Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Cornerstone Arts Week welcomes new voices, plus more events this week

Posted By on Wed, Jan 22, 2020 at 1:00 AM

click to enlarge MELANIE DUNEA
  • Melanie Dunea

Cornerstone Arts Week

Jan. 27-31, Colorado College, 14 E. Cache La Poudre St., all events are free,

There are thousands of talented artists, musicians, writers and performers in Colorado Springs representing every age, gender and socioeconomic status. However, only a small number of these individuals will find their work shared in a public forum, or receive any recognition for their skills. Why do these select few find their way to the main stage while their equally talented counterparts languish in relative obscurity? It’s a question that Colorado College’s Cornerstone Arts Week will examine as part of this year’s theme, “Seeing 2020: Mind the Gap.”

Across multiple panels, exhibitions and performances, organizers hope that attendees will contribute to a dialogue about what defines art, who defines art and who art is ultimately for. Ryan Bañagale, director of performing arts at Colorado College, says that addressing the space — the gap — that exists between the favored and marginalized artistic communities is important.

“By acknowledging the existence of a gap, we can better understand how, where, when and why such discrepancies come to exist,” says Bañagale. “An important step in dissolving any inequality is recognizing that one is present — they are not always obvious, but they always need to be minded. Exploring this notion through the arts allows us the opportunity to do so in engaging and unexpected ways.” He notes that such attention can be paid to other areas of contemporary culture, as well.

Cornerstone Arts Week includes incredible performances, like a CC composer concert featuring the world premieres of several new compositions, and art exhibitions in the Fine Arts Center. There will also be a vocal master class taught by soprano Christina Martos and pianist Debra Ayers.

“Cornerstone Arts Week offers the opportunity to engage a wide range of artistic forms,” says Bañagale. “All are welcome to attend all events, but first-time attendees should not miss the opportunity to see our keynote artists in action: Kevin Young and Tanya Tagaq.”

Tagaq is a Canadian Inuk bestselling author, as well as a composer and improvisational singer. She will perform “Retribution” with her ensemble as a keynote performance on Wednesday, Jan. 29. Young is a poet, author and poetry editor for The New Yorker magazine and serves as the director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. He will provide a keynote address titled “Lift Every Voice!” on Wednesday, Jan. 29.

Local Great Minds: City Center Series

Jan. 22, 6-7:15 p.m., 825 N. Cascade Ave., $10-$25,

Colorado Springs is growing and so is the city’s need to innovate to accommodate its expanding populace. “Great Minds” is the first of a three-part City Center Series focused on exploring how the Pikes Peak region can tackle challenges like housing, sustainability and health care. Attendees will hear from local entrepreneurs and organizations that are part of shaping the future of the city through a series of lightning interviews emcee’d by local entrepreneur Russ Ware. Whether you are excited — or concerned — about the direction Colorado Springs is taking, this forum will help you gain new insights. (Disclosure: One speaker, Patience Kabwasa, is also an Indy columnist.)

click to enlarge COLTON PRATT
  • Colton Pratt

Mobile Shakespeare

Jan. 24, 7-8:15 p.m., 20 W. Pikes Peak Ave., free,

Theatreworks presents the delightful tale of two sets of twins separated at birth and reunited in absurd fashion in Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors. One of the most accessible of the playwright’s works, The Comedy of Errors is a great introduction to classical theater, and its hilarity shines brightly through the “thees” and “thous” that sometimes discourage people from giving Shakespeare a whirl. The performance is an easy 75 minutes and the Pikes Peak Library District has deemed it appropriate for all audiences, so feel free to bring the whole clan for a dose of absurdity and culture.

Womxn's March

Jan. 25, 2-5 p.m., 221 E. Kiowa St.,

Join womxn of the Pikes Peak region and their allies for an afternoon of solidarity, celebration and forward momentum at the 2020 Colorado Springs Womxn’s March. This year, the event will open with a keynote address at Colorado Springs City Auditorium, followed by a march downtown led by indigenous women. After the march, attendees can make their way to an inspiring afterparty packed with performances and speeches by local womxn. You’ll also find local organizations who can help you make this day of momentum into a year of achievement in the name of diversity, equality and inclusion.

Linda and the Conservatory All-Stars

Jan. 26, 5 p.m., 10 S. Parkside Drive, $20-$25,

The Colorado Springs Conservatory has provided thousands of students with education in the performing arts. This Sunday, founder Linda Weise will welcome several of the institution’s most exceptional current students, alumni and faculty to take the stage at the Stargazer’s Theatre and show off their skills. Attendees can expect a variety of musical performances, including sets from local favorites Leo and the Lark, The Reminders and Joe Johnson. Proceeds from the evening support scholarships for the next generation of talented individuals waiting to take their shot in the performing arts.

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