Monday, April 2, 2018

2018 Greenie Awards recognizes the Springs' greenest people and entities

click image Click here to cast your votes now!
  • Click here to cast your votes now!

The annual Greenie Awards recognizes Colorado Springs' greenest businesses, organizations, schools, communities and individuals. Read more about this year’s nominees below and cast your vote for those you think are doing their best for our environment!

Don't forget to attend the Fashion Show/Award Ceremony on April 29th at Stargazers Theatre. Tickets are on sale now via the Stargazers website. All proceeds go to the Peak Alliance for a Sustainable Future and features designs made from completely recycled and up-cycled materials.

Voting runs through April 22nd at 11:59 pm. Each ballot must include a vote in all five categories to be considered valid.

May the greenest nominee win!


Jerry Cordova

Jerry is the Education & Outreach Coordinator for the City of Colorado Springs Water Resources Engineering Division (stormwater). He educates thousands of youth each year through STEM school programs, engages with community members on the Adopt-A-Waterway Program, and storm drain marking efforts.  He is a founding member of the Creek Week cleanup, and initiated Trash Mobs (costume litter cleanups). He is creating a culture for Complete Creeks within his Division that promotes educational and recreational opportunities throughout the community.  Jerry serves on the Colorado Stormwater Council as Chair of the Education & Outreach Committee and leads the Pikes Peak Children’s Water Festival each year.

Jason Gray

It’s one thing to grow food locally, regeneratively, and legally in Colorado. It’s another to convince people that the difference green living makes is worth their money and time. That’s why not only do Jason and Doneil grow the food, they talk about the food — and the surprisingly complicated local food movement. They boil down the huge issues and in-fighting of the eco-friendly movement. Then they turn those into guilt-free, easy, actionable items that people use to green up their lives.

Regen Media publishes The ‘Steadcast (“The home-stead and farm-stead podcast you listen to ‘in-stead’ of making the mistakes yourself”) and Regenerative Dads (“Helping America’s dads be regenerative and green, while still being men about it”) podcasts, blogs and social media. They entertain and educate listeners in Colorado and around the world about the regenerative agriculture movement and green living. This kind of media certainly isn’t a well-paid gig. But it is the only way local tiny farms will survive nationwide: helping busy suburban families understand, appreciate, and buy from the movement.

Richelle Gittens

Richelle Gittens is a believer that service is the rent we pay here on earth. Her work in life and as a school teacher show she lives true to this belief every day. For over 18 years Richelle has been teaching for the Colorado Springs School District. Richelle works hard to share her love of the environment with her students. “We have a responsibility to the people coming behind us. I kind of feel like that’s my responsibility to get them out there thinking about it, and it’s the kids responsibility to carry it on." Through teaching during the day and in an after school club called the Young Environmental Stewards, Richelle gets her students out of the classroom experiencing the community around them. From farm tours, water treatment plants, burn areas, and outdoor recreation she is expanding these young minds to see the larger picture of the human impact on the Earth. Not only is Richelle teaching the future generation of environmental stewards she walks the talk. She is an avid gardener and outdoor recreation enthusiast. She enjoys hiking and riding bikes with her grandchildren. Additionally, Richelle volunteers in her community through church and as a foster parent. She shares her passions and encourages children to take on the personal responsibility of teaching others around them in their quest to make the world a better and lasting place for all.

Nanna Meyer

An Associate Professor in Health Sciences at UCCS, Nanna’s work has focused on sport nutrition and nutrition research. These days, with increased urgency to address global climate and health, more of Nanna’s time is devoted to localizing the Colorado food system and its multitude of challenges and opportunities, viewing food through the lens of health and sustainability in higher education, inter-disciplinarily within the field of health professions, and trans-disciplinarily across academic fields. She is a crucial component in the local food movement, the founding member of the Pikes Peak Region Food Advisory Board and creator of the “Food Next Door Program.” With a team of graduate students, Nanna links farmers to people’s kitchens using concepts of food literacy, such as the Flying Carrot and UCCS’s Farmhouse Sustainability, Wellness, and Learning (SWELL) initiative.

Bill Morrison

Bill Morris is the executive director of Blue Star Recycling in Colorado Springs. After being laid off from a job in the early 2000s and having an older brother with disabilities he took a job managing a day program with 65 people with severe to moderate developmental disabilities. In the group were some young men with Autism who were disassembling electronics in a back room when Bill noticed their innate skill when performing systematic, procedural, repetitive tasks.

In 2009 this caused Bill to start Blue Star Recyclers with a gift from the Fagnant family. It was Bil,l a truck, and 6 members from the enclave. In 2010 Blue Star recycled 250,000 lbs. of electronics, earned $250,000 and employed 10 people. In an incredible success story in 2017 they recycled 3.2 million lbs. of material, generated $2 million and finished the year with 42 people. This success resulted in Rotary International and the Mitsubushi Foundation offering to assist Bill in replicating the model in 8 cities, 2 of which should be operating in 2018. Bill considers his greatest accomplishment helping to unlock the potential of another human being. It is a beautiful example of a man who took people who were on a taxpayer funded program creating an amazing enterprise simultaneously helping our fellow human beings and the planet.


Pedal Station

The Pedal Station is a social enterprise of the local non-profit, Kids on Bikes, whose mission is to inspire and empower all kids to lead healthy, active, and happy lives through bicycling. The Pedal Station is a community bike center where unused bicycles are donated, fixed up by staff and volunteers, and then redistributed through retail, program, and collaborative efforts. As an organization, Kids on Bikes focuses on providing access to bicycles, opportunities to ride, and ongoing bicycling education. The majority of these efforts are fulfilled through partner schools, community centers, and organizations throughout the Pikes Peak region. Many bicycles go unused while there are many who would love the opportunity to take ownership of a bicycle, therefore, the Pedal Station seeks to make sure any bicycle donation is used for the greater mission. The Pedal Station opened in May of 2016 to greatly expand programming and to date; 495 bikes have gone to our bicycle programs, 138 bikes have gone to community partners, 3,370 hours of volunteer service hours has gone into these bicycle donations, and lastly, 1,343 bicycles have been kept from ending up in the landfills! In good consciousness, Kids on Bikes had to figure out a responsible solution to all the bicycles donated that could not be fixed up. In keeping both metal and rubber from ending up in the landfills, Kids on Bikes has partnered with local artists and craftsmen, garbage companies, as well as metal scrapping companies to make every possible use of every donation that comes through our door.


By replacing old metal halide bulbs with High Bay T-5 Fluorescent fixtures Qualtek reduced its lighting load by over 50%. Aging air conditioning units were replaced with high efficiency Evaporative Cooling units built right here in Colorado at Coolerado Corp. The biggest impact has come from investment in new manufacturing equipment; Servo Motor driven Presses reduce the base load by avoiding idle running between press strokes, a new Ipsen Titan furnace replaced its predecessor with additional capabilities and controls while only using 45% of the energy needed to ramp and cycle a load. Purchasing wind energy blocks through a PPM with Colorado Springs Utilities allowed Qualtek to offsets 1/3 of its carbon emissions from 2012-14. Its offices have been nearly 100% powered by a 26KW solar array since Jan 2011. Qualtek has been recognized by Colorado Springs Utilities as a “Water Champion” since as early as 2001, due to a water conservation program and immediately cut water use by more than 174,000 gallons a month. In 2014 the main manufacturing facility received a white roof coating which has reduce heat gain/loss and improved storm water runoff. Qualtek furthered its commitment to environmental stewardship in 2015 by hiring a full time Environmental engineer on and is poised to move from the Silver level of the Colorado Environmental Leadership Program up to Gold this summer.

Plato’s Closet

More consumers care about the environment and recycling than ever before. Rather than disposing of items that will end up in landfills, people are choosing to sell unwanted and unneeded items to resale shops. This also saves consumers from spending time and energy attempting to sell the items themselves through garage sales, social media or classified advertisement websites. Earth-conscious consumers also take pride in purchasing items from resale stores like Plato’s Closet®. While being kind to the earth they still come away feeling the joy of discovering a great deal for high quality, fashionable and trendy clothing purchased at a great price.

Local Relic

In a community that is proudly defined by its craft breweries, Local Relic definitively stands out. Founded by husband and wife team Jeff Zearfoss and Melissa Howard, Local Relic serves up “intentionally esoteric” craft beer from its Tasting Room (situated in the 120-year old Carter Payne Chapel). Local Relic supports sustainability through local sourcing of a wide and eclectic array of ingredients, resulting in small batches of truly well-crafted beer that are unique, rarely to be repeated, and not found anywhere else in the craft brewing world.


Veda Salon & Spa is a locally owned and operated business for over 20 years. We are so proud to be a company that’s part of a bigger movement when it comes to “environmental leadership and responsibility”, not just in the beauty industry but leading the way throughout the world.

One philosophical cornerstone of our company is giving back to our beautiful community by celebrating Earth Month every April, as we have done for the past 13 years. Staff and community volunteers 100% of their time to perform salon and spa services for our raffles, a yearly balloon-pop, fashion show, $5 donated off every service for one day and much more to raise money or to help another in need. Over 13 years we have raised over $350,000 for local non-profits within our community. We continue in our commitment to volunteering and giving back throughout the year to raise awareness in both challenging and evolving circumstances happening in our community. We believe “that giving back to the world we live in” is one of the most important principles a company can embrace.

Our company also is an Aveda Lifestyle Salon & Spa exclusively offering Aveda products in all of our stores. Aveda is a cruelty-free brand and is committed to care for the world we live in and for those we live with, a founding principle since 1978. It's with pride that we carry Aveda products since Aveda was the first beauty company using 100% post-consumer recycled PET. Now more than 85% of our skin care and hair styling bottles are made of post-consumer recycled material. Aveda is also a pioneer in the revolution of environmental responsibility by powering the entire company with 100% wind energy. At Veda, we strive to raise the sustainability bar every year by our commitment to community involvement, using sustainable products and always improving on our own carbon footprint.


Woodland Park School District

Woodland Park School District Re-2 encompasses the northern half of Teller County. The District, as it exists today, was established in 1959 when residents of Teller County voted to consolidate into the present configuration of two school districts within the county. Located north of Pike’s Peak in a spectacular mountain setting, the area provides an opportunity to enjoy the scenery, outdoor activities and peaceful life of Colorado. The educational programs of the District have focused on maintaining a balance between offering traditional instruction in basic skills and providing students the innovative, exciting instruction they will need as they grow up in a dynamic and changing society. Woodland Park School District offers an Environmental Education program for students K-8 in partnership with Catamount Institute. During the program students spend time learning hands on science in an outdoor classroom at Aspen Valley Ranch. Woodland Park High School students are also involved in environmental initiatives through Science Teacher, Dan Ganoza. Mr. Ganoza’s students participate in River Watch (a nationwide study and data collection of water), once a month environmental seminars with guest speakers, and visiting ranches in southern colorado to study sustainable ranching and agriculture. Not only do students have the opportunity to study the environment close to home but have traveled to Utah and even Peru for Environmental Studies. Finally, WPHS will again be competing in the state Environmental Science Competition (Envirothon) in April. Our school has won this the past two years and attended the North America competition in Toronto two years ago and the North America competition in Maryland last summer.

E-11 Creative Workshop of Children

Creative Workshop for Children (housed in the Manitou Art Center), was founded in 2009 by Maria & Alain Navaratne as a Reggio Emilia-inspired Preschool. Distinctive traits of the Reggio Emilia approach include Collegial and relational-based provocative experiences. Children attending E-11’s Pre-School, After-School and Summer Camps have the opportunity to freely explore the arts, work with repurposed and upcycled items, and create in their mini-makerspace. Additionally, they daily explore Nature and learn about respectful stewardship of the Earth.

Cheyenne Mt. Jr. High

Cheyenne Creek Conservation Club, a part of River Watch, has been learning how to scientifically monitor Cheyenne Creek, which flows on the south side of Cañon school across from Cheyenne Mountain Junior High. Although this creek is one of several small natural waterways located on the west side of Colorado Springs, it is the probably only one that flows year round, right past a school.

This unique environmental science service club, supported in part by the Colorado Division of Wildlife and River Watch of Colorado, is open each fall by application to seventh and eighth graders from Cheyenne Mountain Jr. High. Students meet twice a month, usually on the second and fourth Tuesday, after school to do creek water testing, flow tests, water quality testing, and study the Riparian habitat. Many members of the club and our teacher, Mr. Eick, take part in a training one weekend each fall since the club began in 1996. This training is applied year round as students become "keepers of the creek".

Students who are interested in the water quality in natural habitats, enjoy chemistry experiments, like the outdoors, like to help our community and state agencies enjoy being members of this club. Each month the creek is tested for ph, hardness, flow, temperature, dissolved oxygen and alkalinity. A sample is also collected and set to RiverWatch for metals analysis. Meeting times are also used to clean up the creek banks and observe seasonal changes in this local riparian habitat. Our club was also chosen to collect nutrient and macroinvertebrate samples for the state each year. We also complete an annual fish sampling each fall with help from an aquatic biologist from CPW.

The current site of Cañon School, where we meet, was once a nature center in the 1920's, 30's and 40's, where students from the original Cheyenne School studied botany and ecology. and used the natural outdoor resources as a means for further education in all disciplines. Cheyenne Creek Conservation Club also works to continue this historical tradition in our community in at least a small way.

PPCC Sustainability Garden

Located in the heart of PPCC's flagship Centennial Campus, the PPCC Sustainability Garden was designed by and for the community. The Sustainability Coordinator partnered with Professor Kristy Calihan's Group Communication Class to interview five on-campus stakeholders on how they can benefit from a garden. For example, the Culinary Arts program fancied fresh herbs, the Facilities department preferred low maintenance, the Zookeeping program sought leafy greens for their animals, students craved a snack on their way to class, and the Office of Sustainability desired the integration of permaculture ethics and principles. The Group Communication Class presented the information they received from stakeholders to garden design teams.

The Sustainability Coordinator partnered with Becky Elder and Pikes Peak Permaculture to organize two garden design teams made up of students, faculty, and community members. They took the stakeholder information and combined it with what they learned about gardening and permaculture to present two distinct garden designs for The PPCC Sustainability Garden. The Sustainability Coordinator incorporated features of each design while contributing his personal touch. The Coordinator worked with local garden shops to purchase plants and received $500 in donated materials. All of the stakeholders mentioned above were able to benefit from the first fruits of the garden. The Coordinator is planning to expand the garden into adjacent landscaping islands.

Colorado Springs School

The Colorado Springs School (CSS) is a college preparatory, day and international school serving students from preschool through high school. In preparing students for a dynamic world,we teach the fundamental concepts and practices of resource conservation, an appreciation for natural environments, and sustainability initiatives in the following distinctive ways: Investing in solar energy from panels in three places: at Venetucci Farm, on the roof of the Children’s School, and at Good Shepherd United Methodist Church. The school covers 75% of its electrical usage on campus through these solar panels. With this 115 kW project, CSS became the first independent school in the country to draw this much power from a community-based solar garden. This investment, in which CSS leases the panels from SunShare in exchange for credits on our bill from Colorado Springs Utilities, saves the school money, models environmental responsibility, and teaches students to solve problems with ingenuity and responsibility toward others. Additionally our facilities staff seeks to make adjustments, such as a $4,000 investment in energy and water saving measures to yield a return of $25,000 per year on our entire utility bill (water, gas, and electric).


Creek Week

Fountain Creek Week has grown to be the largest cleanup effort in the State of Colorado. The Fountain Creek Watershed, Flood Control and Greenway District launched this program in 2004 as a means of connecting all communities within the watershed and inspiring action though 9 days of cleanup activities. In 2017 alone, Creek Week engaged over 2,600 citizens in removing 30 tons of litter from Palmer Lake to Pueblo and beyond. This program has resulted in a 50% increase of groups adopting waterways and engagement of businesses, nonprofits, schools, scouts, churches, service groups and individuals of all ages and demographics. Creek Week also spurred the establishment of Colorado’s first Brewshed ® Alliance which connects our communities to the shared values of healthy watersheds and locally made beer through education and events. All proceeds from these events support the Creek Week cleanups.

PPLD Green Team

The Pikes Peak Library District’s Green Team promotes sustainability and builds awareness of responsible environmental stewardship in and beyond the Pikes Peak Library District. Among their many outreach and education projects: workshops on upcycling, xeriscaping, clean energy, reducing food waste, renewable energy, planting urban gardens, and art/craft supply exchanges. Other programs include Repair Café & Bike Sharing.

Save Cheyenne

Save Cheyenne is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to protecting and saving the wildlife, parks, and character of the Cheyenne Mountain area. Originally founded in 2013, the organization revitalized itself in 2016 to oppose a land swap involving legacy parkland known as Strawberry Fields. The group led hikes into the area, organized a petition signed by thousands of residents, and ultimately sued the City to prevent the trade. The group helped shine a spotlight on how our legacy park lands are managed.

Garden of the Gods Visitors Center

Since opening in 1995, the Visitor Center has an ongoing commitment to support Garden of the Gods Park and the environment through public education. Inspiring and educating youth and the community to take care of our natural treasures is an integral part of the Center’s mission. Youth and visitors learn environmental stewardship and Leave No Trace practices through Adventure Series programs, school field trips and the popular Junior Ranger certification. The center hosts the region’s largest Earth Day Celebration in Colorado Springs that includes annual park cleanup efforts. The community’s premier environmental and outdoor groups provide hands-on resources and presentations to Earth Day attendees. In addition to property wide recycling and composting, the state of the art facility uses all LED lighting, high efficiency toilets, and hand driers replaced paper towels to cut waste. The Café uses compostable and recyclable utensils and packaging. For grounds maintenance, the center uses an electric utility vehicle. Visitors from all over the world are encouraged to make a choice when disposing of trash by clear instructions of what can be recycled and what items go into landfills. The Visitor Center comes under the ownership of the Garden of the Gods Foundation, a Colorado 501(c)3 non-profit. The Center’s mission is to provide public education and a continuous stream of revenue to Garden of the Gods Park. To date over 2.8 million dollars has been raised through sales in the building to support maintenance and conservation efforts in the park. The funds have contributed to education initiatives, trail repairs, and conservation efforts that preserve and enhance our favorite city park. The facility hosted over 1.2 million visitors in 2017 and is the number one visited attraction in the region.

EPC Household Hazardous Waste Facility

The El Paso County Household Hazardous Waste Facility serves residents of El Paso and Teller County. The facility encourages residents to reuse, recycle, and properly dispose of household hazardous waste and other materials that pose a threat to the safety of drinking water if improperly placed in area landfills. The facility opened in 2002 serving 256 customers, more than 36,000 customers in 2017. Just to name a few, since inception, over 1,000,000 gallons of paint, 1,500,000 tons of electronics, and 200,000 gallons of motors oil have been diverted from the landfill.

There is no charge to residents to use the facility which is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. The facility accepts paint, lawn and garden chemicals, household cleaners, automotive cleaners, motor oil, and electronics, including computers and televisions (up to and including a 19” diagonal only). Usable paint, lawn and garden chemicals, household cleaners, and automotive products are placed in a “drop and swap” area so that these items can be reused by the public. The facility will host several events this year disposal of larger televisions, tires, and mattresses. Two days each week, customers can bring household recycling (cardboard, paper, plastic, glass, and metal.


Manitou Art Center

Nearing its 30th anniversary, the MAC identifies as a place where art, music, pottery, printmaking, and other loud, slightly dangerous and intensely messy events happen daily. With the addition of two makerspaces (clean and messy), a textiles lab, photography darkroom, papermaking studio and five galleries, the MAC promotes sustainability through recycling, upcycling, reusing and repurposing materials for art projects. Donated objects, textiles, equipment, raw materials and supplies—-all find their way into the creative hands of resident artists and community participants to become thought-provoking, engaging, beautiful art.

One Nation Walking Together

One Nation Walking Together is a Colorado Springs-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides the daily necessities of life to Native Americans experiencing third-world poverty. We are responsive to the needs of the people and communities we serve, not only working with community leaders to aide Native individuals and families out of crisis mode, but also working to address the structural causes of poverty via sustainable interventions like soil revitalization and entrepreneurial development. As the original stewards and protectors of mother earth, indigenous people have the longest continual relationship with the land, climate, wildlife and other natural resources. Their intimate knowledge and significant expertise are critical in any effort to combat contemporary environmental challenges. At One Nation Walking Together, all of our facilities, programs, and services strive to honor the ecological and spiritual values of our first people—most notably, that nature is not something that exists “out there”, we are a part of it.

As Onondaga Chief Irving Powless Jr. advises, “Take only what you need, when you need it, and whatever you take, use.” These words encapsulate the hearth of our mission, as we strive to repurpose all of the items that are gifted to us by the community. Items that are not requested by the reservation communities we serve are then recycled or repurposed through a multitude of local partnerships with schools, businesses and organizations across the Pikes Peak Region. For example, we regularly coordinate with groups like Colorado Industrial Recycling to implement comprehensive recycling measures, aide Urban Peak in acquiring basic household items and furniture for homeless teens in transition, as well as facilitate Home Depot’s overstocked or discontinued building supplies to projects in need. One Nation is honored to be nominated as a local organization working to ensure a greener, healthier and sustainable world.

Pedal & Pints

Pedals ‘n’ Pints is a social and service organization that enjoys making a difference in the community while also enjoying ourselves getting out on bikes and tasting craft beers. We adopted a section of The Midland Trail and have been very supportive of like-minded groups like Medicine Wheel, UpaDowna, Trails and Open Space Coalition, etc. We are annual supporters of Creek Week and look forward to being of service anywhere and anytime we are called upon.

Sierra Club

With over 2,000 members in the Pikes Peak region, the Sierra Club’s mission is to enjoy, explore, and protect the quality of the natural and human environment. The Pikes Peak Group leads regular hikes into areas that need protection, trains volunteers to test water quality in Fountain Creek, and advocates for the protection of air, water, and land. The Sierra Club led the charge to protect the streams and wetlands on Pikes Peak and is spearheading the effort to close the Martin Drake power plant.

Southern Colorado CAFR

The Colorado Association for Recycling (CAFR) is a statewide organization whose mission it is to advance recycling infrastructure and end markets in Colorado and support local and state policies that help increase recycling and waste reduction, recovery and diversion. CAFR has recently begun to launch regional councils to better serve local needs. CAFR understands that every community consists of different challenges when looking for viable alternatives to landfill. The CAFR Colorado Springs Council consists of a group of CAFR members who work and live in Colorado Springs and desire to contribute to advancing the responsible management of resources in Colorado Springs. This group works on projects that are both economically and environmentally beneficial for the local community.

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Friday, March 30, 2018

Fine Arts Center releases 2018/19 theater season

Posted By on Fri, Mar 30, 2018 at 10:21 AM

February's Intimate Apparel was one of our favorite shows from the FAC's 2017/18 season. - JEFF KEARNEY
  • Jeff Kearney
  • February's Intimate Apparel was one of our favorite shows from the FAC's 2017/18 season.
On Friday, March 30, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College released the lineup for its 2018/19 theater season. Though the 2017-2018 season wraps up this spring with Fun Home (through April 22), Fully Committed (April 27-May 20), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (May 24-June 17) and Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind (June 29-July 21), we're already looking forward to fall. True to form, the FAC’s mainstage, studio and family productions promise a variety of themes and styles, some musical, all regional premieres.

Among them, Shakespeare in Love (Sept. 27-Oct. 21, 2018), adapted from the popular 1988 film. While the Springs' enjoys occasional productions of Shakespeare's work (with TheatreWorks' annual summer Shakespeare production, a recent creative spin on MacBeth by Counterweight Theatre Lab, and Shakespeare in the Alley set to premiere this summer) this creative and whimsical romance follows William Shakespeare himself and the noblewoman-turned-actor who inspires his most famous play, Romeo and Juliet. It employs plenty of Shakespearean tropes, making it a must-see for fans of the bard, or for anyone who wants to enjoy a devastatingly good romance. It's a solid season opener, thanks to its accessibility and acclaim.

Another intriguing mainstage production (that couldn't land thematically farther from Shakespeare in Love): Hands on a Hardbody (March 28-April 14), a musical with a country and roots-rock vibe. The premise: In a profound expression of American materialism, 10 Texans spend days on end with one hand on a brand new truck, hoping to win it by being the last one standing. It’s a ridiculous concept, and even better once you learn that it is, in fact, a true story — if somewhat embellished for the stage.

In the studio series, Church & State (Nov. 2-25) sounds like it will address some relevant social issues regarding religion, politics, and “how politics has become a religion.” While the show certainly has its comedic elements, the topic alone makes it a more sober choice for the season, and should start some interesting conversations — always a sign of good theater.

Special theatrical events abound, as well. Before the mainstage productions start in September, the FAC will host PIE, a touring production by Theater Grottesco, a Santa Fe-based troupe that has created 13 full-length plays and more than 30 short pieces since its founding in 1983 in Paris, France. PIE was jointly inspired by the Carl Sagan quote “If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe," and the Kate Tempest Poem “Brand New Ancients.” Theater Grottesco says of PIE: “Simply put, four lovable fools arrive at a panel discussion where the moderator doesn't show up. They have a collective nervous breakdown, unleashing their inner gods, and accidentally destroy and reinvent the universe.” It will run only four dates: Aug. 30-Sept. 2.

See below for the full season lineup, and look for subscription packages on the FAC website.

Shakespeare in Love: Sept. 27-Oct. 21, 2018
Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical: Dec. 6, 2018-Jan. 6, 2019
Anna in the Tropics: Feb. 7-24, 2019
Hands on a Hardbody: March 28-April 14, 2019
Barnum: May 23-June 16, 2019

Family & Studio Series
Go, Dog. Go!: Sept. 14-Oct. 14, 2018
Church & State: Nov. 2-25, 2018
Ben and the Magic Paintbrush: March 8-April 7, 2019
Bad Dates: April 26-May 19, 2019

Special Theater Events
PIE: Aug. 30-Sept. 2, 2018
An Evening with Paul Reiser:Aug. 17, 2018
An Evening with Paula Poundstone: Nov. 1, 2018
Happy Hour Stand-Up: July 6, 2018; Aug. 3, 2018; Dec. 7, 2018; Jan. 4, 2019; Feb. 1, 2019; June 7, 2019
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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Celebrate the joy of two wheels, good food and beer at Bike Demo Day

Posted By on Wed, Mar 28, 2018 at 9:41 AM

Bike Demo Day, March 31, 1-7 p.m., Trails End Taproom, 3103 W. Colorado Ave., free to attend, - COURTESY REEB CYCLES
  • Courtesy REEB Cycles
  • Bike Demo Day, March 31, 1-7 p.m., Trails End Taproom, 3103 W. Colorado Ave., free to attend,
Spring has returned, and though hardcore riders aren’t deterred by the cold, it’s once again a great time for everyone to get out on two wheels and enjoy the sunshine and renewed warmth. You may have a perfectly fine bike of your own, but if you want to branch out and see what other manufacturers have to offer, Trails End Taproom is offering a demo day with some of the biggest names in the business. REEB Cycles, Why Cycles, Lenz Sport Bicycles and Mondraker will have some of their bikes on hand for you to test ride through Red Rock Canyon Open Space, with hourly guided rides provided by Medicine Wheel Trail Advocates. Beyond that, enjoy food from BF Chew-Chew Gastrotruck, prizes and giveaways, and of course an after-ride beer or two (or three) in the taproom.
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Pikes Peak Derby Dames know how to fundraise with Black and Blue Ball

Posted By on Wed, Mar 28, 2018 at 1:30 AM

Pikes Peak Derby Dames Rockabilly Black and Blue Ball, March 31, 8-11 p.m., Ivywild School, 1604 S. Cascade Ave., $10-$20, - MARK V. BLOOM
  • Mark V. Bloom
  • Pikes Peak Derby Dames Rockabilly Black and Blue Ball, March 31, 8-11 p.m., Ivywild School, 1604 S. Cascade Ave., $10-$20,
Roller derby is about much more than Ellen Page and tough girls skating. Rooted in athleticism, community and empowerment, derby provides an outlet to a great many women across the country, including right here in Colorado Springs. The Pikes Peak Derby Dames, our region’s ever-growing roller derby group, host an annual fundraiser and celebration to keep them skating. This year’s theme is rockabilly, and they’re hosting a black-and-blue ball with an open invitation. Dress in your rockabilly or derby best, and enjoy giveaway prizes, plenty of dancing, and the opportunity to meet such local derby all-stars as Brass Moose Knuckles, Ringo Skarr and Pepper Slay (gotta love them derby names). 
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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Inaugural Peak Arts Prize winners announced

Posted By on Wed, Mar 21, 2018 at 11:09 AM

Jasmine Dillavou's 100 Potions for Puerto Rico won the Peak Arts Prize in the individual artists category. - JASMINE DILLAVOU
  • Jasmine Dillavou
  • Jasmine Dillavou's 100 Potions for Puerto Rico won the Peak Arts Prize in the individual artists category.

Wednesday, March 21, The Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region announced the winners of the inaugural Peak Arts Prize, a creative new grant program for arts and culture organizations and individuals in the area, funded by Pikes Peak Community Foundation’s Fund for the Arts.
Between March 1-15, the public voted on worthy grant recipients based on the applicants’ video applications. In a press release, COPPeR’s deputy director Angela Seals said: “The community has chosen inspiring winners this year, whose projects will engage people in new ways with local art. Peak Arts Prize is all about community connection. We invite the public to watch for when the Prize winners’ projects unfold this year near you and attend, participate, and support the winners!”

See below for the winners and a little about each of their projects:

Large Arts Organizations (Prize: $7,500)
Destination Space
By Chamber Orchestra of the Springs

Chamber Orchestra of the Springs will produce a community event of science & art in partnership with the Space Foundation featuring original music, NASA visuals, hands-on activities, educational exhibits, instrument petting zoo & star viewing.

Small Arts Organizations (Prize: $5,000)
Springs Murals
By Colorado Street Art Company

Colorado Street Art Company will launch their Colorado Springs presence and oversee production of several street art murals in the city this summer. Local artists would paint the murals in collaboration with the community.

Individual Artists (Prize: $2,500)
100 Potions for Puerto Rico
By Jasmine Dillavou

Jasmine Dillavou will create and exhibit an installation of 100 magical potion assemblages to spread awareness about the forgotten history of Puerto Rico and the tragedy of Hurricane Maria. Ten will be created by people in Puerto Rico.

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Friday, March 16, 2018

Meru screening promises to be a thought-provoking journey

Posted By on Fri, Mar 16, 2018 at 3:19 PM

Meru, March 19, 7-9 p.m., Ivywild School, 1604 S. Cascade Ave., - JIMMY CHIN
  • Jimmy Chin
  • Meru, March 19, 7-9 p.m., Ivywild School, 1604 S. Cascade Ave.,
Mount Everest has become a colloquialism akin to “white whale,” supposedly meaning the greatest challenge. In a literal sense, we tend to consider Everest the mountain climber’s ultimate goal. But two of the climbers featured in the documentary Meru had climbed Everest multiple times before filming, and still found their ultimate challenge in the Shark’s Fin on Mount Meru, a mountain in the Himalayas. Jimmy Chin, Conrad Anker and Renan Ozturk’s 2011 ascent was the first successful attempt to summit the Shark’s Fin, and the second attempt by these three climbers, who tried it first in 2008. The film, using footage from both climbs and interviews with the climbers’ families and friends, chronicles both attempts. It also tells the personal stories of these climbers, all of whom bring their own baggage to the summit — a truncated recovery from near-fatal injuries affects Ozturk’s ability to make the journey, traumatic avalanches leave Chin shaken, and the devastating loss of mentors and fellow climbers pushes Anker to live up to lost legacies. With a sensitive lens, the film examines them as people and as climbers, and tackles the metaphor of the mountain and what it means to overcome. With awards and accolades from Sundance, Telluride Mountainfilm Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival and more, Meru promises to be a thought-provoking journey. Bonus: This screening, presented by the Independent Film Society of Colorado, is in the Ivywild School’s gym, so you can enjoy the film’s intensity and heartache with a full bar and fresh popcorn.
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PPIR Time Attack Series invites drivers of all levels to compete stress-free

Posted By on Fri, Mar 16, 2018 at 1:00 AM

Third Sunday of every month, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Pikes Peak International Raceway, 16650 Midway Ranch Road, #1, Fountain, $10/spectator, $50/driver, - COURTESY PPIR
  • Courtesy PPIR
  • Third Sunday of every month, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Pikes Peak International Raceway, 16650 Midway Ranch Road, #1, Fountain, $10/spectator, $50/driver,
As activities go, watching sports and participating in sports can both be fun, depending on how much of a thrill-seeker you are. For some, the act of watching car racing and timed competitions is enough — to gasp as drivers take turns at high speeds and cheer on the guys in the pit. Others want to get out on that track themselves. One boon of having the Pikes Peak International Raceway right here is that amateurs can try timed driving for themselves every year in a low-stakes environment, and in their own cars, and we spectators have the opportunity to watch ‘em go. The Time Attack Series, a fun competition for drivers of all levels, lasts through October and welcomes anyone who wants to feel like they’re in NASCAR. If the competition part sounds intimidating, we’ve got good news for you: March 18 is the final for-fun practice day, perfect for new drivers. Spectators, on the other hand, can enjoy all Time Attack competitions stress-free. 
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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Springs arts community embraces ekphrasis — the marriage of visual and literary arts

Posted By on Thu, Mar 15, 2018 at 10:47 AM

A pair of pieces from Cottonwood Center for the Arts' current exhibit, Writing Is Art - FELICIA KELLY
  • Felicia Kelly
  • A pair of pieces from Cottonwood Center for the Arts' current exhibit, Writing Is Art

Writers find inspiration everywhere, but there’s a long history of finding inspiration in visual artwork in particular. John Keats’ “Ode on a Grecian Urn” and Percy Bysshe Shelley’s "On the Medusa of Leonardo Da Vinci in the Florentine Gallery" are two personal favorite examples of writers (in this case poets) creating something beautiful based on an entirely different kind of art.

This marriage of the visual and literary arts (called ekphrasis) is pretty damn cool. I’ve found through writing ekphrastic poetry and fiction myself that there’s very little difference between the muses that inspire art and those that inspire writing, and both forms of expression can enrich each other.

Given the literary and artistic talent to be found right here in the Springs, I’m especially thrilled to see the local artistic community embracing this marriage, and in unique and expanding ways.

At Cottonwood Center for the Arts right now (and through March 31), the exhibit Writing Is Art displays the work of local artists alongside stories and poems by members of Pikes Peak Writers. Through a contest held from October through December of 2017, writers were tasked with finding a piece of artwork at Cottonwood that inspired them, and writing a companion piece for it. Displayed side-by-side, the writing and art complement each other, and get people engaged in a unique way. When someone takes the time to read stories and poems alongside the art on the wall, they spend more time with the art, too. Similarly, an interesting painting might draw someone’s eye to a story they wouldn't have otherwise read.

Also locally, we’re desperately looking forward to The Sci-fi Show, which adds an exciting new layer to ekphrasis, and flips around the dynamic of the Cottonwood show. Organized jointly by Brett Andrus (S.P.Q.R. owner/painter) and Claire Swinford (Urban Engagement Manager at the Downtown Partnership, and a painter herself), The Sci-fi Show pulled together 10 area writers (including two of us here at the Indy) to write original sci-fi short stories, then paired them with visual artists, who will create retro-inspired images to accompany the pieces. Instead of stopping there, The Sci-fi Show adds an element of the performing arts as well, with local actors reading and recording the stories before the opening. This allows audiences three ways to access a story, encouraging collaboration across all kinds of platforms.

Though, of course, ekphrastic work isn’t a new phenomenon, even locally. Art Aloud, an annual multi-venue collaborative show spearheaded by Academy Art and Frame Company, celebrates its 11th year in 2018, and will accept submissions of art inspired by writing through March 24. The artwork will be displayed alongside its accompanying poem or story, and the whole initiative will be celebrated with live readings and receptions throughout April. The works don’t have to be created together, though writers and artists are welcome to work in tandem. Spreading the love through venues across town (no specifics announced yet for 2018) allows more people the opportunity to enjoy the way writing and art can influence each other.

There’s value in this for both the visual and literary artist. A short story displayed alongside a painting may add another dimension to the work, encouraging a deeper emotional investment; whereas an art piece inspired by a poem can make concrete some of the emotions expressed in verse. It’s a treat when writers and artists take advantage of those infinite combinations and possibilities of collaboration.

Of course, the benefits extend to the audience. We all have our niches, our special interests within the arts. Though I’m excited about each of these events as a writer, I find it equally fun to come into them as a viewer — to see the way we all inspire each other, and to break down those barriers within the massive Venn diagram of the arts.
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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Remembering Stephen Hawking and his quantum take on the World Cup

Posted By on Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 1:48 PM

  • photo: Twocoms / Shutterstock

The outpouring of emotion in the hours since Stephen Hawking’s death has once more demonstrated the profound influence of this generation’s most important philosopher and physicist.

But as we ponder his vast accomplishments, it’s also worth remembering Hawking's endearingly droll sense of humor, which was nearly as boundless as the universe he envisioned.

As one small example, we looked through the Indy archive and found this 2014 blog entitled "Stephen Hawking, the World Cup, and the power of Oi!," which includes the scientist’s observation that, when it comes to penalty kicks, "England couldn't hit a cow's arse with a banjo."

For something a bit more serious, you can also check out Daniel Barnes’ commentary on the dumbing down of Hawking's life in the biopic The Theory of Everything.

And finally, here’s the full recording of Hawking’s characteristically unique theories about the 2014 World Cup:

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Who the f*ck is Frank Frey, and why is his face on stickers around town?

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

I’ve never met Epicentral Coworking space captain (think manager) and former town bartender Frank Frey, but I’ve seen him around. His face shows up in cafés, bars, offices, concert venues and more. Frank’s visage is behind the bar on equipment at Piglatin Cocina and the Principal’s Office, and on the tip jar at Wild Goose Meeting House. He’s also been spotted in Denver, California, Mexico, Peru, London and more, all thanks to Kevin Reed, whose drawing of Frey turned into a sticker that has, for reasons unknown, become something of a citywide meme — incomprehensible to the unfamiliar and an artifact of joy for those in the know.

“It’s kind of taken off on its own,” says Reed, who does freelance video post-production and rents space at Epicentral. “He’s something of a mascot for the downtown scene.” Reed’s been teaching himself graphic design on the side since moving to town in late 2015. And that’s why fellow Epicentral space captain Kayla Battles asked him to do a drawing of Frey for a sign in the Epicentral kitchen — a Frank reminder that people should wash their own dishes.

“It’s my understanding that Kevin said ‘All I want is a sticker,’” says Frey. As it happened, one of Reed’s neighbors at Epicentral worked for StickerMule and was able to print out a few. A few became many, and now Reed keeps around a hundred of them on his person at all times.

For Frey, the weirdest part is the Instagram page, @findfrankfrey, for people to post where his face has ended up. The tag was even added in a recent batch of stickers. But Frey says it’s also an illustration of what co-working spaces can do.

“You’ve got all these different industries and all these different people that do different things that can create a product.”
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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Poetry, comedy, a dance spotlight and more featured events this week

Posted By on Wed, Mar 7, 2018 at 8:39 AM

7 Wednesday

Celtic Nights: Oceans of Hope
While performances of Irish dance and music tour the country frequently, this one is unique for its subject matter. Through narration and performance, Celtic Nights tells the story of Irish immigrants to America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand — those fleeing persecution, famine and war. Of course, Celtic Nights celebrates the culture these immigrants came from, while recognizing the effect the Irish diaspora has had on cultures around the world. March 7, 8 p.m., Ent Center for the Arts, 5225 N. Nevada Ave., $18-$65,

10 Saturday

Jo Koy
This Filipino-American comedian’s popularity is growing quickly, though he’s been in the comedy scene since 1989. After self-producing his 2017 Netflix special, Jo Koy: Live from Seattle, and selling it to the online streaming conglomerate, his once-insular fanbase has bloomed. 2018’s headlining tour, Break the Mold, features some all-new stand-up comedy, drawing inspiration from his family, especially his strict Filipino mother and his
quirky son. March 10, 7-9 p.m., Pikes Peak Center, 190 S. Cascade Ave., $38-$48,

10 Saturday

  • File photo
Kevin C. Mitchell Poetry Book Release
Though local activist Kevin Mitchell has read poetry at various local events, including the 2018 Martin Luther King Jr. All People’s Breakfast and the Pikes Peak Justice & Peace Commission annual meeting, Words From a Field Negro will be his first published book of poetry. Includes appearances by Mitchell’s musical collaborator Lord Damage, local NAACP leader Lisa Villanueva, poet/hip-hop artist Stoney Bertz and “surprise musical guests.” Mitchell is also the executive director of the Empowerment Solidarity Network, a local organization devoted to supporting families of color and addressing “the roots of social inequities.” March 10, 7-9 p.m., Cottonwood Center for the Arts, 427 E. Colorado Ave.,

11 Sunday

  • Ted Mehl of A Better Image Photography
Don’t let the name fool you. Colorado Ballet Society trains dancers from toddlers to adults in a wide variety of styles, including contemporary, jazz, hip-hop and more. Spotlight! shines, well, a spotlight on their Contemporary Dance Company, a relatively new program of the Ballet Society, celebrating its second season. This performance will feature 35 dancers performing new choreography — both classic and contemporary. The Ballet Society itself is more than 20 years old, founded in 1997. It has since trained some of the region’s best dancers. March 11, 4-5:30 p.m., Louisa Performing Arts Center, Colorado Springs School, 21 Broadmoor Ave., $15,

Find even more weekly listings in each Wednesday issue of the Indy, and submit your own events here.
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Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Center for Nonprofit Excellence hosts Nonprofit Day Conference for professional development

Posted By on Tue, Mar 6, 2018 at 4:12 PM

A wealth of nonprofit organizations make Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region their home, operating in every sector. The Center for Nonprofit Excellence, founded in 1991, offers opportunities for education, resource development and advocacy to those nonprofits, including a special event coming up on Friday, March 9.

Once again, the CNE will host its Nonprofit Day Conference, a full day of development for nonprofit professionals and board members, as well as the businesses and community members who contribute to and support local nonprofits.

Keynote speaker Paul Schmitz is the CEO of Leading Inside Out, an organization that helps build leadership in organizations and communities “to achieve greater social impact.” In addition to his presentation, there will be breakout sessions all day covering topics like marketing, volunteers, human resources and more.

If you are one of CNE’s nearly 200 members, the full conference costs $110, but non-members can still get the benefit of attending for $160. While online registration has closed, you can still contact CNE ( to see if there is space available.
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Monday, March 5, 2018

Fountain Community Theater builds momentum

Posted By on Mon, Mar 5, 2018 at 1:40 PM

If Daniel Lewis needs something done, one of two things happens: either he knows the person to do it, or he knows someone who’s willing to step up and give it a go. That support system gets right to the heart of why the local producer and his director wife decided to start the nonprofit Fountain Community Theater.

“If the community doesn’t want it to happen,” Lewis, an Army veteran says, “it doesn’t happen.”

After a few false starts, Fountain Community Theater is riding a wave of success into its 2018 season. Lewis says much of that success is due to a copious amount of community support, everything from committed board members to the woman running the intermission snack bar all by herself.

“We have some great people and connections,” Lewis says. “We always have a plethora of people to pick up the slack when we need it.”

Prior to settling in Fountain, Lewis spent 22 years in the military, including seven stationed at Fort Carson. While stationed in Lawton, Oklahoma, he participated in community theater.

“It seemed like the neatest little thing,” Lewis says of his experience in Lawton. “The community building, the performances. I thought to myself, ‘that’s what they need right here in [Fountain].’”

A rather intense scene in "A Night of Dark Intent," performed by Fountain Community Theater in October. - FOUNTAIN COMMUNITY THEATER FACEBOOK
  • Fountain Community Theater Facebook
  • A rather intense scene in "A Night of Dark Intent," performed by Fountain Community Theater in October.

Lewis had zero experience producing theater when he got to Fountain but still pressed ahead. He did it all: searching for a space to perform, coordinating marketing efforts and trying to convince local businesses to sponsor his endeavor.

615 people saw their last production, A Christmas Chaos, and 425 patrons came to A Night of Dark Intent in October. No play in the history of the company had brought in more than 350 attendees before. Almost every performance draws an attendee from Denver, and visitors have even come from as far as Casper, Wyoming. Season pass sales are triple what they've ever been, auditions average between 30 and 40 people, and the theater can now pay for scripts and royalties in advance with the help of sponsorship money.

A scene from July's "Cyrano de Burgershack" performance at Fountain Community Theater. - FOUNTAIN COMMUNITY THEATER FACEBOOK
  • Fountain Community Theater Facebook
  • A scene from July's "Cyrano de Burgershack" performance at Fountain Community Theater.

A friend at the City of Fountain helped Lewis secure the theater's current space, an old Fountain Middle School building that has morphed into the Dean Fleischauer Activities Center, at 326 W. Alabama Ave.

In return for access, the theater runs the Fountain middle school drama club. The Children’s Theater production, Looking Glass Land, takes place over the summer partially so the theater doesn’t have to pay janitors to stay later. The hope is for the theater to become a permanent part of the activity center once the city officially takes over the building.

Lewis sees the broader role the theater can play in the community by gathering people together to have a good time and drawing visitors to check out the hometown feel in Fountain —his way of giving back to the businesses that took a chance on the theater.

Fountain Community Theater 2018 Season
One Wife Too Many
March 2-10
James Holden, TV star, is a busy man. He has just returned from his honeymoon with his 4th wife, or so he thinks.

Clue (The Musical)
May 31 - June 9
The internationally popular game is now a fun filled musical which brings the world's best know suspects to life and invites the audience to help solve the mystery: who killed Mr. Boddy, in what room and with what weapon.

Looking Glass Land (Children Theater)
July 26 – August 4
This award-winning stage adaptation by renowned playwright James DeVita takes Lewis Carroll’s original Through the Looking Glass and literally runs with it.

The Postman Always Rings Twice
October 18-27
Drifter Frank Chambers accepts a job from the alcoholic owner of a diner in a town he’s hitchhiking through.

On The Thirteenth Day of Christmas
December 7-15
A wild, action-packed Christmas farce. A young woman suddenly finds herself receiving the gifts from the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” apparently from an unknown suitor.

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 with 8-10 local events, click here.

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