Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Cirque on ice, classical covers, multi-cultural dance and more events this week

Posted By on Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 1:00 AM

31 Wednesday

Cirque du Soleil: Crystal
Cirque du Soleil always does something a little different, but this is a first for them — cirque on ice. Combining the acrobatics, contortion and heart-stopping stunts they’re known for with ice skating and ice dancing, Crystal should provide us plentiful
opportunities to gasp, clutch our companions and fear for an acrobat’s life. The story of the show follows Crystal, a young woman whose surreal dreams help her become strong, free and empowered. Jan. 31 to Feb. 4, 7:30 p.m.; Feb. 3, 3:30 p.m.; Feb. 4, 1 and 5 p.m.; Broadmoor World Arena, 3185 Venetucci Blvd., $38-$153,

31 Wednesday

An Evening With Holly Bowling
Some of us show our love of our favorite bands with tattoos or VIP tickets. Holly Bowling goes above and beyond, making a career out of composing classical Phish covers for piano. Bowling has seen more than 300 Phish shows, composed covers of their hit songs and improvisational jams, and recently branched into the Grateful Dead. Don’t expect a typical cover band experience. Bowling’s been playing piano since age 5, so her pieces stand on their own as unique and artful compositions. Jan. 31, 7 p.m., Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College,
30 W. Dale St., $18-$20,

1 Thursday

Living Legends
Celebrate Latin American, Native American and Polynesian culture with students of Brigham Young University, all honoring their own heritage through dance and performance. This show, Seasons, is meant to reflect the “cycle of civilizations” by portraying the changing seasons. Living Legends has toured internationally, and will embark on a tour of Germany and Switzerland in 2018, after its Springs performance, of course. Feb. 1, 7 p.m., Ent Center for the Arts, 5225 N. Nevada Ave., $12,

2 Friday

Converge Lecture Series: George Saunders
Converge Lecture Series has an impressive 2018 lineup of speakers, beginning with writer George Saunders, who will speak on the subject of “moral beauty.” Saunders is a New York Times best-selling writer of essays, short stories and a novel: Lincoln in the Bardo, about the death of Abraham Lincoln’s son in 1862. Converge founder Samuel Stephenson says: “I think of him as an author who communicates the wonder and terror at being a human being, and holds that tension as if both were beautiful.” Feb. 2, 7 p.m., The Pinery at the Hill, 777 W. Bijou St., $55-$100,

Find even more weekly listings in each Wednesday issue of the Indy, and submit your own events here.
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Friday, January 26, 2018

UCCS' Art WithOut Limits Program commissions unique soundart installation for Ent Center for the Arts

Posted By on Fri, Jan 26, 2018 at 11:28 AM

  • Courtesy Vicious Kid Public Relations
UCCS’ Ent Center for the Arts only opened officially to the public on Jan. 16, and will host its opening gala on Feb. 3, but the surprises haven’t stopped rolling in. In addition to the upcoming season offering more than 160 productions in this 92,000-square-foot, multi-venue space, UCCS’ Art WithOut Limits (AWOL) program has brought unique sculpture to the Ent Center grounds.

Daisy McGowan, director of the Galleries of Contemporary Art and curator of the AWOL program, recently spoke to the Indy about bringing Starr Kempf’s kinetic sculptures back to Colorado Springs, but these iconic pieces aren’t the only sculptural draw of the new center.

AWOL has recently acquired artist Craig Colorusso’s fascinating installation, Moon Pod, to remain on the Ent Center grounds through December, 2018. Mood Pod's sleek, modern aesthetic fits the design of the building, but accomplishes much more than that as a standalone piece.

Colorusso, a musician as well as a sculptor, created Moon Pod as the physical manifestation of his experimental musical composition, Moon Phases, which is meant to play within the installation. Musically, Moon Phases builds upon itself as the moon waxes, then tapers off as it wanes, which turns the installation into an experience of light, sound and sculpture.

From the press release:
The music of Moon Phases is calm while it slowly evolves. A perfect setting to sit and listen while occasionally noticing the growth of the shadows. It’s a minimal guitar piece that drones in cycles, as constant and as hauntingly as the moon itself.

Folks are welcome to enter the installation at any point to listen to the music, which can also be found online.

Those who wish to know more about Moon Pod can attend Colorusso’s artist talk with Daisy McGowan on Feb. 2 at the Ent Center for the Arts (5225 N. Nevada Ave.) Pre-registration is recommended. To clue you into the kind of music you'll be hearing, the moon will be in its waning gibbous phase, just coming off the crescendo of the full moon.

Moon Pod will be on display at the center until December, 2018.

Editor's note: The original version of this article incorrectly stated that AWOL had "acquired" Moon Pod, when in actuality they commissioned the piece. We regret the error.
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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Peak Arts Prize accepting video applications from artists and art organizations

Posted By on Tue, Jan 23, 2018 at 7:25 PM

The Pikes Peak Community Foundation and the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region have launched a collaborative grant program, the Peak Arts Prize, which is now accepting applications. Drawing money from PPCF’s Fund for the Arts, and administered by COPPeR, the Peak Arts Prize has opened its doors to not only arts-focused nonprofits, but individual artists and for-profit organizations as well.

Applicants must record a video, clocking in at less than five minutes, explaining the project for which they’re seeking the grant, the audience they hope to reach, and how they plan to accomplish the project. It’s a non-traditional method of grant application that both PPCF and COPPeR hope will widen the playing field.

“We wanted to allow different applicants to shine differently,” says Angela Seals, COPPeR’s deputy director. “For the applicants who are used to writing a traditional grant, it allows them to be more creative. And applicants who have never written a grant before or never qualified for a grant before might be excellent at telling stories through video.”

The grant process will take the form of a community contest. A panel of expert judges will select three finalists in each category (large organizations, small organizations and individual artists, definitions of which can be found on the Peak Arts Prize website), and then a public voting period (March 1-15) will determine the winners.

The grants, which both PPCF and COPPeR hope may grow in the future, will amount to $7,500 for the winner in the large organizations category, $5,000 for the winner of small organizations, and $2,500 for the winner of individual artists.

Seals says that the Peak Arts Prize is meant to invite the community to participate in a grant process with more access and visibility than artists may be used to. “We are inviting people,” she says, “and I hope they meet us there and apply, and send really creative and great applications.”

Applications will be accepted through Feb. 15, and do not need to be professional quality (smart phone videos accepted). See online for further guidelines.
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Friday, January 19, 2018

Pikes Peak Library District offers streaming movies through Kanopy

Posted By on Fri, Jan 19, 2018 at 3:13 PM

  • Screenshot
If the "safe place" partnership with Urban Peak, the DIY venue and the makerspace weren't enough to prove the Springs has an amazing library system, the Pikes Peak Library District has added a free streaming film service. It's called Kanopy, and it's been around since 2008 — the company offers a selection of independent films, world cinema, cult classics and documentaries, working primarily with libraries and educational institutions.

“It’s a wonderful, diverse collection of films," says selection librarian Tammy Ross. "A lot of their content is hard to find elsewhere.”

And for library cardholders, it's free — Kanopy will charge the library on a per use basis, which Ross described as an attractive model for the budget-conscious institution. Patrons can check out up to six movies a month, with checkouts lasting three days. That checkout does include public performance rights, so patrons can do public screenings of any films available. Ross hopes community programs and schools in particular will find the service useful.

Kanopy runs in a web browser, and there's an app for iOS, Android, Apple TV, Chromecast, and Roku, but not Amazon Fire TV. Check out the selection here.
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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Converge Lecture Series partners with Harrison High School for student fellowship program

Posted By on Thu, Jan 18, 2018 at 2:37 PM

George Saunders will be Converge's second speaker. - COURTESY CONVERGE LECTURE SERIES
  • Courtesy Converge Lecture Series
  • George Saunders will be Converge's second speaker.
In October of 2016, Converge Lecture Series began with a bang, bringing poet Marie Howe to Colorado Springs to give a lecture on the subject of moral beauty. In February, Converge will host writer George Saunders, with appearances by Richard Blanco, Junot Díaz and Edwige Danticat planned for the rest of the year.

And though the lectures are going to be impressive enough, Converge founder Samuel Stephenson has recently revealed to the Indy (in advance of the official announcement at Saunders’ lecture) the details of a new program that will extend the influence of these speakers as well as the Converge series as a whole.

In partnership with Harrison High School, Converge has created a one-year fellowship program for six lucky junior students, “to engage in intensive programming intended to generate exposure to the life of the mind and action in the public square.”

There will be two fellowship tracks to choose from: politics and social action, or creative writing and the arts. Students will be paired with a mentor from one of the Springs’ higher education institutions, enjoy enriching education, spend some individual time with Converge speakers, and work toward creating a capstone project.

The capstone task is simple: “bring a bit of beauty to Colorado Springs.” When that has been accomplished, and however it is interpreted, each student will receive scholarship money to the school of their choice, though Stephenson couldn’t pin down an exact amount just yet.

In all respects, it should be a fascinating opportunity for these students, and hopefully one that will grow in future years.

“I grew up in the Springs,” Stephenson says, “and literature is where I found myself — so I think this project is a hopeful attempt at that. ... My hope is that this is what we start pushing into in terms of the work of Converge.”

The six fellowship recipients will be decided by a board in May. In the meantime, Harrison will be bringing some of its students to Saunders’ lecture, scheduled for Feb. 2 at the Pinery at the Hill.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

On stage and on the streets: performance, protest and more events for the week

Posted By on Wed, Jan 17, 2018 at 8:54 AM

18 Thursday

Trump Lear
Last year, David Carl brought Gary Busey’s One-Man Hamlet to the Millibo Art Theatre, which turned out to be as ridiculous and hilarious as it sounds. In this show, Carl plays an actor (named Carl David) who creates a one-man version of Shakespeare’s King Lear in Donald Trump’s image. We expect Trump Lear to be knee-slapping funny with an interwoven
political message — a message conveyed somewhere underneath the wacky impressions and paper puppets, of course. Jan. 18-20, 7:30 p.m., and Jan. 20, 2 p.m., The Millibo Art Theatre, 1626 S. Tejon St., $25,

20 Saturday

Music of the Spheres: Handel, Vaughan Williams, Beethoven
Enjoy a performance in the Ent Center for the Arts, UCCS’ impressive new venue. Program includes Handel’s Dixit Dominus for Chorus & Orchestra, Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music and Beethoven’s Ode to Joy. This marks an exciting collaboration between local musical movers and shakers The Chamber Orchestra of the Springs, Colorado Vocal Arts Ensemble and the Colorado Springs Chorale. Jan. 20, 7-9 p.m. and Jan. 21, 2:30-4:30 p.m., Ent Center for the Arts, 5225 N. Nevada Ave., $15-$35,

20 Saturday

African American Youth Leadership Conference “Dream Big” Gala
The African American Youth Leadership Conference has been going strong for 25 years, supporting more than 12,000 students and their parents, and providing about $115,000 in scholarships. Keynote speaker Dr. Regina Lewis is a communication professor at Pikes Peak Community College, as well as an accomplished public speaker and facilitator. In addition to her presentation, attendees can enjoy activities and entertainment such as music by Tony Exum Jr. and Dotsero jazz band, a silent auction, dinner and photo opportunities. Jan. 20, 6-11 p.m., The Antlers hotel, 4 S. Cascade Ave.,

21 Sunday

Me, Too: The Womxn’s March on Colorado Springs
We’ve all had a rough go of things since Donald Trump’s inauguration last year, but that’s no excuse to get tired now. It's time to build on the success of last year’s Women’s March — the largest march in Colorado Springs history — by showing up in solidarity once more. There will be speakers, opportunities to register to vote, and tons of local activist groups to connect with. Jan. 21, 2-3:30 p.m., Acacia Park, 115 E. Platte Ave.,
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Monday, January 15, 2018

All Peoples' Breakfast and march builds on Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy

Posted By on Mon, Jan 15, 2018 at 2:37 PM

  • Alissa Smith
On Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, Monday, Jan. 15, the annual All Peoples’ Breakfast (organized by the Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission and the NAACP) saw more than 450 attendees, packed to bursting in Colorado College’s El Pomar Sports Center. Since the breakfast sold out days ago, organizers shuffled late arrivals into the bleachers to watch the program, making for a full house for the second year in a row.

The breakfast included CC students' visual art, poetry and dance; rousing performances by the Women in Red Gospel Choir and local hip-hop artist and activist Kevin Mitchell; thoughtful, facilitated table talks; and inspiring speeches from Sebrena Forrest (a member of the Mohawk Nation who also gave the invocation), and Rosemary Lytle, who discussed King’s concept of The Promised Land. She quoted his 1968 speech: “I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over, and I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land.”

The pervading message of the day: We will only get to that Promised Land by working together.

See photos from the breakfast and the ensuing march below.

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Friday, January 12, 2018

Ent Center for the Arts, UCCS' multi-venue, multi-purpose cultural center in pictures

Posted By on Fri, Jan 12, 2018 at 3:31 PM

  • Griffin Swartzell

On Tuesday, Jan. 16, the much-anticipated UCCS Ent Center for the Arts will officially open its doors to the public. The University of Colorado Colorado Springs has focused on every detail of this state-of-the-art, multi-purpose venue, from the ergonomics of new theater seats to the perfect Steinway piano to grace the recital hall.

We took a tour of the new space, exploring all the new opportunities that the center will provide for UCCS and the professional entities attached to it — TheatreWorks and the Galleries of Contemporary Art.

The building itself shines on its perch on North Nevada Avenue, a sweeping silver edifice, with Starr Kempf’s iconic kinetic sculptures spinning in the wind as we drive up.

Inside, floor-to-ceiling windows open up westward to a view of the mountains, with classy, modern furniture punctuating the otherwise white and silver lobby. Above our heads hangs the Ent Center’s permanent art installation, a piece by Benjamin Ball and Gaston Nogues (Ball-Nogues Studio). Its many threads drape in blues, purples and reds, a delicate and powerful addition to an already powerful space. And, believe it or not, that’s just the lobby.

Ball-Nogues Studio created this piece specifically for Ent Center for the Arts. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Ball-Nogues Studio created this piece specifically for Ent Center for the Arts.

With five major venues, plus music practice rooms, offices, rehearsal space, a café, dance studios, classrooms and more, the Ent Center for the Arts serves a variety of needs both for UCCS and the wider community, and I can admit we’re a little excited about it.

Michelle Winchell, marketing and PR representative for UCCS Presents, says: “There’s a lot of stakeholders [in this building], especially with all the shared spaces, because it’s not just these professional programs; it’s also the academic programs and community partners who will be renting the space.”

Teams and committees throughout the process took a variety of needs and perspectives into account. For instance, the size of the Shockley-Zalabak Theater (the largest Ent Center venue, with up to 792 seats) was decided based in part on a report by the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region, which indicated a community need for larger venues that weren’t quite the overwhelming size of the Pikes Peak Center (which boasts 2,000 seats). “People who used to rent a high school auditorium — they won’t be able to fill the Pikes Peak Center, but they might fill this space. It’s a lot nicer [than an auditorium], and it’s actually made for performing arts.”

The Shockley-Zalabak Theater - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • The Shockley-Zalabak Theater
In fact, every venue in the Ent Center has been made for the performing arts in one way or another. Acousticians worked in each of them, even GOCA’s new space (the Marie Walsh Sharpe Galleries of Contemporary Art), to ensure that the needs of all sizes and sorts of performances could be met. The attention to detail and customization is also evident in TheatreWorks’ new performance venue — the Dusty Loo Bon Vivant Theater.

Dusty Loo is marginally larger in size than its former location, and can now seat up to 300 people, but what’s truly exciting isn’t so much the capacity as the new opportunity to expand the quality and variety of performance. Not only does TheatreWorks now have high ceilings to encourage multi-level sets, but the late Murray Ross, founder of TheatreWorks, was adamant about installing a trap door, which the organization already plans to use in its upcoming production of Oklahoma! (opening Feb. 15).

The Dusty Loo Bon Vivant Theatre - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • The Dusty Loo Bon Vivant Theatre
Lynne Hastings, Artistic Producer of TheatreWorks, says that the technical aspects of the theater (including rolling gantries to assist in light and set work) are most exciting to her, and not just for the production possibilities. “Another thing I love with this whole space,” she says, “is that the students get the opportunity to work with state-of-the-art equipment. And everything’s the same in every theater... That gives them flexibility for all the programming going on here, and it gives the students a chance to work on these professional-level productions.”

Many of the behind-the-scenes amenities were designed with students in mind, as the Ent Center remains, at its core, an integral part of UCCS’ academics. A new dance studio, which Winchell calls “the beauty room” provides a gorgeous view of the mountains, a marked step above the converted loading dock currently used by dance students. Plus, the catwalk in the Shockley-Zalabak Theater feels stable underfoot, not nearly as frightening to walk on as this acrophobic expected.

During the tour, we happened to stumble upon artist Floyd Tunson, putting the finishing touches on an installation that will hang outside the Marie Walsh Sharpe GOCA for a year — his Haitian Dream Boats. GOCA artistic director Daisy McGowan says that the installation will “amplify” Tunson’s upcoming exhibit, Janus, which will open Feb. 1.

Floyd Tunson's Haitian Dream Boats - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Floyd Tunson's Haitian Dream Boats
The gallery space itself boasts a variety of new goodies about which McGowan was happy to share her excitement. For one, the team was intentional about acoustics, which are a necessary consideration for a gallery that does so much multi-media art. In addition to that, GOCA can now take advantage of plywood-backed walls (to better hang artwork), customizable lighting, and museum-certified humidity control, which will enable them to exhibit artwork from collections that they may not have had the opportunity to exhibit before.

Taking it all in, the Ent Center exudes “possibility” — possibility for more dynamic performances, better-sounding concerts, more artwork, more customization, more community collaboration and more collaboration between UCCS departments. While UCCS has fared well within its spaces before, including notable exhibits at GOCA and award-winning shows at TheatreWorks, the freedom provided by this extensive, specialized and customized space will provide a wealth of new opportunities, and we are excited to see what they do with them.

As TheatreWorks’ Lynne Hastings says: “There’s no boundaries anymore.”

See below for more photos from our tour.

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Independence Center seeks artists with disabilities for unique art showcase

Posted By on Fri, Jan 12, 2018 at 2:54 PM

Now, more than ever, we as a culture recognize the importance and the value in sharing diverse voices. The more people who express their thoughts, opinions and experiences, the harder it will be for those in power to generalize, underserve or ignore whole communities. Times like these, art steps in as an avenue of self-expression that allows those diverse voices to shine. We’ve seen this happening here in our own community with Artists in Action, Women’s Voices and other exhibitions and projects meant to send a message.

Now, the Independence Center is sending its own message. The IC, which Community Organizing Coordinator Jamie Muth calls “the local home of civil rights for people with disabilities,” will be participating in February’s First Friday Artwalk with a new exhibit: Art of Accessibility.

To fill the walls, the IC is calling for artists with disabilities and those artists’ communities to submit artwork to be exhibited in this powerful showcase.

Muth says: “We hope to highlight the impact that disability and access can have on a person’s artistic voice, and how each person can make unique contributions to the diversity of the art we see in Colorado Springs. We believe that artistic expression empowers people to express themselves when their normal voice may not be heard, and [we] hope for the community to engage and value the unique perspectives which are being shared.”

Interested artists should send three to five photos of their artwork, a bio and headshot, a short proposal describing their art, and information on necessary accommodations to Nina Kamekona ( Submissions must be in by 5 p.m. on Jan. 19.
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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

All Peoples’ Breakfast celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day by “living the legacy”

Posted By on Wed, Jan 10, 2018 at 1:00 AM

All Peoples' Breakfast; Jan. 15, 8-10 a.m., Reid Arena in CC’s El Pomar Sports Center, - SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
  • All Peoples' Breakfast; Jan. 15, 8-10 a.m., Reid Arena in CC’s El Pomar Sports Center,
The public image of protest, activism and revolution has changed since the days of Martin Luther King Jr. Some activists claim that pacifism is no longer a viable means of making change, and others continue to preach and practice nonviolence. The information age has opened peoples’ eyes to continuing injustices; and though we all want to do something, sometimes we disagree on what that something should look like.

But now — 50 years after Dr. King’s assassination and during one of the most divisive eras of American history — is a good time to remember that we are all building on the legacy of King and those who share his beliefs. Hence, the theme of this year’s All Peoples’ Breakfast is Living the Legacy: A Call to Action.

Pikes Peak Justice & Peace Commission founded The All Peoples’ Breakfast in 2006 or 2007 (organizers couldn’t remember the exact year), sponsored by Colorado College and joined every year since by our local branch of the NAACP. On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the breakfast honors the work of Dr. King, and offers much-needed rejuvenation for those who continue the fight for civil rights.

Rosemary Lytle, president of the NAACP Colorado, Montana, Wyoming State Area Conference, says: “This breakfast is about bringing the community together around King’s legacy and ideals, and continuing to keep his message and life mission vibrant — not ‘relevant,’ because it will always be.”

This year’s program should further that goal. In addition to a display of student art and performances by the Women in Red gospel choir and hip-hop artist/activist Kevin Mitchell, a handful of people will take the stage and recite King’s work, while sharing personal experiences. “When you listen to King’s actual words,” Lytle says, “... you hear them as revolutionary, you hear them as the resistance, you see the seamlessness of Black Lives Matter and King’s work and words.”

Steve Flynn, chair of the All Peoples’ Breakfast committee and member of PPJPC’s board of directors, is looking forward to how the presentation may influence the 450-plus folks who attend. “Person-by-person,” Flynn says, “I don’t know what effect that will have on the people becoming more active, but it’s moving and inspiring to be there and sit through that and hear all those words spoken.”

Following the presentation, attendees will participate in facilitated table talks, then meet for a march from the Colorado College campus to Acacia Park. Reaffirming our commitment to change may be a galvanizing way to start a year that will no doubt require as much fortitude as 2017 did. We can’t afford to get tired.

“[King] was breaking the laws just by walking, just by marching,” Lytle says. “And we say ‘oh, another march?’ Well, yeah, absolutely! Another!”

And, likely, many more after that.
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Music, movies, and making a difference in this week's events

Posted By on Wed, Jan 10, 2018 at 12:59 AM

13 Saturday

Dogfight: A Staged Concert
If you enjoyed the Oscar-winning film La La Land, or if you’ve heard any of the incredible music from Broadway’s Dear Evan Hansen, you’ll love what Dogfight has in store. Written by Pasek and Paul, responsible for the above titles, and Peter Duchan, Dogfight touches on themes of idealism, compassion and love by telling the story of a group of young marines about to ship out in 1963. Proceeds support the FAC’s Youth Repertory program and other theatre school classes, which give local youth a chance to train with professionals. Jan. 13, 7:30 p.m., Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, 30 W. Dale St., $40-$50,

13 Saturday

Making a Difference Dinner
Support Autism & Asperger Connections, a nonprofit that helps connect folks on the spectrum, and their families, with life-changing resources. Keynote speakers: Dr. Temple Grandin, the accomplished author and speaker on autism and animal behavior; and Mark Randall, competitive golfer and
former Denver Nuggets player. Other entertainment includes live music by the Colorado Springs Chamber Orchestra’s string quartet and Tony Exum Jr., and, of course, an extensive silent auction. Jan. 13, 6-11:30 p.m., Hotel Eleganté Conference and Event Center,
2886 S. Circle Drive, $65,

15 Monday

You See Me Laughin’
Blues music has morphed and changed and been co-opted in a thousand different ways over the years. Meet the people who are keeping its roots alive. This documentary, presented by the Independent Film Society of Southern Colorado, interviews “the last of the hill country bluesmen,” including folks like R.L. Burnside and T Model Ford. In addition to the screening, enjoy live music by well-loved local bluester Grant Sabin, who once said: “What I’ve always done when I play shows is just to play the blues... make people smile and dance and feel emotion.” Jan. 15, 6:30 p.m., Ivywild School, 1604 S. Cascade Ave., free, donations
support the Delta Blues Foundation,

16 Tuesday

Ent Center for the Arts, open to the public
We’ve been talking about it for over a year, and it’s finally happening! The much-anticipated UCCS Ent Center for the Arts is open to the public. Programming hasn’t yet started in earnest but this is your chance to get a sneak peek at the venue in anticipation of the dance, theater, art and music scheduled for 2018. Check out the 774-seat theater, 245-seat recital hall, the new Galleries of Contemporary Art and TheatreWorks’ new Dusty Loo Bon Vivant Theater, along with much more. Jan. 16, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Ent Center for the Arts, 5225 N. Nevada Ave.,
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Monday, January 8, 2018

Pueblo artist uses 'Kindness Rocks' as form of public protest

Posted By on Mon, Jan 8, 2018 at 3:53 PM

The Kindness Rocks Project made a local splash last year, with the group 719 Rocks inspiring the public to spread brightly colored stones throughout the area code. The goal was to get people to paint rocks with beautiful pictures or inspirational sayings, and to spread a little kindness by placing them randomly in public places.

Now, a Pueblo artist who preferred to remain anonymous has built on the concept, turning these rocks into a form of protest.

They have decorated a series of stones with the phrase: “If true for you, shout it out — #metoo,” or sometimes simply “#metoo,” using the popular hashtag meant to raise awareness of sexual assault and harassment.

“Here’s what I envision just in my artist imagination,” they said, “somebody looks at it, and it is true for them, and they say it out loud — because it says ‘shout it out’ — they shout ‘hashtag me, too!” ... That’s my idea of a participation art piece.”

Right now, the artist is unsure if they will create more of these rocks, but they hope others may participate in the project. “What I’m doing is putting [a rock] out there that says this is a public forum. You’re welcome to shout it out, talk to the person next to you, [or] acknowledge it to yourself for the first time ever...”

See some of the rocks below:

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Friday, January 5, 2018

Pro-choice art project addresses men's role in abortion

Posted By on Fri, Jan 5, 2018 at 11:09 AM

Each piece of Lazzarini's new project will have only the man's name, and the year in which the abortion took place. - LINDA LAZZARINI
  • Linda Lazzarini
  • Each piece of Lazzarini's new project will have only the man's name, and the year in which the abortion took place.

I’ll admit, when I first saw local artist Linda Lazzarini’s newest call for entries, I felt off-put, and more than a little confused. It struck me as going against the spirit of her last project, which I personally found powerful and insightful. Last year, Lazzarini collected the stories of those who had faced sexual assault or harassment, and displayed them in an origami installation called Women’s Voices, which will be on display in Sangre De Cristo Arts Center’s Representing the West exhibit, starting Feb. 2. I saw a section of Women’s Voices at Planned Parenthood’s recent exhibition at The Gallery Below, and thought it was a solid concept, and a good, anonymous way to share the stories of women who may have been reluctant to share them on their Facebook pages during the height of the “#metoo” movement.

This latest project, then, threw me for a bit of a loop.

Lazzarini’s first email about it says, in part: “See, it seems to me that it's totally overlooked that for every woman who has an abortion, the man who impregnated her had one, too. That's what this project is about: men who had abortions.” She then asks that folks on her mailing list send her the name (or pseudonym) of a man who has “had an abortion” and the year in which that abortion took place. Once she receives enough responses, she will create a cut-paper representation of each man’s name, to come together in an installation similar to Women’s Voices.

Immediately after reading this, I felt reactively defensive of women who have had abortions, and the fight for reproductive health care in general. I thought of women who didn’t know who the man involved in their pregnancy might be, and women whose partners had left them when they became pregnant. I thought of rape victims, whose attackers had no right to claim the woman’s choice to have an abortion as their own. I read this call for submissions as suggesting that men had an equal emotional investment in a woman’s abortion as she did. My thinking: the only men who can claim to have had abortions are trans men who did, literally, undergo the procedure.

I asked Lazzarini to clarify the project for me, so I might understand where she was coming from, as I suspected from her last project that she wouldn’t have inferred any of my assumptions intentionally.

“I don’t know that I’m trying to assign an equal emotional weight,” she explained when I raised my concerns, “because I don’t know that it ever could be [equal]. But I do think that it’s time that men were assigned half the equation of what happened. It’s not as if the woman did it by herself.”

Lazzarini’s point, then, isn’t that men (even men in committed heterosexual relationships) can claim to have been affected by a woman’s abortion the way she was, but that men should take part of the responsibility for a woman’s abortion. “If a baby’s born it gets the man’s name, but if a woman has an abortion, it’s hers. Things like that just aren’t right,” Lazzarini says

In a society that often stigmatizes women for having an abortion, Lazzarini has a point that it seldom stigmatizes the men who took equal part in the initial pregnancy. She says she sees men with “right to life” signs picketing health centers, and knows that if asked, they’ll say they have never had an abortion. But, according to Lazzarini, they can’t be sure of that. Women they have been with may have had an abortion without their knowledge, and she believes men should take responsibility for that.

“I don’t want to assign guilt or shame or anything to anybody. I just want to bring awareness to the fact that it’s not totally a woman’s issue,” she says. She adds that she has been “a pro-choicer” all her life.

What I took away from this, then, was that if women are going to be shamed for their abortions, Lazzarini believes it’s only fair that men realize their part in the process. The goal, then, would be to lessen the stigma against women who make that oftentimes difficult choice.

While I am personally still unsure how that message may come across in the installation, and unsure of my own feelings on the matter (as Lazzarini and I agreed, these are sticky subjects), I was gratified to know that my initial interpretation of the spirit of the project was wrong.

Lazzarini says she hopes to clarify her message as the project comes together, both for herself and for those who might contribute. “I think as it progresses it will get clearer and clearer to me how to do it. That’s what happened with Women’s Voices; it kept changing over time because I realized what people were thinking and what I wanted to say.”

If nothing else, the message behind this project got us talking, which is the point of art in the long run.

Those who wish to contribute to this project may contact Lazzarini at, or submit through an online anonymous survey.

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Art in the Park offers unique component to Cheyenne Mountain State Park

Posted By on Fri, Jan 5, 2018 at 9:24 AM

The family's finally in the car, ready for a day of adventuring in Cheyenne Mountain State Park, one of Colorado’s most magnificent. You head to the visitors center, excited to see what lies within, but it’s pretty ho-hum. Predictable even. Taxidermy animals line the walls, and books on outdoor adventuring line the shelves, the ambiance as a whole feels, well, like any old visitors center would.

Darcy Mount, senior ranger at Cheyenne Mountain State Park, knows the feeling.

Mount began wondering how she could get people inside her visitors center, and landed on a colorful answer with Art in the Park, a rotating gallery space showcasing local talent.

“These artists are here,” Mount says, “and there’s so much nature around Colorado Springs, from the Paint Mines to Pikes Peak.”

In other words, it was a natural fit — pun intended.
The current Art in the Park exhibit showcases antler carver Jay Jones. - COURTESY CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN STATE PARK
  • Courtesy Cheyenne Mountain State Park
  • The current Art in the Park exhibit showcases antler carver Jay Jones.

Art in the Park made its debut in May 2015 and remains a unique program in the southeast region of the Colorado Parks and Wildlife system. Other than a couple of non-local artists, word-of-mouth, calls-for-submissions and social media has provided a steady stream of local exhibitors, capitalizing on what Mount calls the “thriving” arts community of the Pikes Peak region.

Art in the Park's only requirement for exhibitors is that the pieces do not depict people, leaving a lot of room for creativity. Exhibits have included mediums ranging from paintings and sculptures to fiber and wood pieces — one of the most popular being paintings of birds done on sheet music.

“We wanted to showcase a different way to look at nature,” Mount says. “A big part of the goal is to inspire people both to recreate and be stewards of nature.”

Now, Mount says, Cheyenne Mountain State park has "all types of people" enjoying the visitors center and the Art in the Park exhibits, highlighting different ideas and what interacting with nature looks like to different people.

"You can be inspired by nature without going outside," Mount says.

Though the park itself cannot sell the art, artists are allowed to coordinate sales themselves using PayPal. 15-percent of sales goes to Friends of Cheyenne Mountain State Park, who also paid for the changes needed to create the gallery. Artists are not charged to show their work.
  • Courtesy Cheyenne Mountain State Park
Those interested in showing as part of Art in the Park should email Mount at Most shows last two months, but anywhere between one and three months is fine. Individual, pairs, or group shows are also welcomed.

The Cheyenne Mountain State Park Visitor Center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Oct. 1 to April 1, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from May 1 through Sept. 30.

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.

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Thursday, January 4, 2018

Meow Wolf arts collective announces massive new Denver installation

Posted By on Thu, Jan 4, 2018 at 1:53 PM

  • Riley Bratzler
As the Springs’ own DIY arts scene has grown over the last few years, we’ve heard a great deal of local discussion about Santa Fe-based arts collective Meow Wolf, an organization widely regarded as the picture of success for DIY arts. The group’s installation has brought tourism, recognition and impressive revenue to Santa Fe since its inception 10 years ago. Rather than wondering if Meow Wolf might expand nationally, we’ve been more curious when and, especially, where. Last year, rumors surfaced that Colorado Springs arts leaders were attempting to court Meow Wolf, but those rumors were never fully confirmed.

However, it looks like Meow Wolf will indeed settle down in Colorado. On Thursday, Jan. 4, the organization officially announced a Denver installation, planned for completion in 2020. The installation, which will make its home in the triangle formed by Auraria Parkway, Colfax Avenue and I-25, will, according to Denver’s Westword, host seven-stories, and 90,000 total square-feet, with 60,000 square feet of that devoted to exhibition space — a $50,000 project, total.

Meow Wolf’s website assures that the Denver installation will be a different experience from its spot in Santa Fe, “but still incredible immersive art for people of all ages.”

What this means for the Denver arts scene, and for its neighbor to the south (us), we will have to wait and see.

Those who want to help fund the project can support it through early ticket purchases, ranging in price from $25 (for early bird general admission) to $10,000 (for a lifetime pass). Plus, any ambitious artists who want to get involved can let Meow Wolf know you’ve got your eyes open for the opportunity.
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