Monday, May 22, 2017

Trifecta bares it all onstage

Posted By on Mon, May 22, 2017 at 1:00 AM

When Penelope Mais Oui, one of the three performers that makes up Trifecta, told me about the women in her new burlesque collective — queer women over 40 with diverse backgrounds, families and bodies — I knew immediately that their stories would inspire.

The art of burlesque fascinates as much as it terrifies in today's beauty-centric society. Along with the vulnerability of nudity comes the vulnerability of sharing a piece of performance art that is entirely unique to one's own experience. It exposes the very bodies and sexualities society tells people to be ashamed of.

See what Mais Oui, Evangeline Cain, Chairmyn Meow and other LGBTQ burlesque artists have to say about burlesque and the queer experience in the latest issue of the Independent. In the meantime, get to know the women behind Trifecta.

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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Gallery shows, grilled cheese, music and more for the days ahead

Posted By on Thu, May 18, 2017 at 11:11 AM

Make the most of your weekend — whether it's art, food, sport or music — with this week's choice events.

19 Friday

Jim Van Hoy


Van Hoy has an impressive photography pedigree, with more awards than we can attempt to list here. You may have seen his work at the Colorado Springs Airport, various Pikes Peak libraries and other local galleries. He draws inspiration from both natural and constructed worlds, taking stunning photographs in vibrant color and black-and-white. 5:30-8 p.m.; on display through June 24, G44 Gallery, 1785 S. Eighth St., Suite A,

20 Saturday

Grill Cheese Fest and Craft Beer Pairing


This ain't your mama's grilled cheese — some awesome local chefs and craft brewers have come together for the perfect pairing. Chow down and drink up with live music provided by The LDK Band. What's more, proceeds go to Ascending to Health Respite Care, which — among many services — provides a safe place for homeless people to recover after being discharged from the hospital. 4-9 p.m., Catalyst Campus, 555 E. Pikes Peak Ave., $20, ages 21 and older,

20 Saturday

Vintage Baseball Game


Baseball is all well and good, but baseball played by 1864 rules can be delightful, especially if the players are wearing 1860s-inspired uniforms. After their crushing defeat two years ago, the Manitou Springs Heritage Center Lungers have challenged the Denver & Rio Grande Reds to a rematch. Root for the home team! 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Roger Maestas Field, El Paso Boulevard and Beckers Lane, Manitou Springs, donations support the Manitou Springs Heritage Center,

21 Sunday

The Dear Hunter


The Dear Hunter functions as both the name of the band and the name of the character whose story they tell with each album. Their newest album, Act V: Hymns with the Devil in Confessional, serves as the fifth installment in the hunter's tale. If you want a break from the story, check out one of their coolest albums, The Color Spectrum, a musical interpretation of all colors on the visible spectrum. That's prog rock for you. 7 p.m., Black Sheep, 2106 E. Platte Ave., $10.39-$22,

22 Monday

Bikepacking: Conquering the Great Divide


For five consecutive summers, Debra Ackley and Sarah Andrews have ridden a segment of the Great Divide Trail. To put that in perspective, The Great Divide Trail is about 3,100 miles long. These are the gals you want to teach you about bikepacking. Check out this special Adventure on Tap speaker series event to benefit from their expertise. 6-8 p.m., Buffalo Lodge Bicycle Resort, 2 El Paso Blvd.,

Find even more weekly listings in each Wednesday issue of the Indy, and submit your own events here.
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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

All Pikes Peak Reads announces theme and titles for this community-wide reading initiative

Posted By on Wed, May 17, 2017 at 8:39 AM

Each year, Pikes Peak Library District’s All Pikes Peak Reads events engage and connect the community through common literary experiences. With discussions, panel presentations, film screenings and more related to selected titles, this months-long initiative allows readers to deepen intertextual understanding.

The theme and titles for this year’s All Pikes Peak Reads (Sept. 5-Nov. 17) have officially been announced, so community members planning to participate can start preparing.

The theme: “Cultures, Conflicts, & Cuisines,” which, according to a press release, “connects the threads of cultural enlightenment, familial and social conflicts, social and romantic injustice, and the cuisines that make our world such a diverse home for us all.”

Keep an eye on the PPLD website as events are announced. In the meantime, check out the titles and their suggested demographics below:

Adults: Like Water for Chocolate by Linda Esquivel

Teens/Young Adults: Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee

Children: Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks

Academic: Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 by Anna Deavere Smith

All APPR titles are available electronically via the PPLD website.

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

UPDATE: ArtSpace survey is now live, calling on creatives to participate

Posted By on Tue, May 16, 2017 at 2:42 PM

UPDATE: Monday evening, the Colorado Springs Creative Collective and representatives from ArtSpace launched the Arts Market Survey. It is now live online and awaiting responses.

Bob Wolfson of the collective says he hopes to get 1,000 responses from community creatives by the survey's deadline, June 30.

Questions include information about income and household size, as well as what kinds of amenities and features one might want from a creative live/work space.

Interested artists may take the survey online. It takes about fifteen minutes and is best completed on a computer rather than a smartphone.


Artspace's presentation at a focus group, during its preliminary feasibility visit.
  • Artspace's presentation at a focus group, during its preliminary feasibility visit.
Colorado Springs needs to amp up its affordable housing. Anyone who has looked for a home or an apartment in recent years is familiar with the struggle to balance rent with location with accessibility (i.e. transportation) to core areas.

The Colorado Springs Creative Collective, a group of arts-minded community leaders, have been working on a way to mitigate this problem, at least for the area’s artists and creatives. The proposed solution, Artspace, is a Minneapolis-based organization that has created artistic live/work communities in cities across the country, including here in Colorado. Their Loveland development is the only Colorado project currently in operation, but developments have started in Lakewood, Denver and Trinidad. It's possible Colorado Springs will be next on that list.

The process takes a long while — already we’re about two years in — and has multiple phases. The first phase involved Artspace working closely with the steering committee, and included meetings with leaders in the local arts, location scouting, and a public meeting to address needs and hopes for an affordable live/work space.

The next phase requires quite a bit more public input.

The Arts Market Survey, which will roll out on May 15, is meant to assess need and priorities within the artistic community. While in no way a commitment to finalize plans with Artspace, the survey will gather necessary data to inform the collective’s next step. For instance, what kind of monthly rate can you afford as a working artist? What kind of space do you need (studio, performance, retail, etc.)? Do you have any other big ideas?

“This is the chance to make sure our community voices exactly what it needs as far as space and amenities for creatives,” says Claire Swinford, Urban Engagement Manager of the Downtown Partnership. “We have the chance to seize on some energy and some expertise but ultimately where this goes needs to be a reflection of our community, as diverse and inclusive as it is.”
The Colorado Springs Creative Collective asks that working artists participate in this survey, people who might benefit from affordable, downtown-adjacent housing in order to more easily pursue their artistic aspirations.

Those who wish to learn more about Artspace, the Arts Market Survey and what comes next are invited to a launch reception at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center on May 15, 5:30 p.m.
The whole Colorado Springs Creative Collective project team will be on-hand, along with representatives from Artspace, who will take questions. The event will also include a cash bar and free food.

Artspace holding a public meeting during its preliminary feasibility phase.
  • Artspace holding a public meeting during its preliminary feasibility phase.

Swinford says that anyone who is curious is welcome to attend. “This will be a chance to hear from some of our ArtSpace partners directly,” she says, “and get a little bit more of a detailed view of where we are in the development process, and what the Arts Market Survey is meant to do.”

If you are unable to make the launch reception, they ask that you complete the survey online, sometime before the first week of July. If you’re interested in learning more about the project as it continues, you can sign up for the collective’s newsletter.

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Friday, May 12, 2017

UPDATE: Tiny House Jamboree to leave Colorado Springs

Posted By on Fri, May 12, 2017 at 5:24 PM

  • Courtesy EcoCabins
The National Tiny House Jamboree updated its website today with an announcement on where the event will be moving, as well as a new partnership.

The organizers have joined forces with Reed Exhibitions, who boasts of producing more than 500 events in 30 countries, attracting 7 million people in 2016.

And this year's jamboree will now take place in Arlington, Texas from October 27 to 29.

There's a lengthy explanation of "why Arlington" on the site, related partly to it being "a hotspot for the Tiny House movement" as well as "having the resources to handle this expanding event."

Both educational programming and the amount of vendors and houses will expand as well.

For those needing to change travel plans or get tickets refunded, the organizers have also provided info on those details.

We spoke with Darin Zaruba, President of EcoCabins and the founding sponsor of the jamboree to talk more broadly about the impact of the event leaving, as well as the state of affairs for tiny homes in Colorado Springs.

His best guess — and it is a guess, since his organizers were unable to do an official study during the first two years of the event — is that on the low end of economic impact it brought between $1 and $2 million to town, if not upwards of $5 million.

He says Air Force Academy folks who assisted with last year's event reported attendance in excess of 60,000 people over the weekend. Hotels in a wide radius were sold out, as were such things as ice machines, he says. Impact would of course factor in restaurant and bar sales and other periphery expenditures from both locals and tourists.

We'll share more of our chat with Zaruba in next week's paper, particularly his thoughts on what's needed for C. Springs to become more progressive and tiny home friendly.


Despite Colorado Springs now being home to tiny home builders like EcoCabins and Tumbleweed Tiny Homes, the largest tiny home manufacturer in the U.S., it has never really been poised to be the "tiny housing 'capital of America'" as this Gazette article would have us believe.

While more progressive cities like Portland are testing programs such as tiny houses for the homeless, the Springs relegates them to RV parks, with building and zoning requirements not currently allowing for them to gain a foothold inside the city as residences.

As we detailed in our article last year on a program calling for a similar solution as Portland's, here's the central problem:
There's a way around minimum square footage requirements if you build the home on wheels, call it an RV and register it with the state through the DMV. But then you run up against another pesky roadblock: You can't live out of an RV parked on a residential lot as a permanent residence.
Regarding regulations and tiny homes, there's a lot you need to know, city by city.

What's especially going to not make the Springs the tiny home capital of anything is news that we're now losing the Tiny House Jamboree. This is a popular annual event in August each year that was reported to draw more than 50,000 visitors last year.

Here's the beginning of what they have on their website:
We have very exciting news coming over the next few days, with even bigger plans for the future! As this movement and industry continue to explode, it is clear our grassroots event was getting too big for Colorado Springs, the venue, or our Jamboree group to handle alone. Therefore, we are postponing the dates, changing the venue, adding professional resources, and have temporarily suspended ticket sales and vendor registration. Check on our website on our Facebook page or newsletter for information. We will post updates as soon as they are available.
And a little more on their Facebook page:
Doug Price, president and CEO of the Colorado Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau, says he's unable to gauge an accurate economic impact on what losing the Jamboree means. The calculators used for such data need inputs such as how many attendees came from out of the area and stayed the night in hotel rooms, etc. It's not data his office has for this event.

We have reached out to the organizers of the Jamboree for more information and will update this posting if we receive any.

What Price did feel comfortable saying, was that if somehow all of those 50,000-plus weekend attendees were only locals (they weren't) economic impact would still exceed $60,000 a day, bare minimum.

We aren't in the guessing game here at the Indy, either, but we'd feel comfortable wagering that the event probably carried an impact well into the six digits, if not low millions. It's a shame to lose it.
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Drag and body paint parties for your nightlife, sports and more for the weekend

Posted By on Fri, May 12, 2017 at 1:00 AM

13 Saturday

  • Chris Pike

Body Paint Palooza

See models in intricate body paint and get gussied yourself for no extra charge. Some highlights of tonight's event include live music, art booths and dancing tunes spun by DJ Gravity. Food and drink specials go all night, including $2 shots, so you might want to get an Uber lined up. 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., Royal Castle Lounge & Grill, 2355 Platte Place, $15-$20, ages 21 and older,

13 Saturday

  • Shutterstock

Disney Show

Snow White eat your heart out! (What, bad joke?) These queens are the fairest in the land. See your favorite local drag queens and kings in some magical Disney-themed performances tonight. Bonus: The United Court of the Pikes Peak Empire donates proceeds to various local organizations. 8-10 p.m., Club Q, 3430 N. Academy Blvd., donations accepted,

15 Monday


Tin Soldiers Skate Session

The Adaptive Skate Kollective and Sk8-Strong are inviting local skaters to shred alongside these amazing athletes with disabilities while getting a first-hand look at adaptive skateboarding. Today's special guest is paralympic medalist and X-Games gold medalist Keith Gabel. After the session, enjoy a screening of Tin Soldiers at Ivywild, so you can learn more about the adaptive sports scene. 3-6 p.m., Memorial Park Skate Park, 1605 E. Pikes Peak Ave., free,

19 Friday


Pikes Peak Birding and Nature Festival

Audubon enthusiasts rejoice — this is a weekend filled with all things bird. Check out lectures, workshops, bird hikes and a keynote speech by Bill Schmoker, a leader and educator in Colorado birding. We recommend grabbing your camera, clipboard, birdseed and binoculars so you can get birding! May 19-21, registration required by May 15, various locations,

Find even more weekly listings in each Wednesday issue of the Indy, and submit your own events here.
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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Vintage Grooming Company offers boutique facial hair products

Posted By on Tue, May 9, 2017 at 2:48 PM

  • Brienne Boortz

Derwood Willhite is an engaging shopkeeper, make no mistake. His wife, Megan, confirms that customers tend to hang around the store and chew the fat while making a purchase — half an hour isn't unusual. The Willhites own the Vintage Grooming Company, a maker of nationally distributed craft grooming products for men. They specialize in hair care — hair pomade, shaving oil, shaving soap, beard oil, beard balm, and moustache wax.

The idea behind the company goes back to 2010, when Louisiana native Derwood finished his time in the U.S. Army. After years of razor burn, he decided it was time to grow out some serious whiskers.

"When Derwood was first growing out the beard, I bought a couple of the products that were out on the market, but they broke out his skin," says Megan, herself a North Carolinian. She did some research and, with Derwood as her willing guinea pig, formulated a gentle beard oil that worked for her husband and his hirsute biker buddies.

"I didn't want anybody looking greasy or oily," says Megan of her recipes. She uses jojoba oil in most of their products, popular in moisturizers and cosmetics and useful in the dry Colorado climate. For fragrance, she uses essential oils, which she says are gentler on skin than mass-market fragrances, as well milder-smelling and thus less likely to irritate the wearer's sense of smell. Their beard balm adds beeswax, which helps tame curly and unruly beards. Both function as leave-in conditioner.

Megan and Derwood started the company as a web-only store in 2014, after moving to the Springs. In January 2016, they opened a brick-and-mortar location at the corner of Nevada and Austin Bluffs, allowing their local customers to avoid paying shipping.

"With all the veterans around here, we wanted to be a part of the community," says Derwood. And they've been successful there, too. "I started in one space and took over the whole building."

With products like theirs, the Willhites confirm that they educate a lot of their customers. They offer pine sap- and beeswax-based moustache wax to men accustomed to styling their 'staches with everything from hairspray to glue.

"We even had a gentleman come in who used maple syrup to style his moustache," says Megan.

But the biggest assumption they work against is that their products are strictly for people with beards — and big ones at that.

"It's not about the size," says Derwood. "It's not about how big it is. It's about how it makes you who you are."

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Chris Vestal's maker mentality

Posted By on Tue, May 9, 2017 at 1:37 PM

  • Todd Jones

Chris Vestal, founder of the Pikes Peak Makerspace (735 E Pikes Peak Ave,, grew up with a love for technology and design, eventually getting hired by General Motors right out of college to work on prototyping and fiber optics. He’s also been 3-dimensional printing since the ‘90s, and has taken his love for making to the Pikes Peak Makerspace, a cooperative work space based on creativity, technology, and community.

“The Pikes Peak Makerspace is definitely focused on helping out our community and including the technology and equipment that our community in this area is interested in,” Vestal says.

“Makers” are born problem solvers, but they may be harder to find in the future if a particular problem isn’t addressed right now — the lack of trade skills and workshop classes in schools. Vestal, an entrepreneur and maker based in mechanical design, sees PPM as a way to begin filling this void. The Makerspace is Vestal’s fifth startup, a space for beginners and advanced makers alike to come and use the software and machinery provided for a small membership fee. With 3-D printers, a CNC mill, plotters and laser cutters, and classes teaching the safety, proper use, and software needed to use each machine, Vestal is inspiring the mentality of a true maker in all who come through his doors.

Vestal says, “Our core thing is this in an excellent place to come in, have 24/7 access to these tools, and if you don’t know how to use these tools, we have training.”

He continues to get excited about the community built around the Pikes Peak Makerspace and the people of Colorado Springs. He gets invigorated by the energy of newcomers and the expertise of seasoned veterans and looks forward to seeing what exciting things get created through the Makerspace.

“My favorite thing that keeps me rolling with the Makerspace is the community. Everybody’s coming out with a new challenge or new talent and seeing what we can do with that,” Vestal says.

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Thursday, May 4, 2017

Artwork, Star Wars and unique cultural experiences make for an interesting week

Posted By on Thu, May 4, 2017 at 1:00 AM

4 Thursday

  • Wikimedia Commons
Let the Wookiee Win: A Star Wars Quiz

Because we needed to include something for May the Fourth Be With You day. Defend your nerd cred and test your knowledge of the “five good theatrical Star Wars films” — no extended universe necessary. While we don't have an insider information as to what they're going to ask, we have a feeling “Who shot first?” may come up. 7-10 p.m., Jack Quinn Irish Alehouse & Pub, 21 S. Tejon St., $5,

5 Friday

  • JayCee Beyale

Artists JayCee Beyale (Navajo) and Michelle “Milo” Lowden (Acoma Pueblo) incorporate their Native American heritage into their art. Beyale says of their work: “We both have our own individual ways of modernizing what has been done for a long period of time.” Lowden founded Milo Creations, specializing in hand-painted Pueblo jewelry; Beyale runs a local screen printing shop. 5 p.m. to midnight, The Modbo, 17C E. Bijou St.,

6 Saturday

  • Courtesy Cottonwood Center for the Arts
Under $100 Spring Art and Gifts Sale

For the thriftier art-lovers among us, this is a good opportunity to purchase less expensive pieces from some of the area's best artists. Tour more than 30 open studios for a different kind of shopping experience, and pick up some gifts along the way. Extra perks include make-and-take workshops for the family, giveaways and prizes. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Cottonwood Center for the Arts, 427 E. Colorado Ave.,

6 Saturday

  • Shutterstock
Equestrian Skills Course Grand Opening

Celebrate the horse course that’s been long in the making. The event will include activities and entertainment, including the Fort Carson Mounted Color Guard and an original 1800s wagon to explore. Good for saddle clubs, individuals on horseback or your general equestrian enthusiast. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Bear Creek Regional Park, 245 Bear Creek Road, 377-2697.

7 Sunday

  • Shutterstock
Africa Day

Enjoy the diverse and unique culture of Africa with entertainment, food and educational opportunities. If you come from Africa, or if you’ve ever visited, this is a good opportunity to share experiences. While particularly valuable to students of the diaspora, the event’s open to the public for a reason — go have fun and learn a little. 3 p.m., CC’s Cornerstone Arts Center, 825 N. Cascade Ave.,

Find even more weekly listings in each Wednesday issue of the Indy, and submit your own events here.
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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Pikes Peak Whittlers celebrate skill of woodcarving

Posted By on Wed, May 3, 2017 at 1:00 PM

John Armstrong started out as a small-time crew member. First, he was taking a pocketknife to sticks. Then, instead of a single cigar box, he needed an extra-large case for his tools. Soon, he was initiated as one of them, a member of Pikes Peak Whittlers, that is.

“I kind of got hooked on what [the Pikes Peak Whittlers] were doing,” he says. “They slowly sucked me in.”

Seven years later, Armstrong has served as president, vice president, secretary and librarian for the Pikes Peak Whittlers, a local club that celebrates and promotes woodcarving in the area.

That extra-large case now holds Armstrong’s many carving tools, evidence of his passion for the craft.

“Most of us became carvers because we liked wood to begin with,” Armstrong says. “You have to work with it to learn how to do something with it.”

“When you think of whittling, there’s this image of a cowboy sitting on a front porch. There’s something to that. Carving allows you to escape for a while.”

An arc that members of the Pikes Peak Whittlers created and donated to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Colorado. Each animal pair was completed by a different club member. - PIKES PEAK WHITTLERS - JOHN ARMSTRONG
  • Pikes Peak Whittlers - John Armstrong
  • An arc that members of the Pikes Peak Whittlers created and donated to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Colorado. Each animal pair was completed by a different club member.

  • Pikes Peak Whittlers - John Armstrong
  • Trout by Ernesto Norte.

Armstrong had made a hobby of making and playing Native American flutes when a club member discovered him and invited him to a meeting as a presenter. He’s whittled everything from sticks and gnomes to more southwest style pieces.

“You get interested in different things as you go along,” he says.

Founded in 1982, the club has around 30 active members, with between 50 and 60 in total. $20 a year gets you a family membership.
A Friendship Stick made by Pikes Peak Whittlers members. The project was led by vice president Kristine Harris. - PIKES PEAK WHITTLERS - JOHN ARMSTRONG
  • Pikes Peak Whittlers - John Armstrong
  • A Friendship Stick made by Pikes Peak Whittlers members. The project was led by vice president Kristine Harris.

“If you show people how to carve, you’re more likely to get them to interact,” Armstrong says.

To help counter the idea that woodcarving is seen as a dying art, Armstrong says the club looks to get young people involved by showing them what can be done with wood.

“We’ll often give (kids) little knick-knacks,” he said. “And maybe a week from then, they’ll see it again and think ‘I’d like to do that.’”

But why, with all of today’s technology, pursue whittling as a hobby?

“For me, it’s the carving itself,” Armstrong says. “And if you get to a troubling place, you can show it to five or six other people and get their ideas on how to solve the problem.”

“We’re very supportive of each other. You’ll probably get more tips than you actually need.”

Construction Workers by Steve Gurnett, which has won both Peoples' Choice and Carvers' Choice awards. - PIKES PEAK WHITTLERS - JOHN ARMSTRONG
  • Pikes Peak Whittlers - John Armstrong
  • Construction Workers by Steve Gurnett, which has won both Peoples' Choice and Carvers' Choice awards.

While some members are professionals and sell their creations, most become gifts or treasured living room accents.

No matter. It’s passion that motivates these carvers.

“Just because you can buy everything molded in plastic doesn’t mean you have to or should,” Armstrong says. “There’s a lot to be said for wood.”

The 34th edition of the club’s biggest event of the year, the annual Woodcarving and Woodworking Show, is May 20-21 at the Colorado Springs Shrine Club on the west side of town. Around 45 woodcarvers will be there, mostly local carvers but with some from other parts of Colorado and surrounding states, displaying their efforts with some pieces for sale, but that’s just the tip of the chisel, so to speak. Outside vendors will have books and equipment for carving while a professional woodcarver will adjudicate competitions in over 20 categories and Best in Show (along with Carvers Choice and Public Choice), add to that contests and activities for the the whole family, too.

“It’s really one of our ways to interact with the public, for people to come through and see what we’re doing,” Armstrong says.

34th Annual Woodcarving and Woodworking Show; Colorado Springs Shrine Club, 6 S. 33rd St., May 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; May 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. $3 for adults, $2 for seniors (65+) and military, Free for children under 12 with a paid adult admission.

Jonathan Toman serves as the Peak Radar manager for the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region. connects you to over 4,000 local events, 450 creative groups, & 350 artists — all in one beautiful website for the Pikes Peak region. Jonathan can be reached at

Click here for this month’s events. Click here to see this month’s art walk information. To sign up for the Peak Radar weekly e-blast, click here.

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Friday, April 28, 2017

The Grizzled: A taut and touching cooperative game about WW1

Posted By on Fri, Apr 28, 2017 at 4:00 PM

  • Nate Warren
Generally, if you ask a crowd of guests who wants to pretend to be a group of French soldiers in a trench in WW1, not a lot of hands will go up. Understandably so — that shit’s depressing, right? But for those willing, the alchemy of games transforms this gruesome tableau into something engaging, suspenseful and even touching. This is The Grizzled.

The Grizzled is a cooperative game that sees up to five players taking on the roles of French soldiers. The goal? Survive and get home together. The stakes? Everybody comes home or nobody does.

As such, it works nothing like a typical wargame. None of The Grizzled’s mechanics revolve around the minutiae of moving or attacking; rather, players join together in a race to empty their hands of "trial" cards representing various weather conditions, assaults (over the top, boys!), mustard gas attacks and artillery bombardments. There are also "hard knock" cards representing the psychological wear and tear on the individual soldiers in the platoon: These cards are numerous and gradually force players to constrict available options as their soldiers start to make irrational decisions.

There are up to six soldiers to play, each with a name inspired by an actual veteran of The Great War (some were actually distant relatives of the game’s designers). Together, players strategize to empty their hands of trial and hard knocks cards before draining the card pile revealing a monument with all your soldiers' names on it, in which case you lose. Empty the other card pile revealing a dove and you're platoon has survived in one piece!

Like all good cooperative games, The Grizzled feels like running uphill in fine sand — while you’re holding hands with four other people. Getting beat down by the game is a common occurrence, which makes it all the more gratifying when you can work together and eke out a win.

The game is tense, tough and offers quite the bonding experience — a beautiful abstraction of the camaraderie borne of terrible events. If you want a unique experience on your game shelf, give this one a look, mes amis.

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Arts Business Education Consortium awards local leaders

Posted By on Fri, Apr 28, 2017 at 9:47 AM

The Arts Business Education Consortium held its annual award luncheon on Thursday, honoring community leaders for their contributions to art and education.

With walls covered in the artwork of area students and performances by Air Academy High School’s a cappella group and jazz choir, the atmosphere in the Antlers Hotel banquet room was one of artistic celebration.

After a performance of mixed-topic comedy and music by keynote speaker/comedian/singer Ron Feingold, the excitement began.

Here are some highlights:

Pam Shockley-Zalabak, Sally Hybl and Betty Ross accept the Bee an Arts Champion award. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Pam Shockley-Zalabak, Sally Hybl and Betty Ross accept the Bee an Arts Champion award.

Perhaps the most emotional award was presented, for the first time ever, to a group of people rather than an individual. David Siegel, presenting the Bee an Arts Champion Award from the Bee Vradenburg Foundation, lauded the contributions of Murray and Betty Ross, former UCCS chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak and Sally Hybl, all of whom contributed to the Ent Center for the Arts, which is set to open in 2018. Murray Ross, who passed away earlier this year, began TheatreWorks in 1975 and, according to Siegel, “set in motion the thriving theater community we enjoy today.”

Accepting the award, Betty Ross, Shockley-Zalabak and Hybl received a standing ovation. Shockley-Zalabak said of their missing honoree, “Murray’s quest for excellence changed our community.”

Along with the honor itself, the Bee an Arts Champion Award comes with $1,000 to be donated to the organization of the recipient’s choice. Appropriately, the three have decided to put that money into the Murray Ross Artistic Endowment at UCCS.

Another standing ovation greeted the family honored for the ABE’s Unique Project award. In response to the high number of local teens who completed suicide last year, the Weien family began painting their fence with bright imagery and messages of hope and love. Now, more than 1,000 people have participated in the mural project, which the family calls “Spray the Love.” Jim Ciletti, who presented the ABE awards, said that this is an example of how a community can “heal, strengthen and connect through the arts.”

Our own Indy chairman, John Weiss, received a new award to the ABE — The COPPeR Community Support of Arts Education Award — for his creation of the Indy Give campaign. Last year, Indy Give raised more than $1 million for local nonprofits. Andy Vick, presenting the award, said: “Many organizations have been empowered [by Indy Give] to do their best work and support children across the Pikes Peak region.”

Tom Naughton accepts the Business Support of the Arts award. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Tom Naughton accepts the Business Support of the Arts award.
To acknowledge the contributions of the business community, Dirk Draper of the Colorado Springs Chamber honored Tom Naughton, the regional president of U.S. Bank, with the Business Support of the Arts award. Draper called Naughton a “longtime supporter of the arts” both personally and otherwise.

In addition to the above, Barbara Jack of the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind received the award for Distinguished Visual/Literacy Arts Teacher; Amy Keating of Discovery Canyon Campus was honored with The Distinguished Performing Arts Teacher award; Randy Zimmerman of CIVA Charter School received the Distinguished Administrator award; and Jenifer Erickson of Calhan School was honored for Ongoing Support for the Arts.

Kate Perdoni, director of The Pikes Peak Art Council, honored three individuals with PPAC awards: The Award in Arts Advocacy was gifted to Leah Lowe, who works with District 12 and Concrete Couch; The Fine Arts Center’s Nathan Halvorson was honored in the category of Arts Education; and Colorado College’s Aaron Cohick of the Press at CC and the NewLights Press received the Education Institution award.

Beyond the awards to community leaders, the ABE also honored 15 students with Mary Lou Anderson scholarships, and two teachers with $300 micro-grants.

See photos of the honorees below:

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Food truck cook-off starts Small Business Week off on a tasty note

Posted By on Fri, Apr 28, 2017 at 1:00 AM

  • Courtesy Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center

"Small businesses are the backbone of this economy," says Gina Sacripanti, vice president of the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado. "So for us, supporting small businesses ultimately results in a stronger economy and a stronger community."

In this case, "us" means the BBB and the Small Business Development Center, with whom the BBB has teamed up to celebrate Small Business Week for the fifth year in a row.

Each year during Small Business Week, SBDC and BBB bring valuable resources and workshops to our local businesses. Among this week's events, business owners and potential startups can look forward to a panel about what the new administration means for small businesses, as well as a simulation to help folks amp up their cyber security.

Sacripanti says that the quality of the programming put on by Small Business Week has improved over the years. "The types of events that we put on are a little bit more hot topics, so the speakers that we have are local experts."

Those of us who don't own our own business can still get psyched for Small Business Week's kickoff event: the second-annual food truck cook-off. Let's be real, Colorado Springs loves its food trucks, and $15 to $20 bucks to sample 12 of them is a pretty sweet deal. In case you need more convincing, the lineup includes such local favorites as Mira Sol, Awaken, Heavenly Dessert, Three Sisters Frybread and Lucy I'm Home.

Once you pay your way, you can sample to your heart's content and cast your vote for the people's choice award. Not confident in your own palate? That's okay, there will be judges, too (our own food critic Griffin Swartzell among them), who will give out their own prize.

Last year's event sold out at 250 people, but Sacripanti says they're expecting (and prepared for) as many as 400 this year. "It just shows the appetite [of] the community. This community wants something different and fun supporting our local businesses."

Winners of the cook-off will be announced alongside other high-profile awards at the final event of Small Business Week, an awards dinner (May 4, 5:30-9 p.m.), which is meant to honor and celebrate members of our business community.

These organizations do a lot to support local small businesses, both existing and in-development. So get out, support them, and chow down while you're at it.

Sunday, April 30, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Norris-Penrose Event Center, 1045 Lower Gold Camp Road, $15-$20,
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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Behind the scenes with Ladyfingers Letterpress

Posted By on Thu, Apr 27, 2017 at 11:01 AM

  • Todd Jones
The creative process can be grueling and tiresome. Often times, your product will be nothing like it was once imagined. Arley-Rose Torsone and Morgan Calderini, the artists behind Ladyfingers Letterpress know and appreciate this. After lugging thousands of pounds of equipment from Rhode Island to set up shop in Colorado Springs to be closer to family, the proud Mom and Mom shop owners added to their custom, handmade invitation operation to become a multi-faceted business — including a retail storefront and various workshop classes.

Ladyfingers has actually scaled down since coming to the Springs in 2014, having seven full-time employees when in Rhode Island and producing upwards of twenty custom lines made per month, to Torsion and Calderini now working by themselves (with some help from Calderini’s mother) and completing up to twelve custom invitation lines per year. They’ve adjusted the rest of their lives along the way, too, finding a balance between the business, creating art, and a growing family. They’ve made sacrifices in order to achieve their biggest masterpiece to date: a creative, self-sustaining, and successful letterpress company.

The inside of Ladyfingers and its presses are mesmerizing, commanding your attention when you first walk in. Seeing the workings of the operation is exciting, and Torsone and Calderini are welcoming. When I met them I had a list of questions I wanted to ask, but, consequently, I forgot to bring them. So I improvised, asking first about their artistic backgrounds and how they found their craft, which quickly lead to how art can serve a purpose, and that printmaking and design have a very tangible role in society.

Ladyfingers isn’t about getting rich, it’s about quality, happiness, and fun first and foremost. I asked them why they put so much into each project — when they could just as easily take an cookie-cutter design approach . Torsone and Calderini believe beauty is in everything, you just have to work to find it and make it show.

“We don’t mean for it to look like this was easy. This is a culmination of a lot of trials and tribulations and bad choices,” Torsone says. “But if you want something, you just got to set your heart to it and never give up.”

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Travis Tritt, Taste of OCC, the Greenie Awards and more events for the week

Posted By on Wed, Apr 26, 2017 at 1:00 AM

26 Wednesday


Travis Tritt

This guy has been a big name in country music for nearly 30 years — an impressive span. Many associate him with the big names in early '90s country, including Alan Jackson, Clint Black and Garth Brooks, but he's carved out his own niche, too. With influences from Southern rock to blues to gospel, Tritt's country style is unique and accessible, so tonight's show should be a good bet for fans of the genre. 7 p.m., Pikes Peak Center, 190 S. Cascade Ave., $53,

28 Friday


Just Speak, Just Listen, Just Move

You want dance, music, poetry, visual art and rap on the same stage? You've come to the right event, well-suited to the distractible entertainment-lover. This New Mexico-based collective of creators, led by poet/artist/teacher Carlos Contreras, showcases "contemporary black and brown stories of celebration and lament with a distinctly Southwestern flair," all told in unique ways. Hosted by Idris Goodwin and featuring talented performers like teenage rapper/viral video sensation Zavier "Z Man" Thompson, it should be an eclectic and exciting evening. 7:30 p.m., CC's Cornerstone Arts Center, 825 N. Cascade Ave.,

29 Saturday


Earth Month Fashion Show and Greenie Awards

On this, the 10th anniversary of Veda Salon & Spa and Rocky Mountain Field Institute's Earth Month celebration, expect a high-energy show with tons of sustainability-minded entertainment, including dance, music and more. All outfits in the fashion show are made from recycled materials, and Veda provides "spectacular" hair and makeup. Proceeds benefit Rocky Mountain Field Institute, a prolific local organization that works to preserve our trails, open spaces and landscapes. 7-10 p.m., Colorado Springs City Auditorium, 221 E. Kiowa St., $35-$50,

28 Friday


Souvenir: A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins

Florence Foster Jenkins is one of those strange and delightful characters from history —a wealthy eccentric who doggedly pursued a singing career in spite of the fact that she was horribly tone deaf. This play follows Florence to her career-defining performance at a sold-out Carnegie Hall in 1944. With only two characters and some delightful music, appropriately slaughtered, Souvenir promises to be a hilarious and powerful look at an oddly inspiring figure, who once said: "People may say I couldn't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing." 7:30 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays; through May 21, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, 30 W. Dale St., $18-$20,

29 Saturday


2017 Cheyenne Mountain Trail Race

Not only does this annual race give you the opportunity to test your skills on 10K, 25K or 50K of beautiful trails, but it also supports Achilles Pikes Peak, a local group that helps athletes with disabilities hit the trails. All runners get a T-shirt, and prize money goes to the top three men and women in each race, but this definitely isn't about the prizes. Bonus: There will be a playground near the start/finish for kids, plus coffee for runners and lunch for everyone, provided by Roman Villa. 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Cheyenne Mountain State Park, 410 JL Ranch Heights,

30 Sunday


Taste of OCC

Old Colorado City hosts some of our favorite restaurants in town, and no event encapsulates its eclectic dining scene like this annual celebration of food and drink. Join 20 local restaurants, wineries and breweries — including Jake & Telly's, Cerberus Brewing, TAPAteria and more — as they sample out some of their favorite dishes. Proceeds support the Old Colorado City Foundation, which will put the money toward improvements in Bancroft Park. Noon to 4 p.m., Bancroft Park, 2408 W. Colorado Ave., $35-$50,

Find even more weekly listings in each Wednesday issue of the Indy, and submit your own events here.
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