Humanitou is about art. But not just painting or sculpting or any of the usual ideas of art that are found in studios and galleries throughout Manitou Springs, Colorado, and countless other locations ’round the world.
I like the definition of art that the well-known author, marketer and motivator Seth Godin uses.
My definition of art contains three elements:
1. Art is made by a human being.
2. Art is created to have an impact, to change someone else.
3. Art is a gift. You can sell the souvenir, the canvas, the recording … but the idea itself is free, and the generosity is a critical part of making art.
By my definition, most art has nothing to do with oil paint or marble. Art is what we’re doing when we do our best work.
I moved with my family from St. Louis, Missouri, to Manitou Springs after Christmas in 2015. Frequently — very frequently — since we landed here, my wife and I say to each other, “I love Manitou.” And we start listing the coolnesses again.
We love being surrounded by mountains with nearby trails, and creative people, and free-spirited characters. We love the murals on buildings, the quirky anti-grid of streets that wind up, down and through the town. We love the many small houses tucked here and there, and the designs that range from historic Victorian to adobe to mid-century modern to cottage cool and just-plain-practical and full of story.
We love being within a couple minutes of Red Rock Open Canyon Space and the Niobrara Trail in Garden of the Gods. Of the Incline and the Paul Intemann Trail. Of Section 16, and Catamount in Green Mountain Falls. And more I’m not thinking of at the moment.
We love downtown. Heart of Jerusalem, Savelli’s, Maté Factor, Red Dog Coffee, Good Karma, The Townhouse, Swirl, Manitou Brewing Company. The Penny Arcade, The Mountain Man, SunWater Spa. … Now that I list those top-of-mind spots, I realize we’ve gotten out more often than I’d thought. We can get sucked into the routine day in, day out of being working parents of young boys with early bed times. Yet, there is so much in this small town and we’ve only started.
Our Favorite Town
This is our favorite town that my wife and I have lived in. We’ve lived separately and together in spots from coast to coast, and across oceans. Manitou is where we are choosing to be, to stay, to make art, bike trails, soak in springs, hike mountains, watch Pikes Peak’s moods to start and end every day, and to give our sons a great Colorado life of creativity, outdoors and humanness.
This blog — Humanitou — is my way not only of putting my art out there, in case it can connect and change someone. It’s my way of getting more involved in our town, of engaging in a more meaningful and regular way with who and what make Manitou Springs the awesome that it is. That includes natives, visitors and the many of us between, who all share the love.
Like Godin says, “Art is what we’re doing when we do our best work.” Whatever that entails. The purpose of this site is to connect the humanness of Manitou Springs, to tell its stories. Mine. Yours. Anyone who loves and dives into Manitou and is willing to be human with us.
Stories are welcome. Share yours with me in the comments, via the contact form, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Or point me to someone I should meet. I’m ready.