Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Springs' Artspace project speeds up with Downtown Development Authority funding

Posted By on Wed, Dec 13, 2017 at 3:56 PM

Claire Swinford of the Downtown Partnership (left) and Kate Perdoni of Pikes Peak Arts Council and the Colorado Springs Creative Collective visited the Loveland Artspace earlier this year. - COURTESY KATE PERDONI
  • Courtesy Kate Perdoni
  • Claire Swinford of the Downtown Partnership (left) and Kate Perdoni of Pikes Peak Arts Council and the Colorado Springs Creative Collective visited the Loveland Artspace earlier this year.
For the last two years, the Colorado Springs Creative Collective, a group of local artists and community stakeholders led by Bob Wolfson, has been working to establish an Artspace development in Colorado Springs. Artspace, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit, creates affordable live/work space for artists across the country, with developments in Loveland and Trinidad in Colorado, plus cities in 17 other states. Following a survey to gauge public interest, results of which were released early this fall, the collective planned to move forward with an Artspace development here in town.

Now, that plan has been accelerated by involvement from the Colorado Springs Downtown Development Authority, which has taken the reins of the project. The board pledged unanimously to fund the entire next phase of the Artspace project — $750,000 in total.

This marks a monumental investment by a city entity in funding for the arts. Laurel Prud’homme of the Downtown Partnership says: “The [majority of] survey respondents said that their interest in this type of a property — they wanted to see it downtown. We think that makes a lot of sense, too. We know that if the DDA is able to step in with this kind of funding, that gets the ball rolling now.”

Going through a nonprofit or philanthropic funding source, she says, could take years.

To read more about what the next phase of an Artspace development may entail, and to hear the DDA’s official statement, see the full press release below.

Colorado Springs, CO – The board of directors of the Colorado Springs Downtown Development Authority (CSDDA) this week unanimously approved a funding commitment of up to $750,000 to support a three-stage contract to bring an Artspace project to Downtown Colorado Springs. The project, upon completion, would bring approximately 50 to 70 units of affordable housing or live/work spaces for individuals and families working in the creative industries to Downtown.

Artspace is a national nonprofit organization that delivers sustainable, affordable living and working space for individuals and families in the arts and craft industries. Artspace leads the industry with more than 35 properties and nearly 2,000 residential units specifically serving artists and creatives coast to coast, and each property remains affordable in perpetuity.

For the past two years, the effort to bring Artspace to Colorado Springs has been envisioned and led by the Colorado Springs Creative Collaborative, a group of creatives and volunteers helmed by local advocate Bob Wolfson. “The project was borne out of a proactive stance for Colorado Springs to be a community that welcomes creatives with an affordable place to work and live in the face of market changes and growth that often outprice creatives from urban areas, and sometimes from the city overall,” said Wolfson. With this week’s action, the CSDDA now takes the helm of the project.

A typical Artspace project progresses through four phases of development. In the first phase Artspace visits a community and determines the pre-feasibility of the project and whether the community is in a position to lead an effort and eventually absorb the project. The second phase is an Arts Market Survey, which was completed in Colorado Springs earlier this year. A summary of survey results can be found at

The project now enters the third, pre-development phase, which involves obtaining a site, designing the project, and finalizing the financial model to allow the project to obtain competitive Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) and other sources common to affordable housing development. This phase of the project is expected to take one-and-a-half to two years, after which, if successful, Artspace will move toward construction and opening.

“We are very excited with the prospect of building a new project in Colorado Springs and are thrilled to be moving into this next stage of development with such robust support and partnership from the CSDDA” said Shannon Joern, Vice President of National Advancement for Artspace.

About Artspace:
Artspace is the nation's nonprofit leader in artist-led community transformation, with more than 46 projects in operation across the country and another dozen in development, representing a unique, $600 million investment in America's arts infrastructure. With headquarters in Minneapolis and offices in Denver, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Seattle and Washington D.C., Artspace is America's leading developer of arts facilities and has served as a consultant to hundreds of communities and arts organizations nationwide. To date, Artspace has completed nearly 2,000 affordable residential units and more than 300 creative businesses and working studios. Presence in Colorado includes Artspace Loveland Arts Campus, and projects in planning and development stages in Trinidad, Lakewood, Denver’s RiNo Arts District, Ridgway, and others.

About Downtown Development Authority
The CSDDA builds public and private investment partnerships that promote the physical and economic growth of Downtown Colorado Springs. Downtown property owners voted to establish the CSDDA in November 2006 to provide programs and financial support to encourage downtown development. CSDDA is governed by a board of 11 people appointed by Colorado Springs City Council. For more information visit, or contact Downtown Colorado Springs at 719.886.0088.

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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Open mics, opening receptions and more events to keep you busy this week

Posted By on Wed, Dec 6, 2017 at 1:00 AM

7 Thursday

Winner of seven Tony Awards, Annie stands as one of the most iconic musicals of all time,
suitable and generally enjoyable for all ages. The musical was originally based on the daily comic strip Little Orphan Annie by Harold Gray, which ran (with varying levels of success) between 1924 and 2010. If you need another reason to go, you should know that Annie’s dog will be played onstage by a foster pup from the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, a graduate of the organization’s “wallflower program” to socialize shy dogs. Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m., select Saturday and Sunday matinées, 2 p.m., and other select dates through Jan. 7, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, 30 W. Dale St., $20-$45,

8 Friday

Mi Barrio
Brandon A. Miera, aka BAM, is a local artist best known for his movie and rock music posters. This is Miera’s first show with his 16-year-old son Rodan “Read” Miera, who follows in his old man’s rock ’n’ roll footsteps with unique graffiti art. Opening reception includes refreshments and live music by DJ Gravity, plus plenty of art for sale and a meet-and-greet with the Mieras. Opening reception, Dec. 8, 6-10 p.m., on display through Jan. 5, Art 111, 111 E. Bijou St.,

9 Saturday

Holiday Party & Ornament Auction
This inaugural event, hosted by Cottonwood and the Colorado chapter of AIGA, the professional association for design, supports local artists and crafters. Each ornament in this juried silent auction was created and donated by a local artist, and proceeds from the auction will help fund
Cottonwood’s 2018 events. More than an auction, this is a full-on party: look forward to live music, giveaways, food and more. Dec. 9, 4-8 p.m., Cottonwood Center for the Arts, 427 E. Colorado Ave., $15-$20,

11 Monday

Hear, Here! Speaking of Faith Open Mic
Poets, musicians and storytellers are welcome to share their interfaith work, anything that addresses the concept of faith or spirituality. This marks another of Hear, Here!’s themed open mics, which have included opportunities for queer, black and differently abled folks to share their work. Hear, Here! is participating in this year’s Give! campaign, hoping to support their youth and adult slam poetry teams. Dec. 11, 7-10 p.m., donations accepted,
Wild Goose Meeting House, 401 N. Tejon St.,

Find even more weekly listings in each Wednesday issue of the Indy, and submit your own events here.
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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Art, science, sports and a classic cabaret fill the week's calendar

Posted By on Wed, Nov 29, 2017 at 1:00 AM

29 Wednesday

Family Star Party: Ever Changing Moon
The Space Foundation Discovery Center hosts these parties once a month all year round, offering outdoor education to “inspire the next generation of astronomy enthusiasts.” This month, enjoy special activities including pinwheel crafts illustrating the phases of the moon, and observations of the gibbous moon, Uranus and Andromeda in the night sky. If you want to hop inside to see the museum, too, admission is half-price and includes a Science On a Sphere presentation. Nov. 29, 6-8 p.m., Space Foundation, 4425 Arrowswest Drive, free for outdoor activities, discount museum admission available,

30 Thursday

Champagne Cabaret
Earlier this year, Peaks and Pasties, the region’s first professional burlesque troupe, gave us another first — the first full-time local cabaret, teaming up with The Gold Room. Peaks and Pasties holds more Indy Best Of gold awards than we can count — the reigning queens and kings of the Naughty Business category. All Champagne Cabarets have their own theme; this weekend enjoy “A Burlesque Christmas Carol,” featuring holiday-themed acts. Nov. 30-Dec. 2, 9 p.m., The Gold Room, 18 S. Nevada Ave., $15-$25,

30 Thursday

COS Outdoor Sports & Rec Expo
Winter in Colorado doesn’t mean the same thing as winter anywhere else. Instead of forcing folks inside, it gives them the opportunity to strap sticks to their feet and go careening down icy slopes. Browse about 20 vendors and organizations including clubs, retail outfits, manufacturers and more, each with a focus on outdoor sports/recreation. Stick around afterward to network with the Colorado Springs Young Professionals, enjoying drinks and food at The Principal’s Office, Bristol Brewing Company and Axe and the Oak Whiskey House.
Nov. 30, 5-8 p.m., Ivywild School, 1604 S. Cascade Ave.,

1 Friday

  • Courtesy GOCA
The concepts of iconoclasm and minimalism assert, essentially, that art does not need to represent or even convey any particular object or emotion, but can simply exist as it is, avoiding “overt symbolism.” Exploring that concept, Colorado artists Jonathan Dankenbring and Corey Drieth draw on their related interests: anthropology and spirituality/religion. Dankenbring is currently the Preparator at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College; Drieth teaches in the Visual and Performing Arts Department at UCCS. Opening reception, Dec. 1, 5-9 p.m., on display through March 17, GOCA 121, 121 S. Tejon St, #100, free,

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

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Monday, November 27, 2017

COCO Crafted closes storefront doors, plans for a pop-up future

Posted By on Mon, Nov 27, 2017 at 2:49 PM

  • File photo

Monday, Nov. 27, Mundi Ross announced via Facebook the closing of COCO Crafted. The storefront and workshop space, an extension of Ross’ Colorado Collective magazine for makers and creators in Southern Colorado, opened in March of this year in the old Mountain Fold Books space on Costilla Street. Over the last nine months, COCO Crafted has hosted workshops in various DIY disciplines from beading to embroidery to homemade gelato, and provided opportunities for kids and teens to learn creative skills.

In a video posted to Facebook, Ross said that letting the space go is “bittersweet.”

Ross cites her father’s recent ALS diagnosis as reason for the closure, explaining that caring for her family and herself while running the storefront has been mentally and emotionally difficult. “I want to look back on this season and know that I have no regrets, and that I was there for my family and can spend as much time with him as I can,” she said.

The good news: COCO Crafted may be letting go of its storefront, but it will “live on” through pop-up events and home DIY parties. Plus, Ross plans to host a large sale of the products on COCO Crafted’s shelves, including jewelry, pottery, cards and more by local makers.

See the full video announcement below:

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Enjoy music, art, literature and the great outdoors with events this week

Posted By on Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 1:00 AM

22 Wednesday

Hungry Farmer Bands’ Annual Thanksgiving Reunion
The Hungry Farmer was a popular restaurant on Garden of the Gods Road in the ‘70s and ‘80s, known for live country music and hearty food. Keeping up the tradition of the owner’s Thanksgiving Eve meal, which gave musicians a place to go for the holiday, Hungry-Farmer regulars present a special concert annually. Tonight's bands include Fall River Road, Buffalo Dreams, Radford Lewis Band, Range Rockets and Phantom Hooters. Nov. 22, 7 p.m., Stargazers Theatre, 10 S. Parkside Drive, admission: two non-perishable food items or small cash donation for Care & Share,

24 Friday

Own Your Own Art Show & Sale
This annual exhibition offers the work of more than 60 artists, including big regional names like Doug Candelaria and Sharon Orman. With competitive prices, find holiday gifts in the form of paintings, jewelry, wood sculptures, photography and any other medium you can imagine. A Black Friday weekend sale (with deep discounts) will christen the opening; this is the weekend to attend. Sales will be Nov. 24-25, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; on display until Dec. 31, Sangre de Cristo Arts Center, 210 N. Santa Fe Ave., Pueblo,

24 Friday

Fresh Air Friday
Cheyenne Mountain State Park, a local favorite recreation spot, boasts 2,701 acres and 21 miles of trails, among other amenities. Friday, enter the park for free and take advantage of events to help you “get to know your park,” including archery and family-focused activities. Another option: Strike out on your own to hike, bike, ride horses or take
advantage of the great outdoors. It’s Colorado, so don’t be afraid of a little cold. Nov. 24, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Cheyenne Mountain State Park, 410 JL Ranch Heights,

25 Saturday

  • Shutterstock
Small Business Saturday Book Signing Event
Held in honor of Small Business Saturday and Indies First Day, which celebrates independent publications.
Includes a signing by Colorado author Diane Sawatzki (Once Upon Another Time and Manyhorses Traveling) and Dave Philipps (Wild Horse Country: The History, Myth, and Future of the Mustang). Philipps won a Pulitzer Prize for journalism while working for the local Gazette, and is now a national correspondent with The New York Times. Nov. 25, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Covered Treasures, 105 Second St., Monument,

Find even more weekly listings in each Wednesday issue of the Indy, and submit your own events here.
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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Events for all ages honor art, nonprofits, culture and animals this week

Posted By on Wed, Nov 15, 2017 at 9:42 AM

16 Thursday

Fifth Annual Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament
Those who routinely win rock, paper, scissors will tell you there is actually a strategy. Give yours a workout in support of nonprofit UpaDowna. Participants may join the team of either Oskar Blues or New Belgium brewing companies — only 24 spots open per team, so be sure to register. Spectators can observe for free, root for their favorite beer brand (with a drink in hand), and learn about UpaDowna’s work. Nov. 16, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Front Range Barbeque, 2330 W. Colorado Ave., $10 to compete,

17 Friday

Happy Hour with the Hellers
Get a glimpse into the social life of the mid-20th century with artifacts, photographs and artwork from the life of Larry and Dot Heller. Curated by graduating seniors Jamie Gray and Samantha Knoll, this event encompasses both of their majors: anthropology and art history. Opening reception will feature a signature drink, provided by Lee Spirits Co., since (quality) gin was the Hellers’ drink of choice. Opening reception, Nov. 17, 6-9 p.m.; on display Nov. 18-19, 1-4 p.m., UCCS Heller Center for the Arts and Humanities, 1250 N. Campus Heights,

18 Saturday

Rhythm and Motion of Africans in the Diaspora
Raising money to support Colorado Springs’ Citywide Kwanzaa Celebration, which will host a variety of events from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1. Enjoy West African drummers, traditional and contemporary African dancers, a fashion show, spoken-word poetry, storytelling and an African marketplace. Those living in the diaspora, those who have visited Africa or those curious about the culture can connect, learn and have fun in this family-friendly environment. Nov. 18, noon to 4 p.m., Kathryn Mohrman Theatre in CC’s Armstrong Hall, 14 E. Cache la Poudre St., $5-$10,

18 Saturday

Holiday Alpaca Extravaganza
The Southeastern Colorado Alpaca Breeders host this event every year, showcasing alpaca fiber products and the adorable animals that make it happen. With 13 members, SECAB’s specialties run the gamut from clothing and accessories to felted soaps to beehive insulation. Meet some alpacas at the event, and talk to experienced breeders and “fiber enthusiasts” about their work. Nov. 18, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Nov. 19, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Black Forest Community Center, 12530 Black Forest Road,

Find even more weekly listings in each Wednesday issue of the Indy, and submit your own events here.
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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Celebrate, listen, learn and play with these local events

Posted By on Wed, Nov 8, 2017 at 8:30 AM

8 Wednesday

  • File photo
Front Range Barbeque 17th Birthday Bash
Tonight, celebrate some excellent barbecue, consistent and consistently fantastic live music from blues to bluegrass, and a 17-year-old staple of Old Colorado City. Enjoy a firkin of Left Hand Brewing Co. beer, plus specials on tap: Extrovert IPA, Fade to Black Export Stout and Sawtooth Ale. Live music will be provided by Woodshed Red, and you can look forward to great food and friends, and a ticket giveaway for Longmont’s Nitro Fest. Nov. 8, 6-10 p.m., Front Range Barbeque, 2330 W. Colorado Ave.,

8 Wednesday

  • File photo
Connecting Things with Chef Brother Luck
The Connecting Things series promises: “the ideas, collaborations and knowledge that make us creatives and doers great.” Tonight, hear from Chef Brother Luck, owner of Four by Brother Luck, who has made a name for himself on the Food Network by participating in Chopped and Top Chef, as well as rising to the challenge in Beat Bobby Flay. Our Indy food writers will tell you he knows a lot about his presentation's topic: “Creating Boldly and Risking.” Nov. 8, 6-7 p.m., Welcome Fellow, 616 N. Tejon St.,

10 Friday

Written by Colorado College professor/playwright/poet/renaissance man Idris Goodwin, and directed by local stage designer extraordinaire Roy Ballard. In this play, two African-American academic women “vie for a seat at the table” at an exclusive café (with only one table), but their banter turns into an all-out battle. Blackademics sets up an absurdist and intelligent commentary on “post-racial America.”
Fridays-Sundays, 8 p.m., through Nov. 19, UCCS Osborne Theater, 3955 Regent Circle, $5, free for students,

10 Friday

  • Courtesy Ormao Dance Company
Fall Salon Showings
Ormao Dance Company is a perennial winner of the Indy’s annual Best Of in the “Best Dance Company” category. At tonight's performance, enjoy original choreography by New Yorkers Loni Landon and Alex Betka; Virginia native Ila Conoley Paladino; and Ormao founder/artistic director Janet Johnson. Founded 27 years ago, Ormao hasn’t slowed down: Keep an eye on their social media for unique classes and performances. Nov. 10-11, 7 p.m., Nov. 11, 4 p.m. and Nov. 12, 2 p.m., Ormao Dance Company, 10 S. Spruce St., $10-$20,

11 Saturday

GameCon IX
Proof teachers can be just as nerdy as their students — public school teachers offer this tabletop gaming convention to kids and teens bi-annually. Expect Dungeons and Dragons, Magic: The Gathering, Yu Gi Oh! and more traditional games such as chess, if monsters aren’t your thing. Also enjoy vendors, professional cosplayers, comic book artists and other special guests, plus 400-500 excited youth. Nov. 11, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Rampart High School, 8250 Lexington Drive, $10,

Find even more weekly listings in each Wednesday issue of the Indy, and submit your own events here.
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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

On stage, on screen and on the wall events this week

Posted By on Wed, Nov 1, 2017 at 10:26 AM

2 Thursday

Dia de los Muertos
Unlike many Day of the Dead celebrations that treat the holiday like Halloween, this one is rooted in tradition. Participants may honor loved ones who have passed on by writing a letter, creating a lantern or decorating a flower to leave at the altar. Also on the schedule: family-friendly and holiday-related activities for the kids, plus a performance by Mexican folklore dance group Omawari. Nov. 2, 4-7 p.m., El Pueblo History Museum, 301 N. Union Ave., Pueblo, free,

2 Thursday

Cirque Italia
This traveling circus has spent five years refining its acts and touring nationwide, with 1,000 U.S. performances under its belt. Beyond traditional cirque, which includes acrobats, contortionists and dancers, Cirque Italia also includes such unique performances as high-performance BMX riders, roller-skaters and more. The theme of this particular show is water, which means beautiful hydrotechnics, creative staging and maybe even a mermaid or two. Nov. 2-4, 7:30 p.m., Nov. 4-5, 1:30 and 4:30 p.m., The Citadel mall, 750 Citadel Drive East, $10-$50,

3 Friday

Warren Miller’s Line of Descent
Warren Miller Entertainment has been creating outdoor and ski films for 68 years, always marking the kick-off of the ski season. This year’s film tracks the lineage of legendary athletes, taking a multi-generational approach to the topic of skiing. Producer Josh Haskins says: “This season, we explore how skiers are shaped by picking up a pair of skis for the first time,” adding that family is often the driving force in instilling that passion. Nov. 3, 8 p.m., Nov. 4, 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., Pikes Peak Center, 190 S. Cascade Ave., $23,

3 Friday

  • Cymon Padilla
Warped: Ingres Remixed
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, a 19th-century French painter, is famous for subtly distorting his subjects. Local artist Cymon Padilla, who has a talent for putting a contemporary spin on traditional styles, has distorted Ingres’ work to the “breaking point” using digital tools, then painted them using traditional methods. He has also peppered the work with anachronisms, including features of 20th-century advertising, cartoons and more, adding to the dissonance. Opening reception, Nov. 3, 5-8 p.m., on display through Nov. 30, Kreuser Gallery, 218 W. Colorado Ave.,

4 Saturday

  • File photo
Pumpkin Fest
Kicking off the Give! campaigns of Concrete Couch and Colorado Springs Food Rescue, this second annual event isn't just about the squash. Start with a happy hour at Local Relic between 3 and 4 p.m., then go to Concrete Couch for activities and more. They’ll be spinning the giant mosaic pumpkin that lives right off Nevada Avenue. End the evening back at Local Relic for food and tunes. Nov. 4, 3-8 p.m., Local Relic, 320 S. Weber St., and Concrete Couch, 214 E. Vermijo Ave.,
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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Colorado Springs Creative Collective moving forward with Artspace development

Posted By on Tue, Oct 24, 2017 at 5:09 PM

The Colorado Springs Creative Collective, a group of community leaders with an interest in the arts, have been working with Minneapolis-based nonprofit Artspace, with the goal of opening an Artspace facility here in Colorado Springs. Artspace, founded in 1979, focuses on meeting the needs of artists in any given community by providing low-cost housing, studio space and/or shared space. With an eye on sustaining these spaces, Artspace attempts to keep all units in their developments at or below levels of affordability specified by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Currently Artspace has 46 projects in 30 cities in 19 states. The process of creating an Artspace development here in Colorado Springs began with a feasibility study by the organization last fall, and has now completed its most recent phase: The Arts Market Survey, results of which were released Oct. 23 during a public event at Cottonwood Center for the Arts.

This extensive community survey, funded by local arts foundations and organizations, individuals, and the Economic Development Department of the city of Colorado Springs, was meant to assess the need of local artists for live/work space or other artistic developments. It concluded with 736 responses from creatives who currently (or used to) reside in the Pikes Peak Region. According to Bob Wolfson of the collective: “Artspace has shared with me that that is an impressive number for a community our size.”

With a large per-capita participation in the survey, and the need identified by those who took the survey, Artspace’s executive summary states: “Artspace has determined that there is a substantial need for new space serving the creative sector in Colorado Springs.”
Teri Deaver, Vice President, Consulting and Strategic Partnerships, Artspace - ALISSA SMITH
  • Alissa Smith
  • Teri Deaver, Vice President, Consulting and Strategic Partnerships, Artspace
In order to address this “substantial need,” Artspace recommends creating up to 70 units of affordable artist housing and up to 50 studio or work-only spaces, in addition to live/work housing. Should the live/work housing not come to fruition, they recommend up to 83 studio spaces. Artspace’s Teri Deaver, who presented the results of the survey on Monday night, says this is consistent with what they’ve seen in the community. With the wait list to rent space in facilities such as Cottonwood Center for the Arts, it is clear that there is a high demand for not just studio space, but affordable studio space.

Artspace arrived at these recommended numbers by adhering to a 3:1 redundancy methodology. That is, one unit was recommended per three applicants who expressed a need. According to the survey, 235 individuals are interested in relocating to affordable housing “specifically designed for artists, creative individuals and their families.”

But what will this space look like? The technical report prepared by Swan Research and Consulting shows that the three most important features as expressed by the survey respondents were: Abundant natural light, air conditioning, and direct outdoor access. Shared amenities desired by the community include gallery/exhibition space, a community garden and a general-use studio or flex space.

Deaver, who has a background in performing arts, recognized that the amenities that most respondents deemed important seemed to have a visual art focus. In attendance, Sarah Shaver of Springs Ensemble Theatre, also noticed a disparity and asked if the performing arts would have a say in what amenities might actually be included in an Artspace facility. According to Deaver and Wolfson, visual artists typically take the survey in higher numbers, but the design of the actual space would rely on input from the community throughout the process. If performance space or other resources for performing artists are deemed important to the community, then an effort will be made to include them.

On the subject of housing: The majority of respondents, 36.2 percent, were interested in one-bedroom accommodations, with 34.9 percent requesting two. Though this would accommodate the majority of household sizes, a total of 14.8 percent requested three or more bedrooms, which would provide housing to families. About 80 percent of people who took the survey live without children, but Deaver says that most of their facilities are multi-generational, meaning young artists, artists with families, retired artists and pretty much anyone else with a creative passion would be welcome.

Since Artspace attempts to operate on an affordable model (making just enough in rent to pay for building costs such as utilities, management and maintenance), pricing is understandably a large concern of the artistic public and a major focus of the Arts Market Survey. The survey indicated that 27.7 percent of respondents could afford a live/work space priced between $500-$600 a month. The second largest percentage, 25.1 percent, could commit to $700-$800.

Artspace included the following information regarding HUD-specified levels of affordability, to put these rents into perspective:

The 2017 HUD published monthly rental rates for El Paso County; Colorado Springs, CO HUD Metro, for households qualifying between 30% of AMI and 60% of AMI are as follows:
-Efficiencies ranging between $387 and $774
-One-bedrooms ranging between $414 and $828
-Two-bedrooms ranging between $497 and $994
-Three-bedrooms ranging between $574 and $1,148
-Four-bedrooms ranging between $640 and $1,281

Though the HUD rental rates indicate a difference of hundreds of dollars (which would clearly affect affordability for low-income creatives), ArtSpace’s report states that “a developer may also set rents below these limits if the project will remain financially sustainable in doing so. Further, a ‘utility allowance’ is set by HUD in recognition that utility payments and rent should both be considered when determining the maximum that a household can pay. This results in base rents that are even lower than HUD published maximums.”

This means there is little surety at the moment exactly what rent may look like in an Artspace facility until more details are taken into account, but that the income of qualified applicants and HUD levels of affordability will be considered.

Qualified applicants, in this case, are those who fall below 60 percent area-median income (AMI). In order to keep space affordable by HUD standards, Artspace requires state-allocated, federal tax credits, which are only given to facilities that serve lower-income individuals and families. According to Artspace, 59 percent of the people surveyed would qualify, which is a good indication there is a correlation between those who are interested in affordable space, and those who would qualify for it.

All of the above, of course, relates to live/work space. Artspace recommends studio space be rented at a maximum of $300 a month, with an emphasis between units priced at $100-$200 a month, which evens out to about $0.50-$1 per square foot when the square footage requested by artists is taken into account. One person attending the event asked if commercial space such as studios and galleries would disqualify an Artspace facility from receiving those federal tax credits. According to Deaver, no, but the tax credits would only fund residential units. Funding for commercial space would need to come from another source. She said the process of tracking down that funding sometimes proves “difficult.”

Survey respondents also expressed an interest in shared creative space and specialized equipment. In this case, most requested the availability of gallery/exhibition space, classroom space or pop-up gallery space. 424 respondents expressed an interest in these and related amenities, which suggests prioritizing the inclusion of shared space. Deaver says every Artspace facility includes shared space, so it is likely to be part of the conception, depending on public input throughout the pre-development process.

One question on everyone’s minds: location. A development with up to 70 livable units would require a large area, and Artspace currently recommends between one and two acres. In its preliminary feasibility phase (results of which were released in November of 2016), Artspace identified in its site analysis seven potential sites that could be developed, which included the old Gazette property, the Rail Lofts in the Depot District, properties in the vicinity of Cottonwood Center for the Arts and more. At the time of the report, Artspace indicated that it saw the greatest potential for development at Cottonwood, though it would have to “carve out” a large enough space. (Of note, in order to develop the Gazette building or the old St. Francis Hospital, which was also considered, Artspace would need to “coordinate with and appeal to Nor’wood [Development Group]’s larger vision for both the Hospital and Gazette buildings and related sites,” as Nor’wood owns these properties.)

The survey suggested that local artists would be most interested in an artist live/work space either in the downtown core (81 percent), or on the Westside, west of I-25 (74 percent). Other areas of town garnered the interest of less than 30 percent of respondents.

At this point in time, Wolfson says that the Colorado Springs Creative Collective plans to move forward with an Artspace facility in Colorado Springs. The next step is what Artspace calls its pre-development phase, which will cost about $750,000 total, spread out over a three-year period. Wolfson says: “That period of time is used to characterize the architectural details of it, the overall design, land acquisition and the financing. And then the third phase is construction.”

Now where will funding for construction come from? Ideally, an Artspace facility would be a community investment. Taking Artspace’s Loveland Arts Campus as an example, the most money (aside from Low Income Housing Tax Credits, which made up $5,598,880 or 56 percent of the funding) came from the private sector and philanthropic gifts (16 percent in the amount of $1,641,982). However, additional sources included the Economic Development Administration, The State Housing Trust Fund/HOME Funds, the Loveland Housing Authority and more. While we cannot necessarily count on the same sources, or numbers, within our community, Wolfson is confident the resources will be found.

One concern, raised by John Spears of the Pikes Peak Library District, was that other organizations or groups might already be doing some of the work that Artspace is currently proposing. (Of note, PPLD recently teamed up with local art organizations to bring programming to Knights of Columbus Hall, which includes performance and potential studio space.)

Deaver assured Spears that Artspace is always open to partnerships, or is happy to step back if someone in the community is already doing the work. “If you’re running with this already, if it’s already happening,” she says, “we are here as technical assistance, or we’re here to be like ‘okay we’re done, you’re good.’ ... We’re not here to stomp on anything that’s going on. We’re here to support and complement what’s going on.”

The pre-development phase, Wolfson says, will require community input and may include more community meetings. In order to receive updates, interested artists, creatives or community members may sign up for the collective’s mailing list.
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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Pikes Peak Arts Council Awards honor established and emerging arts professionals

Posted By on Wed, Oct 18, 2017 at 11:22 AM

Josh Boehnke thanks mentor Ralph Giordano, who presented the awards for film. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Josh Boehnke thanks mentor Ralph Giordano, who presented the awards for film.

The October 17 Pikes Peak Arts Council Awards gala was a colorful and congratulatory affair, with awards handed out to established and emerging Pikes Peak region artists in the categories of dance, film, literary arts, music, theater and visual arts. In addition, PPAC awarded its annual Rising Star Award, Arts Champion of the Year Award, Eve Tilley Lifetime Achievement Award and, a new category this year, the Future of the Arts Award.

The “future of the arts” proved to be a central theme of the evening, with many awards and speeches focusing on education, community building, and getting young people involved in the arts.

Presenting the Rising Star Award to filmmaker Steven Sabell, Claire Swinford (last year’s recipient) called Sabell a “young professional in our community, who is making waves in his chosen medium. He is an artist to watch in coming years,” adding that this award can provide incredible encouragement and support to young artists, which they need to move this community forward.

Multiple categories awarded the up-and-coming. The award for Youth Dance Production went to the Colorado Ballet Society for their production of The Music Man, the first in the society’s new theater program. In film, Josh Boehnke took home the Young Filmmaker Award and the award for Comedy/Drama Film for his film (Because In The End) It’s Only Helium. The award for Documentary Film also went to a young person. Tea Santos of the Youth Documentary Academy thanked YDA for giving her the space to discuss her mental illness in the hopes of educating others.

In literature, Hear Here Poetry’s youth slam program won Program by a Literary Arts Organization. While printmaker and community builder Han Sayles took home Outstanding Emerging Visual Artist in the visual arts category.

The Future of the Arts award captured the spirit of each of these commendations. In introducing the award, Lynette Reagan said, “The question asked this year is: ‘What does the future of art look like in this region?’ It was agreed we wanted to keep the good stuff from the past, but we wanted more. What does that more look like?” She said the future of the arts should include more young people, more collaboration, more unique skills, and a greater spirit of sharing. The recipient of this award encapsulated all of the above.

Local arts organization Concrete Couch organizes community-based projects, hosting skillshares and arts-focused gatherings, centering sustainability and social justice in their mission. Accepting on behalf of Concrete Couch, Kendall Kultgen said: “The ultimate mission is to bring people together and build community, to share things, collaborate, have human experiences with someone, make something with someone ... the future of the arts really isn’t one person, or even Concrete Couch and the staff. It’s the community.”

But for all the focus on the future, PPAC made sure to honor the past, and the established artists and art patrons who have helped build this community for years, if not decades. Mainstay awardees included the Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, which won the theatre Make ‘Em Sing award for Man of La Mancha; Wendy Mike and De Lane Bredvik took home the award for Excellent Gallery Exhibit for Ragnarök: Anthropocene; The Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Colorado Springs Chorale and Colorado Springs Children’s Chorale won Outstanding Classical Performance for their collaborative production of Carmina Burana; and more familiar faces took their earned place at the podium.

The Arts Champion of the Year award went to someone who, as presenter Jon Khoury said, is not what one might traditionally consider an artist. However, thanks to her enthusiasm, “unique expression” and generosity, Khoury said: “To me, you are an artist, just as much as anyone in the traditional sense is an artist.”

Chris McGarry, who earned a standing ovation as she ascended the stage, has been a patron of the arts in the Pikes Peak Region since moving here in 2013, donating time, money and energy to organizations such as TheatreWorks, GOCA, the Colorado Springs Philharmonic and many more. After her heartfelt speech, multiple award recipients interrupted their own acceptance speeches to tell their favorite Chris McGarry story, proving her impact on local arts.

Another notable award, the Eve Tilley Lifetime Achievement Award, was presented to someone who has worked tirelessly to enrich the arts community for 40 years. Patti Boles, owner and instructor at Studio Dance and Art Center, has served on multiple boards of directors, and has consistently supported dance, music, visual art, theatre and more right here in Colorado Springs.

Take a look at all the nominees and winners below and scroll down for a slideshow of each winner:


Youth Dance Production
Colorado Ballet Society for The Music Man (winner)
Professional Academy of New Dramatic Arts for Shrek the Musical
Turning Pointe School of Dance for Annie Jr.

Pas de Deux: Outstanding Collaborative Performance
Colorado Springs Dance Theatre for Parsons Dance
Ormao Dance Company with Glen Whitehead for PrePress (winner)
Ormao Dance Company with Green Box Arts, Green Box Arts Festival 2017

Exceptional Performance of The Nutcracker
Colorado Springs Philharmonic with Oklahoma City Ballet
Colorado Youth Ballet with Colorado Ballet Society
Zamuel Ballet School (winner)


Comedy/Drama Film
(Because In The End) It’s Only Helium by Josh Boehnke (winner)
Hapless Horror by Wes Clark
Lunatic by Nathaniel Shields

Documentary Film
Love Me by Josh Sun
Movement for Movement’s Sake by Thomas Crandall
Surviving by Tea Santos (winner)

Young Filmmaker Award
Tea Santos
Josh Sun
Josh Boehnke (winner)


Outstanding Classical Performance
Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Colorado Springs Chorale, and Colorado Springs Children’s Chorale for Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana (winner)
Opera Theatre of the Rockies for Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado
Chamber Orchestra of the Springs for JazzMasters: The Brubeck Brothers Quartet

Music Group
Dead Set
Fortune’s Fool
Tejon Street Corner Thieves (winner)

Technical or Venue Achievement
The Flux Capacitor and Pikes Peak Library District Partnership
Jonathan Rose and The Black Sheep
Wescott Pro Audio Recording Studio (winner)

Literary Arts

Individual Literary Artist
Phil Ginsburg
Idris Goodwin (winner)
Nat Stein

Program by a Literary Arts Organization
Poetry West
Hear Hear Poetry Youth Slam Program (winner)
Pikes Peak Poet Laureate Program

Collective/Individual Published Work
Colorado Collective Volume 4
Inauguration by Nico Wilkinson and Idris Goodwin (winner)
Poetry West


Make ‘Em Sing
UCCS Theatre Company for Cabaret
The Millibo Art Theatre for Babette's Knockout Opera
Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College for Man of La Mancha (winner)

Make ‘Em Laugh
Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College for Bye Bye Birdie
The Millibo Art Theatre for Babette's Knockout Opera
THEATREWORKS for Game of Love and Chance (winner)

Make ‘Em Think
Springs Ensemble Theatre for The Elephant Man
THEATREWORKS for The Hairy Ape
UCCS Theatre Company for Cabaret (winner)

Visual Arts

Excellent Gallery Exhibit
Chris Mike and Rob Miller for Skateboarding - Not One Ounce of Compromise at Kreuser Gallery
Wendy Mike and De Lane Bredvik for Ragnarӧk: Anthropocene at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College (winner)
The Black Power Tarot at the Gallery of Contemporary Art

Outstanding Established Visual Artist

Steve Weed
Lindsay Hand (winner)
Kim Nguyen

Outstanding Emerging Visual Artist
Jasmine Dillavou
Han Sayles (winner)
JD Sell

[Disclosure: Alissa Smith was on the theatre committee, and contributed to the selection process in the theatre category.]

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Quaill Club's queer witches offer new 'psychic hotline'

Posted By on Wed, Oct 18, 2017 at 10:33 AM

Gone are the days of the Psychic Friends Network, when one quick 1-900 phone call and a measly $3.99 per minute could offer you a wealth of divine understanding without requiring you to change out of your pajamas. The popular psychic hotline, which ran infomercials from 1991 to 1997, has long been considered a relic of the past, but local queer artist collective Quaill Club plans to give the format a bit of an update, offering a similar service to the Springs. Their version, however, is free of charge.

Kimberly Southcott, Nico Wilkinson (an occasional Indy freelancer) and Meredith Ann came up with the concept of “Divine Inspiration” thanks to an unexpected resource. The club’s internet provider included a phone line (yes, another ‘90s throwback) with the house's wi-fi, and Ann says they asked themselves: “What are we going to do with this useless thing?”

A psychic/advice hotline turned out to be the answer. It all begins with a launch event as part of ArtPOP 2017, the joint effort by the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region and the Pikes Peak Arts Council to fill Arts Month with new and interesting cultural experiences. Funded by PPAC, Southcott, her family, and Ann have been building an old-fashioned (and brightly colored) phone booth, which will be set up near the sidewalk outside Quaill Club (1019 E. Costilla St.). In the booth, participants will find a pre-paid phone with the Quaill Club number on speed dial, and instructions for how to connect to a psychic reader.

Readers will include Wilkinson, Ann, Southcott and Mallory Everhart (another Indy freelancer), but Wilkinson says they’re also reaching out to other readers to see if they might be interested.

All four are practitioners of Tarot, a form of divination dating back centuries, which uses a set of cards with generally agreed-upon interpretations to answer questions or provide life advice. “[Tarot has] become this way of connecting with people on what they’re going through and what they want to talk about,” says Wilkinson, “and [it] just offers a window to help offer advice.”

Hesitant to go for a full reading? That’s okay by them. Ann says people are welcome to pick up the phone and talk about the arts or LGBTQ issues, or anything else that may come up. “They can ask advice on anything,” she says, “‘cause we’re a house of queer artists who do witchy things.” Quaill Club’s collective expertise tends to span genres.

Wilkinson is excited to open the phone line on an ongoing basis, too. They say, “There’s a lot of struggles [right now], and I think this time of year is hard for a lot of people, and they don’t realize it.” They hope to offer some advice and guidance to those who need it.

The line will officially open during “Divine Inspiration Telephone,” Oct. 19, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and remain open daily thereafter. Folks can either use the prepaid phone in the booth outside Quaill Club, or call 434-1161 from home.

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Dance, culture, social commentary and Shakespeare for the week ahead

Posted By on Wed, Oct 18, 2017 at 1:00 AM

18 Wednesday

Ballet Folklorico
Hispanic Heritage Month ran Sept. 15-Oct. 15 — CSU-Pueblo invited this dance troupe to celebrate. Ballet Folklorico de la Ciudad de Mexico presents traditional Mexican dance, with colorful and engaging costumes and high-energy music. Since its inception in 1987, the troupe has acted as cultural ambassadors, “to rejuvenate and bring awareness to dance in Mexico.” Oct. 18, 7 p.m., CSU-Pueblo’s Hoag Hall, 2200 Bonforte Blvd., Pueblo, $5-$8,

20 Friday

More than 400 years after Shakespeare penned his classic plays, it’s nice to see some fun fresh takes on works we all know and love. In this case, five Counterweight Theatre Lab actors have memorized the entire script of Macbeth, and will trade roles throughout the play. Performing in an unconventional venue both weekends, the action will be immersive and — fair warning — may call for some audience participation. Oct. 20-21, 7:30 p.m., Oct. 22, 4:30 p.m., Switchback Coffee Roasters, 330 N. Institute St.; Oct. 27-28, 7:30 p.m., Oct. 29, 4:30 p.m., The Modbo, 17C E. Bijou St.; $5-$12,

20 Friday

Eco-Wakening Circus Theatre
Combining art with activism, Eco-Wakening draws attention to consumerism, climate change, environmental issues and how we play a part in all of it. The whole production team, including its performers, contributes to action days along each stop of their tour to enrich the local community. Musical guests: We Dream Dawn, featuring Bridget Law of Elephant Revival. Oct. 20, mini-fair begins at 7:30 p.m., show at 8:30 p.m., Stargazers, 10 S. Parkside Drive, $15-$20,

21 Saturday

Textiles West and Cottonwood Center for the Arts’ “annual fiber festival” celebrates all textile and fiber arts. Meet a yak or an alpaca, learn to knit or crochet, try your hand at making a banner or felt wool balls, participate in COPPeR’s interactive installation, or enjoy one of the day’s lectures. Textiles West will unveil a new installation, Stitching Community Together, which will be hung in various locations throughout the Pikes Peak Region. Also on-site for the festivities: NaO’s Food Bus. Oct. 21, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Cottonwood Center for the Arts, 427 E. Colorado Ave., free,

Find even more weekly listings in each Wednesday issue of the Indy, and submit your own events here.
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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Millibo Art Theatre awarded American Theatre Wing grant

Posted By on Thu, Oct 12, 2017 at 8:51 AM

Jim Jackson and Birgitta DePree, founders and artistic directors of The MAT - COURTESY MILLIBO ART THEATRE
  • Courtesy Millibo Art Theatre
  • Jim Jackson and Birgitta DePree, founders and artistic directors of The MAT
The Millibo Art Theatre, a mainstay in the local theater community, has been awarded a prestigious grant from The American Theatre Wing, the very same group that founded the Tony Awards 70 years ago.

The American Theatre Wing’s 2017 National Theatre Company Grants went to only nine theaters nationwide, in the amount of $10,000 each, and are meant to offer general support to operations. Other winners of the 2017 grants hail from such theatrical bastions as Chicago and New York City, among others.

Since its inception in 2002, The Millibo has committed to bringing new and original theater to the Pikes Peak Region. With a “Premieres” series for adults and a “Kids First” series for families, as well as educational opportunities, yearly summer cabarets and more special events, the MAT has gained plentiful local recognition. This significant nod from a national organization speaks well of its continued growth.

In its official announcement, The MAT writes:
“The recognition from the American Theatre Wing is a tremendous honor,” said Birgitta De Pree Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the Millibo Art Theatre affectionately known as the MAT. “We have worked very hard to provide a home in Colorado Springs for new, original theatre for audiences of all ages. To be recognized on the national level with this award is a wonderful note of encouragement to our artists, staff, students, volunteers, and audiences. We believe that Colorado Springs is approaching a modern Arts Renaissance with amazing potential. The MAT is proud to be an integral part of that.”

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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Classical music, cool science, an absurdist circus and more make up this week's recommended events

Posted By on Wed, Oct 11, 2017 at 4:28 PM

12 Thursday

Circus Beckett
Classic plays by playwright Samuel Beckett (responsible for Waiting for Godot, Endgame, Happy Days and more) — but set in a circus ring. Cast includes 15 Colorado College students, presenting a creative take on some of Beckett’s most interesting and/or absurd work. Director, associate professor Andrew Manley, was trained at the Central School of Speech & Drama in London, and has an impressive theatrical pedigree. Oct. 12-14, 7:30 p.m., extra showing: Oct. 13, 9:30 p.m., CC’s Cornerstone Arts Center, 825 N. Cascade Ave., $5,

12 Thursday

Three Nights of Horror Film and Beer Festival
Hosted annually by the Independent Film Society of Colorado, which provides the region with year-round film screenings and special events. Includes: horror film screenings, local beer and spirits, costume contests, indie short films and more. Zombie crawl drags itself downtown on the 13th, courtesy of IFSOC, Blissfest333 and Colorado Springs S.T.A.R.S — yeah, those badass Resident Evil cosplayers. Remember to dress up! Oct. 12, 6-11:45 p.m., Oct. 13-14, 4-11:45 p.m., Tim Gill Center for Public Media, 315 E. Costilla St., free to attend,

13 Friday

Reformers & Rebels
This concert celebrates “revolutions, large and small” from the Lutheran Reformation to the Underground Railroad. The Colorado Springs Chorale will be joined by the Chamber Singers and an orchestral ensemble to perform music by Bach and Whitacre, among others. Presented in memory of Sylvia Hutson, the chorale’s general manager, who passed away this summer. Her birthday is Oct. 17. Oct. 13, 7:30 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 420 N. Nevada Ave., $5-$15,

14 Saturday

  • Shutterstock
Cool Science Carnival
This educational and exciting event kicks off eight days of science-related celebration in Colorado Springs and surrounding areas. Curious folks of all ages can enjoy science shows, hands-on activities, exhibits, open labs and demonstrations. The carnival is just step one: Check the Cool Science calendar online for a list of more than 50 events happening this week. Oct. 14, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., UCCS University Center, 1420 Austin Bluffs Pkwy., free,

14 Saturday

ArtPOP 2017: Facelessness
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 46 percent of homeless adults live with severe mental illness. To draw attention to the correlation, local artist Cole Bennett has created a sound- and movement-based sculpture. Presented in conjunction with Arts Month and ArtPOP, a series of pop-up art events in the Pikes Peak region throughout the month of October. Oct. 14, noon to 1 p.m., Penrose Library, 20 N. Cascade Ave.,

Find even more weekly listings in each Wednesday issue of the Indy, and submit your own events here.
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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Student artists beautify The Perk Downtown with new Colorado-themed mural

Posted By on Tue, Oct 10, 2017 at 12:37 PM

  • Courtesy The Perk Downtown
Over the last few years, the Colorado Springs downtown corridor has seen some major artistic enhancements. The Art on the Streets initiative has set up sculptures and decorated traffic boxes, and Concrete Couch has contributed mosaic artwork with an eye on community-building. Now, another entity is working to make its mark on Downtown: UCCS’ Art and Art History Club.

The club has set out to paint a new mural (to be completed this weekend) on the side of The Perk Downtown, a coffee shop in the middle of Downtown. The theme is “Colorado Beauty” and is meant to convey some iconic aspects of Colorado, such as Garden of the Gods and the Colorado flag, through an abstract style.

Painted entirely by student artists, the mural will be revealed during November’s First Friday festivities, (Nov. 3), but those interested in seeing these students’ work before the unveiling have another art event to look forward to.

Location Details The Perk Downtown
14 S. Tejon St.
Colorado Springs, CO
Coffee Shop and Coffee/Tea

An exhibition of artistic studies related to the Perk mural will be presented in Colorado Beauty, featuring the work of student members of the Art and Art History Club. The exhibition opens Oct. 20, 6-8 p.m. at UCCS’ Heller Center for the Arts and Humanities.

To learn more about the mural, see the full press release from The Perk Downtown below:

Colorado Springs, Colorado – October 1, 2017– Armed with paint, passion and a pride for art, college students have volunteered to show what Colorado beauty means to them at The Perk Downtown.

The Perk Downtown and students from University of Colorado, Colorado Springs have joined together to further enrich the artistic community of Downtown Colorado Springs. Not only that, the students gain invaluable experience through the joint effort.

Jemma Brock, student and co-president of UCCS’ Art History and Art Club, which is painting the mural along with six of its members for the next two weekends, said she is excited for the project to happen downtown.

“It’s a chance to give back to Colorado Springs in a way that I have not been able to do yet,” She said. She also said that she is glad UCCS is getting representation and feels that Colorado College “gets a lot of exposure.”

Kristine Henrich, who serves as co-president along Brock, said she was excited to paint at The Perk.

“I really like that Colorado Springs is growing as an art community.” She said. “Being a part of that gives me a sense of community.

Henrich said the theme of the project, which is Colorado Beauty, is being painted in an abstract style, hoping to invoke more emotion that way.

“When we all sat down, I told everybody to come up with a theme that captured Colorado beauty,” she said. “Everyone came back with Garden of the Gods and the Colorado Flag.”

She also said that more Colorado details will be incorporated into the painting, but that would have to be saved for the final revealing during November’s First Friday.

Both Brock and Henrich said that the concepts for the final project will be incorporated into a showing at The Heller Center, a UCCS art gallery, east of Trader Joes on North Nevada Avenue. The concepts will be shown from October 20th to the 22nd.

Corey Drieth, co-director of UCCS’ Visual Arts Program and advisor to the Art History and Art Club, said the club members spearheaded the project.

“They’ve taken it on completely themselves,” he said. “The whole thing is really theirs.”

Drieth said that business owners don’t often reach out for art projects like this one. He explained the club was looking for a project, and that’s when The Perk happened to reach out.

“This was just really good timing” he said.

Drieth also said the students get several opportunities out of the project.

“First and foremost, they learn the business of working with a client.” He said. They also get to learn about price negotiations between client and customer and what the final product should be.

Drieth excitedly said the project gave UCCS a path to branch out in to the community.

“We’re not downtown, we’re up on the bluff,” he said, explaining it was harder to build community with that distance.

“It’s great to see our students actually get work downtown,” Drieth said. “To engage in the cultural acts of the city is really important for the students.”

Don Heaberlin, owner of The Perk Downtown, said the project gave students something unique.

“This gives the student artists a local outlet to display their talents and creativity. Many times, students who are just starting out in their life path just need someone or an outlet to display their talents,” he said.

“There are other venues for artists but we wanted to focus on local artists from the local universities who are just starting to hone their skills and give them an opportunity to show the local community what they are capable of this early in their careers.”

The Perk Downtown has been serving the community the past nine years with the best coffee and the friendliest service in the city. They continually seek to give new musicians and artists a chance to display their talents and craft, enriching the local community.

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