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The Making of "Art for the People"

Nancy Bentley and John Atkinson

The film was conceived in 2015 by cinematographer Jay Kriss, Jr. who planned to make a bio-documentary about mural artist Eric Bransby. But when Jay died unexpectedly in 2016, the project came to a standstill. Two years later, in late 2018, Writer/Director Nancy Bentley and Videographer/Director John Atkinson were invited to pick up the footage and create a film. This meant reviewing thirty hours of rough footage, ten hours of audio transcripts and hundreds of art and photo images. It also meant shooting additional footage, new interviews, archival photos, and artwork. The film also needed a music score.


In order to gather the resources necessary to make the film, the directors turned to the many talented members of the local Colorado Springs arts community: archival photo researchers and librarians Virginia Carlson and David Doman, narrator Birgitta DuPree, composer Mark Arnest, marionette artist David Simpich, dancer Kinsley Bullock, videographers Jane and Bob Neff, the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs, the Colorado Vocal Arts Ensemble, and the Colorado Youth Symphony. On the day the film premiered at the Rocky Mountain Women's Film Festival, many of the contributors sat in the audience.


On November 16, 2019, after the final chords of the film score faded away and the lights in the room were turned on, the moderator walked to the center of the stage and announced that Eric Bransby was in the room. With a gasp, the audience rose and gave him a rousing standing ovation. True to his gentlemanly good nature, Eric tipped his hat in appreciation. It was an unforgettable moment.

The Charmaine Nymen Bear Creek Community Garden

"The community garden was established by the El Paso County Parks Department in 1976 and was run by the Master Gardener volunteers of the local Colorado State University Extension office for 10 years before the BCGA assumed management responsibilities in 1986. The property had previously been used as a county-run Poor Farm, and had been gardened and farmed as early as 1900."