Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Black History Museum celebrates 10th anniversary, plus more local fests and fun

Posted By on Wed, Oct 16, 2019 at 1:00 AM


Black History Museum 10th Anniversary

Oct. 19. Tours, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Black History Museum, 1620 W. Bijou St.; party 6-8:30 p.m., Knights of Columbus Hall, 25 W. Kiowa St., $20-$25,

The city of Colorado Springs is packed with innovative museums devoted to education and history — sometimes discovered in unexpected places. The Black History Museum can be found in one such spot, neatly ensconced in the Westside Community Center, where it has spent 10 years sharing the incredible contributions made by black Americans to the growth and success of Colorado and the Pikes Peak region. This weekend, they’re inviting the community to two events to celebrate their anniversary and create awareness about their mission.

While the museum has been in its current location for a decade, founder Candice McKnight and the African-American Historical and Genealogical Society of Colorado Springs (AAHGSCS) have been curating the collection for far longer. The society, as it exists today, was once two entities — the Negro Historical Society founded in 1981 and the Genealogical Society founded in 2000. In 2006, they merged a combined 38 years of experience into the AAHGS.

“It is so important to keep our history alive,” says McKnight. “We cannot let it die out over time.” McKnight and other volunteers lead workshops on genealogy in the community to help people learn about their family history. McKnight says that genealogy and history go hand-in-hand and both are necessary to create a real picture of someone’s ancestry.

The first part of the anniversary celebration is an open house with tours, led by the knowledgeable and enthusiastic McKnight. While the museum is not large, it manages to pack a lot of information into a space that was once, quite fittingly, a classroom. McKnight says the museum has more than 2,000 books devoted to black history, in addition to many other displays.

“I am so passionate about genealogy and history,” says McKnight. “I am very serious about what I do and the purpose it serves.”

One display is centered on Colorado Springs’ police officers, including Ron Stallworth, the black officer who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in the ’70s. The contributions of Colorado Springs black firemen are featured as well. Other displays tout the accomplishments of black pioneers like the Buffalo Soldiers, an all-black military regiment that was instrumental in settling the new frontier, and the Tuskegee Airmen, the country’s first black aviators, credited with flying more than 15,000 sorties in World War II.

In the evening, guests will be treated to a party complete with food and wine at Knights of Columbus Hall near the Penrose Library downtown. KKTV’s James Brown will be the guest DJ, and booths dedicated to history and genealogy will be set up for attendees to ask questions. Proceeds benefit the museum and the AAHGSCS.

Visitors who cannot attend the event can visit the museum Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and by appointment on Mondays and Fridays.


Oct. 17, 7:30 p.m., dates and times vary through Oct. 27, Ent Center for the Arts, 5225 N. Nevada Ave., $20-$47,

Interweaving two different timelines, one static set and a whole lot of science, Arcadia creates a dynamic story that envelops the viewer in a world of dichotomy — and parallels. In the past, precocious teen genius Thomasina ponders chaos theory and thermodynamics while bantering with her tutor. In the present, a group of scholars works to solve the mystery of the hermit of Sidley Park. Part comedy and part tragedy, with a bit of love thrown in for good measure, Arcadia offers a unique, engaging theater experience. And if all that doesn’t sway you, maybe the content advisory will seal the deal: “occasional British swearing, attraction, offstage duels, rabbit pistols, and lots of math.”


Culture Fest

Oct. 18, 5:30-8 p.m. Cheyenne Mountain Library, 1785 S. Eighth St.,

One of the coolest things about living in a land of many cultures is getting to experience the differences that make us all unique. The Cheyenne Mountain Library welcomes the community to a celebration of the diversity of the Pikes Peak region. The evening will open with a chance to sample foods and beverages from other countries. After that, the vibrant, colorful Ballet Folklorico de Barajas will perform traditional Mexican dance. A table offering henna art and craft projects will be open throughout the event. At the close of the evening, attendees will hear immigration stories from the library district’s adult education students.


Peak Environment Podfest

Oct. 19, noon to 4 p.m., Stargazers Theatre and Event Center, 10 S. Parkside Drive, free,

The Colorado Springs community is growing rapidly, creating concerns around the city’s environmental future. Local podcast collective Studio 809 is hosting three panel discussions on relevant topics, including groundwater contamination, supporting local food, and the city’s energy future. Sen. Pete Lee will be in attendance as a moderator for the discussion on groundwater contaminants found throughout the region. All three panels will be recorded and shared online. Settle in for a powerful discussion on the environmental future of Colorado Springs.

NAMI Community Night

Oct. 23, 4-7 p.m. NAMI Colorado Springs, 1615 S. Murray Blvd., free,
Local nonprofit National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) reports that one in five people will face a mental illness in their lifetime. It’s important for those who are struggling — and the people who love them — to know where they can find support when times are tough. Join the NAMI crew for an informal, friendly community night filled with good food, fall festivities and great music. You’ll meet some of NAMI’s partners in community wellness and learn about the resources available for those struggling with mental illness. While you’re there, you can also check out their new space.

Editor's note: The Peak Environment Podfest blurb has been updated to exclude a line about food, which will be available at the theater. We regret the error.
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Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Poetry719 gives us 17 ways to celebrate poetry in five days, plus more events this week

Posted By on Wed, Oct 9, 2019 at 1:00 AM

  • Courtesy Poetry 719

Poetry719 Festival

Festival: Oct 16-20; kickoff party: Oct. 16, 7 p.m., The Gold Room, 18 S. Nevada Ave., $10; see full schedule of events at

Poetry 719, a local black-run poetry organization, will kick off its second annual poetry festival with an opening night featuring rappers, singers, dancers and, of course, poets. The party is just one of 17 events packed into five days and hosted at venues throughout Colorado Springs.
While the festival is fairly new, Poetry 719 has been around for a decade. The organization began in 2009 as a Facebook group created by Phillip J. Curtis. In 2017, festival organizers and Poetry 719 members Christopher Beasley and Ashley Cornelius shifted the focus of the group to hosting events.

“We saw there was a need to have intentionally inclusive and diverse space for poetry and connection,” says Cornelius.

Poetry 719 has since hosted a wide variety of poetry events, including open mics that provide a platform to individuals who often feel marginalized or ignored by the communities in which they live.

“We do a lot of themed events that center around identity, such as Colorado Black Voices Matter Open Mic, Queer People of Color Open Mic, and Disability Awareness Open Mic to name a few,” says Cornelius.

The offerings for this year’s festival will be no less diverse. Highlights include Poetry & Hiking, Disability & Awareness Open Mic, Erotic Open Mic, Trap & Yoga and the closing event, Listen to People of Color. Both Cornelius and Beasley are looking forward to Poetry & Movement, which was a fan favorite at the inaugural festival held in 2018. 
  • Courtesy Poetry 719

“We’ve partnered with local dancers and have matched them up with Poetry 719 poets,” says Cornelius. “The dancers will then choreograph a piece based on the poet’s work.”

There will be an open mic component to many of the events and Cornelius says attendees who wish to participate can simply show up at the event or sign up ahead of time. As with all Poetry 719 events, participants can expect to find an open, inclusive environment where their voices are heard. For Cornelius, that is one of the most important aspects of poetry, vital in a world that has become more technological and less communicative.

“As a young black woman, I know all too well about being silenced, not being believed or taken seriously,” says Cornelius. “I’ve found poetry makes people listen, it gives voice to those who get looked over and provides a stage for your passions and grief, trauma and love, and that is incredibly important.”

Business & Arts Luncheon

Oct. 10, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Antlers hotel, Heritage Ballroom, 4 S. Cascade Ave., $60,

This colorful celebration of the intersection between arts and business will feature six live performances, including dance, poetry readings and music. Attendees will be treated to an art show featuring local art for sale and enjoy a delicious meal. During the event, awards will be given for exceptional leadership. Learn how the business and art worlds are supporting and enriching each other in the community and beyond.

The Great American Trailer Park Musical

Oct. 11, 7 p.m., times vary through Nov. 3, The Butte Theater, 139 E. Bennett Ave., Cripple Creek, $21,

The Mountain Repertory Theatre has declared 2019 the year for misfits, troublemakers and rulebreakers. As the year rapidly comes to a close, its October performance of The Great American Trailer Park Musical certainly fits the (play)bill. Featuring colorful characters — a stripper on the run and a stressed-out agoraphobe, to name two — this country-rock musical refuses to play by the rules of stuffier theater fare. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that it will be performed by the hilarious, fan-loving Mountain Rep crew. This is one of their last shows in the Butte Theater space.

Boos & Brews Haunted House

Oct. 12, 3-7 p.m., Colorado Springs Event Center, 3960 Palmer Park Blvd., $35-$55,

Another beer festival? Yes, please! September and October have offered back-to-back beer celebrations and absolutely no one is complaining. Boos & Brews adds some extra fun to your afternoon of sipping suds with costumes, access to the Haunted Mines and other spooky shenanigans. Distilleries are also participating in the festival, so you’ll get a chance to sample spirits that aren’t relegated to the astral plane. Spring for the VIP pass to get in earlier than the rest of the crowd.

  • Vacantnstill from Out There

Princess: Out There

Oct. 16, 7-9 p.m. Cottonwood Center for the Arts, 427 E. Colorado Ave., $8-$10,

Performance art-pop psychedelic duo Princess brings their nationally lauded tour to Colorado Springs. Through their live performance piece and their concept video album — billed as a sci-fi feminist rock opera — performers Alexis Gideon and Michael O’Neill explore toxic masculinity, misogyny and the role of men in rectifying the culture of misogyny that exists in our society today.
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Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Pikes Peak Zine Fest celebrates the underground, plus more events this week

Posted By on Wed, Oct 2, 2019 at 1:00 AM

  • Kelsey Choo

Pikes Peak Zine Fest

Oct. 5, 1-5 p.m. Penrose Library, Knights of Columbus Hall, 25 W. Kiowa St., free,

The Colorado Springs zine scene will move out from the underground and into the spotlight with the launch of the inaugural Pikes Peak Zine Fest during the first weekend of the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region’s Arts Month. Billed as a celebration of small press and self-publishers, Zine Fest seeks to share the art of the zine with the community at-large while promoting inclusion and diversity.

“Attendees should come with an open mind, ready to support local creators, and ready to get in touch with lots of new viewpoints, art forms and community possibilities,” says event co-organizer Jennifer Eltringham.

What’s a zine, you ask? You’ve probably at least heard the term at some point in time, but if it brings to mind the glossy mass publications that line supermarket checkout aisles, your visit to Zine Fest will be an enlightening experience. Zines can follow a magazine-like construction (except when they don’t) and they are usually made of paper (except when they aren’t), but that’s where any further resemblance to a traditional magazine usually sinks into the ether.

“A zine has the potential to be about any topic,” says Kelsey Choo, a Zine Fest exhibitor and the event’s other co-organizer. “It can be something simple as a story about your dog, or explore bigger topics like the climate crisis or current politics. They can also come in a wide variety of formats, and I love to see the different shapes and forms a ‘book’ can take.”

From sketches and photographs to collages, poetry and political diatribes, zines feature a wide variety of content and are self-produced and distributed in small batches. Throughout history, they’ve served as the unfettered voice of dissidents, artists, writers, oppressed peoples and marginalized subcultures.

“Zines are an easy, low-cost way of getting your voice heard and connecting with others who either share your experience or could learn from it,” says Eltringham. “They make art accessible to lots of people — including those that don’t feel connected to ‘fine’ or studio arts.”

Pikes Peak Zine Fest will feature the works of 40 different zinesters, both local and national.
“The list of exhibitors includes poets, visual artists, printmakers, designers, photographers, crafters and historians all sharing their work in DIY printed form,” says Choo.

Choo also notes that this year’s zine festival will operate as a maker’s market and many of the participants will have zines available for purchase during the event.

“Since this is our inaugural event, we’re trying to keep it simple this year,” say Choo, adding that future iterations could contain workshops and speakers.

For now, both organizers are content to create a space for zinesters to collaborate and show off their creations.

“For some, this will be their very first zine fest,” says Choo. “I feel so honored that we are able to provide this experience for them.”

Eltringham agrees. “Creating space for people to share their work and start conversations is really exciting, and I can’t wait to see what future collaborations and opportunities grow from this event.”

  • Courtesy Space Foundation

Space Foundation Discovery Center Birthday

Oct. 5, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 4425 Arrowswest Drive, free,

The Space Foundation Discovery Center is celebrating its seventh trip around the sun with free admission for all guests. The Mars Robotics Laboratory will be open and visitors will get the opportunity to pop party balloons for prizes using a rover. Of course, no party is complete without favors, so expect some stellar space-themed goodies during your visit, too. Be sure to check out the center’s newest exhibit while you’re there. Tech Style will make its debut during the celebration, offering an interactive exploration of spacesuits from other countries, a simulated space walk and the chance to try on space gear.

Motorless Morning

Oct. 5, 6 a.m. to noon, Garden of the Gods Park, 1805 N. 30th St., free,

Garden of the Gods is a stunning example of Colorado’s unique outdoor beauty, but it can be difficult to appreciate the park’s towering rock formations, scenic views and colorful wildflowers while also navigating heavy traffic and clamoring for a parking spot. On Sunday morning, the park will close to motor vehicle traffic for six blissful hours and give pedestrians and cyclists a chance to embrace the quiet peace that befalls the garden when cars are left behind.

Too Many Zooz with - Thumpasaurus - Monday, Oct. 14, 7 p.m. - Black Sheep, 2106 E. Platte Ave. - Tickets: $20/adv, $22/door; - all ages, 227-7625, - - COURTESY COLUM MCCANN
  • Courtesy Colum McCann
  • Too Many Zooz with ThumpasaurusMonday, Oct. 14, 7 p.m. Black Sheep, 2106 E. Platte Ave.Tickets: $20/adv, $22/door; all ages, 227-7625,

National Book Award Winner Meet and Greet

Oct. 7, 7-8 p.m., Library 21c, 1175 Chapel Hills Dr., free,

Award-winning author Colum McCann is paying a visit to Library 21c. Attendees will enjoy a presentation by the author, as well as an opportunity to have him sign copies of his The New York Times Bestseller TransAtlantic. The book, which is also one of the library’s All Pikes Peak Reads selections for 2019, has been praised by critics, and offers an expansive, engaging story that crosses continents — and centuries — through the eyes and experiences of unforgettable characters.
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Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Carmen Machado to speak at Converge Lecture Series, plus more events this week

Posted By on Wed, Sep 25, 2019 at 1:00 AM

  • Tom Storm Photography

Converge Lecture Series: Carmen Machado

Oct. 4, 7 p.m., Ent Center for the Arts, 5225 N. Nevada Ave., $22-$48.50,

  • Courtesy Carmen Machado
Author Carmen Machado, National Book Award finalist and recipient of the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction (among many other honors), doesn’t shy away from tough topics — relevant topics, in this day and age. Her breakout collection of short stories Her Body and Other Parties, explores sexuality, consent, toxic masculinity, feminism and eroticism — and its blend of magical realism, horror and humor is breathtaking.

Her Body, released in 2017 around the initial fervor of the #MeToo movement, received incredible acclaim. Of its success, Machado says: “I think people were hungry and thirsty, no pun intended, for queer women writing about sex. I think that’s just because we get so little of it in the more mainstream sort of literary section that I think it was just like a real pleasure — and people felt that they recognized themselves. They recognized their own desires and communities in those stories.”

But the representation of queer sexualities isn’t the only draw to Machado’s writing. She also explores a variety of contemporary social issues, and flips traditional gender tropes on their heads. In the Dream House, her new book that will be released in November 2019, is a memoir about her experiences with intimate-partner violence, a subject seldom explored in regard to same-sex couples.

“The curious thing with the next book,” she says, “is that I went from writing Her Body and Other Parties to writing a book about domestic violence — queer, domestic violence, right? — and a memoir about what it means to be abused by a woman, which is like, you know, it feels almost like a very radical departure.” But she says that the cultural elements that come into play in this memoir — misconceptions about what women are capable of, unseen effects of the patriarchy — very much align with the rest of her writing.

On Oct. 4, she will speak as part of the Converge Lecture Series, addressing the theme of “moral beauty.”

  • Anna Alai

On The Roof

Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m., through Oct. 5, Funky Little Theater Company, 1367 Pecan St., $15-$19,

New York-based playwright Donna Hoke’s docudrama has seen staged readings before, but this show at Funky is the first time ever that On the Roof has been produced in full, which means you have a unique opportunity to see something brand new right here in town. Set in 1955 New York City, On the Roof explores the lives of those who frequent a cabaret and gay bar in New York City. It’s set at a time in American history when queerness was criminal, before the Stonewall Riots kickstarted the modern LGBTQ civil rights movement. The show promises to tenderly explore these characters’ quests for love, family and solidarity, with a rockstar Funky cast behind it. Hoke herself will be in attendance for the show on the 27th.

Art Purge Pop-up Sale

Sept. 28, 5-8 p.m., Kreuser Gallery, 125 E. Boulder St., free to attend,

Well, this is a collaboration for the ages! Three local gallery owners, Lauren Ciborowski (The Modbo), Abigail Kreuser (Kreuser Gallery) and Gundega Stevens (G44 Gallery) have teamed up for a one-night event that should attract all of the region’s art collectors, amateur and otherwise. As local collectors free up some wall space, you’ll have the chance to purchase artwork from the Springs and beyond, new and old. Even if you can’t buy, it’s worth it to stop by and browse.
  • Courtesy Pikes Peak Bulletin

Manitou Springs Heritage Brew Festival

Sept. 28, Noon to 5 p.m., Memorial Park, Manitou Springs, Manitou Avenue and El Paso
Boulevard, $10-$42.50,

Who doesn’t want to spend a sunny September day sampling beer from more than 30 local breweries, listening to three different live and local bands, and enjoying all the “keep Manitou weird” energy of our neighbors up the mountain? For the fifth year running, the Manitou Springs Heritage Brew Festival should provide plenty of entertainment, and the Heritage Center promises some surprises this year.

Southern Colorado Conservation Awards

Oct. 3, 5-8 p.m., The Antlers hotel, 4 S. Cascade Ave., $135/ticket, $65/young professional (ages 40 and younger), sponsorships available,

Celebrating the 10th anniversary of this event, Palmer Land Trust will once again honor a variety of local and regional individuals and organizations for their commitment to environmental conservation. Among the honorees: Dr. Michael Bartolo will receive the Innovation in Conservation Award for his research into agriculture at Colorado State University’s Arkansas Valley Research Center, and Ranchlands, an organization based in Colorado Springs, will receive the Environmental Stewardship Award for educating the public on the importance of living with the land. Enjoy a farm-to-table dinner and ceremony to honor these achievements and more.

Q&A with The Washington Post's Josh Dawsey

Oct. 3, 7-8:30 p.m., CC’s Gaylord Hall, 902 N. Cascade Ave., free,

It isn’t often we in Colorado Springs can get an inside look at what’s happening in Washington, D.C., let alone from a nationally celebrated journalist. Tonight, take advantage of a rare Q&A with Josh Dawsey, White House reporter for The Washington Post and political analyst for CNN and MSNBC. This two-time winner of the White House Correspondents Award for Deadline Reporting will discuss what it’s like covering Trump’s White House.
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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Rubberband Dance Group brings unique style fusion to Ent Center, plus more events this week

Posted By on Wed, Sep 18, 2019 at 1:00 AM

  • ©Bill Hebert

Rubberband Dance Group

Sept. 26, 7 p.m., Ent Center for the Arts, 5225 N. Nevada Ave., $20-$54.75,

Fans of both classical and modern dance are unlikely to find a fusion of the two styles as established and streamlined as the Rubberband Method, created by the director and choreographer of Canadian Rubberband Dance Group, Victor Quijada.

Over more than 15 years, Quijada has perfected a unique style of dance that draws inspiration from “the raw dynamic of Hip Hop/break-dancing and the purity of classical formalism,” making for a blend of ballet and contemporary street dancing that’s hypnotic to watch, and is now being taught in dance classrooms around the world. Rubberband Dance Group will be stopping at the Ent Center for the Arts tonight, presenting their piece Vic’s Mix.

If you’re going to see any single show by Rubberband, this is the one you’ll want to catch. Described as both humorous and serious on the Rubberband website, Vic’s Mix promises a showcase of some of the most thought-provoking and visually fascinating dances from Quijada’s repertoire, with a talented group of dancers executing each piece.

Earlier this year, Aisha Ahmad-Post, director of the Ent Center for the Arts and curator of the center’s Artist Series, told the Indy: “Rubberband, of course, takes [dance fusion] to a different level as well, incorporating break dancing, but again with this through-line of modern dance. … It’s interesting how it really feels like modern dance has become sort of this, this sponge that takes on so many different influences.”

In curating the Artist Series this year, Ahmad-Post was intent on featuring a variety of modern dance, including and especially a unique group like Rubberband. “I do find that particular genre particularly compelling,” she said, “and have been really excited by the amount of enthusiasm that’s been greeted with in the community.”

RJWAC Car Show

Sept. 21, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Roy J. Wasson Academic Campus, 2115 Afton Way, free to attend, $20-$25 to register a vehicle,

Supporting scholarships for the Roy J. Wasson Academic Campus’ auto shop students, this annual car show has it all. Not only will you see lowriders, street rods, contemporary and classic cars, but you’ll also get to meet up with the Colorado Springs EV Club, which will hold its National Drive Electric Week event in conjunction with the car show. “Never ridden in an electric car? Now is your chance!” proclaims the event website. If that doesn’t hook you, come for the food, live music and the opportunity to support D-11 kids.

  • Courtesy Katherine Latona

Latina Voices

Sept. 21, 10 a.m. to noon, Library 21c, 1175 Chapel Hills Drive, free,

Now in its ninth year, this event aims to lift up and showcase the unique and varied perspectives of prominent local and regional Latinas, all of whom have interesting and inspiring stories to tell. This year, hear from recent UCCS grad Katherine Latona, pictured, whose hard-won degree in art history has brought her a unique perspective on cultural monuments; Dolores M. Martinez, a Colorado native and author of the 2018 book Experiences in the Historical Borderlands: A Shared Ancestry; and 81-year-old Connie Solano de Benavidez, who, with her daughters, founded the dance group Ballet Folklorico de la Raza.

Rocky Mountain OktoberfestPLUS

Sept. 21 and 22, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Ute Pass Cultural Center, 210 E. Midland Ave., Woodland Park, $7-$8/adult, free for ages 20 and younger,

Truth be told, we’d probably attend any event that promises food prepared by local celebrity chef Brother Luck, but we’re especially excited for this one. Not only will Luck be serving up traditional German cuisine, but the Woodland Park Chamber of Commerce will present a healthy helping of entertainment, drinks and activities. In addition to traditional German music, you can enjoy live performances by rock and country acts like Exit West and Cari Dell, and even jazz from the Jeff Houltan Jazz Band. Parking is limited, so be sure to take the shuttle bus from Woodland Park High School — or get yourself a ride if you plan to drink.

  • Courtesy Springs Ensemble Theatre

By the Bog of Cats

Sept. 26-Oct. 13, Thursdays-Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m., Springs Ensemble Theatre, 1903 E. Cache La Poudre St., $15,

The Greek tale of Medea, most famously captured by Euripides in his beloved tragedy, has inspired imaginations for thousands of years. Something about a woman taking revenge on the man who wronged her has long resonated with audiences, and with other playwrights. Inspired in part by this story, Irish playwright Marina Carr wrote By the Bog of Cats in 1998, a gripping and mysterious story of abandonment, motherhood, death and betrayal. Protagonist Hester Swane, who lives by an Irish bog with her young daughter, lives a life beset by ghosts both real and figurative, and Springs Ensemble Theatre will undoubtedly provide the dramatic atmosphere a play like this deserves.
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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

William Jackson Palmer's historic trash on display, plus more events this week

Posted By and on Wed, Sep 11, 2019 at 1:00 AM

Selections from the CSPM Palmer Manuscript & Photograph Collection - COURTESY CSPM
  • Courtesy CSPM
  • Selections from the CSPM Palmer Manuscript & Photograph Collection

Evidence: Finding the Facts About William Jackson Palmer, Opening Day

Sept. 14, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., on display indefinitely, Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, 215 S. Tejon St., free,

Was General William Jackson Palmer really a teetotaler, or did he like a drink or two?
Check the whiskey bottles in his trash.

People tend to think Palmer didn’t drink because he famously established Colorado Springs as a dry community, Matt Mayberry says, but his trash tells a different story.

  • Public Domain
“There were wine bottles, whiskey bottles, beer bottles in the trash,” says Mayberry, director of the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum. “We got to the point where we could identify some specific alcohol that he had — even types of wine.”

Not many museum directors get the chance to dig through a city founding father’s garbage, but in 2014 flood mitigation crews stumbled upon a trove of relics from Palmer’s life in Garden of the Gods — in what was once a trash dump on his land.

Palmer lived just up the hill from the site, where last fall archaeologists excavated about 60,000 objects from the trash zone. The haul included plate fragments, clothing remnants, fish bones, peach pits, bricks, light bulbs, batteries — and of course those bottles.
Every piece helps tell a story.

“They took those artifacts to the lab,” Mayberry says, “and they’re using them to analyze and test a number of questions that we have about what Palmer’s life was like, what the estate life was like — and a number of those never-before-seen thrown-away objects will be on exhibit as part of Evidence: Finding the Facts About William Jackson Palmer.”

The exhibit, which opens Sept. 14. as part of the city’s sesquicentennial celebration, is “a really exciting project,” he says. “We’re looking at the myths related to Palmer and trying to test those — so we’re going to let visitors become historians and evaluate the evidence that’s available to us and determine whether the myths are true, or are they not.”

The museum’s collection began growing in 1896, and today CSPM documents and interprets the tales of the once-quaint resort town Palmer championed. The upcoming exhibit is just one of the ways CSPM is working to bring the city’s history to life, connecting people with ideas and questions and groups they haven’t explored before.

“We want to engage the public, we want them to examine their life relative to the history of the community, and we want to tell new stories,” Mayberry says. “We’re constantly trying to mine our collection, evaluate our collection, for new stories that can be told, engaging new audiences.”


Sept. 13-14, 7:30 p.m. and Sept. 15, 2 p.m., Millibo Art Theatre, 1626 S. Tejon St., $15,

One of our favorite one-act play festivals is returning for 2019, featuring seven new plays by local playwrights, performed as staged readings by local actors. It’s an annual celebration of theatrical talent right here in the Pikes Peak region, and this year’s lineup features plays by Sue Bachman, Mark Arnest, Warren Epstein and more. “A reluctant hitman, an ambitious, amateur pianist who might be too good for his own good, and a giant from [a] futuristic freak show are among the amazing characters you’ll meet in the fourth annual outing of Thespiana,” the show’s website says.

  • JAKeeran

Van Briggle Pottery Festival

Sept. 14, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., The Van Briggle Pottery, 1125 Glen Ave., free,

One of the region’s most famous and enduring artists, Artus Van Briggle, is still known more than a century later for his unique designs: functional or aesthetic pieces of pottery, and unique tiles. The building that once housed Van Briggle’s salesroom, kilns, workshops and more is now a historic landmark, and this is your annual opportunity to take advantage of an hour-long tour of its unique features. Join the Woman’s Educational Society and the FAC’s Bemis School of Art for free clay sculpting and wheel throwing, tours and more pottery festivities.

Book Signing With Ceil Horowitz

Sept. 18, 6-8 p.m., Front Range Barbeque, 2330 W. Colorado Ave., free,

Colorado painter Ceil Horowitz has embarked on, in her words, a “six-and-a-half-year painting quest,” and now has finally released the fruits of her labor in a book of 100 still-life paintings. But these paintings aren’t your typical fruit-in-a-bowl still lifes. Each piece in Take One Down Pass It Around depicts, and was inspired by, a unique Colorado beer and the brewery that produced it. Meet Horowitz tonight where her quest started, at Front Range Barbeque in Old Colorado City. She’ll be signing copies of her book.

Pueblo Chile & Frijoles Festival

Sept. 20, 3 p.m. to midnight, Sept. 21, 10 a.m. to midnight, and Sept. 22, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Union Avenue Historic District, Pueblo, $5,

This year marks a big milestone for one of the region’s favorite festivals. For 25 years now, foodies from Pueblo and beyond have gathered to celebrate the end of summer and the harvest of the region’s most beloved export: Pueblo chiles. While we wouldn’t blame you for attending the festival to breathe in the aroma of roasting chiles alone, you’ll have plenty more to do at this weekend’s big event. Enjoy live entertainment, vendors, cooking competitions and more.
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Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Front Range Open Studios tour features more interactive art than ever, plus more events this week

Posted By on Wed, Sep 4, 2019 at 1:00 AM

  • Courtesy Front Range Open Studios

Front Range Open Studios Tour

Sept. 7-8, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., various locations, see website for details, free,

Just north of the Springs, the small town of Monument is home to a surprisingly large number of artists. Walking the streets of downtown, art patrons have any number of options for galleries and studios to visit year-round, but it would be particularly prudent to take a tour this weekend. The annual Front Range Open Studios tour has returned, with 22 artists and 16 locations in and around Monument opening their doors. Many of these locations are not public studios, but rather the private workspaces of sculptors, painters, jewelers, blacksmiths and more. Nancy Bonig, a well-known glass artist and the coordinator of the studio tour, says: “We have set the highest standard for artists on a studio tour and everyone will be doing demos, have drawings or allow the public to participate.”

That means your journey through Monument will be far from static. Instead of simply regarding art on a wall, join blacksmith Jodie Bliss in her studio, where you’ll help her carve sand molds for an iron pour she’ll be completing in late September; meet Barb Ziek’s alpacas and watch a pebble and bead felting demonstration; take direction from painter Michael Malta, who will guide you through a watercolor flower painting of your very own. These and almost 15 other experiences, including demonstrations and prize drawings, come alongside an intimate look at the process of creation, from a variety of talented perspectives.

Some activities come with a small fee for materials, but the tour itself is entirely free, and accessible via a Google map of locations. All weekend, you can drive through the beautiful forests surrounding Monument, walk around the vibrant downtown, and network with some of the region’s finest creatives.

Bonig says in a Front Range Open Studios press release: “You will see how each artist and craftsman has transformed his or her working space with tools, music, books, and specialized materials into their own unique sanctuary, where they find creativity and inspiration.”

Visiting Artists and Critics Series: Vadis Turner

Presentation, 6 p.m., opening reception, 5-8 p.m., Sept. 5, Megaliths exhibit on display through Dec. 8, Ent Center for the Arts, 5225 N. Nevada Ave., free,

Continuing their tradition of bringing diverse and thought-provoking artwork to the Marie Sharpe Walsh Gallery at Ent Center for the Arts, UCCS’ Galleries of Contemporary Art have invited Nashville-based, mixed-media artist Vadis Turner to exhibit her work. Exploring femininity and the female experience, Turner’s work employs a variety of found materials such as clothing, sanitary products and even her own breast milk. Hear from her at tonight’s opening reception, where she’ll be speaking in the Chapman Foundations Recital Hall.
  • Jantzen Peake

Wrong Side of Da Tracks

Opening reception, Sept. 6, 5-8 p.m., on display through Sept. 30, Manitou Art Center,
513 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs,

Jantzen Peake’s artwork has always been unusual, inspired by “low-brow” influences like vintage cartoons and grunge music. When the Indy spoke to him in 2016, he said it was hard to find gallery spaces that accepted his unique style. “For the edgier art I do, there’s not a lot of places to show,” he said. “To be a full-time artist is not realistic in a sense, here. But I’m trying to build that the best I can.” Lo and behold, he is now opening a solo show at the Manitou Art Center, featuring an eclectic selection of his works — the weird and the wonderful. DJ Craftmatic will provide the music for the opening reception.

  • Elizabeth Montoya


Sept. 6-7, 7:30 p.m., Sept. 8, 2 p.m., Millibo Art Theatre, 1626 S. Tejon St., $25,

There’s no better way to absorb the grandeur, passion and power of Greek mythology than to see it performed, especially if that performance involves the region’s best aerial acrobats. Presented by Aerial Aura, Mythico retells classic Greek tales including Pandora’s Box, the war of the Gods and Titans, Sisyphus, and the Trojan War, with 15 total performers, an original musical score and exciting stage effects. Enjoy aerial silks, trapeze and more dancing on and off the ground, featuring beloved locals like Elizabeth Fluharty, Josh and Joe Lobeck, Chris and Emily Wegert and more.

A Conversation With Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser

4:30-6:30 p.m., The Pinery at the Hill, 775 W. Bijou St., free, registration required at, donations benefit the Give! Campaign and/or the Southeast Express

Colorado’s first Democratic Attorney General in recent memory has involved his office in national issues affecting Coloradans, from DACA to reproductive rights. Though some derisively refer to him as an “activist attorney general,” Weiser recently told the Indy and the Colorado Springs Business Journal: “I just keep in mind what’s best for the state, for the people — what harms them, what affects them, and then I act. So, no, I don’t think I’m being too much of an activist.”If you want to learn more about our state’s top law enforcement official, join us and our sister publication for a Q&A with the man himself. Refreshments will be served alongside your civic engagement.
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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Final chance for free TheatreWorks Shakespeare, plus more events this week

Posted By and on Wed, Aug 14, 2019 at 1:00 AM

  • Colton Pratt

The Comedy of Errors

Aug. 16, 2 p.m., Colorado Springs Senior Center, 1514 N. Hancock Ave., free,

For the first time in its history, TheatreWorks has brought Free-for-All Shakespeare to the Pikes Peak region this summer. Free-for-All, a traveling troupe, has performed at locations across the area from Monument to the Hillside neighborhood, and will present its final performance at the Colorado Springs Senior Center on Aug. 16. The troupe’s 75-minute adaptation of The Comedy of Errors is family-friendly and fast-paced, with only seven actors portraying many characters through costume changes, accents and the occasional hand puppet stand-in.

“To me, theaters are a civic institution,” says TheatreWorks artistic director Caitlin Lowans. “We exist to be in service to our community.”

Although the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (to which TheatreWorks is connected) put on free Shakespeare plays in “the very, very ancient history of TheatreWorks,” according to Lowans, this summer’s traveling program was the first of its kind.

“We already have a natural geographic connection to the folks downtown,” Lowans says. “It was really important that we … connect [with] those who live in the vibrant community of Southeast.”

Although the performances are free to attend, the cast and crew are composed of professional actors and designers, who receive compensation for their work.

Sean Sharif, Alex Wimmerle, Anna Faye Hunter, Rachel Fey, Ambrosia Fees-Armstrong, Julia Greene and Dante Finley make up the cast. Under Lowans’ artistic direction, the actors have each memorized several “tracks,” each of which includes multiple characters. Each performance, the actors switch tracks with each other, trading characters, costumes and stage voices in the process. The actors even smoothly transition from accent-free dialogue to heavy East Coast diction, depending on the character.

Maelia Kalua is the program’s costume designer. Considering the fast pace of the performances, the costumes have to be durable, easy to change and different enough for the audience to recognize when actors trade characters. Meanwhile, props designer Marie Verdu had to consider the importance of mobility and utility of space throughout the Free-for-All program. The entire set and all the costumes fit into seven small trunks — and even those act as props.

The program has aimed to reach out to communities that don’t traditionally attend or have easy access to theater productions, and Lowans stresses her desire for people to “come as they are.”
“Sometimes theater can feel to folks like there is a certain way they have to be,” she says. “But we’re really excited to meet everyone where they’re at … and celebrate them coming out to share something very special with us.”

Edelweiss Sommerfest

Aug. 16-18, 3-8 p.m., Edelweiss Restaurant, 34 E. Ramona Ave.,

We’re butting up against Oktoberfest season, but we’re not quite there yet. If you’re looking for your German beer and culture fix before then, Edelweiss Restaurant has you covered, as they do every year. Sommerfest, hosted at the tail end of summer, offers authentic German food (Edelweiss’ specialty), plus Warsteiner beer direct from Germany, traditional German activities for families, and live music. Best of all, the party lasts all weekend — and the entertainment’s free.
  • Lori Pandy

Cotton Club Revival

Aug. 16, 5-10:30 p.m., Atrevida Beer Co., 204 Mount View Lane, #3,

Town hero Fannie Mae Duncan, the late proprietor of the now-defunct Cotton Club, had a famous saying: “Everybody welcome.” Her spirit of inclusion and integration changed the landscape of this town, as did the live jazz musicians she brought to play for us. Tonight, celebrate her spirit with jazz bands including Mirepoix, Tidal Breeze and the Mélange Duo. While cutting a rug to the live music, participate in games and ‘50s/’60s “best dressed” contests, and take advantage of Atrevida Beer Co.’s new beer releases. Donations will support the steering committee working to erect a statue of Duncan near the site of the old Cotton Club.

SoCo Dance Festival

Aug. 16, 7 p.m., Sangre de Cristo Arts Center, 210 N. Santa Fe Ave., Pueblo,

Pueblo has fully embraced its vibrant dance community, and the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center (which consistently brings exciting and diverse dance acts to town) has gone above and beyond this year. For the first time, they’ve put on the Southern Colorado Dance Festival. By bringing in professional dancers from across Colorado and the country to host masterclasses, they’ve offered dance students in their community the opportunity to learn from the best all week long. The classes have been registration-only, but the culminating showcase is open to the public and only $5 to attend.
  • Christopher May

Pueblo Pride 2019

Aug. 18, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mineral Palace Park, 1600 N. Santa Fe Ave., Pueblo,

Hosted by the Southern Colorado Equality Alliance, this annual event is usually the final Pride celebration of the year in Colorado, and it’s always worth attending. At 10:30 a.m., take to the streets for the parade and cheer on the movers and shakers of southern Colorado’s LGBTQ community. At 11, hit Mineral Palace Park, where festivities will include live music and performances, activities and games, vendors, nonprofits and much more.
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Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Sharon Carvell and Debra Callan present environmentally and socially conscious art exhibition at Manitou Art Center, plus more events this week

Posted By on Wed, Jul 31, 2019 at 1:00 AM

  • Sharon Carvell

Indigenous to Originality

Opening reception, Aug. 2, 5-8 p.m., on display through Sept. 15, Manitou Art Center,
513 Manitou Ave.,

In a world so often dominated by dark and gritty imagery, and especially depressing news, mother-daughter artists Sharon Carvell and Debra Callan’s combined works provide a sense of balance. At times whimsical, socially conscious or both, the duo’s upcoming Manitou Art Center exhibit Indigenous to Originality showcases not only their many talents, but their ideology as well.

“Each thing you see in here is a prayer. ... Each time I weave is a prayer,” says Callan as she opens her arms to the Hanauger Gallery, where her and her mother’s art has been set up in preparation for August’s First Friday.

Callan is responsible for the exhibition’s woven gourds, gleaming with tiny beads from their glass display cases. Using a 4,000-year-old technique, she threads one bead at a time until the gourds are completely covered in animal and plant imagery, vibrant colors and geometric shapes. Many on display here have come from her series on evolution, which artistically represents life from the beginning of creation to humanity’s rise. “And it has the Genesis phrase on it that basically, we shall have dominion over the earth instead of being stewards,” Callan says of the final piece in that series, “Dominion.” Like her mother, Callan considers herself an activist as well as an artist, integrating symbolism in her weaving that speaks to everything from stark political divisions to the importance of the circle of life.

Carvell, now 82 and working primarily as a painter and silk sculptor, has always explored activism through art. In fact, 27 years ago, her life-sized silk sculpture expressing support for abortion rights was censored in Manitou. A small version of that sculpture will now be on display at the MAC alongside more of Carvell’s own prayers, expressed through art like her daughter’s — a sculpture of a winged woman holding a fan to the Earth to spread peace; a painting of children dressed as clowns playing in a vibrant green landscape, the world Carvell hopes they will inherit; an ancient tree’s roots growing from the debris of a discarded bed.

Though Carvell and Callan have created art together since they owned a design business 35 years ago, this will be their first joint public show. Sharing their artwork, sharing their prayers, is one way they have found to make a difference in this complicated world.

“We have both been very, very [politically] active,” Callan says. “And right now, with things as they are, we’re at a point where we don’t know...”

She pauses, but her mother finishes for her. “We don’t know what to do.”

Sharing this exhibition, at least, seems a good place to start.

Our Shorts Are Showing

Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m., and Sundays, 2 p.m., through Aug. 11, Springs Ensemble Theatre, 1903 Cache La Poudre St.,

Hosted by Craft Production Resource, this annual short play festival gives local playwrights the opportunity to showcase their work, and local actors, directors and crew the opportunity to collaborate directly with them to execute a shared vision. Out of 23 submitted plays, seven works of all genres and lengths, including performance poetry, have been chosen to grace the Springs Ensemble Theatre stage.

Pikes Peak Junkfest

Aug. 2-3, 9 a.m., Pikes Peak International Raceway, 16650 Midway Ranch Road, #1, Fountain, $5/adult, free/child under 12,

We always hope we’re going to find some buried treasure when we scour antique or thrift stores, digging into drawers and boxes and piles of whatever-the-heck. And, hey, you know what they say about “one man’s trash.” Find your treasure at this weekend’s Junkfest, where you can sift through antiques and collectibles, vintage goods and even farming equipment. There will be a whole festival surrounding the open-air market, with live music and more.

  • Photo by Daira Dundov

Utopia: A New Society for All

Aug. 3 to Nov. 3, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, 30 W. Dale St.,

The other day, I applied to be a citizen of Utopia. This is not a country, exactly, but an ongoing art project by Denver-based artist Becky Wareing Steele. So far, she has sculpted tiny versions of more than 80 real-life people to inhabit a 4-by-7-foot diorama, which represents an ideal community. Everything is decided by vote. We recommend examining Utopia not only as an art installation, but as the thought-provoking question it represents: “Is a Utopia attainable?”

Chalk Art Festival

Aug. 3, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Cheyenne Mountain Library and neighboring businesses,
1785 S. Eighth St., free,

For the third year running, the Ivywild Improvement Society and Pikes Peak Library District are partnering up to provide food trucks, face painting, activities and entertainment surrounding an explosion of chalk art. Professional and amateur artists will decorate the sidewalks in the Cheyenne Mountain Library District’s shopping center with unique and temporary masterpieces. Stop by, get creative, and maybe hope for a rainless morning.
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Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Stick Horses in Pants celebrate 15 years, plus more events in the region this week

Posted By on Wed, Jul 24, 2019 at 1:00 AM

  • @mindymillerphoto

Stick Horses in Pants Anniversary Show

July 25, 8-10 p.m., The Loft, 2506 W. Colorado Ave., $7-$10,

Here’s a joke for you: What has 12 legs and countless local fans, and makes everything up as it goes along? Okay, that’s a terrible setup, but that’s why I’m not planning to try out for Stick Horses in Pants (SHIP), a local six-member improv comedy troupe that will soon celebrate 15 years of good, clean, improvised fun. Though its last founding member, Jared Harp, retired from improv last year, SHIP’s mission has remained the same: “Bringing clean comedy to Colorado Springs and Colorado just in general, and just entertaining people,” according to four-year SHIP member Casey Frase.

The current SHIP lineup includes six local comedians, all of whom come from different backgrounds and specialties. Corrina Briggs is a multi-instrumentalist and an aerospace engineer, Chris Jordahl runs a bartending service, Frase teaches ESL, and that’s just a snapshot of the variety of experience behind the group. Jordahl, who has been with SHIP for six years, says: “That’s what I love about improv, is that anybody can do it. And those who do it, it helps with whatever they do.” For instance, improv teaches folks how to communicate, how to collaborate and how to listen to each other.

Those core components of improvisational comedy have helped SHIP endure the changing times; they evolve as new members bring their own talents to the table. “The group show has changed so much,” Jordahl says. “I mean, it’s not unrecognizable. But at different times there have been different things we’re better at or interested in. Like right now the troupe is very much into musical improv. So making up musicals, which is not something we’ve ever done before.”

But Frase says that the rotation of talent just keeps their shows feeling fresh, and keeps their fans engaged.

Tonight’s anniversary show will be both a love letter to those fans, and an invitation for new people to enjoy SHIP’s all-ages comedy. Some past members will perform alongside the current crew, and people who attend in a SHIP T-shirt get half-off admission. Plus, as an homage to how far they’ve come, the group will be performing at The Loft in Old Colorado City, which was its home venue for years before they moved to the Lon Chaney Theatre downtown.
“What we really want to show is that we have a lot of fun,” Jordahl says, “like, at our shows, in our practices, any time we just hang out. We have so much fun.”


July 25-27, 7 p.m. and July 28, 2 p.m., Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, 30 W. Dale St., $10,

The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College is hosting a five-week summer program to train young performers to sing, dance, act and otherwise make it in the competitive world of theater. The Youth Repertory Theatre program has churned out some amazing talent, and this week you can enjoy the 2019 class’ culminating performance. Disaster!, a musical set in 1979, unites a colorful cast of characters aboard a brand-new floating casino, where a series of unbelievably unfortunate events leaves them mourning more than the end of the disco era.

11th Annual Taekwondo Hanmadang

July 26-27, 9 a.m., Broadmoor World Arena, 3185 Venetucci Blvd., $18-$28,

Though most of us recognize the martial art of Taekwondo sparring from its Olympic exposure, this Korean practice requires the development of tons of other skills we so rarely get to witness. At this event, which attracts well more than 1,000 participants of all ages from around the world, Taekwondo practitioners will present their traditional and creative defense and attack forms, board breaking, power breaking and team demonstrations. The competition lasts two days, so you have plenty of opportunity to pick and choose your favorite events.


July 27, noon to 7 p.m., Acacia Park, 115 E. Platte Ave., free,

The Colorado Springs Office of Innovation & Sustainability wants people of all ages to think about how best to take care of our planet. Whether you’re a diehard climate advocate or someone curious about how to do your part, or just a parent looking for a fun place to bring the kids this weekend, head to Acacia Park where you can browse more than 50 booths hosted by folks like Colorado Springs Food Rescue, Who Gives a SCRAP, Yobel Market and more; listen to live music by Tejon Street Corner Thieves, the Wendy St. Cyre Band and Spur; and enjoy plentiful family activities.

2019 Rhythm and Brews Block Party

July 27, 5-10 p.m., The Mining Exchange, 8 S. Nevada Ave., $5/individual, $10/family, free for all military members and families,

Only thing better than a block party is a block party for a good cause. REACH Pikes Peak, an organization that promotes quality of life for low-income locals, will host this inaugural block party to raise money for its life-changing programs, and they’re pulling out all the stops: a beer garden, live music by the Barefoot Family Caravan, food trucks, family activities and way more.
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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The Laramie Project at Springs Ensemble Theatre, plus more events to attend this week

Posted By on Wed, Jul 10, 2019 at 12:00 AM

  • Courtesy SET

The Laramie Project

Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m., Sundays, 2 p.m., no show on July 14, Springs Ensemble Theatre, 1903 Cache La Poudre St., $15,

‘Look, I do think that, um, the media actually made people accountable. Because they made people think. Because people were sitting in their homes, like watching TV and listening to CNN and watching Dan Rather and going, ‘Jesus Christ, well, that’s not how it is here.’ Well, how is it here?”

In 1998, a young man named Matthew Shepard was beaten and left for dead, tied to a fencepost in rural Laramie, Wyoming. It was one of the first homophobic hate crimes to really make waves in the U.S., to wake people up to the kinds of attacks that were happening to LGBTQ people in their own backyards.

Maybe so much attention focused on this crime because Matthew was only 21, a handsome kid with his whole life ahead of him. Maybe it was because his parents became activists and refused to let the story die. Whatever the reasons, Matthew’s murder started a national conversation, and much of it focused on Laramie and communities like it.

The above quote comes from a character named Tiffany Edwards in The Laramie Project, a docudrama created by Moisés Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater Project out of New York City. Her voice as a local reporter, and the voices of more than 50 other Laramie residents, come together in a powerful piece of theater that seeks to paint a portrait of a town.

It’s a town where something terrible happened, but does that make its residents terrible? Do these people feel responsibility for Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson, the two of their own who committed the crime? After conducting hundreds of interviews, the Tectonic Theater Project answers these questions, and attempts to answer the question posed by Tiffany Edwards: “Well, how is it here?”

Since its premiere in 2000, The Laramie Project has been produced in hundreds of communities of all sizes and political and religious sensibilities, both in the U.S. and internationally. It has drawn protests and controversy, but mostly it has helped share the story not only of Matthew Shepard himself, but of the place where he died.

Produced locally by the ever-thoughtful Springs Ensemble Theatre, The Laramie Project features eight powerhouse actors playing more than 50 roles. Join them for opening night, an official part of Colorado Springs PrideFest, or stick around for talkbacks on July 13 and 21.
If you’d rather reflect on Shepard’s death on your own, it may be worth asking yourself and your community that poignant question: How is it here, really?

7th Annual Tour de SRAM

July 11, 5-8 p.m., SRAM, 980 Elkton Drive, $10-$200,

Last year, SRAM Colorado Springs, a bicycle component manufacturer, raised more than $11,000 for World Bicycle Relief through a fundraiser that has become a favorite community event. The annual Tour de SRAM is part street festival (with food trucks, local beer, live music and more) and part exclusive tour of the SRAM facility — a must-see for bike nerds. Donations go toward providing bikes to folks in rural Africa, where easier transportation can make a world of difference.

Rich Wojdula Exhibit

Opening July 12, 5-8 p.m., on display through Aug. 17, G44 Gallery, 1785 S. Eighth Street, Suite A,

Colorado-based artist Rich Wojdula is a true renaissance man. For nearly 50 years, he has dabbled in and excelled at all manner of mediums, from drawing and painting to ceramics. He’s focused on his paintings to great success, channeling Abstract Expressionists to create works improvisational in execution and emotional in impact and expression. Catch a showcase of his recent neo-expressionist works at G44, and shake his hand at tonight’s opening reception.

  • Jasmine Dillavou


Opening July 13, 5-9 p.m., on display through Aug. 9, GOCA 121, 121 S. Tejon St., #100,

Some of our favorite local artists come together in this tour de force exhibition: Jasmine Dillavou, JD Sell and Su Kaiden Cho. Combining their unique styles to create a thoughtful installation, the artists have worked with the Galleries of Contemporary Art and Ephemera Dinners in what Dillavou calls “the mashup of the summer.” At tonight’s opening, enjoy a performance at 7 p.m. to activate the exhibit, but be sure to come back for some of the exhibit’s other special events. Ephemera will host a dinner with food pairings inspired by the artwork on July 22, and there will be artist talks and live music at August’s First Friday and the closing party on Aug. 9.

Colorado Springs PrideFest

July 13-14, parade on July 14 at 11 a.m., America the Beautiful Park, 126 Cimino Drive, $5,

We’ve been working up to it throughout Pride Month in June, and finally the time has arrived! Our local PrideFest brings the LGBTQ and allied community together for part party, part protest and part parade, with a whole festival full of folks who love and support you — exactly as you are. Check out drag performances by national stars like Jade Jolie and Pork Chop, plus live music, drag story time, vendors and more. Consult the website for other connected events and a full schedule of exciting entertainment. This year’s theme: Rise Up! Remembering 50 years of Stonewall.
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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

TheatreWorks stages Shakespeare's Measure for Measure, plus more events this week

Posted By on Wed, Jun 26, 2019 at 12:00 AM

  • Isaiah Downing

Measure for Measure

Wednesdays-Sundays, 7 p.m., through July 21, no show on July 4, Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site, 3105 Gateway Road, $20-$39.75,

While theatergoers may be comfortable with Shakespeare’s more well-known works (the Juliets, the Hamlets, the MacBeths, and so on), there’s a certain joy in discovering or rediscovering another of the Bard’s works — maybe one you didn’t read in sophomore English class. Artistic director of TheatreWorks, Caitlin Lowans, describes this year’s Shakespeare at the Ranch production as “a Shakespeare play where people are going and don’t always know the story. ... With Measure for Measure, there’s actually a degree of surprise and wanting to see how the story is going to unfold.”
And what a story it is. In true Shakespearean fashion, Measure for Measure features such beloved tropes as royalty in disguise, sudden betrothals and mistaken identities, and a cast of characters as complex as their problems. The story begins when the Duke of Vienna leaves a man named Angelo in charge of the city, which is suffering a bit of moral decay. Angelo, drunk on power, imprisons a man whose fiancee is pregnant, and tries to convince the man’s sister, a nun, to sleep with him in exchange for her brother’s freedom. But it’s not as black and white as it seems. “When you go through the story,” Lowans says, “the play doesn’t have a villain. It has a bunch of people making really poor decisions on the best available information, and that’s what life is.”
But while the play deals with heavy themes, it is not exactly what one might consider a tragedy. “[It is] so much more funny than anyone knows, than we even do a good job of telling people about. It’s a very funny show. But it’s a very funny show about very big, serious stuff,” Lowans says.
The play runs through July 21, but be sure to check out the informal scholar chats before Thursday evening performances, plus post-show conversations with the cast on Sundays. Before the show on June 30, TheatreWorks will host a special discussion about ethics, leadership and gender in Measure for Measure, with Dr. Michael Kim of Colorado
College and Dr. Patrick Yarnell of UCCS.

Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Fan Fest

June 28, 5-10 p.m., Downtown Colorado Springs, free,

Whether or not you’re a fan of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (and why wouldn’t you be, with some of the coolest cars in existence tackling the peak at breakneck speeds?) you should definitely be a fan of the Hill Climb’s Fan Fest. More than 30,000 people pack the streets of downtown each year to enjoy vendors, food, entertainment and — most exciting — live stunts performed by the Red Bull Motorcycle Jumpers.

Throw Down Axe Festival

June 28-30, Bad Axe Throwing, 3506-3536 N. Academy Blvd., free,

I mean, there are weirder hobbies out there than axe throwing, an activity that has taken the Springs by storm since Bad Axe Throwing opened up its doors on Academy Boulevard in 2018. If you want to watch some of the best axe throwers in the nation line up to compete, if you want to try your hand at hitting the target, if you want to drink beer and embrace your inner lumberjack, you’ll want to pop by Bad Axe Throwing for this free-to-attend inaugural festival.

  • Chad Orr

TheatreGasm: 'Murica

June 28-29, 9 p.m. and June 30, 4 p.m., Zodiac Venue and Bar, 230 Pueblo Ave., $10,

For 11 years now, local company THEATREdART has been providing us with some of the most interesting theatrical experiences in Colorado Springs, including this annual showcase of short plays by local playwrights, TheatreGasm. This year’s theme is ‘Murica. Not “America,” but ‘Murica. How have these eight playwrights interpreted the distinction? We don’t know yet, either, but the show should enlighten us all.

Circus Foundry: Sonder

June 30, 7:30 p.m., Ent Center for the Arts, 5225 N. Nevada Ave., $25,

Denver-based Circus Foundry may be a new company, but they’ve already found a recipe for exciting performance art. Far more than your typical spectacle circus, Circus Foundry combines the talents and interests of all of its members, from acrobatics to music to theater. Their touring show, Sonder, is meant to be a thoughtful examination of human connection through movement, music and more.

  • Zach Wiegert
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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Pikes Peak Suicide Prevention's annual art show, plus more of this week's featured events

Posted By on Wed, Jun 19, 2019 at 12:00 AM

  • Photo by Alissa Smith

Pikes Peak Suicide Prevention Art Show and Fundraiser

June 20, 6:30-9 p.m., Pikes Peak Market, 315 E. Pikes Peak Ave., $10-$15,

Kaihosha, a member of the teen advisory board of Pikes Peak Suicide Prevention (PPSP), says that teens like her and her peers often reach out for help, but adults seldom see it. “Usually what most adults believe is if you need help, you’ll ask for it,” she says. “And I think that’s what’s typical, is most people don’t ask with words.”

PPSP’s annual art show originated from this viewpoint years ago, when the teen board — many of whom were artistically inclined themselves — felt that sharing the artwork of struggling teens with the community might help people, especially adults, understand what they were going through on a visceral level. They found that art could speak for them when they couldn’t find the words to express their deeper emotions.

The art show has done double duty over the years, also drawing awareness to PPSP and the valuable work they do in a county with one of the highest suicide rates in the state. “I think it’s really just given us an opportunity to kind of bring the community together,” says executive director Marie McQuillan, “and kind of break down some of those barriers. ... People can talk about suicide, or they can come and kind of see what services are available.”

Having grown significantly from its roots, the art show showcases and sells not only the artwork of teens participating in PPSP’s programs, but also that of professional regional artists. McQuillan says painters, photographers, paper artists and more have been inspired by the teens’ stories, and have offered their art to support the cause. Plus, because art takes many forms, some teens will be performing songs or poetry at the fundraising event, sharing their experiences and their stories.

Proceeds from the art auction and any donations will benefit the organization’s ongoing child-, teen- and adult-focused programs, and help PPSP get to the point where they can expand services beyond their downtown location.

The teen board, composed of teens who have experiences with suicide either personally or within their family and friend groups, chose a theme for this year’s art show: “L;ve Your Story.”
Kaihosha explains the intention behind the title: “We want people to feel comfortable in their own skin, and to be able to just be like, strong with who they are. … There is an outcry for help from teens about suicide, and just like their mental health stance. And what we do is we really try to, you know, not only advocate, but create options and help.”

The World Series of Comedy Festival

June 19-22, 7-8:30 p.m. and June 21-22, 9:30-11 p.m., Loonees Comedy Corner, 1305 N. Academy Blvd., $15-$45,

For 10 years, a search for the country’s greatest comedians has consistently attracted and promoted some fine talent from far-flung corners. The World Series of Comedy includes weeklong qualifying events throughout the year at tons of satellite locations, including our very own Loonees Comedy Corner, which will be hosting its qualifying events starting tonight. Go cheer for your favorite regional comic in hopes that they will be among the lucky 101 to make it to the prestigious Main Event in September.

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Queer Movie Series

June 20, 6-8 p.m., The Gallery Below, 718B N. Weber St., free,

We love Pride Month, not only because of the main event, PrideFest, in July, but because throughout the month of June we get to enjoy tons of local LGBTQ-focused events — many of which are hosted by The Gallery Below. This proud gallery will not only showcase an exhibit of queer art throughout the month, but will also screen queer films nearly every Thursday through July 25. Tonight, enjoy lesbian comedy classic But I’m a Cheerleader, about a teenage girl who realizes she’s gay and gets sent to conversion camp. (It sounds bleak, but trust us, it’s gold.) See the gallery’s facebook page for a full list of films and dates.

Concrete Couch Learning Laboratory Launch

June 22, 5-9 p.m., Concrete Couch, 1100 S. Royer St., free,

In addition to its tireless work around the city — creating murals and public art, and fixing up public spaces — local community-building organization Concrete Couch has been nose-to-the-grindstone preparing its new property to house all of the organization’s extensive operations. Now, the Learning Laboratory is ready to launch, inviting folks to help celebrate with tours of the 5.67-acre property, live music, activities for families and much more. The event will culminate with Concrete Couch’s annual Lantern Parade, so you definitely don’t want to miss it.

OCC West Fest

June 23, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Bancroft Park, 2408 W. Colorado Ave., free,

Every neighborhood in Colorado Springs is proud of itself and its community, and rightfully so, and we love seeing these regions celebrate their unique cultures and identities. Take Old Colorado City, the epicenter of the Westside, where art galleries, restaurants and boutiques give the neighborhood a reputation for artistry and class. But with OCC West Fest, the neighborhood proves it can have some silly fun, too. Enjoy art and vendors, food and drink, a kids zone, magic show and live music today, all celebrating the Westside’s quirky and eccentric self.
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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Color Theory explores math and visual at GOCA, plus more events this week

Posted By on Wed, Jun 12, 2019 at 12:00 AM

  • Camila Friedman-Gerlicz

Color Theory Reception and Gallery Talk

June 15, 2-5 p.m.; on display through July 27, Ent Center for the Arts, 5225 N. Nevada Ave.,

Daisy McGowan, executive director of UCCS’ Galleries of Contemporary Art, promises that GOCA curates its exhibits for the general public, not specialists. So even though the premise of Color Theory, GOCA’s newest exhibit, may be based on mathematical theory and science, its appeal is not only intellectual, but sensual. “First and foremost, it is a visually stunning exhibition that will really, you know, pull you in and have a lot to offer, without knowing the depth of the mathematical formulas,” McGowan says. But she adds that she hopes it opens viewers’ eyes to the kinship between math and art, between aesthetic beauty and the so-called hard sciences.

Each of the three Colorado-based artists featured in the exhibition, Clark Richert, Camila Friedman-Gerlicz and Andrew Huffman, had their own such awakening as they embarked on their artistic journeys. Clark Richert, a regionally and nationally influential artist and emeritus faculty with the Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design, grew up in a family of scientists and believed he would be a scientist as well. But McGowan says Richert’s experiences with Abstract Impressionism — plus inspiration from architect Buckminster Fuller and artist Mark Rothko — changed his outlook. Now he fuses the natural world with mathematics and color theory. “He’s really interested in symmetry and the quasi-crystal patterns that are found in nature,” McGowan says, “and then theoretical mathematics. And some of those theories are of his own making.”
GOCA presents a selection of his paintings and sculptures, as two retrospective exhibits of his work open: one at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver and one at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art.
  • Andrew Huffman

Another featured artist, Camila Friedman-Gerlicz, is also an accomplished mathematician in her own right. She has a master’s degree in theoretical mathematics, but didn’t want to spend her career in front of a blackboard. “So she went back to another interest of hers — ceramics — and going back to grad school for visual art, found an interest in fusing those two sides of her brain, so to speak,” McGowan says. Friedman-Gerlicz’s sculptural works all start with a mathematical formula — expressed both in color and structure. By introducing measured changes to those formulas, she creates a structure that is all at once planned and intuitive, and makes these formulas tangible for viewers.

The final artist featured in Color Theory, Andrew Huffman, considers his work to be more improvisational, even likening it to jazz. Even so, there are undeniable patterns in the way his works come together, and all are based on geometric forms. McGowan says he uses air and light as their own mediums, which will be evident in the installation piece he has designed specifically to complement the architecture of the Ent Center: Stair Projection. “It stair-steps down these blocks of string color,” McGowan says, “and as you move across it, it changes and morphs almost like a moiré pattern.”

If you’d like these experts to help explain the mathematical and scientific inspiration behind what they do, join GOCA for a gallery chat and reception on June 15.

Clue: The Movie Shadowcast

June 14-16, 7:30 p.m., $15, $50/VIP, The Cellar at the Carter Payne, 320 S. Weber St.,

The Antici-Pations Cast, a local troupe with a love of cult classic films, is known for their rousing Rocky Horror Picture Show performances, in which a shadowcast acts out the film as it plays on-screen behind them and audiences shout at the characters or throw props at each other. Earlier this year, the cast gave the Rocky Horror treatment to The Princess Bride. Now, they’ve taken on another cult film: Clue: The Movie. This Tim Curry classic is so funny it almost hurts, and Antici-Pations are going to make it even better.

Colorado Renaissance Festival Opening Day

Saturdays and Sundays through Aug. 4, Festival Grounds, 650 W. Perry Park Ave.,

You’re likely to spot a few centuries’ and a few dozen cultures’ worth of historical anachronisms as you stroll the Renaissance Festival grounds with your turkey leg in one hand and your beer in the other, but who cares when you’ve got live jousting tournaments, a petting zoo, hundreds of vendors, activities and games? Put aside any pretension to or semblance of historical accuracy, and enjoy this yearly tradition’s opening day — or visit any weekend through Aug. 4.

  • Courtesy Trails and Open Space Coalition

Starlight Spectacular

June 15, 9-11:45 p.m., Garden of the Gods, 1805 N. 30th St., free-$48,

Twenty-five years ago, a favorite local tradition began with a group of cyclists who “decided it would be awesome to get up in the middle of the night, ride bikes by starlight and watch the sunrise together.” That group grows each year, bringing serious cyclists, amateurs and families out to Garden of the Gods one summer night each year, with multiple routes, plentiful festivities and a culminating pancake breakfast. The Trails and Open Space Coalition encourages folks to get playful with their ride and their costumes, but if you should need some extra play, you’ll be happy to note that TOSC has promised more activities and more food options than ever before.

Women in STEM: Exploring and Equipping

8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Space Foundation, 4425 Arrowswest Drive, $25,

Part career fair, educational opportunity and inspirational gathering, this inaugural event hosted by the Zonta Club of the Pikes Peak Region should be just what our community needs. Colorado Springs is rich with opportunities in STEM careers, but these fields need more women at the helm. Hear from keynote speaker, engineer Jill Tietjen, browse booths and inspire women to pursue the fastest-growing career paths in the world.
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Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Jozalyn Sharp brings sharp comedy to the Loonees, plus other events this week

Posted By on Wed, Jun 5, 2019 at 12:00 AM

  • George White

Jozalyn Sharp

June 7-8, 7 and 9:30 p.m., Loonees Comedy Corner, 1305 N. Academy Blvd., $8,

It’s not an easy world for women in comedy. Between pervasive harassment and a systemic lack of faith and support, making a career in stand-up can wear down even the toughest. Jozalyn Sharp, however, is made of steel. Not only does she challenge what it means to be a woman in comedy, but she challenges societal perceptions of what women should be on the baseline. Her stand-up covers topics from sex and relationships to body image and physical struggles, and she presents it all with shameless vulgarity and unapologetic verve.

In a recent blog post, Sharp writes: “My whole life people have had issues with my confidence. As a living, breathing reflection of the traits of humanity deemed less than by them, I think I scare them. What secrets of life have I unlocked? A fat woman, truly happy?! What sorcery is this?!”

But she proves that no matter our sizes or shapes, women can make it in whatever field they want to pursue, and they can do it while being wholly themselves — whatever that self looks or acts like. Not to say of course that she has not experienced struggles, but in the face of all the men who refuse to acknowledge her sexuality and her ownership of her own body, Sharp has gone on to perform at multiple national comedy festivals, headline the Filth Factory in Las Vegas every month, and co-host two podcasts: Metalsucks and Rise To Offend.

So, yes, she plans to be successful no matter what anyone else has to say about it.
“This IS about loving myself,” Jozalyn writes. “Because that voice in my head saying ‘don’t post another picture of yourself’ is the same one who told me for years ‘no one will love you unless you lose weight.’ I’m really not interested in letting that voice win anymore.”

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Lunafest 2019

June 6, 5-10 p.m., Tim Gill Center for Public Media, 315 E. Costilla St., $12-$15,

For nearly 20 years, Luna (the company that makes those probably-healthier-than-a-brownie energy bars) has been putting its money to good use, collecting short films by women filmmakers and presenting them in an annual festival: Lunafest. Available to any venue that wants to support local women’s causes, Lunafest brings attention to the voices we don’t often, if ever, hear in media. Hosted locally by the Independent Film Society of Colorado, and supporting local domestic and sexual violence prevention organization TESSA, this year’s Lunafest includes eight shorts from diverse filmmakers. Flip the Record follows a Filipino-American teen who discovers her calling in the 1980s; War Paint explores the intersection of racism and sexism from the perspective of a young black girl in L.A.; Are We Good Parents? provides a window into a family home, where otherwise supportive parents have to question their preconceptions about their daughter’s sexuality; and there are plenty more. Each film should prove insightful and interesting. Plus, your admission goes to a great cause.

Boulder Street Gallery Artists’ Farewell Show

Opening reception June 7, 5-8 p.m., on display through June 30, Boulder Street Gallery, 206 N. Tejon St.,

It’s the end of an era for the nearly 30 locals who call themselves the Boulder Street Gallery Artists. For decades, the Boulder Street Gallery has provided a home for these painters, photographers, woodworkers and more, but now as the owners plan to move away and sell the building, the artists will disband and find new homes, new places to showcase their work. While none of them plan to stop making art, this will be their final show together, and their final First Friday celebration. They don’t know what the space will become once it’s sold, or where the majority of them will end up, but for now you can enjoy everything the Boulder Street Gallery Artists have to offer right downtown. This month’s featured artists: Myra Patin and Michael Malta, with guest artist Joni Ware.

  • Myra Patin

MACnificent 2019: Mac ’n’ Cheesy

June 7, 6-10 p.m., Manitou Art Center, 513 Manitou Ave., $25-$35,

It might sound cheesy, but we love the Manitou Art Center, which has been a bastion of local artwork for so long that we can’t envision Manitou without it. Its annual fundraiser and celebration, MACnificent, promises to be bigger and better than ever this year, with live music by bluegrass band WireWood Station, a mac ‘n’ cheese bar provided by Adam’s Mountain Café, tours of the MAC’s makerspace and much more. Bonus: If you dare to dress up as the king or queen of cheese (Kenny Rogers or Dolly Parton), you can enter a costume contest to win a $25 MAC gift certificate.

Feast of Saint Arnold

June 8, noon to 4:30 p.m., Chapel of Our Savior Episcopal Parish in The Broadmoor, 8 Fourth St., $40,

The patron saint of hops and brewers, Saint Arnold, must be smiling down on this annual local event, ‘cause it proves to be more fun and more extensive every year. If you want to enjoy beer from some of the best craft breweries around, learn about brewing traditions, listen to live music and take in awesome local food — and still bring your kids to a fun family festival — this is your event. With more than 30 beverage vendors offering beer and spirits, plus tons of activities for families and adults, you can easily spend the whole 4½ hours wandering the booths and getting toasted in honor of the saint himself. Just make sure you get a designated driver set up if you’re planning to sample all 30. Proceeds support Westside CARES.
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