A writer, director and artist, Eve Tilley works tirelessly to promote the arts in Colorado Springs.
As president of the Pikes Peak Arts Council, Tilley isn’t paid for her work — but she is passionate about creating and supporting an arts scene that matches the city’s growth.
The Arts Council provides scholarships and funding to artists and art organizations, and sponsors awards that recognize excellence in classical and popular music, dance, poetry, theater and visual arts. The group also promotes the relationship between arts and the business community at the annual Arts Business Education Consortium.
Tilley took time recently to tell CSBJ about herself and her organization.
Organization: Pikes Peak Arts Council
Position: Board president
Hometown: Colorado Springs
How long have you lived in Colorado Springs: 60 years (give or take three or four).
Education: Bachelor’s degree in English, Colorado College, 1968; master’s degree in teaching in humanities for secondary school teachers, Colorado College, 1992
A few words about your organization: PPAC was established in 1967 to be an arts advocate in the Pikes Peak region. Its primary function is to grant fiscal sponsorship to individuals and organizations whose purposes fall within PPAC’s arts mission so they can receive foundation grants and offer tax deductions to contributors.
We also give six awards in April at the Arts Business Education Consortium luncheon to organizations and individuals with outstanding community arts programs and produce the Pikes Peak Arts Council Awards in September to recognize excellence in classical and popular music, dance, poetry, theatre and visual arts. Our Web site, www.pikespeakartscouncil.org, provides arts information and links to arts organizations.
Recent accomplishments: Three and-one-half years of writing my arts column for Springs Magazine and creating a pop-up wedding announcement for friends.
Biggest career break: Showing up. In November 1995, I came to PPAC with a proposal for an organization to give awards for excellence in theater. In June 1996, I was elected board president.
The toughest part of your job: Keeping up with all the paperwork.
Someone you admire: Susan Edmondson. She “took the bull by the horns” and has managed not only the first survey of the economic impact of the arts in the area, but also founded the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region (COPPeR) to act as ambassador for local arts and culture to the power brokers, plus area residents and visitors.
About your family: I’m married to consulting engineer, Sol Chavez. I have three sons from a previous marriage: Lewis, Christopher and Michael. My mother, Martha Tilley, still lives in the “family manse” south of the Fine Arts Center and my sister, Meg, is an advocate for the arts in rural Georgia.
Something else you’d like to accomplish: Direct theater for the Fine Arts Center Theatre Co.
How your business will change during the next decade: The Pikes Peak Arts Council Awards will be a huge event involving a vote from the audiences. PPAC will integrate the next generation and help the arts community attract the audiences in the north-east part of the city.
What book are you currently reading? My attention span is too short for books; I am currently on the May 5 issue of New Scientist Magazine.
What is the one thing you would change about Colorado Springs? The arts need an infusion of money like Denver’s one-tenth of 1 percent arts tax (equivalent to cost of one pizza per year) to raise the bar toward a professional arts community. We’re good, but we are not great — yet!