' (Manitou Arts Culture and Heritage) was recently passed. The funds go back into the community to invest in the art culture.
There are also on-going efforts to make art accessible to people. For example there are online programs available to people, where you can find local artwork from the comfort and safety of your own home.
Manitou Springs also participates in the First Friday Artwalk, which takes place on the first Friday of every month. People can check out live performances, art galleries, or art
For a look at the list of other towns that were nominated, click here.