Monday, January 15, 2018

All Peoples' Breakfast and march builds on Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy

Posted By on Mon, Jan 15, 2018 at 2:37 PM

  • Alissa Smith
On Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, Monday, Jan. 15, the annual All Peoples’ Breakfast (organized by the Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission and the NAACP) saw more than 450 attendees, packed to bursting in Colorado College’s El Pomar Sports Center. Since the breakfast sold out days ago, organizers shuffled late arrivals into the bleachers to watch the program, making for a full house for the second year in a row.

The breakfast included CC students' visual art, poetry and dance; rousing performances by the Women in Red Gospel Choir and local hip-hop artist and activist Kevin Mitchell; thoughtful, facilitated table talks; and inspiring speeches from Sebrena Forrest (a member of the Mohawk Nation who also gave the invocation), and Rosemary Lytle, who discussed King’s concept of The Promised Land. She quoted his 1968 speech: “I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over, and I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land.”

The pervading message of the day: We will only get to that Promised Land by working together.

See photos from the breakfast and the ensuing march below.

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Friday, January 12, 2018

Ent Center for the Arts, UCCS' multi-venue, multi-purpose cultural center in pictures

Posted By on Fri, Jan 12, 2018 at 3:31 PM

  • Griffin Swartzell

On Tuesday, Jan. 16, the much-anticipated UCCS Ent Center for the Arts will officially open its doors to the public. The University of Colorado Colorado Springs has focused on every detail of this state-of-the-art, multi-purpose venue, from the ergonomics of new theater seats to the perfect Steinway piano to grace the recital hall.

We took a tour of the new space, exploring all the new opportunities that the center will provide for UCCS and the professional entities attached to it — TheatreWorks and the Galleries of Contemporary Art.

The building itself shines on its perch on North Nevada Avenue, a sweeping silver edifice, with Starr Kempf’s iconic kinetic sculptures spinning in the wind as we drive up.

Inside, floor-to-ceiling windows open up westward to a view of the mountains, with classy, modern furniture punctuating the otherwise white and silver lobby. Above our heads hangs the Ent Center’s permanent art installation, a piece by Benjamin Ball and Gaston Nogues (Ball-Nogues Studio). Its many threads drape in blues, purples and reds, a delicate and powerful addition to an already powerful space. And, believe it or not, that’s just the lobby.

Ball-Nogues Studio created this piece specifically for Ent Center for the Arts. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Ball-Nogues Studio created this piece specifically for Ent Center for the Arts.

With five major venues, plus music practice rooms, offices, rehearsal space, a café, dance studios, classrooms and more, the Ent Center for the Arts serves a variety of needs both for UCCS and the wider community, and I can admit we’re a little excited about it.

Michelle Winchell, marketing and PR representative for UCCS Presents, says: “There’s a lot of stakeholders [in this building], especially with all the shared spaces, because it’s not just these professional programs; it’s also the academic programs and community partners who will be renting the space.”

Teams and committees throughout the process took a variety of needs and perspectives into account. For instance, the size of the Shockley-Zalabak Theater (the largest Ent Center venue, with up to 792 seats) was decided based in part on a report by the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region, which indicated a community need for larger venues that weren’t quite the overwhelming size of the Pikes Peak Center (which boasts 2,000 seats). “People who used to rent a high school auditorium — they won’t be able to fill the Pikes Peak Center, but they might fill this space. It’s a lot nicer [than an auditorium], and it’s actually made for performing arts.”

The Shockley-Zalabak Theater - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • The Shockley-Zalabak Theater
In fact, every venue in the Ent Center has been made for the performing arts in one way or another. Acousticians worked in each of them, even GOCA’s new space (the Marie Walsh Sharpe Galleries of Contemporary Art), to ensure that the needs of all sizes and sorts of performances could be met. The attention to detail and customization is also evident in TheatreWorks’ new performance venue — the Dusty Loo Bon Vivant Theater.

Dusty Loo is marginally larger in size than its former location, and can now seat up to 300 people, but what’s truly exciting isn’t so much the capacity as the new opportunity to expand the quality and variety of performance. Not only does TheatreWorks now have high ceilings to encourage multi-level sets, but the late Murray Ross, founder of TheatreWorks, was adamant about installing a trap door, which the organization already plans to use in its upcoming production of Oklahoma! (opening Feb. 15).

The Dusty Loo Bon Vivant Theatre - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • The Dusty Loo Bon Vivant Theatre
Lynne Hastings, Artistic Producer of TheatreWorks, says that the technical aspects of the theater (including rolling gantries to assist in light and set work) are most exciting to her, and not just for the production possibilities. “Another thing I love with this whole space,” she says, “is that the students get the opportunity to work with state-of-the-art equipment. And everything’s the same in every theater... That gives them flexibility for all the programming going on here, and it gives the students a chance to work on these professional-level productions.”

Many of the behind-the-scenes amenities were designed with students in mind, as the Ent Center remains, at its core, an integral part of UCCS’ academics. A new dance studio, which Winchell calls “the beauty room” provides a gorgeous view of the mountains, a marked step above the converted loading dock currently used by dance students. Plus, the catwalk in the Shockley-Zalabak Theater feels stable underfoot, not nearly as frightening to walk on as this acrophobic expected.

During the tour, we happened to stumble upon artist Floyd Tunson, putting the finishing touches on an installation that will hang outside the Marie Walsh Sharpe GOCA for a year — his Haitian Dream Boats. GOCA artistic director Daisy McGowan says that the installation will “amplify” Tunson’s upcoming exhibit, Janus, which will open Feb. 1.

Floyd Tunson's Haitian Dream Boats - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Floyd Tunson's Haitian Dream Boats
The gallery space itself boasts a variety of new goodies about which McGowan was happy to share her excitement. For one, the team was intentional about acoustics, which are a necessary consideration for a gallery that does so much multi-media art. In addition to that, GOCA can now take advantage of plywood-backed walls (to better hang artwork), customizable lighting, and museum-certified humidity control, which will enable them to exhibit artwork from collections that they may not have had the opportunity to exhibit before.

Taking it all in, the Ent Center exudes “possibility” — possibility for more dynamic performances, better-sounding concerts, more artwork, more customization, more community collaboration and more collaboration between UCCS departments. While UCCS has fared well within its spaces before, including notable exhibits at GOCA and award-winning shows at TheatreWorks, the freedom provided by this extensive, specialized and customized space will provide a wealth of new opportunities, and we are excited to see what they do with them.

As TheatreWorks’ Lynne Hastings says: “There’s no boundaries anymore.”

See below for more photos from our tour.

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Independence Center seeks artists with disabilities for unique art showcase

Posted By on Fri, Jan 12, 2018 at 2:54 PM

Now, more than ever, we as a culture recognize the importance and the value in sharing diverse voices. The more people who express their thoughts, opinions and experiences, the harder it will be for those in power to generalize, underserve or ignore whole communities. Times like these, art steps in as an avenue of self-expression that allows those diverse voices to shine. We’ve seen this happening here in our own community with Artists in Action, Women’s Voices and other exhibitions and projects meant to send a message.

Now, the Independence Center is sending its own message. The IC, which Community Organizing Coordinator Jamie Muth calls “the local home of civil rights for people with disabilities,” will be participating in February’s First Friday Artwalk with a new exhibit: Art of Accessibility.

To fill the walls, the IC is calling for artists with disabilities and those artists’ communities to submit artwork to be exhibited in this powerful showcase.

Muth says: “We hope to highlight the impact that disability and access can have on a person’s artistic voice, and how each person can make unique contributions to the diversity of the art we see in Colorado Springs. We believe that artistic expression empowers people to express themselves when their normal voice may not be heard, and [we] hope for the community to engage and value the unique perspectives which are being shared.”

Interested artists should send three to five photos of their artwork, a bio and headshot, a short proposal describing their art, and information on necessary accommodations to Nina Kamekona ( Submissions must be in by 5 p.m. on Jan. 19.
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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

All Peoples’ Breakfast celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day by “living the legacy”

Posted By on Wed, Jan 10, 2018 at 1:00 AM

All Peoples' Breakfast; Jan. 15, 8-10 a.m., Reid Arena in CC’s El Pomar Sports Center, - SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
  • All Peoples' Breakfast; Jan. 15, 8-10 a.m., Reid Arena in CC’s El Pomar Sports Center,
The public image of protest, activism and revolution has changed since the days of Martin Luther King Jr. Some activists claim that pacifism is no longer a viable means of making change, and others continue to preach and practice nonviolence. The information age has opened peoples’ eyes to continuing injustices; and though we all want to do something, sometimes we disagree on what that something should look like.

But now — 50 years after Dr. King’s assassination and during one of the most divisive eras of American history — is a good time to remember that we are all building on the legacy of King and those who share his beliefs. Hence, the theme of this year’s All Peoples’ Breakfast is Living the Legacy: A Call to Action.

Pikes Peak Justice & Peace Commission founded The All Peoples’ Breakfast in 2006 or 2007 (organizers couldn’t remember the exact year), sponsored by Colorado College and joined every year since by our local branch of the NAACP. On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the breakfast honors the work of Dr. King, and offers much-needed rejuvenation for those who continue the fight for civil rights.

Rosemary Lytle, president of the NAACP Colorado, Montana, Wyoming State Area Conference, says: “This breakfast is about bringing the community together around King’s legacy and ideals, and continuing to keep his message and life mission vibrant — not ‘relevant,’ because it will always be.”

This year’s program should further that goal. In addition to a display of student art and performances by the Women in Red gospel choir and hip-hop artist/activist Kevin Mitchell, a handful of people will take the stage and recite King’s work, while sharing personal experiences. “When you listen to King’s actual words,” Lytle says, “... you hear them as revolutionary, you hear them as the resistance, you see the seamlessness of Black Lives Matter and King’s work and words.”

Steve Flynn, chair of the All Peoples’ Breakfast committee and member of PPJPC’s board of directors, is looking forward to how the presentation may influence the 450-plus folks who attend. “Person-by-person,” Flynn says, “I don’t know what effect that will have on the people becoming more active, but it’s moving and inspiring to be there and sit through that and hear all those words spoken.”

Following the presentation, attendees will participate in facilitated table talks, then meet for a march from the Colorado College campus to Acacia Park. Reaffirming our commitment to change may be a galvanizing way to start a year that will no doubt require as much fortitude as 2017 did. We can’t afford to get tired.

“[King] was breaking the laws just by walking, just by marching,” Lytle says. “And we say ‘oh, another march?’ Well, yeah, absolutely! Another!”

And, likely, many more after that.
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Music, movies, and making a difference in this week's events

Posted By on Wed, Jan 10, 2018 at 12:59 AM

13 Saturday

Dogfight: A Staged Concert
If you enjoyed the Oscar-winning film La La Land, or if you’ve heard any of the incredible music from Broadway’s Dear Evan Hansen, you’ll love what Dogfight has in store. Written by Pasek and Paul, responsible for the above titles, and Peter Duchan, Dogfight touches on themes of idealism, compassion and love by telling the story of a group of young marines about to ship out in 1963. Proceeds support the FAC’s Youth Repertory program and other theatre school classes, which give local youth a chance to train with professionals. Jan. 13, 7:30 p.m., Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, 30 W. Dale St., $40-$50,

13 Saturday

Making a Difference Dinner
Support Autism & Asperger Connections, a nonprofit that helps connect folks on the spectrum, and their families, with life-changing resources. Keynote speakers: Dr. Temple Grandin, the accomplished author and speaker on autism and animal behavior; and Mark Randall, competitive golfer and
former Denver Nuggets player. Other entertainment includes live music by the Colorado Springs Chamber Orchestra’s string quartet and Tony Exum Jr., and, of course, an extensive silent auction. Jan. 13, 6-11:30 p.m., Hotel Eleganté Conference and Event Center,
2886 S. Circle Drive, $65,

15 Monday

You See Me Laughin’
Blues music has morphed and changed and been co-opted in a thousand different ways over the years. Meet the people who are keeping its roots alive. This documentary, presented by the Independent Film Society of Southern Colorado, interviews “the last of the hill country bluesmen,” including folks like R.L. Burnside and T Model Ford. In addition to the screening, enjoy live music by well-loved local bluester Grant Sabin, who once said: “What I’ve always done when I play shows is just to play the blues... make people smile and dance and feel emotion.” Jan. 15, 6:30 p.m., Ivywild School, 1604 S. Cascade Ave., free, donations
support the Delta Blues Foundation,

16 Tuesday

Ent Center for the Arts, open to the public
We’ve been talking about it for over a year, and it’s finally happening! The much-anticipated UCCS Ent Center for the Arts is open to the public. Programming hasn’t yet started in earnest but this is your chance to get a sneak peek at the venue in anticipation of the dance, theater, art and music scheduled for 2018. Check out the 774-seat theater, 245-seat recital hall, the new Galleries of Contemporary Art and TheatreWorks’ new Dusty Loo Bon Vivant Theater, along with much more. Jan. 16, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Ent Center for the Arts, 5225 N. Nevada Ave.,
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Monday, January 8, 2018

Pueblo artist uses 'Kindness Rocks' as form of public protest

Posted By on Mon, Jan 8, 2018 at 3:53 PM

The Kindness Rocks Project made a local splash last year, with the group 719 Rocks inspiring the public to spread brightly colored stones throughout the area code. The goal was to get people to paint rocks with beautiful pictures or inspirational sayings, and to spread a little kindness by placing them randomly in public places.

Now, a Pueblo artist who preferred to remain anonymous has built on the concept, turning these rocks into a form of protest.

They have decorated a series of stones with the phrase: “If true for you, shout it out — #metoo,” or sometimes simply “#metoo,” using the popular hashtag meant to raise awareness of sexual assault and harassment.

“Here’s what I envision just in my artist imagination,” they said, “somebody looks at it, and it is true for them, and they say it out loud — because it says ‘shout it out’ — they shout ‘hashtag me, too!” ... That’s my idea of a participation art piece.”

Right now, the artist is unsure if they will create more of these rocks, but they hope others may participate in the project. “What I’m doing is putting [a rock] out there that says this is a public forum. You’re welcome to shout it out, talk to the person next to you, [or] acknowledge it to yourself for the first time ever...”

See some of the rocks below:

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Friday, January 5, 2018

Pro-choice art project addresses men's role in abortion

Posted By on Fri, Jan 5, 2018 at 11:09 AM

Each piece of Lazzarini's new project will have only the man's name, and the year in which the abortion took place. - LINDA LAZZARINI
  • Linda Lazzarini
  • Each piece of Lazzarini's new project will have only the man's name, and the year in which the abortion took place.

I’ll admit, when I first saw local artist Linda Lazzarini’s newest call for entries, I felt off-put, and more than a little confused. It struck me as going against the spirit of her last project, which I personally found powerful and insightful. Last year, Lazzarini collected the stories of those who had faced sexual assault or harassment, and displayed them in an origami installation called Women’s Voices, which will be on display in Sangre De Cristo Arts Center’s Representing the West exhibit, starting Feb. 2. I saw a section of Women’s Voices at Planned Parenthood’s recent exhibition at The Gallery Below, and thought it was a solid concept, and a good, anonymous way to share the stories of women who may have been reluctant to share them on their Facebook pages during the height of the “#metoo” movement.

This latest project, then, threw me for a bit of a loop.

Lazzarini’s first email about it says, in part: “See, it seems to me that it's totally overlooked that for every woman who has an abortion, the man who impregnated her had one, too. That's what this project is about: men who had abortions.” She then asks that folks on her mailing list send her the name (or pseudonym) of a man who has “had an abortion” and the year in which that abortion took place. Once she receives enough responses, she will create a cut-paper representation of each man’s name, to come together in an installation similar to Women’s Voices.

Immediately after reading this, I felt reactively defensive of women who have had abortions, and the fight for reproductive health care in general. I thought of women who didn’t know who the man involved in their pregnancy might be, and women whose partners had left them when they became pregnant. I thought of rape victims, whose attackers had no right to claim the woman’s choice to have an abortion as their own. I read this call for submissions as suggesting that men had an equal emotional investment in a woman’s abortion as she did. My thinking: the only men who can claim to have had abortions are trans men who did, literally, undergo the procedure.

I asked Lazzarini to clarify the project for me, so I might understand where she was coming from, as I suspected from her last project that she wouldn’t have inferred any of my assumptions intentionally.

“I don’t know that I’m trying to assign an equal emotional weight,” she explained when I raised my concerns, “because I don’t know that it ever could be [equal]. But I do think that it’s time that men were assigned half the equation of what happened. It’s not as if the woman did it by herself.”

Lazzarini’s point, then, isn’t that men (even men in committed heterosexual relationships) can claim to have been affected by a woman’s abortion the way she was, but that men should take part of the responsibility for a woman’s abortion. “If a baby’s born it gets the man’s name, but if a woman has an abortion, it’s hers. Things like that just aren’t right,” Lazzarini says

In a society that often stigmatizes women for having an abortion, Lazzarini has a point that it seldom stigmatizes the men who took equal part in the initial pregnancy. She says she sees men with “right to life” signs picketing health centers, and knows that if asked, they’ll say they have never had an abortion. But, according to Lazzarini, they can’t be sure of that. Women they have been with may have had an abortion without their knowledge, and she believes men should take responsibility for that.

“I don’t want to assign guilt or shame or anything to anybody. I just want to bring awareness to the fact that it’s not totally a woman’s issue,” she says. She adds that she has been “a pro-choicer” all her life.

What I took away from this, then, was that if women are going to be shamed for their abortions, Lazzarini believes it’s only fair that men realize their part in the process. The goal, then, would be to lessen the stigma against women who make that oftentimes difficult choice.

While I am personally still unsure how that message may come across in the installation, and unsure of my own feelings on the matter (as Lazzarini and I agreed, these are sticky subjects), I was gratified to know that my initial interpretation of the spirit of the project was wrong.

Lazzarini says she hopes to clarify her message as the project comes together, both for herself and for those who might contribute. “I think as it progresses it will get clearer and clearer to me how to do it. That’s what happened with Women’s Voices; it kept changing over time because I realized what people were thinking and what I wanted to say.”

If nothing else, the message behind this project got us talking, which is the point of art in the long run.

Those who wish to contribute to this project may contact Lazzarini at, or submit through an online anonymous survey.

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Art in the Park offers unique component to Cheyenne Mountain State Park

Posted By on Fri, Jan 5, 2018 at 9:24 AM

The family's finally in the car, ready for a day of adventuring in Cheyenne Mountain State Park, one of Colorado’s most magnificent. You head to the visitors center, excited to see what lies within, but it’s pretty ho-hum. Predictable even. Taxidermy animals line the walls, and books on outdoor adventuring line the shelves, the ambiance as a whole feels, well, like any old visitors center would.

Darcy Mount, senior ranger at Cheyenne Mountain State Park, knows the feeling.

Mount began wondering how she could get people inside her visitors center, and landed on a colorful answer with Art in the Park, a rotating gallery space showcasing local talent.

“These artists are here,” Mount says, “and there’s so much nature around Colorado Springs, from the Paint Mines to Pikes Peak.”

In other words, it was a natural fit — pun intended.
The current Art in the Park exhibit showcases antler carver Jay Jones. - COURTESY CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN STATE PARK
  • Courtesy Cheyenne Mountain State Park
  • The current Art in the Park exhibit showcases antler carver Jay Jones.

Art in the Park made its debut in May 2015 and remains a unique program in the southeast region of the Colorado Parks and Wildlife system. Other than a couple of non-local artists, word-of-mouth, calls-for-submissions and social media has provided a steady stream of local exhibitors, capitalizing on what Mount calls the “thriving” arts community of the Pikes Peak region.

Art in the Park's only requirement for exhibitors is that the pieces do not depict people, leaving a lot of room for creativity. Exhibits have included mediums ranging from paintings and sculptures to fiber and wood pieces — one of the most popular being paintings of birds done on sheet music.

“We wanted to showcase a different way to look at nature,” Mount says. “A big part of the goal is to inspire people both to recreate and be stewards of nature.”

Now, Mount says, Cheyenne Mountain State park has "all types of people" enjoying the visitors center and the Art in the Park exhibits, highlighting different ideas and what interacting with nature looks like to different people.

"You can be inspired by nature without going outside," Mount says.

Though the park itself cannot sell the art, artists are allowed to coordinate sales themselves using PayPal. 15-percent of sales goes to Friends of Cheyenne Mountain State Park, who also paid for the changes needed to create the gallery. Artists are not charged to show their work.
  • Courtesy Cheyenne Mountain State Park
Those interested in showing as part of Art in the Park should email Mount at Most shows last two months, but anywhere between one and three months is fine. Individual, pairs, or group shows are also welcomed.

The Cheyenne Mountain State Park Visitor Center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Oct. 1 to April 1, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from May 1 through Sept. 30.

Jonathan Toman serves as the Peak Radar Manager for the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region. connects you to over 4,000 local events, 450 creative groups, & 350 artists — all in one beautiful website for the Pikes Peak region. Jonathan can be reached at

Click here for this month’s events. To sign up for the Peak Radar weekly e-blast, click here.

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Thursday, January 4, 2018

Meow Wolf arts collective announces massive new Denver installation

Posted By on Thu, Jan 4, 2018 at 1:53 PM

  • Riley Bratzler
As the Springs’ own DIY arts scene has grown over the last few years, we’ve heard a great deal of local discussion about Santa Fe-based arts collective Meow Wolf, an organization widely regarded as the picture of success for DIY arts. The group’s installation has brought tourism, recognition and impressive revenue to Santa Fe since its inception 10 years ago. Rather than wondering if Meow Wolf might expand nationally, we’ve been more curious when and, especially, where. Last year, rumors surfaced that Colorado Springs arts leaders were attempting to court Meow Wolf, but those rumors were never fully confirmed.

However, it looks like Meow Wolf will indeed settle down in Colorado. On Thursday, Jan. 4, the organization officially announced a Denver installation, planned for completion in 2020. The installation, which will make its home in the triangle formed by Auraria Parkway, Colfax Avenue and I-25, will, according to Denver’s Westword, host seven-stories, and 90,000 total square-feet, with 60,000 square feet of that devoted to exhibition space — a $50,000 project, total.

Meow Wolf’s website assures that the Denver installation will be a different experience from its spot in Santa Fe, “but still incredible immersive art for people of all ages.”

What this means for the Denver arts scene, and for its neighbor to the south (us), we will have to wait and see.

Those who want to help fund the project can support it through early ticket purchases, ranging in price from $25 (for early bird general admission) to $10,000 (for a lifetime pass). Plus, any ambitious artists who want to get involved can let Meow Wolf know you’ve got your eyes open for the opportunity.
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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Spend the first weekend of the new year with music, art, beer and more

Posted By on Wed, Jan 3, 2018 at 11:13 AM

5 Friday

United States International Duo Piano Competition
See 200 talented pianists of all ages, from 6-year-old students to seasoned professionals, performing in duos and quartets. This unique event has been held here in the Springs since it was founded by a Colorado piano teacher in 1999. Another treat: Performers come from all over the U.S., plus Canada, China, Romania and Japan. Jan. 5-7, see the website for performance times, The Broadmoor, 1 Lake Ave., free,

5 Friday

Michele Renée Ledoux, an Evergreen, Colorado-based artist, has exhibited her work nationally and internationally. Working in the ancient art of encaustic (hot wax painting), Ledoux finds her influences in Abstract Impressionism, Minimalism and Arte Povera, which uses everyday materials. This particular exhibit explores the nature of encaustic, and the lack of perfection that results from the pieces’ cuts, nicks and scratches. Opening reception, Jan. 5, 5-9 p.m., on display through Feb. 10, G44 Gallery, 1785 S. Eighth St.,

6 Saturday

Colorado Springs Fitness Expo
Yes, the new year is upon us. Odds are your list of resolutions includes getting healthy and fit, which is a good way to start 2018. Take advantage of free classes in Zumba, strength-focused yoga, Pilates, Hula and other specialized workout techniques. Plus, enjoy a ton of vendors covering the health-and-fitness spectrum, including chiropractors, exercise clubs, essential-oil vendors and more. Jan. 6, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Colorado Springs City Auditorium, free,

6 Saturday

  • File photo
Gold Camp Brewing Anniversary Party
Everyone loves Gold Camp. In addition to great beer, the place hosts a hip atmosphere, friendly crew and plentiful events. Celebrate the brewery’s third birthday with beer releases, live music by Travis
Duncan and Roma Ransom, and a special Locals Till Last Call comedy/open mic event. Beers on tap: Margarita Blonde, Butterbeer, Dynamite Dan, Kettle-Sour Hibiscus Saison, Cognac Barrel Porter and more.
Jan. 6, noon to midnight, Gold Camp Brewing Company, 1007 S. Tejon St.,

Find even more weekly listings in each Wednesday issue of the Indy, and submit your own events here.
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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Manitou Art Center, Laura BenAmots seek submissions for socially conscious art

Posted By on Tue, Jan 2, 2018 at 5:29 PM

BenAmots in her BAC studio, backed up by 'The Mask.' - WALT PALMER
  • Walt Palmer
  • BenAmots in her BAC studio, backed up by 'The Mask.'
Laura BenAmots has reached out to the Independent to properly credit her collaborators in Artists in Action. She’s working with Manitou Art Center artistic director and general manager Dustin Booth, local curator and artist Deena Bennett, local photographer and publisher Bill Young.

“Deena and I have been working closely and it has been amazing to shape the vision with these wonderful regional powerhouses,” she says.

———ORIGINAL POST 5:29 A.M. TUESDAY, JAN. 2, 2017———

Laura BenAmots
, currently the Artist in Residence at the Machine Shop, is no stranger to impactful art — recall her 2011 show, Battle Portraits, in which she interviewed and painted soldiers suffering from PTSD.

In an upcoming exhibit at the Manitou Art Center, she wants to show art lovers that she’s far from the only one in the region. She, as part of the national Rough Ruby Arts Collective, put out a call for submissions for an upcoming exhibition titled Artists in Action. It's set to show Friday, May 18, through Sunday, July 15, 2018.

“Intrinsic in changing the profile of the region is showcasing how vibrant and powerful the art scene is, and relevant,” she says. Artists in Action will collect socially minded, resistance-driven art on a variety of subject matters. BenAmots says she’s kept the exhibition open to all passion areas, rather than just one subject like homelessness, hunger or “the splatter in the White House,” to open it up to more artists.

In addition to the MAC exhibition, BenAmots says all pieces selected will be presented in a publication. Specifics on the form that publication will take are still in the works, but it’ll be distributed at the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region, as well as tourist attractions in the region. She also hopes to tour the exhibition, though that’s also up in the air.

The jury for the exhibit will be led by Joy Armstrong, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Fine Arts Center at Colorado College. Interested artists should submit their work by Saturday, Jan. 20 — check out the submission guidelines at the bottom of the page. Click here for the entry form.

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Thursday, December 28, 2017

Good riddance, 2017: Celebrations around the Springs

Posted By on Thu, Dec 28, 2017 at 8:46 AM

For the Fancy

New Year’s Eve
The Colorado Springs Philharmonic, the city’s
wildly popular professional orchestra, hosts this local favorite New Year’s Eve concert yearly. In addition to the talented orchestra members, enjoy the contribution of guest vocalists Amy Maples (soprano) and Eapen Leubner (tenor). Audiences will delight in familiar tunes ranging from Broadway hits to operatic arias, touching on Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber — all the greats. Dec. 31, 7:30-10 p.m., Pikes Peak Center, 190 S. Cascade Ave., $24-$68,

For the Felicitous

New Year’s at The Antlers
Headlining band Chilly Willy hails from South Carolina and delivers good, honest and enjoyable blues rock for the perfect evening backdrop. In addition to the music, enjoy magic by Professor Higgins, an award-winning magic man. You can also treat yourself to a pre-party dinner at The Antlers, or just enjoy the party’s light snacks, heavier drinks and champagne toast at midnight.
Dec. 31, 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., The Antlers hotel, 4 S. Cascade Ave., $59/person, $99/couple,

For the Foodie

A Voyage Around the World and into 2018
The 365 Grand Club’s alternative to The Antlers party includes upbeat DJ dance tunes going all night; just as fancy but with a bit more to munch on. Enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvres from all over the world, plus some drink specials and the classic champagne toast to the new year. Packages available if you want to enjoy the luxurious Mining Exchange hotel after the party. Save yourself the Uber and stick around! Dec. 31, 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., The Gold Room, 18 S. Nevada Ave., $65/person, $120/couple,

For the Fun-loving

New Year’s Eve Celebration
Not all of us are fit for (or interested in) an elegant and traditional evening out with sophisticated partygoers. Legends Rock Bar has you covered. Live music provided by Colorado Springs-based cover band Blind Monkey will have you dancing. Our advice: Spring for the VIP table. Gets you two pitchers, four appetizers and a bottle of champagne for a table of eight — well worth the $9-or-so per person. Dec. 31, 9 p.m., Legends Rock Bar, 2790 Hancock Expressway, free or $75/VIP table,

For the Folksy

Elephant Revival New Year’s Eve Concert
After such a contentious year, it’s nice to welcome 2018 on the right foot — with a band whose folky focus lies in harmony and unity. Colorado-based Elephant Revival’s multi-talented multi-instrumentalists present a delightful combination of folk, Americana and world influences. Currently touring in promotion of Petals, an intimate 2016 album about life, love and loss. Dec. 31, 9 p.m., Stargazers, 10 S. Parkside Drive, $45-$55,

For the Flashy

New Year’s Eve Costume Party: Mardi Gras Remix
Taking traditions from two festive holidays, this New Year’s Eve party has a special Mardi Gras flair — plus a grand prize New Orleans vacation for a lucky partygoer. A few cool things to look forward to: fire dancers, acrobats, show girls, cocktails, three live bands, four DJs, a Cajun dinner buffet, street performers, poker and gaming tables. We know, it’s pricey, but these overnight packages come complete with a New Year’s Day breakfast and mimosas in the morning, so it’s worth it. Dec. 31, 3 p.m., Hotel Eleganté, 2886 S. Circle Drive, $329/couple,

For the 420 Fan

MountainHigh10Radio LLC NYE Party
MountainHigh10Radio LLC, a new internet radio station based right here in town, promotes local music and cannabis culture. Partnering with the StonerHigh Girls, alternative models with a knack for cannabis promotion, this party will celebrate all things weed. Enjoy performances by local musicians, electronic/hip-hop/dance music from DJ Sean Ryan, and plenty more. BYOB (bring your own bud). Dec. 31, 7 p.m., Speak Easy Vape Lounge, 2508 E. Bijou St., $10,

For the Family

New Year’s Eve with Mr. Guffaw
This annual family event offers three show times for kids and their parents to celebrate New Year’s Eve together, before you adults run off to your own party. Enjoy delightful physical comedy from Mr. Guffaw, the world-class clown portrayed by the Millibo Art Theatre’s co-artistic director Jim Jackson.
In addition to bountiful (and big) bubbles, kids can look forward to a ball drop to welcome in the new year. Dec. 31, 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., Millibo Art Theatre, 1626 S. Tejon St., $12/ticket or $40/family four-pack,

Find even more weekly listings in each Wednesday issue of the Indy, and submit your own events here.
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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

In the gallery, on the stage and out and about: holiday events to celebrate Christmas week

Posted By on Wed, Dec 20, 2017 at 3:15 PM


G44 Gallery's Holiday Show - COURTESY G44 GALLERY
  • Courtesy G44 Gallery
  • G44 Gallery's Holiday Show
If you’ve waited to do your holiday shopping, we have some good news for you: Local galleries have your back. Rather than praying Amazon Prime pulls through in time, why not spend your money closer to home? The Modbo and S.P.Q.R. (17C E. Bijou St.) still have a good selection from their annual Small Works show, which contains plenty of affordable small-scale pieces made by nearly 150 local artists. We don’t all have the wall space (or budget) for
something massive, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still give the gift of local art.

Those looking for something seasonally inspired might find it in Arati Artists Gallery in Old Colorado City (2425 W. Colorado Ave.). Their Christmas Along the Avenue showcases work by all Arati artists, with ornaments for sale right from the tree. Glass angels and bells, wooden snowmen and deer — all the
holiday faves.

Should you have nixed your tree this year (or don’t celebrate Christmas), you can still enjoy awesome art for sale at G44 Gallery (1785 S. Eighth St., Suite A). G44’s Annual Holiday Show features 25 local artists, whose specialties cover photography, pottery, sculpture and painting, which means there’s something for every taste (and not all of it holiday themed).
And finally there is always something at the

Commonwheel Artists Co-op (102 Cañon Ave., Manitou Springs) Holiday Market, their popular annual exhibit of art and crafts made by Colorado artists. You’ll branch out from local into regional here, which gives you a nice variety of styles and mediums to choose from. Bonus: Some of us (me) never manage to go into Commonwheel for a gift without coming out with something for ourselves. You might find a stocking stuffer for Number One while you’re there.


TheatreWorks' Santaland Diaries - COURTESY THEATREWORKS
  • Courtesy TheatreWorks
  • TheatreWorks' Santaland Diaries
In my family, we would watch A Christmas Story every year around the holidays, a mandate by my (Jewish) father. Yeah, I thought it was a little weird too. Odds are, you’ve got your own tradition around those old holiday favorite films, and I won’t tell you not to watch them, but why not mix it up a little bit with a new holiday story? Local theaters offer a wealth of seasonal favorites and exciting new shows this month.

Take the TheatreWorks (Dusty Loo Bon Vivant Theater, 3955 Regent Circle) production of Santaland Diaries, an adults-only, one-man show written by best-selling humorist David Sedaris and starring Sammie Joe Kinnett. This irreverent Christmas favorite follows Sedaris’ experiences as an Elf in the Macy’s Christmas display, with a little less sugar and a little more spice than your typical holiday show.

If spice is your thing, you might also check out the Millibo Art Theatre’s (1626 S. Tejon St.) annual holiday cabaret, Fa~La~La. You want opera? Circus? Dance? You name it, Babette and her “merry-makers” will make it happen. The nice thing about a holiday cabaret? You don’t even have to follow a plot. Just sit back, relax and maybe enjoy some Bailey’s and hot cocoa.

Anyone who still wants to partake in the traditional holiday fare with a bit of a twist might check out A Colorado Nutcracker, a local take on the classic ballet presented by the Colorado Ballet Society (Pikes Peak Center, 190 S. Cascade Ave.). Locally loved historical figures such as Nikola Tesla make an appearance, which makes this a healthy mix of classic and off-the-beaten-path, without stamping on the toes of the Christmas spirit. Plus, your kids can actually come to this one, which is a definite plus for folks with families.

Any of these shows might prove a nice departure from the usual couch-bound film fest, and may even spark a new holiday tradition.


Millibo Art Theatre's Return of the Christmas Mouse - COURTESY MILLIBO ART THEATRE
  • Courtesy Millibo Art Theatre
  • Millibo Art Theatre's Return of the Christmas Mouse
Since the holiday season is a time for family, we’d be remiss not to include events for kids. A local favorite tradition, even fit for the Scrooge in your clan: the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo (4250 Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Road) Electric Safari. The zoo impresses plenty year-round with its huge variety of exotic animals and aesthetically exciting environments, but Electric Safari decorates these 50-plus acres with 85 unique light sculptures. Kids will enjoy usual zoo goodies such as the carousel and the animals, of course, but you can also take them to see Santa for any last-minute gift requests.

More Santa fun can be found at the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center (201 S. Fairview St., Woodland Park). In addition to offering the already awesome museum for your viewing pleasure, RMDRC will have a craft table, a Christmas tree to display your own handmade ornaments, and the big man himself. It’s a good opportunity to sneak in an educational experience with fun for the kiddos.

And even though you won’t be able to take your family to the Millibo Art Theatre’s cabaret, the MAT has a separate offering for kids this week: Return of the Christmas Mouse. Beloved holiday characters from the MAT’s previous kids’ shows will take the stage in this story of a decorating contest taken just a little too far. MAT shows always manage to bridge the gap between what’s fun for kids and what’s fun for their parents, so we promise it won’t be like those teeth-gritting Disney holiday specials.
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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Colorado Business Committee for the Arts to honor Kate Perdoni

Posted By on Tue, Dec 19, 2017 at 8:11 AM

Kate Perdoni will receive the CBCA's EY Next Wave Leadership Award in March. - COURTESY CBCA
  • Courtesy CBCA
  • Kate Perdoni will receive the CBCA's EY Next Wave Leadership Award in March.
When she isn't producing for Rocky Mountain PBS's Arts District program, acting as executive director for the Pikes Peak Arts Council and leading local bands Eros and the Eschaton and Spirettes, Kate Perdoni is probably doing something else to elevate the Springs' arts scene. As a result, the Denver-based Colorado Business Committee for the Arts will honor her during its March 13, 2018, luncheon, presenting her with the EY Next Wave Leadership Award. According to a press release dated December 14, 2017, the award "honors rising professionals who are leading the future of our cultural community."

“We have a few honorees that are statewide in scope, but she’s the only one this year who’s focused in [the Springs]," says CBCA program director Meredith Badler. “For us to be able to spotlight things outside the Denver Metro area is important.”

It's not the first time the CBCA has honored someone from the Springs — it honored arts consulting firm TRG Arts last year — but it's a step towards  plans to increase statewide reach and presence.

"We’re looking for [partnership opportunities] in Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Region," says Badler. “I think Kate’s going to be a great advocate for that.”

Read the full press release below:
CBCA Announces 2018 Business for the Arts Awards Honorees

Denver - Colorado Business Committee for the Arts (CBCA) announces 12 honorees for its 2018 Business for the Arts Awards, the only statewide event honoring companies and individuals for their outstanding partnerships and engagement with the arts. CBCA also reveals a new format for these awards, including the addition of two new categories connected to CBCA programs.

All honorees will be celebrated at the Business for the Arts Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 in the Seawell Grand Ballroom at the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Over 700 corporate, cultural and civic leaders will attend this inspiring, arts-infused event.

2018 Business for the Arts Awards Honorees

The Business for the Arts Awards Honorees are exemplary organizations that have gone above and beyond to support the arts and creative industries.

Bellco Credit Union has a strong and sustained commitment to philanthropy in the arts, including Denver Art Museum’s Free for Kids program.
Dazzle, Denver’s premier jazz venue and restaurant, has been supporting musicians, arts education and community causes of all kinds for over 10 years.
Delta Dental of Colorado enhances cultural vitality through sponsorship, programming and employee engagement, bringing art and smiles to faces across the state.
Downtown Artery is a creative hub in Fort Collins that supports a community of creators, including a performance venue, gallery space, classrooms, studios and a café.
Gensler, the international architecture firm, has made a lasting impact on Access Gallery through a decade of steadfast, growing and multi-faceted involvement.
RTD & City of Aurora, in partnership, made an extraordinary and exemplary investment in public art with the creation of the light rail’s R Line.
Stanley Marketplace opened its doors in Aurora with innovative arts partnerships ranging from experimental immersive theater experiences to pop-up art galleries.
Xcel Energy supports outreach and access to arts and cultural organizations across Colorado through philanthropy and an extensive employee volunteer program.

EY Next Wave Leadership Award

The EY Next Wave Leadership Award honors rising professionals who are leading the future of our cultural community.

Kate Perdoni, Producer of Arts District, Rocky Mountain PBS, has spearheaded cultural growth in Colorado Springs through her leadership of the Pikes Peak Arts Council and activation of DIY venues and pop-up events.

John Madden, Jr. Leadership Award

Named for CBCA’s founding chairman, the John Madden, Jr. Leadership Award recognizes a lifetime of extraordinary leadership and a legacy of support for the arts.

Hal Logan, Founder & Director, Basic Materials and Services LLC, has exemplified profound and dedicated cultural leadership at Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Scientific & Cultural Facilities District and more.

Colorado Attorneys for the Arts (CAFTA): Volunteer Attorney of the Year

New in 2018: The Volunteer Attorney of the Year recognizes an outstanding attorney who has provided pro bono legal services to Colorado creatives and advanced CBCA’s Colorado Attorneys for the Arts program.

Caroline R. Kert, Attorney, Law Offices of Daniel T. Goodwin, has provided pro bono legal services to artists, community outreach for CAFTA and supports the creative vitality of Colorado through her volunteerism.

Leadership Arts Alumni Network (LAAN): Cultural Leadership Award

New in 2018 as part of the Business for the Arts Awards: The Cultural Leadership Award recognizes an outstanding graduate of CBCA's Leadership Arts program who had made an impact on arts and culture in Colorado.

Cecily Cullen, Managing Director & Curator, Center for Visual Art, Metropolitan State University of Denver (Leadership Arts 2011), has been an enthusiastic advocate for the arts through her years of volunteer service, mentorship and community engagement.

The 2018 Business for the Arts Awards Honorees, John Madden, Jr. Leadership Award, and the EY Next Wave Leadership Award were selected by an independent panel of arts, business and community leaders.

Matt Chasansky, Manager, Office of Arts + Culture, City of Boulder
Renny Fagan, President & CEO, Colorado Nonprofit Association
Joe Lear, Principal, Davis Partnership
Clarence Low, President & CEO, Asian Chamber of Commerce
J. Schuyler Madden, Project Director, Museum of Outdoor Arts
Maureen McDonald, Principal, Maureen McDonald, LLC
Allison Scheck, Public Engagement & Operations Manager, City of Lakewood
The Volunteer Attorney of the Year Award was selected by the CAFTA Advisory Committee. The Cultural Leadership Award was selected by the LAAN Award Committee.

CBCA thanks our generous sponsors who make this event possible. Corporate sponsors include EY and John Madden Company. In-kind and media partners are CBS4, ColoradoBiz, Ligature Creative and The Publishing House.

Colorado Business Committee for the Arts (CBCA) advances Colorado’s creative economy by connecting business and the arts through arts engagement, advocacy, leadership training, research, and volunteerism. CBCA is a nonprofit member organization of leading Colorado companies who recognize the link between cultural vitality and economic success. Learn more at

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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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