Friday, August 31, 2018

Commonwheel's Labor Day Art Festival is back and as good as ever

Posted By on Fri, Aug 31, 2018 at 1:00 AM

Commonwheel Labor Day Art Festival, Sept. 1-3, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Memorial Park, Manitou Avenue and El Paso Boulevard, Manitou Springs, free, commonwheel.com.
  • Commonwheel Labor Day Art Festival, Sept. 1-3, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Memorial Park, Manitou Avenue and El Paso Boulevard, Manitou Springs, free, commonwheel.com.
It’s back again for its 44th year: The Commonwheel Labor Day Art Festival, one of the region’s favorite art events. Attendees can browse booths of fine arts and crafts from woodwork to glasswork to traditional paintings and photography. More than a shopping opportunity, though, this annual festival offers a lot of free entertainment, including live music (featuring folks like Xanthe Alexis, Ben Pratt, Mo Mungus and more). Families will also have plenty to do, as Commonwheel doesn’t skimp on the kids’ activities — crafts, face painting, balloon animals and of course the Millibo Art Theatre’s famous giant bubble station. If all that still isn’t enough to get you out of the house this weekend, remember there’s always plenty of food vendors, and a beer (and wine) garden with brews from Manitou Brewing Company.
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Thursday, August 30, 2018

Corpse flower: Denver Botanic Gardens announces rare blooming of "Stinky"

Posted By on Thu, Aug 30, 2018 at 4:23 PM

SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
  • Shutterstock.com
Denver Botanic Gardens has just announced that its amorphophallus titanum, commonly known as “the corpse flower” and affectionately known as “Stinky,” has begun blooming.

Why is this such a big deal? Well, corpse flowers are known to emit a horrifying stench whenever they bloom, which isn’t often. The last time Stinky showed its petals was in 2015, and each bloom only lasts 24-48 hours, maximum, before the flower closes up once again.

People have described the stench of corpse flowers as reminiscent of a full diaper, a rotting corpse or moist trash. What’s more, the smell is known to change subtly as the hours wear on. According to one person interviewed by the Miami Herald when one of their local flowers bloomed, “we got some really strong cabbage, sort of brussel sprout notes for a while.”

You know, in case you want to get put off your appetite.

The Denver Botanic Gardens will not extend their hours on Thursday, Aug. 30, and are only open until 8 p.m., if any amateur botanists want to catch this rare opportunity. The gardens open again on Friday, Aug. 31 at 8 a.m., but there’s no promise that by then you won’t have missed the best of the worst smells you can imagine.
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CannaBus Culture Film Fest makes a CO stop to satisfy your senses

Posted By on Thu, Aug 30, 2018 at 1:00 AM

2018 CannaBus Culture Film Fest, Aug. 31, 7 p.m., Speakeasy Vape Lounge, 2508 E. Bijou St., $20, cannabusculturefilmfest.com.
  • 2018 CannaBus Culture Film Fest, Aug. 31, 7 p.m., Speakeasy Vape Lounge, 2508 E. Bijou St., $20, cannabusculturefilmfest.com.
The third annual CannaBus Culture Film Fest, a touring showcase of cannabis themed films, is about to roll into Colorado Springs and Denver. Make no mistake; this isn’t just a casual get together of your best “buds” to watch Cheech & Chong for the 100th time. Rather, the CannaBus festival presents new and relevant films spanning genres and styles. You’ll find burnout comedies like Dude, Where’s My Ferret? of course, but also thoughtful explorations of individuals and communities like Beginning of the Road, a short documentary about veterans treating their PTSD with cannabis; and Dependence, a narrative film about a man who lives drug-free until he starts dating a girl with a self-medicated family. Drama, comedy, long, short (with some one-minute shorts on the docket), the film fest should satisfy all tastes. Plus, since it’ll be held at Speakeasy Vape Lounge, you’re welcome to partake as you watch. Word is you’ll be joined by a few “cannabis celebrities,” though organizers have so far kept their identities a surprise.
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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

What do we do when we don’t know what to do next? PIE, by Theater Grottesco

Posted By on Wed, Aug 29, 2018 at 10:00 AM

PIE by Theater Grottesco, Aug. 30 to Sept. 1, 7:30 p.m., Sept. 2, 2 p.m., Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, 30 W. Dale St., $27-$30, csfineartscenter.org. - COURTESY THEATER GROTTESCO
  • Courtesy Theater Grottesco
  • PIE by Theater Grottesco, Aug. 30 to Sept. 1, 7:30 p.m., Sept. 2, 2 p.m., Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, 30 W. Dale St., $27-$30, csfineartscenter.org.
Astronomer Carl Sagan once famously said: “If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.” This single quote has inspired a thoroughly expansive production by Theater Grottesco, which will be touring to the Fine Arts Center this weekend only. PIE endeavors to answer the question of what we do when we don’t know what to do next. In this case, “we” means all of us, humanity, represented by four “armchair experts” who show up to speak on a panel only to realize the moderator isn’t there. Chaos ensues, naturally, and the actors break the bounds of time, space and nature to explore intrinsic questions of our existence. Theater Grottesco, originally founded in Paris but now based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, draws on European traditions of clowning, meaning they tackle this ambitious subject matter with a healthy dose of physical comedy and absurdity. While non-traditional, it promises to be as evocative as it is hilarious.
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The Gallery Below's Art Parties are for all artists to come and play

Posted By on Wed, Aug 29, 2018 at 9:00 AM

Arty Party, Aug. 30, 7-10 p.m., The Gallery Below, 718B N. Weber St., $5, facebook.com/thegallerybelow. - JON BATAILLE
  • Jon Bataille
  • Arty Party, Aug. 30, 7-10 p.m., The Gallery Below, 718B N. Weber St., $5, facebook.com/thegallerybelow.
Got an ongoing art project that you can’t seem to find time or inspiration to finish? Looking to dip into different mediums but don’t know where to start? The Gallery Below isn’t just a place for artists to display their work — it’s also for artists of all skill levels and genres who come to play. These last-Thursday Arty Parties come with a built-in group of supportive artists, as well as materials to experiment with (though folks are obviously welcome to bring their own). Surrounded by the artwork on the walls (currently The Weird and Wonderful World of Joshua Coates), attendees can get inspired, listen to music and — for a little extra inspiration — partake in some adult beverages.
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Friday, August 24, 2018

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo's Art on the Hoof couldn't come any sooner

Posted By on Fri, Aug 24, 2018 at 10:46 AM

Art on the Hoof 2018, Aug. 26, 6-9 p.m., Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, cmzoo.org. - SUSAN MCCREEDY
  • Susan McCreedy
  • Art on the Hoof 2018, Aug. 26, 6-9 p.m., Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, cmzoo.org.
Our local Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and its affiliates aren’t just about creating a rad local tourist attraction; they’re determined to aid in wildlife conservation worldwide. The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo branch of the American Association of Zoo Keepers contributes to conservation efforts such as the International Rhino Foundation, VulPro (a South African vulture conservation program), Action for Cheetahs and more. Considering the zoo has taken some hard hits recently, and actually lost one of its endangered vultures to hail, it’s a good time to throw your support behind the causes that affect its animals and their relatives in the wild. Art on the Hoof, Sunday night’s fundraiser, will feature animal-themed artwork by a variety of artists, all offered to guests through prize drawings. Ticket holders who receive an “art ticket” will get to take a piece off the wall when their number is called, which makes for a fun and anticipatory evening. Artists have donated every piece of artwork you’ll see on display, and most of it is worth well over $75. If you want to check out the artwork without taking any home, you can enjoy food and drinks for a lower price, and your money still goes to a good cause.
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It's time to celebrate body positivity

Posted By on Fri, Aug 24, 2018 at 10:00 AM

Menstrual Art & Body Positive Art Party, Aug. 25, 5-8 p.m., Knights of Columbus Hall, facebook.com/GWTFCO. - SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
  • Shutterstock.com
  • Menstrual Art & Body Positive Art Party, Aug. 25, 5-8 p.m., Knights of Columbus Hall, facebook.com/GWTFCO.
Go With the Flow Colorado knows all too well the stigma surrounding menstruation.

In fact, they exist to combat that stigma, provide menstrual and personal hygiene products to people in need, and help folks of all genders feel more comfortable in their bodies. Toward that end, they have partnered with GLO Meet-ups and Pikes Peak Womxn for Liberation to host an art-making party celebrating all bodies. Go With the Flow recognizes “that not all womxn [a variation on the word ‘women’] and not only womxn menstruate,” according to co-organizer Olivia Romero. “In order to be inclusive, this is also a body-positive art event where we invite trans, gender-nonconforming, nonbinary, genderfluid and womxn-identifying people to come out and create art about their bodies in an effort to stop the stigma around certain parts of them.” The theme of the event may be menstruation, but body positivity includes any part of the body that carries a stigma — body hair, facial hair, etc. So in addition to bringing your own art supplies, be sure to bring a body positive attitude and an idea for your body-positive project.
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Thursday, August 23, 2018

Colorado Springs Comic Con draws big names in 2018

Posted By on Thu, Aug 23, 2018 at 9:15 AM

Colorado Springs Comic Con, Aug. 24, 3-9 p.m., Aug. 25, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Aug. 26, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Chapel Hills Mall Event Center, cscomiccon.com. - COURTESY ALTERED REALITY ENTERTAINMENT
  • Courtesy Altered Reality Entertainment
  • Colorado Springs Comic Con, Aug. 24, 3-9 p.m., Aug. 25, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Aug. 26, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Chapel Hills Mall Event Center, cscomiccon.com.
Colorado Springs Comic Con is still a young event, but it has provided a few fun weekends for local comic/sci-fi/gaming geeks, and brought scores of celebrities to the area. Actors, writers, comic artists and more attend this annual celebration of all things nerdy, including some big names in 2018. Get autographs and photo ops with Natalia Tena (Harry Potter, Game of Thrones), Billy Boyd (Lord of the Rings), Khary Payton (The Walking Dead) and plenty more; browse vendor booths offering everything from art to collectibles and logo-emblazoned merchandise; attend panels hosted by your favorite stars; enter a cosplay contest to show off your favorite costume; find love at Geek Speed Dating; and bring the kids for plentiful family activities. Fandom has no age limit, after all (though the Saturday night after-party does. Party responsibly, nerds.)
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Friday, August 17, 2018

Strut your nerdiness and cosplay at this open mic and haiku battle

Posted By on Fri, Aug 17, 2018 at 1:00 AM

This is Colorado Springs: Nerd Open Mic and Haiku Battle, Aug. 17, 6:30 p.m., KaPow Comics & Coffee, 4239 N. Nevada Ave., free, tinyurl.com/NerdOpenMic.
  • This is Colorado Springs: Nerd Open Mic and Haiku Battle, Aug. 17, 6:30 p.m., KaPow Comics & Coffee, 4239 N. Nevada Ave., free, tinyurl.com/NerdOpenMic.
How nerdy are you? We all may dress up as our favorite superheroes or Harry Potter characters from time to time, but it takes a next-level nerd to write poetry about their favorite pieces of pop culture. Luckily, plenty such poets call Colorado Springs home. Friday, locals will take the mic to perform their own geeky verse, and all are welcome to join in on the fun. The event will start with a workshop hosted by superstar Colorado poet Ashley Cornelius, followed by an open mic with Michael Ferguson (aka Skillzilla). At the end of the evening, stick around for a haiku battle hosted by Chris Beasley. That’s right, nothing nerdier than poetry geeks who can construct haiku out of thin air. To top it all off, there’ll be a costume contest, so get cosplaying!
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Thursday, August 16, 2018

Paper Tigers screening offers an intimate look at schools addressing unhealthy and destructive behaviors

Posted By on Thu, Aug 16, 2018 at 1:00 AM

Paper Tigers, Aug. 16, 5:30-8 p.m., InfoZone Theater at Rawlings Public Library, 100 E. Abriendo Ave., Pueblo, free, RSVP requested, tinyurl.com/PaperTigersPueblo.
  • Paper Tigers, Aug. 16, 5:30-8 p.m., InfoZone Theater at Rawlings Public Library, 100 E. Abriendo Ave., Pueblo, free, RSVP requested, tinyurl.com/PaperTigersPueblo.
Kids and teens face more challenges than many adults realize, and some youths start life by pushing a rock uphill, facing childhood issues that change the course of the rest of their lives. Lincoln Alternative High School in Walla Walla, Washington (a last-chance school for kids on the verge of dropping out), has increased graduation rates fivefold and dramatically reduced student fights, simply by addressing the traumas and personal/family issues that often drive kids toward unhealthy and destructive behaviors. Science teacher Erik Gordon says: “The behavior isn’t the kid. The behavior is a symptom of what’s going on in their life.” This intimate documentary follows five troubled teens at Lincoln Alternative, and provides an inside look at the methods used by teachers and staff to ensure that they address problems like addiction, violence and depression in a sustainable, healthy way. Afterward, stick around for an eye-opening panel discussion about the film and our own educational communities.
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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Local musicians to perform within LeAnna Tuff exhibit in Cottonwood Center for the Arts gallery space

Posted By on Tue, Aug 14, 2018 at 11:55 AM

"Passion Unleashed" from A Peek Behind the Curtain - LEANNA TUFF
  • LeAnna Tuff
  • "Passion Unleashed" from A Peek Behind the Curtain
In conjunction with Cottonwood Center for the Arts' current exhibit of paintings by LeAnna Tuff, A Peek Behind the Curtain, local musicians will perform two concerts of beloved tunes from opera and musicals on Aug. 18 and 19.

The artist’s husband Peter Tuff, executive director of the Colorado Springs Chorale, will join mezzo-soprano Jennifer DeDominici, soprano Kate Adam Johnson, tenor Todd Teske and pianist Daniel Brink in the center’s main gallery space.

Currently on display in that space, A Peek Behind the Curtain represents a departure from LeAnna Tuff’s usual photorealistic portraiture, and “celebrates the wonder of being transported to other times and places through a story, a song or dance, or a costume.”

Peter Tuff says: “I’m excited to perform with these wonderful artists in the gallery where LeAnna’s paintings capture so much of the emotion that we singers experience, and her exhibition of costumed performers will be the perfect backdrop for these concerts.”

Tickets to the performances will be $10 for students with ID, and $20 for the general public.

See below for more about each musician from the Tuffs' press release:

Kate Adam Johnson, soprano has an extensive repertoire of stage and concert works, and she has appeared with Opera Theatre of the Rockies as Nedda in Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro, the title role in Lehar’s The Merry Widow and more. Kate has appeared as a soloist with the Greeley Philharmonic, Chamber Orchestra of the Springs, Colorado Springs Symphony, MacLaren Quartet, Colorado Springs Chorale, Larimer Chorale, Soli Deo Gloria, Colorado College, First United Methodist Church, and Parish House Baroque. She has a Master of Music degree from the University of Northern Colorado and she currently serves as Catholic Music Director of the U.S. Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel. and her trumpet player husband have two sons.

Jennifer DeDominici, mezzo-soprano has been seen performing here in Colorado Springs as Mary Poppins, Maria in The Sound of Music, Carmen, Judy in 9 to 5, Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls, Grace in Annie, Emperor Joseph II in Amadeus, Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, Hansel, Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Angelina in La Cenerentola, and Mrs. Jones in Street Scene. She has worked with the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, Opera Theatre of the Rockies, Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Chamber Orchestra of the Springs, and Theatreworks. She is the new principal voice instructor at Colorado College.

Todd Teske, tenor recently performed works by Monteverdi, Bach, and Handel with the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado, the Colorado Bach Ensemble, and with the Seicento Baroque Ensemble. Todd can be heard soloing in the Hollywood movie A Remarkable Life. With Conspirare, he recorded The Sacred Spirit of Russia (Harmonia Mundi), which garnered a 2014 Grammy for Best Choral Performance. He made his Kennedy Center solo debut in Hand¬el’s LÁllegro, Il Penseroso ed Il Moderato for the Mark Morris Dance Group. His European opera debut was at Giessen Stadttheater in Germany performing the title roles in Milhaud’s Le Pauvre Matelot and in the world premiere of Jean Francaix’s Le Diable Boiteux. Todd will soon appear in the world premiere of the opera Locust by Anne M. Guzzo.

Peter Tuff, baritone has been described as “an outstanding singer” (Salzburger Nachrichten) and “impressive…strong and commanding” (San Francisco Examiner). Peter has performed over 30 leading roles and dozens of supporting roles in opera, operetta, and musical theater in a career spanning thirty years on three continents. Colorado Springs audiences are familiar with Peter’s performances with Opera Theatre of the Rockies (The Mikado, Carmen, Pagliacci, La Cenerentola), and with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic (Carmina Burana, Beethoven’s 9th, Copland’s Old American Songs), and with Chamber Orchestra of the Springs (Beethoven’s 9th). He serves as executive director of the Colorado Springs Chorale.

Daniel Brink, pianist is well known as a teacher, vocal coach, collaborative artist, and adjudicator throughout the Front Range of Colorado. Dan is in his 20th season as Music Director and Principal Coach/Accompanist with Opera Theatre of the Rockies. He has been a member of the music faculty of Colorado College since 1987 and has taught on the faculty of the Colorado College Vocal Arts Festival since its inception. He is also Principal Accompanist for the Colorado Springs Chorale. He is a gifted arranger whose works have been performed extensively. Dan has degrees from University of Southern Colorado and a Master of Music from the University of Colorado at Boulder. 

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Sunday, August 12, 2018

Rocky Mountain Women's Film Institute hosts rooftop film screening of Three Identical Strangers

Posted By on Sun, Aug 12, 2018 at 2:48 PM

threeidentical3.jpg

The Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Institute may be best known for its massive, annual Film Festival (occurring in 2018 on Nov. 9-11), but this dedicated local organization hosts film screenings and special events of all kinds throughout the year. One new event, Rooftop Cinema, comes thanks to RMWFI's partnership with 333 ECO, a cool, new apartment building.

As it sounds, Rooftop Cinema is a film screening event, held at dusk on the roof of these downtown apartments (333 E. Colorado Ave.).

RMWFI’s next Rooftop Cinema, (Aug. 18), will present Three Identical Strangers, a documentary film about identical triplets who were separated at birth and coincidentally managed to find each other in adulthood. But in spite of the feel-good beginning of the triplets' stories, the reason for their separation comes to light, and the truth has some disturbing repercussions.

The film has been critically acclaimed, and Peter Howell of the Toronto Star called it: "A documentary with a story so outlandish it might well have been rejected by a Hollywood studio had a screenwriter pitched it as the basis of a fictional movie."

Tickets to Rooftop Cinema include food and drinks provided by El Taco Rey, La'au's Taco Shop, Pikes Peak Lemonade Company and more to be announced. There will also be live music by Ryan Flores before the screening.

Insiders say tickets are going fast, so folks are encouraged to register right away.

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Thursday, August 9, 2018

Millibo's Circus of the Night returns with the "sexiest date night of the summer"

Posted By and on Thu, Aug 9, 2018 at 1:00 AM

Circus of the Night: Cocobanana - Fridays and Saturdays, 9 p.m., through Aug. 25, Millibo Art - Theatre, 1626 S. Tejon St., $25, themat.org. - MILLIBO ART THEATRE
  • Millibo Art Theatre
  • Circus of the Night: CocobananaFridays and Saturdays, 9 p.m., through Aug. 25, Millibo Art Theatre, 1626 S. Tejon St., $25, themat.org.
The Millibo Art Theatre’s ever-popular Circus of the Night has returned, this time with a Brazilian theme. Hosted by Babette Matdiva and Hannah Rockey as “dueling Carmen Mirandas,” this cabaret promises irrepressible comedy alongside impressive (and tantalizing) performances of all kinds. Enjoy Elizabeth Fluharty’s incredible aerial silks, “Super” Dave Hale’s acrobatics and physical comedy, music by vocal powerhouse Miriam Roth, Samba dance by the fabulous Nina Born and plenty of juggling, tumbling and more from some of the MAT’s superstar performers. The MAT calls this the “sexiest date night of the summer,” and considering it reportedly features a new burlesque act from elder dancers Gertrude Tigerheart and Vivian Volcano, we can bet that it probably will be. 
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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Paint out invites everyone to paint en plein air

Posted By on Wed, Aug 8, 2018 at 1:00 AM

2018 Paint Out, Aug. 9, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., UCCS Heller Center for the Arts and Humanities, 1250 N. Campus Heights, free, uccs.edu. - KAREN STORM
  • Karen Storm
  • 2018 Paint Out, Aug. 9, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., UCCS Heller Center for the Arts and Humanities, 1250 N. Campus Heights, free, uccs.edu.
Because it sounds fancy, the term “en plein air” might put off beginning or amateur painters. But the only requirement for painting en plein air is to be outside, and to take inspiration from the natural world as you paint. That means the Heller Center’s Paint Out is a perfect opportunity for artists of all levels to leave the studio and take advantage of the nice weather while we have it. This free event welcomes artists to explore the 36-acre property with their easels, canvases and palettes, but offers some structure around the practice, too. Beginning with coffee and bagels, and including lunch in the afternoon with wine and cheese in the evening, artists will start the day by setting a goal or intention for their work. Featured artist Karen Storm, who will lead the group critique at the end of the day, says: “It [the intention] could be as specific as gathering color notes, expressing the light, playing with edges, or capturing shapes … among other things. Or the intention could simply be to revel in the beauty of nature and express it joyfully! The critique then becomes a thought-provoking dialogue about the fulfillment of the intention, which is unique to each painter.”
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Friday, August 3, 2018

The Unsteady Hand hosts benefit concert for new Parkinson's art program

Posted By on Fri, Aug 3, 2018 at 3:25 PM

Parkinson's Disease is predicted to affect 1 million people in the U.S. by 2020. - CHINNAPONG / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
  • Chinnapong / Shutterstock.com
  • Parkinson's Disease is predicted to affect 1 million people in the U.S. by 2020.

The Unsteady Hand, a new artist collective here in Colorado Springs, hopes to provide a space for people with Parkinson’s Disease and friends and family to explore artistic creation with guidance from local artists.

According to their website: “It is not uncommon for People with Parkinson’s (PWP) to become disengaged and isolated from their community. The explanations for separation can be physical, emotional or a combination of the two. We do everything we can to get through this mess called Parkinson’s as a community... a collective. The Unsteady Hand engages/re-engages fellow ‘Parkinsonians’ with the power of art and creativity.”

In advance of The Unsteady Hand’s first creative lab, the organization will host a benefit concert on Aug. 4.

Featuring Juannah, local pop-jazz-folk duo, the concert is free to attend, but organizers have asked for donations, 100 percent of which will fund upcoming programs.

According to the Parkinson’s foundation, the disease affects more than 10 million people worldwide, and can cause tremors, rigid limbs, and trouble walking or balancing, among other variable symptoms.

Hence, the title of the concert “Shake, Rattle, Be Whole,” which speaks to the truth of any disease, affliction or disability — it neither defines nor invalidates a person.

The concert will be held at Art 111, a downtown gallery currently exhibiting “Freedom,” featuring more than 20 artists interpreting the theme of freedom in diverse media.

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