Wednesday, February 28, 2018

First Friday, film, funny folks and more featured events this week

Posted By on Wed, Feb 28, 2018 at 9:26 AM

1 Thursday

A fitting film to kick off Women’s History Month, Dolores captures the work and private life of activist Dolores Huerta, who founded the first farm worker’s union with Cesar Chavez in the 1950s and worked to further women’s rights and combat racism her entire life. The documentary, presented by the Independent Film Society of Southern Colorado, has received multiple awards and nominations, including a Critics’ Choice award for Most Compelling Living Subject of a Documentary in 2017. Huerta, 87, continues to champion women’s rights, walking in the 2017 Women’s March at the Sundance Film Festival and participating as a speaker. March 1, 7-9 p.m., Tim Gill Center for Public Media, 315 E. Costilla St., donations accepted,

2 Friday

Stick Horses in Pants Improv Comedy
Stick Horses in Pants brings short-form improv to audiences who like their comedy off-the-cuff and unexpected. The twice-monthly performances rely on audience suggestions, ensuring the content is always unique. Billed as an all-ages experience, Stick Horses in Pants keeps its hilarity clean and friendly without sacrificing comedic integrity. That means it’s safe for both precocious teens and conservative grandmas, but not at all boring for those who fall in between. The troupe’s current home at Lon Chaney Theatre creates an atmosphere of cozy intimacy that’s perfect for a performance that relies heavily on audience buy-in. First Friday of every month, 8 p.m. and third Friday of every month, 8 p.m.; through April 20, Lon Chaney Theatre, 221 E. Kiowa St., $7-$10,

2 Friday

West Side Story
The Colorado Springs Philharmonic continues its salute to Leonard Bernstein with a full screening of West Side Story accompanied by a live performance of the full musical score, conducted both evenings by Philharmonic music director Josep Caballé-Domenech. The film is a modern interpretation of William Shakespeare’s tragic love story Romeo and Juliet. It won 10 Academy Awards in 1961, securing its position as the most highly awarded musical film in history and one of only 10 musicals to ever win in the Best Picture category. March 2-3, 7:30-10:15 p.m., Pikes Peak Center, 190 S. Cascade Ave., $24-$78,

2 Friday

Rule Number 1
Featuring the works of local artists Christine Flores and Riley Bratzler (Indy publisher’s assistant), including drawings and mixed-media pieces that explore the theme of femininity. Flores leverages dry media and paper to explore people, objects and experiences that impact her story of femininity and womanhood. Bratzler’s work comprises mixed media portraiture and print that explores the difficulties of her experiences as an image moderator for a tech company, reviewing and deleting thousands of photos with highly sexual imagery. Opening reception, March 2, 5 p.m. to midnight., on display through March 30, 17C E. Bijou St.,

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

Idris Goodwin, Cody Spellman create short film about the Black Lives Matter movement

Posted By on Mon, Feb 26, 2018 at 1:11 PM

Idris Goodwin - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Idris Goodwin
Award-winning playwright and Colorado College professor Idris Goodwin, in collaboration with director  J. Cody Spellman, has produced a short film based on his 2015 play #Matter.

Starring Kimberly Vaughn and Ryan Hake, the film examines the cultural conflict between the phrases "black lives matter" and "all lives matter," presenting an intimate conversation between two not-quite friends about an argument they shared on social media, and about the different ways they see the world.
was filmed entirely on an iPhone to emphasize the importance technology has played in the Black Lives Matter movement.

Watch it below:

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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Stage, film, performance art and more events to make you think this week

Posted By on Wed, Feb 21, 2018 at 12:56 PM

22 Thursday

“Bernstein at 100: A Colorado College Music Symposium”
Fans of Leonard Bernstein will enjoy rare insights into the 20th-century composer’s private life during a live, in-person interview with his daughter, Jamie Bernstein. Jamie Bernstein has carved her own unique niche in the realm of music, cultivating a career as a professional concert narrator, broadcaster and speaker, and traveling the world speaking in-depth on a variety of musical topics, including her father’s work. Bernstein scholar Carol Oja and CC music professor Ryan Ranagale will guide the discussion and lead several other Bernstein-themed events during the three-day symposium. 7:30 p.m., CC’s Cornerstone Arts Center, 825 N. Cascade Ave., $25,

23 Friday

A Precious Bit of the West or She Was Simply a Delight
Iron Springs Chateau continues its tradition of classic — and comedic — melodrama with its newest Western-themed debacle written by local playwright and actor Vicki Kelly. Audience engagement is strongly encouraged, including booing the bad guys, cheering the heroes and joining in on a rousing sing-along during intermission. February’s show is followed by a special Mardi Gras-themed vaudeville revue featuring the sounds of New Orleans, comedy and, of course, a heavy dose of audience participation. Fridays and Saturdays, through Aug. 4, Iron Springs Chateau, 444 Ruxton Ave., Manitou Springs, $33/dinner and show,

24 Saturday

Pink (Never a Mother)
Local mixed-media and collage artist Jasmine Dillavou debuts her first
performance art piece in Pink (Never a Mother), exploring loss, choice and racial disparity in relation to inadequate reproductive health care. The 30-minute performance will blend imagery of mothers, the Virgin Mary and children with spacial interaction to create a ritual for mujeres — women — who have died in the health care system because of race, poverty, religious influence and the stigma of abortion. Dillavou leverages her art to give a voice to the challenges of the Latinx community and has shown work throughout Colorado Springs. Sat., Feb. 24, 6-6:30 p.m., Manitou Art Center, 513 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, 685-1861, free,

27 Tuesday

Olympic Pride — American Prejudice
Under the shadow of profound racism and discrimination, 18 African-American athletes competed on the world stage in the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. While the accomplishments of gold medalist Jesse Owens have been — rightfully — touted, the victories of the 17 other participants are often left behind. Olympic Pride — American Prejudice celebrates these unsung heroes during Black History Month. The documentary was a huge hit at the 2017 Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Festival and is being shown as part of the Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Institute’s Film in the Community series, which creates community engagement through free screenings. Filmmaker Deborah Riley Draper will answer questions via Skype after the screening. Tues., Feb. 27, 6 p.m., Library 21c, 1175 Chapel Hills Drive, free,

Find even more weekly listings in each Wednesday issue of the Indy, and submit your own events here.
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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

It's the season of love and we're in the matchmaking spirit

Posted By on Wed, Feb 14, 2018 at 10:41 AM

In case you're looking for sappy Valentine's Day card fodder, look no further. There may not be a more apt representation of Valentine's Day vibes than the "I Pin Cliche Love Quotes Cuz I'm Single" Pintrest page, rife with unabashed romanticism and overused poems and song lyrics for the forever-honeymooners and the eternally-single alike.

Everyone wants that special someone — an unconditional, forever kind of love — so in the spirit of the season we're trying our hand at the online dating game. You need not spend another V-Day donning your favorite elastic-waisted pants and pizza-stained sweatshirt, at least not alone.

As the saying goes, "there are a lot of dogs in the park," or whatever.

Take our quiz to find your one-and-only.
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Stage, silent film, solid metaphors and more recommended events this week

Posted By on Wed, Feb 14, 2018 at 1:00 AM

15 Thursday

The Totalitarians
Politics are scary these days, no doubt about it, but sometimes it’s easiest to take the power out of something by laughing at it. This dark comedy by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb follows a candidate for Nebraska state office, her charismatic speech-writer, and the rippling effects of her dirty campaign. says this is “the kind of hilarious but unsettling show in which a character gurgling on his own blood while he’s trying to make a speech gets huge laughs from the audience.” Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m., and Sundays, 4 p.m., through March 4, Springs Ensemble Theatre, 1903 Cache La Poudre St., $10-$15,

16 Friday

Silent Film Soirée: Roaring ’20s Costume Party & Kids Night Out
Enjoy a screening of the 1928 classic The Cameraman, starring Buster Keaton and Springs-born Marceline Day, with live musical accompaniment by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra. Far from just a screening: The night includes drinks, dessert, a ‘20s-themed costume party, photobooth and more. While parents enjoy the party, kids can attend a screening of their own with crafts, activities and access to the Pioneers Museum’s children’s exhibit. Feb. 16, 6:45-9:30 p.m., Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, 215 S. Tejon St., $10-$35,

16 Friday

Solid Metaphor
Rick Berry, an expressionistic figure artist, got his start in Colorado Springs, working on comic books. He carries sci-fi and fantasy influences into his fine art, and continues to excel in the comic scene. Colorado-based Michael Dowling is a contemporary realist painter whose work includes beautiful and unsettling portraits. Exhibiting together, these artists join in contemplation of “the future of evolution or humanity and idea,” meaning an examination of the future of human experience. Big ideas, solid metaphors. Feb. 16, 5-8 p.m., on display through March 24, G44 Gallery, 1785 S. Eighth St., Suite A,

20 Tuesday

Ailey II
The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater began with dancer Alvin Ailey and a group of young black modern dancers in 1958. Ailey II, founded in 1974, is now a world-renowned company in its own right, and presents young dance talent with work by emerging choreographers. The mission of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s education, outreach and performances is to build a cultural community that honors all ages, races and backgrounds. Feb. 20, 7:30 p.m., Ent Center for the Arts, 5225 N. Nevada Ave., $22-$75,

Find even more weekly listings in each Wednesday issue of the Indy, and submit your own events here.
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Monday, February 12, 2018

PPLD documents local response to Trump presidency in traveling photo exhibit

Posted By on Mon, Feb 12, 2018 at 4:31 PM

  • Courtesy Pikes Peak Library District

Bill Thomas, Special Collections Photo Archivist at Pikes Peak Library District, considers preserving the cultural heritage of the community to be an integral part of the mission of special collections.

And while the term "cultural heritage" typically calls to mind pioneer days and historical figures, in this case it refers to the development of our community day-to-day, especially in these politically tumultuous times.

Following the Women’s March in 2017, Debbie Vitulli, Senior Library Assistant, created The First 100 Days! photo collection with help from Thomas. She had heard of libraries across the country collecting signs from their own local marches, but sadly PPLD didn’t have the room for such an endeavor. A digital collection, however, takes less space, and offers more opportunity for a wider variety of representation. With a digital collection, they could collect images not just from the Women’s March, but from every march, rally and demonstration.

And those first 100 days were vital on both sides of the aisle.

“As PPLD, we’re serving the community. Everybody,” Vitulli says. “We don’t pick a side or specific group. We’re open for everybody’s input. We were open to all the rallies, any kind of demonstration.”

With photos from the Women’s March, the March for Science, an April pro-Trump rally and more, The First 100 Days! contains 420 individual images. Some photos are taken by cell phone, some are screen-grabs from video footage, but all were contributed by members of the community or taken by Vitulli and Thomas themselves.

An exhibit of 40 of the best and most relevant photos in the collection is currently on display at the East Library. Most of them depict the community organizers who led the charge in early 2017, including representatives from Unite Colorado Springs, the NAACP and more.

Thomas says: “The election of President Trump really motivated people. ... We saw natural leaders come to the fore, and we wanted to capture those folks.”

A smaller subset of this exhibit will travel between local libraries for the remainder of 2018, though the East Library will host the largest selection. Those interested in accessing the full collection can do so online for free.

See below for a schedule of where the exhibit will travel for the remainder of the year, and a look at of some of the included images.

The First 100 Days! Exhibition Schedule
February: East Library
March: Fountain Library
April: Rockrimmon Library
May: Old Colorado City Library
August: Monument Library
September: Library 21c
October: Penrose Library
November: Ruth Holley Library
December: Sand Creek Library

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Friday, February 9, 2018

New Fine Arts Center exhibition dismantles Haitian stereotypes

Posted By on Fri, Feb 9, 2018 at 10:33 AM

  • Ralph Allen
On Saturday, Feb. 10, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College will officially open another culturally significant exhibit in a diverse and exciting season. The Art of Haiti: Loas, History and Memory, a title which curator Anthony Bogues calls “deliberate and precise,” features contemporary Haitian artwork, commenting on the cultural memory of Haiti, the Loas (spirits) that embody the Vodou religion, and the history that informs the art and culture of Haiti today.

Bogues says: “What we’re thinking about is the ways in which people in Haiti, and particularly artists, think about history itself. ... Also ways in which people think about questions of the relationship between memory and history.”

Haiti has a complex history of colonization, despotic dictators, political unrest and natural disasters that influences the world's perception of their culture, and influences the way they think of themselves.

In recent months, alleged derogatory remarks by President Trump have thrust Haiti into the national spotlight once again. And while the exhibit at the FAC is not meant to be a political statement, according to Joy Armstrong, the FAC’s Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, it does feel prescient.

“I think we do have an opportunity in our country and in other parts of the world right now to learn from what’s being presented here,” Armstrong says, “and to think about the roles that we play, and how we contribute to global society.”

In particular, the FAC and those involved hope that this exhibit may address the stereotypes Americans typically associate with Haiti — in this case, artistic stereotypes that relate to the American (mis)understanding of Haiti as a whole.

Bogues addresses a common misconception surrounding Haitian art — assumptions that all Haitian art is “exotic” or “naive.” This exhibit, he says, displays contemporary schools and styles of art coming out of Haiti today, building on tradition and history while unquestionably creating something new.
The Art of Haiti: Loas, History and Memory
, features three contemporary Haitian artists, Edouard Duval-Carrié, Ralph Allen and Tessa Mars, alongside significant Haitian works from the early and mid-20th century. The exhibition illustrates the ways in which art, artistic expression and interpretations of Haitian culture have evolved within Haitian society.

  • Edouard Duval-Carrié
Duval-Carrié undertakes elaborate studies of Haitian history to create his artwork, addressing everything from Haiti’s early colonization to its various regimes to the effects of historical events on present cultural ideals. “We tend in Haiti to start our genesis with the revolution [in 1791, which ousted French colonizers and concluded with the abolishment of slavery],” he says, “forgetting the 200 years of colonization by the French government. That has been a very big problem for me, because I could not understand what was happening post-revolution without really understanding what happened before.”

It is appropriate, then, that Duval-Carrié’s sculptures are the first sight to greet museum-goers upon entering the exhibition. Sparkling as though sculpted from sugar (the resource that originally led to Haiti’s colonization) Duval-Carrié's boats hang from the ceiling, in flight and at-sea simultaneously. The slave and sugar industry, both of which existed long before the revolution that created Haiti as we know it today, set a foundation in place for the entire development of the country. The boats — and truly all of Duval-Carrié's work — serve as a reminder of that fact.

“I’m trying to make people remember these things,” Duval-Carrié says, “and realize how complicated within Haiti it is. ... I wish that my work is read not only internationally but at a local level in Haiti, and in a more complex way.” Through a visual medium, and spiritual symbolism, he hopes to reinvigorate conversations about legacy and history. What traditions are worthwhile, and what should be discarded?

Duval-Carrié’s Memory Windows, five total, each address a different theme, meant to start discussion about how history affects the present — whether specifically addressing the legacy of the people of the Congo who came to Haiti as slaves, or the effect of America on Haitian development. These colorful, brightly lit displays resemble kaleidoscopes, created through layered collage and objects in transparent resin. 

  • Edouard Duval-Carrié

Ralph Allen, another exhibiting artist, paints abstracted figures that explore more contemporary Haitian history, specifically the political turmoil of the Duvalier regime. According to Bogues, Allen’s parents were exiled by the Duvalier regime, and some of his family members executed, so much of his work draws on that inherited pain. Both Duval-Carrié’s Memory Windows and Allen’s paintings deliberately layer the present on top of the past, in a very literal sense, drawing connections, if not conclusions.

  • Ralph Allen
A notable Allen painting depicts musicians in celebration, the colors of the Haitian flag proudly integrated into the piece. This, Bogues says, conveys Allen’s hope for Haiti — his appreciation of its culture. Cultural appreciation shines in his intimate and tender portraits depicting the Loas of the Vodou religion, too. Though Bogues says that Allen is not a believer in Vodou himself, he recognizes the importance of it in Haitian society.

Tessa Mars, the youngest artist on display at age 32, creates very unique mixed-media work, using paper and paint to explore history, gender, body image and the legacy of her ancestors. Bogues says of Mars: “She’s very much a 21st-century young lady, in which the question of the personal is deep. But she’s not just a person in isolation from Haitian society. She’s asking some questions about Haitian society through her understanding of the personal.”

  • Tessa Mars
Her work, he says, exists in conversation with a history of Haitian art, and Haitian history as a whole. Two particularly interesting portraits in her installation “Aunts and Uncles” depict the founder of Haitian independence, Jean-Jacques Dessalines. She calls her depictions of him “Tessalines,” integrating herself into her culture’s history, and her culture’s history into herself.

Mars’ work displayed alongside paintings and sculpture of early and mid-20th century artists, conveys the wide variety of Haitian art and its subjects: historical figures and battles, the details of everyday life, Vodou and the Loas. And though each artist on display tackles these subjects differently, one can clearly trace the lines from history to present in their work.

“That’s the richness of [Haiti],” Bogues says. “There’s not just one style of art, one art mind. There are different artists, different schools of doing painting and making sculpture, like everywhere else.”

This is very much, as Bogues and Duval-Carrié point out, a Caribbean exhibition, presented from the inside out.

“How do people see us?” Bogues asks. “What are the stereotypes? But we see ourselves in a certain way; how do we present that?”

This is how.

To see a preview of the art that will be on display, check out the slideshow below:

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Non Book Club Book Club connects creatives, opportunities

Posted By on Fri, Feb 9, 2018 at 10:33 AM

Sequestered in an apartment with only their imagination and a bottle of wine, local creatives JD Sell and Jasmine Dillavou searched for a name for their idea — sort of like a book club, but you definitely don’t need to bring a book. And so, Non Book Club Book Club came to life in February 2017 showing the best ideas are often elegantly simple.

Sell and Dillavou, both graduates of the UCCS visual arts program, wanted NBCBC to fill the void they felt found after they left school and began missing the built-in forum of class discussions with other artists. The club provides a space for artists of any discipline to use other artists as resources to both learn and teach, share projects, ideas, inspirations and ask questions.

“We both had this post-grad longing for in-depth discussion with our peers and other creatives in town,” Sell, an artist, says. “[NBCBC] is the embodiment of what we all need from other artists but might be too shy or un-involved to ask."

In practice, that meant organizing a monthly meeting of Colorado Springs creatives — everyone from artists and musicians to filmmakers and chefs — where a usually fluid discussion heads in many directions, though there can be guideposts of certain questions or video prompts. The goal is to create an open and relaxed platform for discussion, and to provide points of connection between everything from food-making to identity. Sell and Dillavou have also piloted a series of artist critique nights, separate from the regular monthly meetings, to allow the evening spotlight to shine on one artist at a time.

“We get a good range of interest and professions that allows everyone to cross boundaries and engage different individuals that you may not have the opportunity to on a daily basis,” Sell says. “Different approaches add a greater dimension to the dialogue, and can give us creative ways of problem solving.”

At the November 2017 meet-up, NBCBC attendees take in a segment of an artist talk by Kara Walker. - NON BOOK CLUB BOOK CLUB
  • Non Book Club Book Club
  • At the November 2017 meet-up, NBCBC attendees take in a segment of an artist talk by Kara Walker.

Averaging eight to 12 attendees per meeting, the group quickly outgrew Sell’s personal studio space — now meeting in the Knights of Columbus Hall, just west of Penrose Library in Downtown Colorado Springs. But the NBCBC has gone mobile, too.

For the first six months of 2018, "NBCBC On Tour" will host meetings at organizations throughout town, hoping to spark conversations and opportunities by and for local creatives.

“[On Tour events] serve as a subtle networking opportunity for creatives to get out there a little more,” Sell says. “They give us a chance to look at other people that are working hard and engage with established entities.”

Venese Medovich gives an artist talk at a NBCBC meeting. - NON BOOK CLUB BOOK CLUB
  • Non Book Club Book Club
  • Venese Medovich gives an artist talk at a NBCBC meeting.

Sell says it's critical for artists to take an interest in and help nurture their community, and to pursue opportunities to influence the development of a city's creative scene, especially.

“We can help shape what this community looks like and be a part of something larger than our own career," he says. "It’s a unique opportunity to build together.”

With its one-year anniversary this month, the NBCBC is taking steps to expand its reach with more On Tour events and an upcoming programming partnership with the Pikes Peak Arts Council, though the details on the latter are still in flux.

“I’m just trying to ride the wave and help it continue to gather steam ... just keeping the fire alive,” Sell says.

NBCBC meetings are the third Sunday of each month; the “On Tour” series continues Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. at Welcome Fellow, 616 N. Tejon St.

To find out more about NBCBC and keep an eye out for upcoming events, visit their Facebook page (@nonbookclubbookclub) or email

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 event e-blast, click here.

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Thursday, February 8, 2018

Theater League announces Broadway at Pikes Peak Center 2018-2019 season

Posted By on Thu, Feb 8, 2018 at 4:02 PM

  • Courtesy Theater League
On Feb. 7, Theater League, whose production of Kinky Boots we recently recommended, announced its upcoming season in the Broadway at Pikes Peak Center Series. With A Chorus Line and Let it Be still on the docket for this season, Theater League promises more big titles coming up.

In December, look forward to the Tony Award-winning Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Its unique spin on the classic tale should make it a great show for theater-enthusiasts and families alike. Also in December, the series offers a one-night holiday show, Rat Pack Christmas.

Another popular Rodgers + Hammerstein show, The Sound of Music, will arrive at the Pikes Peak Center in January of 2019. Made popular by the 1965 Julie Andrews film, The Sound of Music tells the story of a governess and the family she falls in love with during the rise of Nazi Germany.

Theater League will present Evita, an unquestionable jewel in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s crown, in February of 2019, bringing the groundbreaking musical about the rise and fall of Eva Perón, Argentinean first lady and icon, to the Pikes Peak Center stage.

Finally, June will see one of the best-loved musicals of all time, Les Misérables, fresh off its two-and-a-half year return to Broadway. This exploration of love and humanity set during the French revolution is revolutionary in its own right, and sure to be an incredible production.

See a detailed schedule of Theater League’s upcoming shows at the Pikes Peak Center below, or see their website for tickets:
A Chorus Line: March 13-14, 2018
Let it Be: March 26, 2018
Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella: Dec. 11-12, 2018
Rat Pack Christmas: Dec. 17, 2018
The Sound of Music: Jan. 8-9, 2019
Evita: Feb. 12-13, 2019
Les Misérables: June 5-9, 2019 

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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Big ideas, big celebrations and more events to enjoy this week

Posted By on Wed, Feb 7, 2018 at 8:34 AM

8 Thursday

The Big Idea 2018
Hosted by Innovation at CC, which offers opportunities and workshops that teach students to “channel creativity” and connect to community resources. Each year the Big Idea competition gives out $50,000 in startup money to students and their ventures — think Shark Tank, but more supportive. Attend to cheer on these student inventors, movers and shakers, and see what exciting innovations are happening in our own academic communities. Feb. 8, 4-6 p.m., CC’s Cornerstone Arts Center, 825 N. Cascade Ave., free,

9 Friday

  • File photo
GalaxyFest 2018
“Comic con, sorta” — a three-day celebration of arts and pop culture that includes interactive activities, nerdy performances, cosplay contests and more. Special guests this year include Police Academy actresses Leslie Easterbrook and Marion Ramsey, plus a special performance by musician Aurelio Voltaire. Check the schedule for an adults-only “AfterDark” event, panels, gaming opportunities, and events specifically for kids and families. Feb. 9-11, times vary, The Antlers hotel, 4 S. Cascade Ave., $18-$50,

9 Friday

PyeongChang Olympic Downtown Celebration
Celebrate the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics with our Olympic-enthusiast community, and the athletes who live and train right here in the Springs. In the spirit of the Winter Olympics’ location, PyeongChang, there will be performances of Korean dance, music, drumming and more. Also enjoy plentiful sports demonstrations, athlete autographs, kids’ activities, and the lighting of the “Olympic City USA” cauldron by speed skater Eric Heiden, who has five gold medals to his name. Feb. 9, 5-10 p.m., downtown Colorado Springs on Tejon Street and Pikes Peak Avenue, free,

11 Sunday

One Nation Film Festival
Host and benefiting organization One Nation Walking Together focuses on providing resources and drawing awareness to indigenous people, helping fill the specific needs of specific communities. Their annual film festival presents all genres of film, including documentaries, narratives, animation and short films, all created by or featuring Native American people. This year, look forward to films about tribal radio stations, environmental issues affecting Native lands, the controversy surrounding racist football mascots and much more. Feb. 11, 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Stargazers, 10 S. Parkside Drive, $15-$20,

Find even more weekly listings in each Wednesday issue of the Indy, and submit your own events here.
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Thursday, February 1, 2018

Cirque du Soliel's Crystal delights with acrobatics and ice dancing in equal measure

Posted By on Thu, Feb 1, 2018 at 11:14 AM

  • Matt Beard, 2017
The Jan. 31 opening of Cirque du Soleil: Crystal presented a cast of impressive acrobats, dancers, clowns, jugglers and figure skaters, and it’s safe to say they knocked another Cirque out of the park.

And yes, I said "figure skaters." Crystal shines as the first Cirque experience on ice, which makes for a diverse, high-stakes performance.

Though I have a personal love of figure skating, I seldom buy into the hype of “on ice” experiences, as they can come across as gimmicky. Cirque circumvented that trap through a variety of acts and heartfelt characters that didn’t sacrifice any of the acrobatic flair we expect coming in.

The story follows a young girl named Crystal, who delves into a surreal dreamscape in order to find herself — sometimes literally. The moment in which she encounters her mirror counterpart, they launch into a gorgeous paired dance, and things just get stranger from there, as they tend to do in Cirque du Soleil.

  • Matt Beard, 2017
Colorfully costumed dancers portray Crystal’s schoolmates, or the uniformed businesspeople she’s supposed to grow up to become. They skate in synchronized brilliance, sometimes breaking away to perform flips, spins and loops that dazzle as much as any standard figure skating program. But without being bound by the rules of the ISU (International Skating Union), these skaters blend diverse styles of dance and acrobatics into their skating to great effect. I nearly rose out of my seat at the first set of backflips, an impressive trick that Olympians and their ilk are sadly (but understandably) forbidden from performing.

Don’t think Crystal is all skating, though. Audiences can still expect intense acrobatics — straps, trapeze and contortion among the techniques. During a particularly terrifying performance involving a tower of chairs and a talented contortionist, my companion gripped my arm and hissed: “Where is that boy’s mother?” — a sentiment I found myself echoing after each death-defying stunt. Somehow, with blades strapped to performers’ feet, already-wild Cirque acts get a little scarier for those watching.

I most appreciated Crystal, however, for the performers who displayed diverse and specific talents. The clarinetist, a phenomenal musician, skated along with the physical performers during multiple scenes; and the clown — a staple of all cirque shows — was clearly an accomplished enough skater to fake being bad at it. He stumbled and fumbled his way around the ice, yet delivered on the moments he needed to shine — flying up ramps, for instance.

Crystal provides another exciting, heart-stopping Cirque experience, a playground for the senses that overwhelms as often as it delights. Need some more evidence? Check out the photos below, or see it yourself nightly through Feb. 4 at the Broadmoor World Arena.

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Local and regional events honor Black History Month this February

Posted By on Thu, Feb 1, 2018 at 1:00 AM

Denver first lady Mary Louise Louis will speak at CSU-Pueblo's dinner dialogue event. - COURTESY CSU-PUEBLO
  • Courtesy CSU-Pueblo
  • Denver first lady Mary Louise Louis will speak at CSU-Pueblo's dinner dialogue event.
In February, the nation celebrates Black History Month, which deserves recognition beyond the few lessons taught in schools and the few Facebook posts that might circulate your feed for the next 28 days.

In order to adequately honor local, national and international black heroes, consider joining the community for various Black History Month events held throughout the region. There’s something for every taste, from lectures to film screenings to open mic nights. Check out a list of events below:

Black History Dinner Dialogue, with a speech by Denver's first lady, Mary Louise Lee, who will address racism and discrimination in 2018. Thurs., Feb. 1, 5 p.m. CSU-Pueblo's General Classroom Building, 2200 Bonforte Blvd., Pueblo, 719/549-2365,

Celebration of Black History Month, a group presentation about black history, appropriate for all ages. Meet in the conference room at Grant Library, Fort Carson. Sat., Feb. 3, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fort Carson, 6001 Wetzel Ave, Fort Carson, CO, 526-2350,

BHM Cultural Movie Night: Show Me Democracy, a screening of this film, which documents the efforts of the Scholarship Foundation's Education Policy Internship Program, which empowers students to research education policy issues that affect them. Wed., Feb. 7, 3 p.m. CSU-Pueblo's Occhiato University Center, 2200 Bonforte Blvd., Pueblo, 719/549-2161,

Colorado Black Voices Matter: Black History Celebration, with a workshop by poet Ashley Cornelius, an open mic for black performers, and a feature performance by Rosenna "Rogue Scholar" Bakari and Marlon "The Gift" Powe. Fri., Feb. 9, 7-10 p.m. The Gallery Below, 718B N. Weber St., 347/961-4789,

3rd Annual Celebration of Black History, with the theme: “African Americans in Times of War,” which commemorates the centennial of the end of the First World War in 1918, exploring its struggle and aftermath. Program includes music, poetry, dance, spoken word and more. Sat., Feb. 10, 4 p.m. UCCS University Center, 1420 Austin Bluffs Pkwy.,

Black History Month: Art It Up, an opportunity to create a piece of artwork inspired by quotes from Malcom X, Martin Luther King Jr., and other famous African American figures. Thurs., Feb. 15, noon to 3 p.m. CSU-Pueblo's Occhiato University Center, 2200 Bonforte Blvd., Pueblo, 719/549-2161,

5th Annual Black History Program, an annual multi-cultural program, presented by OneBody Ent. Enjoy performances by The ReMINDers, Kayla Rae and Tony Exum Jr. Sat., Feb. 24, 2-4 p.m. The Gold Room, 18 S. Nevada Ave., 634-4653,

Salute to George Washington Carver for Black History Month, honoring the most famous botanist of the first half of the 20th Century, “The Peanut Man." Hear how a former slave reversed generations of ruinous farming practices. Wed., Feb. 28, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Free Event. Library 21c, 1175 Chapel Hills Drive, 347-1714,,

Black History Month Game Night, an opportunity to test your knowledge in a game of Jeopardy full of questions for Black History Month. Wed., Feb. 28, 4 p.m. CSU-Pueblo's Occhiato University Center, 2200 Bonforte Blvd., Pueblo, 719/549-2161,

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