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click to enlarge Owen Riss's "Neo" at the BAC's Rocky Mountain Juried Photography Exhibition
  • Owen Riss's "Neo" at the BAC's Rocky Mountain Juried Photography Exhibition

11 Thursday

Starting tonight, the Fine Arts Center, 30 W. Dale St., answers one of lifes persistent questions: What is ART? The FACs Repertory Theatre Company performs ART, the Tony Awardwinning comedy, Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. A free discussion about the performance will be held one hour before the show and a pre-performance dinner can be yours two hours before curtain time. The shows up through July 21 and tickets run from $20 to $25 (an additional $23.95 for dinner). Call 634-5583.

12 Friday

Sean Kennedy & The King Kats come careening through town again, scheduled once more at Jose Muldoon's, 222 N. Tejon St. The down-to-earth rockabilly quartet plays at 9:30 p.m. tonight and Saturday. Call 636-2311.

The Rocky Mountain Regional Juried Photography Exhibition is the next to hang at the Business of Art Center's Community Gallery, 515 Manitou Ave. Judged and juried by Steve Anchell, senior editor at Photovision Magazine, the show features work by artists living in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming ... you get the idea. The show runs through Aug.11, and opens tonight with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. The center will also feature photographs by David and Marc Muench (whose landscapes have appeared in National Geographic and Time), and David will be on hand to sign their most recent book, Colorado. Call 685-1861 for more.

It's hard to explain the vast purity of the empty plains. The space, the simplicity and the clarity are a beauty that has to be experienced one-on-one, down in the slough grass. Yet, somehow, Castle Rock photographer Peter Kowalchuk has created a series of pictures that comes close to approximating the winds and sweet smells of the Colorado prairie. The show, titled Lone Tree Landscapes, features panoramic silver gelatin prints at Phototroph Gallery, under the Colorado Avenue bridge. Lone Tree opens tonight at 5 and runs through July 28. Call 442-6995.

It's all about giving back, isn't it? All the money, the fame ... it means nothing if you can't give just a little back to the community, and that's why The Shivers have once again brought fine music to town. The Shivers Concert Series premiers tonight at 7 at the Center for Creative Leadership, 850 Leader Way, with And So I Sing... Rosalyn Story, violinist and author of the book by the same name, will present a discussion about African-American divas of the opera. Pianist Susan Grace and mezzo-soprano Shannon Koonce will also perform. Tickets are $35, include dinner and benefit the Shivers Fund and the African-American Historical and Cultural Collection at the Pikes Peak Library District. R.S.V.P. to 593-8400.

One main reason to head up to the LoDo Music Festival in Denver: LoDo-Raoke -- karaoke with a live band. Live your dreams. Find out more at

click to enlarge Peter Kowalchuk's Lone Tree Landscapes opens this Friday at Phototroph
  • Peter Kowalchuk's Lone Tree Landscapes opens this Friday at Phototroph

www.lodomusicfestival.com or by calling 800/965-4827.

13 Saturday

P-town jumps today with not one but two big festivals. First up: the second annual RiverFest, featuring the 22nd annual Rolling River Raft Race, the second annual Rubber Duck Regatta and the third annual Pueblo Songwriters concert -- all at the Greenway and Nature Center on the Arkansas River. The races begin at 10 a.m., the music starts at 11, and the day ends with the Raft Race Dance at 9 p.m. with Los Jalapenos, a La Junta salsa band. An arts and crafts show plus plenty of food and drinks will keep you busy in between. Call 719/549-2414 for directions and a full schedule.

Also on the Arkansas is Rockin' Art on the Riverwalk, an art and music festival featuring Wallace Cotton & the Royals, Southern Comfort and Kenny Gonzales & The KGB, plus works in all mediums by many regional artists and a Corvette show along the historic riverwalk. The festival begins at 11 a.m. and the music at 6 p.m. Call 719/547-3996.

Ah, Japan. We didn't want you to kick our NORAD-y ass back in the Cold War days, so we became best friends with your fair city Fujiyoshida, nestled at the base of Mt. Fuji, in 1962. We can associate with their foothills and technological industry -- plus, they also share sister cityhood with Chamonix, France, where many of our wealthy athletes go to swoosh the winters away.

In honor of the 40th anniversary of our relationship, we are delighted to play host to your Fujiyoshida Chor Shirakaba, the oldest ladies chorale group in the Yamanashi Prefecture. The group performs some of Japan's popular and folk songs in Packard Hall, on the southwest corner of Cascade and Cache La Poudre. Admission is free, and the concert begins at 4 p.m. Call 389-6607 for more.

14 Sunday

Denver darling Ellen Rucker comes down with her Quartet in tow to headline the Second Sunday Jazz Affair, hosted by the Pikes Peak Jazz and Swing Society from 2 to 5 p.m. at The Original Castaways, 107 Manitou Ave. Tickets are $5 to $7 at the door.

-- Kristen Sherwood

click to enlarge Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater helps kick off the Blues Fest on Friday
  • Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater helps kick off the Blues Fest on Friday

Bluesploitation
Pikes Peak Blues Fest is back

The best thing about Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater is that you never really know what style he'll fly into next, from a sweet Texas shuffle to a hot swampy jump to an old-school Chicago blues tune. This rejection of connection to one solid style (conforming is not a Clearwater trademark -- note the elaborate feather headdress often worn on stage) leaves him plenty of room to blend his Mississippi roots into Chuck Berrystyle rock 'n' roll, gospel-based arrangements, or blues-tinged rockabilly.

Clearwater is one of many national acts scheduled to perform at this year's Pikes Peak Blues Fest, part of a four-city international string of blues festivals happening this weekend, the others in London and Windsor, Ontario and Novi, Michigan. With multiple festivals happening on the same days at the same time, you might think first-rate talent would be in short supply, but the promoters of the local Blues Fest have managed to hook not only The Chief but Sonny Rhodes, Bernard Allison, Tab Benoit, Lucky Peterson and Eric Burdon.

Still, regardless of the many national acts that will grace the outdoor stage in Antlers Park, the real reason to head out this weekend are the local and regional acts. Some of the best blues performers around call the Front Range home -- people like Joanne Taylor and Otis Taylor -- but it's a rare treat to have them bundled in one easy-to-digest single afternoon serving. On Saturday afternoon Metro Blues, with their wicked horn/guitar combination, begin the performances, which also include Denverites Tempa & The Tantrums, Stanley Milton's Mean Streak and the Erica Brown Band. Hometown boys Mike Nelson (of the gorgeous voice) & the Motel Kings also play at 1:25 p.m.

Sunday's fat lineup includes locals Mo' Kauffey; Johnny & The Jukes with John Wise's swampy, raucous bass; Magic Dave & The New Mules; Smokin' Joe and the Mighty Burners featuring the Queen of the Blues, Miss Joanne Taylor; and from Denver, Emilio Emilio, Little Mary & Her Hometown Boogie Kings, and Little Rikki & The Roosters.

Tickets to Blues Fest are $15 to $25, or $45 for a three-day pass, and can be had online at

www.drtix.net or at the Navajo Hogan, Nelson's Barber Shop next to Laura Belle's or at Graner Music. For more info and full schedules, check out

www.mightyburners.com/bluesfest.html call 630-1160, or see the listings on page 34.

-- Kristen Sherwood

click to enlarge French Smith's "Offerings to the Sun" for raffle at The Broadmoor
  • French Smith's "Offerings to the Sun" for raffle at The Broadmoor

capsule

Pikes Peak Blues Fest
Antlers Park, behind the Antlers Adam's Mark Hotel
Friday Sunday, July 12-14
Tickets: Friday or Saturday only, $25. Sunday only, $15. Three-day pass, $45. Available online at www.drtix.net or at the Navajo Hogan, Nelson's Barber Shop next to Laura Belle's or at Graner Music.

For full schedule, visit www.mightyburners.com/bluesfest or call 630-1160.

Special Delivery
Art auction to benefit worthy organization

This Friday at The Broadmoor hotel, the Pikes Peak Chapter of the Walking Shield American Indian Society will host a benefit art auction featuring the work of 11 well-known Native American artists.

Titled Mitakuye Oyasin, Gifts from the Heart, the show and raffle aims to raise money to pay for "needed increased storage space in Colorado Springs, as well as fuel and rental trucks to deliver community-donated items such as furniture, clothing, food, and educational materials to the Pine Tree and Rosebud reservations in South Dakota."

Originally founded by Lakota Sioux descendant Philip J. Stevens in 1986, the Walking Shield American Indian Society is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing humanitarian and educational assistance to the many disadvantaged and unemployed Native Americans throughout the U.S.

In 1997, retirees Elaine and Bill Glynn founded the Pikes Peak Chapter of the WSAIS, focusing primarily on the needs of the Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations in South Dakota.

On top of delivering donated items, the WSAIS also assists with development, building and repair projects.

Among the artists represented at the Broadmoor this Friday will be ceramist Pahponee, painters Allen Mose, Freda French-Smith, Andrew Velez and Joseph Bonomo, as well as sculptor Rick Nez and furniture maker Michael Jose Velez.

Don't miss this chance to win some beautiful artwork while helping the WSAIS and the many tribes that benefit from its services.

-- Noel Black

capsule

Mitakuye Oyasin, Gifts from the Heart
Broadmoor Hotel, South Tower
Friday, July 12, 3-9 p.m.
Call 329-0251 for more.

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