Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Zuni Pueblo artists Morningsong and Fontenelle to visit Colorado Springs

Posted By on Wed, Sep 27, 2017 at 1:00 AM

Shelley Morningsong and Fabian Fontenelle. - ONE NATION WALKING TOGETHER FACEBOOK PAGE
  • One Nation Walking Together Facebook Page
  • Shelley Morningsong and Fabian Fontenelle.
When speaking with 2016 Native American Artist of the Year Shelley Morningsong, the word “connectedness” is bound to come up. The reason is simple: A large part of what she and her husband, Fabian Fontenelle, seek to accomplish through their music revolves around bringing people together and helping to show the commonalities we all share.

Morningsong (N. Cheyenne/Dutch) and Fontenelle (Zuni/Omaha) collaborate to perform both traditional and contemporary Native American music, dance, song, storytelling, and drumming throughout the country to help tell the story of their Native American heritage.
  • Shelley Morningsong.

“Our goal is always to touch people’s hearts with our music,” Morningsong says. “Each life is important, and it’s critical to understand how we can learn from each other even though we come from different places. ... It's amazing how much people don't know about Native American Culture.”

After meeting in 2001 in the same touring group, Morningsong and Fontenelle now perform together year-round from coast to coast and beyond, embarking on a four-week trip to Bavaria for the past few summers.

The Zuni Pueblo, New Mexico duo has a connection with One Nation Walking Together, a local organization focused on improving the lives of Native Americans in the region, after meeting organizers at an event in Denver. Later, impressed with ONWT, Mornigsong wrote and performed the organization's theme song.
  • Fabian Fontenelle.

“Shelley and Fabian are two of the most kind-hearted people you will ever meet,” says Laura Chickering, ONWT's development director. “We can’t thank them enough for being ambassadors of One Nation Walking Together.”

The duo will be one of many performers at the 2017 Artini, the free Arts Month kickoff party hosted at the Mansion by the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region on Sept. 29, followed by a stop at Vista Grande Community Church (5460 N. Union Blvd.) Sept. 30.

While audiences can expect the traditional side of their performance, the more contemporary musical style they also perform allows the messages they want to convey to reach a broader audience.

“There’s something for everyone in our shows,” Morningsong says.

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. To sign up for the Peak Radar weekly e-blast, click here.

October is Arts Month in the Pikes Peak Region! Find out more at - CULTURAL OFFICE OF THE PIKES PEAK REGION
  • Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region
  • October is Arts Month in the Pikes Peak Region! Find out more at

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Monday, September 25, 2017

Converge Lecture Series brings big names and big ideas to the Springs

Posted By on Mon, Sep 25, 2017 at 2:47 PM

Poet Marie Howe will present Converge Lecture Series' first lecture on Oct. 1
  • Poet Marie Howe will present Converge Lecture Series' first lecture on Oct. 1
Samuel Stephenson, founder of the Converge Lecture Series, says that in this “season of American history,” hostility can discourage meaningful conversation. The goal of the series is to bring artists and authors to our local community to discuss topics spanning political, educational and spiritual disciplines, generating genuine discussion.

“I think that artists have an ability to spark real conversation that’s [more] nuanced than conversation I’m seeing happening right now,” Stephenson says.

The series will bring nationally recognized thinkers to Colorado Springs to give quarterly lectures, with occasional locally focused speaking events. This year, each speaker will address the topic of moral beauty.

“I’m interested in the question [of moral beauty] because it’s an ethical question and an aesthetics question,” Stephenson says. “Can you have ethical action that is pleasing or beautiful?”

The first speaker in the series, poet Marie Howe, will give her lecture at the Pinery at the Hill on Oct. 1, setting the stage for the following speakers in 2018: George Saunders (Feb. 4), Richard Blanco (May 6), Junot Díaz (Aug. 5) and Edwidge Danticat (Nov. 4).

Stephenson says that he and his board selected these speakers for the range of diverse disciplines, perspectives and opinions they represent. “My hope is that the topic and the speakers have a significant enough range and broad enough ideas that it can bring a lot of different viewpoints to the table,” he says.

He hopes that keeping the topic open-ended — and removing focus from hot-button issues like immigration and abortion — can “create room for a lot of values to come together in the same room, and maybe [we can] learn how to practice disagreement in a meaningful way.”

In a way, the Converge Lecture Series is meant to facilitate the convergence of ideas, though its title actually comes from a short story by Flannery O’Connor: Everything that Rises Must Converge.

“Her idea behind that,” Stephenson says, “was all good things come together in time, even seeming opposites.”

See below for more about the series’ upcoming presenters:

Marie Howe - October 1, 2017
Marie Howe is the author of four volumes of poetry, Magdalene: Poems; The Kingdom of Ordinary Time; The Good Thief; and What the Living Do, and she is the co-editor of a book of essays, In the Company of My Solitude: American Writing from the AIDS Pandemic. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Poetry, Agni, Ploughshares, Harvard Review, and The Partisan Review, among others. She has been a fellow at the Bunting Institute at Radcliffe College and a recipient of NEA and Guggenheim fellowships, and Stanley Kunitz selected Howe for a Lavan Younger Poets Prize from the American Academy of Poets. In 2015, she received the Academy of American Poets Poetry Fellowship which recognizes distinguished poetic achievement. From 2012-2014, she served as the Poet Laureate of New York State.

George Saunders - February 4, 2018
George Saunders has published over twenty short stories and numerous Shouts & Murmurs in The New Yorker since first appearing in the magazine, in 1992. His work includes the short-story collections “CivilWarLand in Bad Decline” (a finalist for the 1996 PEN/Hemingway Award), “Pastoralia,” “In Persuasion Nation” (a finalist for the Story Prize), “Tenth of December” (a finalist for the National Book Award and recipient of the Folio Prize), “Congratulations, By the Way: Some Thoughts on Kindness,” and “Lincoln in the Bardo: A Novel.” Saunders has won prizes for his best-selling children’s book, “The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip,” and for a book of essays entitled “The Braindead Megaphone,” and he has been featured in the “O. Henry Prize Stories,” “Best American Short Stories,” “Best American Nonrequired Reading,” “Best American Travel Writing,” and “Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy” anthologies. Named by The New Yorker one of the best American writers under the age of forty in 1999, Saunders has received fellowships from the MacArthur Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Richard Blanco - May 6, 2018
Richard Blanco is the fifth inaugural poet in US history—the youngest, first Latino, immigrant, and gay person to serve in such a role. Born in Madrid to Cuban-exiled parents and raised in Miami, the negotiation of cultural identity and place characterize his body of work. He is the author of three poetry collections: Looking for the Gulf Motel, Directions to the Beach of the Dead, and City of a Hundred Fires; and two memoirs: The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood and For All of Us, One Today: An Inaugural Poet’s Journey. The University of Pittsburgh Press has published the commemorative chapbooks One Today, Boston Strong, and Matters of the Sea, the last of which Blanco read at the historic reopening of the US Embassy in Havana. In 2015, the inaugural poem One Today was released as a children’s book, in collaboration with the renowned illustrator, Dav Pilkey.

Junot Díaz - August 5, 2018
JUNOT DÍAZ was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New Jersey. He is the author of the critically acclaimed Drown; The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award; and This Is How You Lose Her, a New York Times bestseller and National Book Award finalist. He is the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, PEN/Malamud Award, Dayton Literary Peace Prize, Guggenheim Fellowship, and PEN/O. Henry Award. He is the co-founder of the Voices of Our National Arts Foundation. A graduate of Rutgers College, Díaz is currently the fiction editor at Boston Review and the Rudge and a Nancy Allen Professor of Writing at MIT. His forthcoming book, Islandborn, will be released by Dial in the spring of 2018.

Edwidge Danticat - November 4, 2018

Edwidge Danticat is the author of several books, including Breath, Eyes, Memory, an Oprah’s Book Club selection, Krik? Krak!, a National Book Award finalist, and The Farming of Bones, an American Book Award winner, and the novel-in-stories, The Dew Breaker. She is the editor of The Butterfly’s Way: Voices from the Haitian Diaspora in the United States and The Beacon Best of 2000: Great Writing by Men and Women of All Colors and Cultures, Haiti Noir and Haiti Noir 2, and Best American Essays 2011. She has written six books for young adults and children, Anacaona, Golden Flower, Behind the Mountains, Eight Days, The Last Mapou, Mama’s Nightingale, and Untwine, as well as a travel narrative, After the Dance, A Walk Through Carnival in Jacmel. Her memoir , Brother, I’m Dying, was a 2007 finalist for the National Book Award and a 2008 winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography. Her most recent book, The Art of Death: Writing the Final Story was published by Graywolf Press in July 2017. She is a 2009 MacArthur Fellow.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

From food and fashion to unique cultural experiences, your weekly event calendar

Posted By on Wed, Sep 20, 2017 at 8:40 AM

20 Wednesday

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The Restaurant and Food Expo
In its seventh year, this tried-and-true event features more than 30 local and chain restaurants. Among them, enjoy samples from Paravicini’s Italian Bistro, The Airplane Restaurant, Mason Jar and more. However, the standout is TILL, which won two awards in the Indy’s Best Of 2016: Best New Restaurant and Best Overall Restaurant. 5-8 p.m., Best Western Academy Hotel, 8110 N. Academy Blvd., $10-$20 includes food samples and non-alcoholic beverages,

22 Friday

Just Be Colorado Fashion Show
Hosted by Just Be, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering and improving quality of life for cancer patients. Proceeds from this celebration go directly toward “honorary angels,” local young women battling cancer. New this year, there will be a special tribute section in the show to honor Springs Equality and the LGBTQ community. 8-11 p.m., The Mansion, 20 N. Tejon St., $30-$50,

23 Saturday

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Polynesian Lu’au by Manava O Polynesia
Celebrate the vibrant and diverse culture of the Polynesian islands with a feast of traditional food and live entertainment. Dance and entertainment originates from Tahiti, Hawaii, Samoa, New Zealand and Tonga. Also enjoy raffles, candy leis, and crafts/goods originating from the islands, available for purchase throughout the evening. Doors at 5 p.m., dinner at 6 p.m., Beckett Event Center, 6436 S. U.S. Hwy. 85, Fountain,

23 Saturday

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Garlic Jubilee
Unless you went to bed this morning in your coffin and have trouble looking at crosses, you have no reason to miss a garlic party. Enjoy garlic-growing classes by Pikes Peak Urban Gardens’ botanist, Larry Stebbins, plus recipes provided by local celebrity chef Brother Luck. Also enjoy food trucks, Pikes Peak Lemonade Co., garlic for sale, vendors peddling kitchen supplies, and much more. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Woodmen Heights Campus of Woodmen Valley Chapel, 8292 Woodmen Valley View, $10, registration requested,

Find even more weekly listings in each Wednesday issue of the Indy, and submit your own events here.
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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Caffeine, comedy, art and more for your weekend

Posted By on Wed, Sep 13, 2017 at 8:27 AM

15 Friday

Pathways & Vessels
Explore the concept of sentimentality through installation artwork by JD Sell and Jasmine Dillavou. Through examining everyday objects, they ask: How much of a memory is in our heads and hearts, and how much is in the object itself? Need another reason to check it out? Dillavou and Sell are also the founders of the Non Book Club Book Club, a group that meets monthly to discuss artistic and cultural concepts of all sorts. Friday, Sept. 15, 6 p.m. to midnight, and Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m., through Sept. 30, Aaron Graves’s Studio, 210 Willow St.,

15 Friday

Hear Here Poetry: Black Voices Matter
With a reprise of this successful event, Hear Here is kicking off its new season of spoken-word poetry, and they have some big plans. The goal: fewer poetry slams (competition-oriented events) and more workshops, focusing on building community in the coming years. Part of this goal involves open mics focused on marginalized communities, with this all-black open mic starting them off on solid ground, and Poets Against the Patriarchy on Sept. 22 continuing that work. Friday, Sept. 15, 6-9 p.m., The Gallery Below, 718B N. Weber St., $5 suggested donation,

16 Saturday

Jim Breuer
Originally recognizable through his work on Saturday Night Live (1995-’98), Breuer has continued a successful stand-up career in ensuing decades. Current projects: “The Family Warrior” tour, which brings him here this weekend; and his weekly podcast The Metal in Me, which uses comedy to tackle real-life issues. In Rolling Stone’s ranking of all 145 SNL cast members, he only clocked in at 143, but don’t let that deter you. His stand-up sells. Saturday, Sept. 16, 7:30-9 p.m., Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, 30 W. Dale St., $36,

16 Saturday

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Caffeine Crawl — Colorado Springs
We all know we’ve got good coffee in this town, with plenty of roasters and cafés to choose from. Now’s your chance to sample some of the best. The Caffeine Crawl hits up four Colorado cities: Denver, Fort Collins and Boulder, with Colorado Springs taking the honor of “best for last.” Routes vary in distance and number of stops, and can be driven or (generally) undertaken by bike. Check out location details online. All day, various locations throughout the city, $25-$28 covers samples at all stops,

Find even more weekly listings in each Wednesday issue of the Indy, and submit your own events here.
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Thursday, September 7, 2017

Parallel lives, portals and parties to check out this weekend

Posted By on Thu, Sep 7, 2017 at 8:18 AM

8 Friday

Edelweiss Summerfest 2017
We can’t be the only ones already looking forward to Oktoberfest, but while you’re waiting here’s another “Bier Fest” to keep you hoppy. Edelweiss has won best German restaurant in the Indy’s annual Best Of awards for more years than we can recall, so between the beer, food and atmosphere, it should feel plenty authentic. Donations benefit the Ivywild neighborhood and Rocky Mountain Highway, the nonprofit responsible for MeadowGrass Music Festival. Sept. 8, 4-9 p.m., Sept. 9, noon to 10 p.m., Sept. 10, noon to 8 p.m., Edelweiss German Restaurant, 34 E. Ramona Ave., $2 suggested donation,

8 Friday

Briarfest Community Festival
This annual festival can get pretty massive, with carnival rides, concerts, a community market, beer and wine garden, silent auctions and more. Tons of fests throw down downtown, so this celebration serves Briargate and the Northside, though it’s open to all. Live entertainment includes local favorites Suga Bear & The Show Time Band, Kopesetic, Sofakillers and more. Sept. 8, 5-11 p.m., Sept. 9, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sept. 10, noon to 6 p.m., St. Gabriel the Archangel Catholic Church, 8755 Scarborough Drive, free to attend, prices associated with individual activities vary,

8 Friday

Parallel Lives
This “romp with a feminist sensibility” looks at societal inequalities and the supreme beings who created them with the intention of leveling the playing field. Two actresses, Birgitta DePree and Leslie O’Carroll, play these goddesses, as well as the various men and women who exist in their world. Parallel Lives marks the opening show of the FAC’s theater season, peppered with more fantastic titles to look forward to. Fridays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m., Sundays, 2 p.m., continues through Oct. 1, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, 30 W. Dale St., $18-$20,

9 Saturday

  • Courtesy Imagination Celebration
What IF... Festival of Innovation and Imagination
There’s no age limit on imagination. Join Imagination Celebration for this annual event honoring all things creative. Six blocks of South Tejon Street and Cascade Avenue will host vendor and art booths, demonstrations, activities, experiences, live music, an escape room, a car show and so much more. This is also the public’s last chance to check out the Portal, an art installation that connects you to live — and life-sized — individuals and communities around the world. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Downtown Colorado Springs, South Tejon St., free,

9 Saturday

Victor Burro Race
Historically, burros have been called a gold-miner’s “indispensable companion,” helping cart a miner’s bounty through treacherous hills. Victor, Colorado’s gold mining history makes it a perfect place to celebrate these adorable asses, and to see how much get-up-and-go they have in those little legs. The event includes two- and four-legged races along a challenging (read: hilly) 12-mile course, so spectating may be more fun than participating, if you value your legs. Sept. 9, noon to 8 p.m., Downtown Victor, Victor Ave., free,

Find even more weekly listings in each Wednesday issue of the Indy, and submit your own events here.
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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Final GOCA exhibit at UCCS campus honors Betty and Murray Ross

Posted By on Tue, Sep 5, 2017 at 4:38 PM


With the opening of the Ent Center for the Arts (and, therefore, the Marie Walsh Sharpe Gallery of Contemporary Art) slated for January of 2018, the Gallery of Contemporary Art at UCCS has announced its final exhibit in the campus gallery — and it’s an appropriate send-off. On Friday night, GOCA will open Democratic Vistas, art by Betty and Murray Ross.

Murray Ross, co-founder of UCCS-based professional theater company TheatreWorks, was not just an integral part of UCCS’s arts community, but of the community as a whole. UCCS honored his passing in January of this year with the formation of the Murray Ross Artists Endowment Fund with the CU Foundation, and now with an exhibition of his and his wife's collaborative works. Betty Ross, an artistic juggernaut in her own right, is an art historian and mixed-media artist, whose works have drawn national attention.

See more about Democratic Vistas and Betty and Murray Ross in the release below:

UCCS Galleries of Contemporary Art to open final campus gallery exhibition
COLORADO SPRINGS– The University of Colorado Colorado Springs Galleries of Contemporary Art will open “Democratic Vistas: Betty & Murray Ross” Sept. 8 at the campus gallery site in Centennial Hall on the UCCS campus.

The art of Betty Ross and Murray Ross traverses time, world travels, and concepts and connects across a lifelong collaboration. As founders of UCCS Theatreworks, Betty and Murray were artists individually and together. Works in painting, drawing, fibers, and assemblage will be displayed in this exhibition, curated by Daisy McGowan, director, GOCA.

A free public reception will be from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sept. 8 in Centennial Hall. A 92-page catalog published by GOCA accompanies the exhibition and will be available for purchase at the opening event.

This is the final exhibition planned for the gallery in the heart of the UCCS campus before the space closes after 36 years. The Marie Walsh Sharpe Gallery of Contemporary Art will open along with the Ent Center for the Arts in January 2018.

The exhibition will be on display through Dec. 9. A series of Wellness Wednesday events are planned weekly, each featuring free meditation and yoga in the gallery space from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. An “Art & Wine” event is planned for 6 p.m. Nov. 16; pre-registration is required. Gallery hours are 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, or by appointment.

About the Exhibit
Betty was a painter with a keen eye for color and a drive to push her craft when she met Murray in 1970 in Berkeley, California. Murray was a scholar and interested in the world and making art in it. The work of two creative forces of nature is the focus of this exhibition, with art on display spanning 40 plus years.

Murray and Betty founded Theatreworks at UCCS in 1975 with a small cadre of passionate theater supporters. Murray served as artistic director, and Betty collaborated on designing productions as well as creating costumes for productions spanning four decades. They traveled extensively, as evidenced in both of their creative practices and the title of the exhibition. Art and life interwove Murray and Betty Ross with their communities over the decades in Colorado, in London, and across the globe.

Betty Ross trained as an art historian and has a master’s degree in theater from the University of California, Berkeley. Her extensive travels have informed her art – whether paintings or costumes – from locales as remote as Iran and Romania. She typically works on site in watercolor, using the preparatory paintings for larger acrylic works in the studio and frequently embedding collage elements such as torn paper fragments, antique laces, leather, or shreds of wool found in those travels. Accident and experiment are central to her practice. Her works communicate a geo-political understanding of the world with themes from landscape and nature, saints and gypsies, and political unrest and revolution. At the core of it all, she is a painter who has developed her practice with discipline and passion.

Betty Ross has exhibited at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and Pueblo’s Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center. She was a member of Spark in Denver, and won awards in Taos, New Mexico, Kansas City, Missouri, and Loveland. Three residencies at the Vermont Studio Center helped connect her with abstract expressionist painting. She received a National Endowment for the Arts grant to travel to Romania to compare gypsies (Roma) with artists, and used the data to inform a series of abstract paintings exhibited at the Artemesia Gallery in Chicago and the Business of Art Center (now Manitou Art Center) in Manitou Springs.

Alongside building a renowned professional theater, Murray Ross created a series of assemblage boxes in his studio. The boxes were rarely displayed but are insightful to his creative mind. Ross died Jan. 3.

GOCA is a regional hub of contemporary art, culture, and conversation. By featuring world-class artists, hosting artist and expert talks, and offering meaningful events, GOCA engages UCCS students, faculty, staff and Pikes Peak Region community members in contemporary culture and life. GOCA is a contemporary arts organization with two galleries, one founded on the UCCS campus in 1981 and a satellite downtown location that opened in 2010 in the Plaza of the Rockies building. A new gallery space will open during the 2017-18 season, the Marie Walsh Sharpe Gallery of Contemporary in the Ent Center for the Arts. The Ent Center will open January 2018.

The University of Colorado Colorado Springs, located on Austin Bluffs Parkway in Colorado Springs, is one of the fastest growing universities in Colorado. The University offers 46 bachelor’s degrees, 22 master’s and five doctoral degrees. UCCS enrolls more than 12,000 students on campus annually and another 3,300 in online programs.

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