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Meet Addrienne Amato and Kelly Cope Russack of The Boulder Creative Collective

Today we’d like to introduce you to Addrienne Amato and Kelly Cope Russack.

Addrienne and Kelly, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Our origin story begins with two women sharing their experiences from former lives while hiking Mt. Sanitas. We were both fairly new to Boulder sharing our desires and observations during that hike. What we felt we were missing and what we wanted to create in our new community. (Insert our pre-warehouse days navigating that ‘Pop-Up’ life.) That’s how we gained our first experiences working in this town. A year or two of trial and error lead us to our grungy (said with love) warehouse on the east side of Boulder.

We had worked with several community partners through those various pop-up scenarios and felt it was time for us to create our own, tangible art space. We had talked about a Kickstarter for years and felt this was absolutely the moment it made sense to support this idea that had remained in its infancy state for some time. The BCC: Warehouse opened its doors in April 2016 with an open floorpan gallery space and five private artist studios. We met and funded our 25k Kickstarter goal with the help of those who believed in what we were creating. The Warehouse has had many iterations along the way- hosting and creating and supporting so many events, exhibitions, workshops, parties, happenings, gatherings- endless artistic endeavors.

Has it been a smooth road?
Fast forward four years later and here we still stand. I don’t think any story based on a dream is one told without hardships, but the important part is how you move through those moments. We recently read that ‘failure is your feedback,’ and I think we view each loss more lovingly than we do a win. Don’t get me wrong we love winning, but perhaps we learn more from those low moments- learning to think fast and creatively to continue to make this dreamy idea an everlasting reality that has become an important pillar in our community. We are connectors and feel that every artist and organization has a place and adds value to our daily lives.

To be completely honest being a female-founded and run organization has presented its challenges, but we have found ways to break down those walls. Being an arts organization in a place where art might be undervalued has also been a struggle, but we are committed to educating and engaging the public in interesting, inclusive, dynamic ways. Any struggle we encounter is an opportunity for us to rise stronger, smarter and more powerful. And thankfully we have a spot on a good sense of humor!

We’d love to hear more about your organization.
About us: The Boulder Creative Collective (The BCC) is a non-profit organization run by artists for artists. We discovered a gap in the community and connected with artists and creative thinkers who also sought support, creative development, and inclusion. By offering warehouse studio space, gallery exhibitions, representation and exposure for artists, and workshops and classes to the community, the BCC strives to provide a platform for engagement to the Boulder community- This has always been the foundation of our mission.

Our Mission: The BCC seeks to bring together, support, and cultivate the diverse artistic energies of the Boulder community by offering gallery, event, and studio space. Representation, career development and networking opportunities. Workshops and classes to artists and the public, and provocative, stimulating experiences to all.

I think what we are known for is being rule breakers. We have rebel hearts and I feel that is why certain artists and audiences connect with what we do and are drawn to our space. It’s an energy vortex- if you know you know and you can feel that flow.

What we are most proud of are the long-lasting relationships we have cultivated with working artists. To see them grow and succeed in the goals they have created for themselves has been an absolute joy. We want to continue to grow that roster and see more and more artists working on a professional level, supporting their life with their work.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
As a small non-profit the future can feel unstable but as stated before we are committed to this thing we’ve created. One thing we have learned in the last 4 plus years is to stay flexible and allow for change. We have tried so many programs, some have worked, while others have been let go. We are currently creating Boulder’s first-ever Artist in Residence program for the 2019/2020 calendar! We became a registered 501c3 non-profit in Sept of 2018 and have been moving towards this shift for just over a year. We will launch yet another Kickstarter campaign in support of this program. Our goal is to be fully funded by Feb of 2020 so we can continue to support all of the hard-working artists out there.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 2500 47th Street Unit 10
    Boulder CO 80301
  • Website: http://www.bouldercreativecollective.com
  • Phone: 720.663.8583
  • Email: bouldercreativecollective@gmail.com
  • Instagram: @bouldercreatovecollective

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