Thursday, February 14, 2019

Art on the Streets sculpture vandalized, Downtown Ventures searching for missing piece

Posted By on Thu, Feb 14, 2019 at 4:26 PM

COURTESY DOWNTOWN VENTURES
  • Courtesy Downtown Ventures

Though Downtown’s Art on the Streets program has seen isolated incidents of vandalism and theft, generally the community has been respectful of the public art on loan to the city from the program's many contributing artists. Unfortunately, the Downtown Partnership announced on Feb. 13 that a piece of the 20th anniversary Art on the Streets exhibit has been stolen.

The sculpture, You, Light as a Cloud, was created by South Korean artist Byeong Doo Moon, and depicts a large cat sitting on a bench beside an unlikely friend, a small snipe. It is the snipe that has fallen victim to thievery, as it is reportedly no longer attached to the sculpture and has gone missing.

You, Light as a Cloud, which can be found at Boulder Crescent Park on Cascade Avenue, is valued at $70,000, but according to a Downtown Partnership press release, “because the bird was stolen, it is considered incomplete and no longer valid for sale. Downtown Ventures, the nonprofit organization that runs the Art on the Streets program, is seeking the public’s help to find the stolen bird.”

According to their Facebook page, the Downtown Partnership has already contacted scrap metal businesses and the Colorado Springs Police Department in their search for the snipe, but they hope to enlist the public’s help in finding the stolen bird.


From the press release:

“In the past, vandals of another public artwork were identified through a public call for information, so we’re hoping someone who knows about this incident will come forward,” said [Urban Engagement Manager Claire] Swinford.

“It is especially disheartening to see this sculpture vandalized. This artist worked with local donors to have another of his sculptures – a stunning wire deer titled I have been dreaming to be a tree – acquired and gifted to the city’s permanent collection of public art,” said Swinford. In fact, the artist so appreciated the beauty and friendliness of our community when he visited that he applied for a visa to move here with his family. Swinford continued, “It is a shame that such a talented person, who so admires our community and who so badly wants to be part of it, would have his generosity repaid in such a selfish, uncaring way.”

If anyone has any information as to the bird’s whereabouts or any information that could lead to a suspect, the Downtown Partnership asks that you call 719/886-0088.

COURTESY DOWNTOWN VENTURES
  • Courtesy Downtown Ventures
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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Labor of love: Stargazers celebrates 10 years

Posted By on Wed, Feb 13, 2019 at 12:11 PM

Stargazers owners John and Cindy Hooton celebrate 10 years in 2019. - STARGAZERS THEATRE AND EVENT CENTER
  • Stargazers Theatre and Event Center
  • Stargazers owners John and Cindy Hooton celebrate 10 years in 2019.
Attendees stream out the doors and into the Stargazers Theatre and Event Center's foyer, bustling from excitement after the evening's entertainment. One woman makes a bee-line to co-owner Cindy Hooton and her husband John as they greet their guests with flyers of the upcoming shows. "She said she and her husband hadn't been out on a date in years," Cindy recalls, "'Now he wants to know what's happening at Stargazers next week!'"

“People will come up and give us high fives, hugs and tell us what a great time they had,” Cindy says.

It’s easy to get the Hootons to talk about their brainchild as they reflect on a 10-year love affair with music and what the future holds for the venue.

“This has been both the fastest and the longest 10 years of our lives,” says John.
The inside of the building when it first opened as a movie theater. - STARGAZERS THEATRE AND EVENT CENTER
  • Stargazers Theatre and Event Center
  • The inside of the building when it first opened as a movie theater.
The building now known as Stargazers was built in 1969, and has seen life as a movie theater, heavy metal venue, and even a church. John and Cindy purchased the building in April 2008, spending 10 months on extensive renovations before hosting their first event in February 2009. They’ve since racked up over 1,700 shows, averaging between 150 and 170 per year.

A promotion for the grand opening of Cinema 150, now Stargazers Theatre and Event Center. - STARGAZERS THEATRE AND EVENT CENTER
  • Stargazers Theatre and Event Center
  • A promotion for the grand opening of Cinema 150, now Stargazers Theatre and Event Center.
The space hosts events of all moods, from quiet reflections to raucous celebrations with a 200-person conga line lead by Cindy. The flexibility of the building allows the Hootons to use the floor space for a variety of uses, too, like table seating or a dance floor (occasionally activating what Cindy calls Stargazers' "honky-tonk mode”).

The goal is to have a warm and welcoming venue no matter the event, as well as featuring great artists — and audiences — of all genres. The Hootons find value in the venue's central location and easy parking in addition to the variety of events they put on. And they strive to make shows accessible to everyone — sometimes even free of charge — and showcase local talent and international touring artists.

By intentionally blending local, regional, national and international acts, John and Cindy have approached Stargazers as not just a music venue, but an incubator to grow the local music scene. John describes the venue-band relationships they've built as atypical, creating something mutually beneficial for both sides. The Hootons even go as far as finding artists for tribute shows and pairing local bands with international talent as openers.
The Long Run: Colorado's Tribute to the Eagles takes a photo with the crowd at Stargazers in 2017. - STARGAZERS THEATRE AND EVENT CENTER
  • Stargazers Theatre and Event Center
  • The Long Run: Colorado's Tribute to the Eagles takes a photo with the crowd at Stargazers in 2017.

“We like bands who pay their dues,” John says. “We see them work hard, and then we work hard for them.”

But live music is only part of the Stargazers story — the Hootons saw an opportunity to leverage their performance space and give it back to the community. The venue is known to host film festivals including the Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Institute Shorts Night each April, and benefits like Pikes Peak Blues Community and other nonprofit events every year.

“We saw that there was a need for this in the community, so we said ‘let’s run with it,’” John says. “It’s not always about the money, sometimes it’s about doing the right thing.”

John and Cindy Hooton, owners of Stargazers Theatre and Event Center, in their natural habitat - on stage introducing the next act. - STARGAZERS THEATRE AND EVENT CENTER
  • Stargazers Theatre and Event Center
  • John and Cindy Hooton, owners of Stargazers Theatre and Event Center, in their natural habitat - on stage introducing the next act.
The couple has called Colorado Springs home since 1988, and are thrilled with the growth of local talent, venues and potential in the area.

“Anything that gets people off the couch and to a live venue is good for everyone,” John says. “You’re starting to see the scene simmer, and it’s getting ready to boil. This can be a huge music town if the current momentum keeps going.”

As for the future, Stargazers' centers around the building itself — upgrading the sound system, floors, and anything else that needs revamping. That, plus continuing the high energy passion the Hootons bring to their work everyday.

“It’s a work in progress, there’s a lot more to be done to get Stargazers fully blossomed,” John says. “It’s fun and rewarding to do this.”

Check out Peak Radar's conversation with John and Cindy:

Jonathan Toman serves as the Peak Radar Manager for the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region. PeakRadar.com connects you to over 4,500 local events, 450 creative groups, & 350 artists — all in one beautiful website for the Pikes Peak region. Jonathan can be reached at jonathan@culturaloffice.org.

To sign up for the weekly Peak Radar Picks email, which includes 8-10 great local events, click here.
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Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Eat your heart out with Kelly Gileran's Birthday Suit

Posted By on Wed, Feb 6, 2019 at 1:00 AM

Birthday Suit, On display through Feb. 22, The Modbo, 17C E. Bijou St., free, themodbo.com. - KELLY GILLERAN
  • Kelly Gilleran
  • Birthday Suit, On display through Feb. 22, The Modbo, 17C E. Bijou St., free, themodbo.com.
Food has never been quite so sexy as in artist Kelly Gilleran’s new exhibit for The Modbo. In Birthday Suit, Gilleran draws on her influences — vintage, mid-century advertisements, pin-up art and traditional media techniques — to create striking paintings of flirtatious food items that will undoubtedly make you hungry. Among... other things. These long-legged confections come in all kinds of flavors, and you’ll see everything from cakes to cheeseburgers — true Americana. Norman Rockwell, eat your heart out.
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There's a lot going on with Five Lesbians Eating a Quiche

Posted By on Wed, Feb 6, 2019 at 1:00 AM

Five Lesbians Eating a Quiche, Feb. 7-9, 7:30 p.m., Impossible Playhouse, 1201 N. Main St., Pueblo, $5-$15, impossibleplayers.com. - COURTESY IMPOSSIBLE PLAYERS
  • Courtesy Impossible Players
  • Five Lesbians Eating a Quiche, Feb. 7-9, 7:30 p.m., Impossible Playhouse, 1201 N. Main St., Pueblo, $5-$15, impossibleplayers.com.
If the title of this play alone isn’t enough to convince you to go, you’re not entirely a lost cause; there is so much more going on here than what’s on the tin. Granted, five self-described “widows” (sure, Jan) do get together to eat a few quiches, but consider: It’s Cold War 1956, and breakfast may be served with a nice big helping of nuclear winter. This absurdist play about the five board members of the Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein goes off the rails fast, and what begins as an annual quiche competition turns into a clusterf*ck of confessed feelings and discovered secrets that might be more explosive than the literal bomb the Communists may drop outside the club’s community center. 
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Anna in the Tropics offers a thoroughly unique theatrical experience

Posted By on Wed, Feb 6, 2019 at 1:00 AM

Anna in the Tropics, Wednesdays-Sundays through Feb. 24, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, 30 W. Dale St., tickets start at $20, csfineartscenter.org. - COURTESY COLORADO SPRINGS FINE ARTS CENTER
  • Courtesy Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
  • Anna in the Tropics, Wednesdays-Sundays through Feb. 24, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, 30 W. Dale St., tickets start at $20, csfineartscenter.org.
Back in the day, workers didn’t have the luxury of podcasts or custom Spotify playlists to make their days go by faster. Cuba, and the Cuban diaspora in Florida, solved the problem of workforce boredom by introducing lectors into their cigar factories in the early 1900s. A lector would read to, entertain and educate the factory workers as they rolled cigars — an otherwise mind-numbing task. Needless to say, the arrival of a new lector at a factory would often be cause for celebration. For the family in Anna in the Tropics, that is precisely how they treat the arrival of Juan Julian, their factory’s new lector. But Julian chooses quite a story to introduce to the factory workers: the characteristically depressive masterwork of Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina. As he reads, the audience learns that the drama in this factory extends far beyond the book’s pages. Affairs, nefarious plots, massive debts and more will be revealed in this poignant, poetic and thoroughly unique theatrical experience.
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Karen Russell kicks off Converge Lecture Series' new era

Posted By on Wed, Feb 6, 2019 at 1:00 AM

A Conversation with Karen Russell, 7-9 p.m., Ent Center for the Arts, 5225 N. Nevada Ave., $15-$65.99, - convergelectureseries.org. - MICHAEL LIONSTAR
  • Michael Lionstar
  • A Conversation with Karen Russell, 7-9 p.m., Ent Center for the Arts, 5225 N. Nevada Ave., $15-$65.99, convergelectureseries.org.
Near the end of 2018, the Converge Lecture Series hosted its last event at the Pinery at the Hill, where it has brought prominent and diverse authors and poets to speak on the subject of “moral beauty” since October of 2017. Now, they’ve moved to an ambitious new venue, the Ent Center for the Arts’ Shockley-Zalabak Theater, an auditorium with almost 800 seats serving to expand the program’s reach to students and more. “We kind of want to blow it out a little bit and see if we can make it more accessible to the Springs community,” Converge founder Samuel Stephenson told the Indy last September. Celebrated author Karen Russell will give the first Converge lecture in this new space, kicking off a year of lectures by prominent women writers. Russell, whose debut novel Swamplandia! was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, has written short stories and novels to great critical acclaim, even winning the National Magazine Award and a MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant. Her works tend to contain elements of the uncanny, verging into magical realism and horror, but always with a uniquely outrageous spin that keeps the reader engaged. She should prove an appropriate choice to begin Converge’s new, even more accessible, era. 
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The Ruth Holley Library Rededication and Open Mic has us remembering a real community hero

Posted By on Wed, Feb 6, 2019 at 1:00 AM

Ruth Holley Library Rededication with Open Mic, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Ruth Holley Branch Library, 685 N. Murray Blvd., free, facebook.com/Poetry719.
  • Ruth Holley Library Rededication with Open Mic, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Ruth Holley Branch Library, 685 N. Murray Blvd., free, facebook.com/Poetry719.
When librarian Ruth Holley passed away in 1986, the community lost a real hero. Holley, who managed the East Library for 10 years, was known for her kind heart and dedication to her patrons, and Pikes Peak Library District honored her by dedicating the Ruth Holley Library in her name in 1987. Now, PPLD and Poetry 719 will honor Holley’s memory with a rededication ceremony, plus a full roster of festivities. Accomplished poet Ashley Cornelius will host a “celebrating womxn” writing workshop open to all who want to honor the women in their lives. Following that, stick around for or participate in an open mic for black women poets, “dedicated to the memory and impact of Ruth Holley.” Poetry 719 has asked that attendees bring books to donate to the library, or cash to purchase books from the Friends of Ruth Holley Library store. 
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