“We, as culture makers, want vitality,” said Idris Goodwin.
The new director of the Fine Arts Center at Colorado College says that artists and content creators are facing both challenges and opportunities.
“Opportunity is here because people in our community appreciate the arts culture and a lot of untapped resources for this space are expansive,” he said. “In this community — where there may not have previously been an African-American influence or broad cultural influence — that is changing, and platforms are being built for many audiences.”
Goodwin highlighted the Golden Lotus Foundation and numerous social media platforms that are building up diverse areas of culture to be experienced and elevated in the Pikes Peak region.
“This may be cliché about the West, but it is really wide open and there is a lot of support for artist and creators,” he said
Goodwin is on a mission to build a culturally rich landscape in Colorado Springs and the broader community. And he’s no stranger to creating art himself.
Recently, he was named a 2021 United States Artist Fellow and showcased his hip-hop rhythms on stages across the country. Root magazine named Goodwin as one of top 30 performance poets. In addition to all that, he is an accomplished director, poet, educator and playwright.
Colorado wasn’t originally the goal for Goodwin, but he says he has been embraced in spaces that are uncharted for a young, Black artist.
How do you feel the art world in Colorado Springs can expand and engage the Southeast more?
Diversity is one of the places that has opportunity, cultures, perspectives and backgrounds. The arts bring out the storytelling we love as a culture and as human belongs. We respond to storytelling. City as a Venue is an initiative that we are excited to bring to the community — including the Southeast — with more performances, art and culture experiences. The goal is to get to know the community and get people outside. Art has the power to draw people into places they may not have experienced.
I would love to see what it looks like for someone in Southeast to open an arts hub and facilitate creating from a space elevating that area and artists. We want to work with community, and not in a colonial way. We want a vibrant arts community and see several places thriving to build a culturally rich landscape.
How has art played a role in healing communities?
To me, I believe it has been through storytelling and story listening which are essential to all societies. They are key aspects of the healing process after we have large experiences. We as a collective society need to think about what we have been through collectively, process and utilize story to help people reflect and inviting people to tell their story as well.
What are the highlights we can expect from you or experience for ourselves?
We want and strive for all aspects of community of our city be represented inside our walls. We want community to see themselves — as well as provide opportunities to learn about other people and cultures. As we come out of the pandemic, we get to reintroduce ourselves.