ARTup Week 2020: A Creative Business World

Photo courtesy of the Downtown Fort Collins Creative District.

By Kit Baker/Downtown Fort Collins Creative District

Want to know how to price your service? Or fix your elevator pitch? Or achieve a better work/life balance? Maybe you feel like you’ve been there and done that – if so, what about learning how people with disabilities can empower your business? Or how to market to Hispanic consumers or dissect the anatomy of a contract or get your film into a festival?

You can get all that and more in ARTup Week, a cluster of hour-long talks, panel discussions, training sessions, and help desk events plus film screenings and a performance offered under the umbrella of Techstars Startup Week and ARTup Week Fort Collins 2020. In this, its fourth annual friendly civic takeover, Startup Week will be offering 120-plus sessions in 11 venues around town from February 24-28 – all for free.

ARTup Week is custom-curated to provide entrepreneurial tools and networking opportunities for local artists, musicians, writers and food & culinary professionals – novice and veteran alike. The focus is on improving access and inclusion, providing tools for surviving and thriving, pushing the boundaries of what you can dream up and how you can make it happen – in short, connecting artists of all stripes with the people and resources they know they need but haven’t been able to find yet.

Most of the sessions are talks by people who have indeed been there and done that, but there are also plenty of choices for those who’d prefer to get up and dive in. If you are one of them, the Creative Outfitters Expo is for you. Artists, musicians and creatives can get free artist bios and run their press kits, touring plans, legal questions and whatever else there is in your “Essentials” folder past industry experts who will help apply the final coat of polish to that killer portfolio or strategic plan. For a bonus, dress up and bring along that irresistible pout of yours for a free new band photo or headshot.

Phoco Photography/ courtesy of the Downtown Fort Collins Creative District

Of the many firsts this year, the world premiere of “The Punk Pan-Indian Romantic Comedy”, a performance by artist and member of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Gregg Deal, is a standout. Punk music has played a defining role in Deal’s life and career, and he has been spending the past year doing a deep dive into how it made him who he is in a series of paintings called “The Others”, two of which are on display during Artup Week and beyond in his retrospective, “Voice”, at the CSU Lory Student Center. Deal’s wholehearted embrace of punk’s non-conformist DIY ethic in his art has been getting a lot of attention lately: his performance “The Last American Indian on Earth” was featured in a National Geographic article about how Indigenous artists are challenging misconceptions of Native American identity, and he’s appeared on PBS’s The Art District and The Daily Show. “Punk Pan-Indian” will progress sometimes comically, sometimes seriously through the struggles and an instinct for survival to ultimately land in a place of healing through the power of music.

To see the complete schedule and event descriptions and to register for free attendance, go to

Techstars Startup Week and ARTup Week Fort Collins, February 24-28

“Creative Outfitters Expo”, The Music District, Tuesday February 25 @ 1:00-3:30 pm

“The Punk Pan-Indian Romantic Comedy”, The Music District, Tuesday February 25 @ 6:30pm

“Voice”, a Gregg Deal retrospective, Duhesa Gallery at the CSU Lory Student Center, open now through June 2020

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