Angela Seals is the new executive director of the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region.
Seals is a familiar name at the arts agency. After joining the nonprofit in 2013 and advancing to deputy director, she left at the beginning of 2022 to launch her own consulting practice. In December, the COPPeR board invited her back to act as interim executive director after parting ways with former executive director Andy Vick.
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"It feels like the intersection between my natural next chapter and the natural next chapter of this organization I love," Seals said. "I’ve been here for 10 years growing and learning about the arts community and how it integrates with all the other aspects of our region's health and future. Now to step into leadership and steward the next chapter is an honor."
During her previous tenure at COPPer she served as project manager for the creation of Arts Vision 2030, the 10-year cultural plan for the Pikes Peak region by COPPeR and the Bee Vradenburg Foundation. Prior to COPPeR Seals worked with several nonprofits around the U.S., including Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and Corcoran School of the Arts & Design in Washington, D.C.
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“The momentum Angela built quickly in the short time she has served as interim executive director has already illuminated her exciting vision and enthusiasm for this important work,” said COPPeR Board President Erin Hannan. “Her experience, vision and heart are extraordinary, and her plans to build upon her previous work at COPPeR align with the trajectory of our organization in fundamental ways.”
Founded in 2006, COPPeR is the arts agency for El Paso and Teller counties. It’s dedicated to fostering and championing the arts as an important part of the region’s identity and economy.
Seals plans to expand the agency's programming and work with creative industries, as well as capacity building for the creative sector and helping the arts community find new ways to develop business practices and connect to resources. COPPeR also will link to local chambers, strengthen workforce development and study economic impact.
"The population is growing. The arts community is diversifying," Seals said. "We have a responsibility to cultivate our region’s creativity and make sure we protect and support it so artists can afford to live here and have maximum impact. That takes commitment. That takes an agency like the cultural office to look at the big ecosystem and advocate for it at tables where people make policy decisions, as well as promote it to residents and tourists. The best thing for our arts community is to participate in it."