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 28, 2019

Celebrate suffrage at the Pueblo Heritage Museum, plus more events this week

Posted By on Wed, Aug 28, 2019 at 1:00 AM

  • Denver Public Library

Colorado Women Are Citizens exhibit

On display 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through September 2020, see website for special events, Pueblo Heritage Museum, 201 W. B St., Pueblo, free-$6,

Colorado has sometimes been considered an “experimental” state, often passing or ratifying legislation ahead of the national curve. This was also true back in the 1890s, as the will of the people is written directly into our state’s Constitution. “A big reason that the Western states were the first to get women’s suffrage is just because we have an initiative process, where by popular vote we can actually change the laws of our state,” says Spencer Little, coordinator of the Pueblo Heritage Museum. “And in Colorado, of course, that’s still true.”

He believes that this is one of the many modern lessons to be learned from Colorado Women Are Citizens, a new exhibit presented by Pueblo Heritage Museum, League of Women Voters and Women’s Suffrage Centennial of Southern Colorado. Though Colorado granted women the vote in November 1893, long before the right became national law in 1920, the museum hopes this exhibit will help the region celebrate the 100-year anniversary of national women’s suffrage.

Among the exhibit’s exciting artifacts: an 1880s ballot box on loan from the Pueblo County Election Office, a collection of historic Singer sewing machines, real “Women Get the Vote” pins from the national movement, and even anti-suffrage propaganda postcards, featuring political cartoons about women abandoning their household duties.

The exhibit will be organized into four sections, one immortalizing failed suffrage movements started and led largely by men. The second section, Little says, “highlights when women won the vote in Colorado, and how that was largely led by women. And the reasons they were so successful was just a lot of networking.” He mentions women from Colorado history like Denver’s Minnie Reynolds, who got 75 percent of the Colorado press to support the cause, and Elizabeth Ensley, who persuaded a majority of African American men to vote for women’s rights.

The third section focuses on the national movement, and the final section showcases the do-it-yourself nature of the suffragettes. “We’re calling it the handmade movement,” Little says. “And how so much of this stuff was just grassroots activism. And that’s how women eventually won the vote. You know, they were famous for having, like, ‘Women Get the Vote’ sashes and pins and these suffragette flags. And all of these things were handmade.”

Though the exhibit opened to the public on Women’s Equality Day on Aug. 26, Little says there will be a variety of special events celebrating the exhibit during its run. First, a presentation on Aug. 31 at 1 p.m., hosted by historian Kathy DeHerrera (free admission to follow).

The Andrews Brothers

Fridays-Saturdays, 7 p.m., Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, 1 p.m., through Sept. 15, Butte Theater, 139 E. Bennett Ave., Cripple Creek, $18-$21,

The Andrews Sisters, a prominent vocal harmony group of the ‘30s and ‘40s, sang some of the nation’s best-loved songs, and often entertained soldiers overseas during World War II. In this musical, featuring some of their greatest hits and other songs of the era, the sisters fail to show up for a USO performance, causing a few stagehands to assume the role of the Andrews Brothers to ensure the show goes on. It should be a delightfully funny tribute to World War II veterans, with some great music intermixed. Presented by Mountain Rep Theatre.

Meggie & Laura: No One Can Hear You Scream

Aug. 30-31, 7:30 p.m., Funky Little Theater Company, 1367 Pecan St., $8,

Chicago-based sketch comedians Meggie Gates and Laura Petro have written and performed in four sketch revues, and will now bring their terrifyingly funny show No One Can Hear You Scream to Funky’s stage for two nights only. Made up of sketches about all sorts of violent, horrifying and otherwise disturbing topics, No One Can Hear You Scream probably won’t actually scare you, but it’s almost guaranteed to give you a good laugh. The ladies of Unsupervised Improv will open the show.

  • Julia L. Wright

Commonwheel Labor Day Arts Festival

Aug. 31-Sept. 1, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Memorial Park, Manitou Springs, Manitou Avenue and El Paso Boulevard, free,

Always our favorite way to spend the long Labor Day weekend, Commonwheel has it all. Browse booths hosted by regional artists, displaying and selling their fine arts and crafts, blow bubbles with your kids with the Millibo Art Theatre, enjoy an eclectic lineup of local music, eat some good food and celebrate the arts in Manitou Springs and beyond.

Colorado Springs Labor Day Lift Off

Aug. 31-Sept. 1, 6:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., balloon glow at 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 2, 6-10 a.m., Memorial Park, 1605 E. Pikes Peak Ave., free,

Is there a sight more beautiful than hundreds of hot air balloons soaring in the sky over Colorado Springs on a cool summer morning? Or maybe you prefer the evening events of the Labor Day Lift Off, where those balloons, lit up in all colors, dot the grounds of Memorial Park. The Labor Day Lift Off is always an aesthetic celebration, but more than that it’s a fun family festival with daily events.
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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

McAllister House Museum offers a bike-themed experience, plus more events this week

Posted By on Wed, Aug 21, 2019 at 1:00 AM

  • Courtesy McAllister House Museum

Pedaling Through the Ages

Aug. 24, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., McAllister House Museum, 423 N. Cascade Ave., free,

The McAllister House Museum sits just north of the Springs’ downtown core, where development over the years has overshadowed the unobtrusive Victorian structure. But when it was first erected in 1873, the McAllister House was situated to stand out from the growing downtown, and set up so that its owner Henry McAllister and his family would have a perfect view of Pikes Peak. In this preserved family home, with original furniture and period pieces, historic artifacts and old documents, museum staff have a clear and solid mission: “Making connections between the past and the present, meaningful connections,” says museum executive director Eric Metzger.

Metzger wants to make good on that mission by reaching out to the public, forming partnerships and looking for ways to explore the history of our unique region to better understand the present. To this end, he has partnered with local organizations PikeRide, Kids on Bikes and Bike Colorado Springs to create a bike-themed festival and art exhibit at the museum.

“I chose biking because it is a hot topic,” Metzger says. “When you read through the 2016 master plan for downtown for the city. You know, they’ve got these different [transportation] goals spelled out … and then often biking is kind of this core aspect of almost every single one of those goals.” He believes exploring the history of the bike will help people appreciate and understand its uses today.

The exhibit includes 19th- and 20th-century bicycles from the collection of local bike enthusiast Chris Mike, including World War II-era bikes, made lightweight and without adornment to show support for the war effort; bikes of the late ’40s and ’50s, which were made to be as heavy as possible, weighed down with literal bells and whistles and aesthetic additions; and plentiful retro-futuristic designs that Metzger says were inspired by Buck Rogers. “We’re [also] making sure that we’ve got a good representation for what women were riding. We wanted to show different types of bikes, different functionalities,” he says.

At today’s festival, enjoy the exhibit itself, plus tours of the museum, opportunities to try new PikeRide bikes, a kids’ bike track with balance bikes available, local history rides, food and drink, and an antique gift shop.

  • Gaby Moreno

Gaby Moreno

Aug. 22, 7 p.m., Ent Center for the Arts, 5225 N. Nevada Ave.,

Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Gaby Moreno is scheduled to bring her eclectic sound and social consciousness to Colorado Springs this week, where she will be joined by versatile Latin-infused five-piece Jarabe Mexicano.

Moreno, who won the 2016 Latin Grammy for Best New Artist, is the first to admit that her sound is a bit difficult to define. Her lyrics transition seamlessly between English and Spanish, and her influences are just as fluid.

“I drew from many different influences — mainly from blues and soul and folk — and coming from Guatemala, I have my influences from Latin America. I just mix it all and kind of make music that sounds good and honest to me,” she says. “I always tell people I like to let the listener describe it for me.”

  • Pamela "Raye" Fickes-Miller

Pamela "Raye" Fickes-Miller exhibit

Opening reception, Aug. 23, 5-8 p.m., on display through Sept. 28, G44 Gallery, 1785 S. Eighth St., Suite A,

A truly skilled photographer can find those perfect and fascinating moments or scenes to help us see the world in a new light. Pamela Fickes-Miller, known as Raye, owns her own gallery (Raye’s Gallery at Ruxton Creek) in Manitou Springs, but will present her unique photography in a showcase at G44 this month and next. She captures still lifes, urban architecture and urban scenes that tell stories and intrigue the viewer, and her work is well worth enjoying.

Big Momma's Bad Boys

Aug. 24, 6-8 p.m., The Gallery Below, 718B N. Weber St., $5,

Drag kings don’t get nearly the attention of their gaudy, queenie counterparts, but they strut their stuff on that stage with the best of ‘em. Head to The Gallery Below tonight for a showcase of local drag kings, who will grab and twist your stereotypical assumptions of gender, masculinity and even drag itself.

Into Thin Air Auto Fest

Aug. 24, 8-11:45 p.m., Pikes Peak International Raceway, 16650 Midway Ranch Road, #1, Fountain,

Once again, Pikes Peak International Raceway is opening its track to a slew of fascinating competitions, this time focused on drifting. The Formula Drift Pro-Am Competition will be going on with tandem battles all day for you to enjoy, and when you aren’t watching cars drift around the track like it’s an asphalt Slip ‘n Slide, you can enjoy a car show, live music and food.
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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, August 7, 2019

Millibo's Circus of the Night takes inspiration from Gustav Klimt, plus more events this week

Posted By on Wed, Aug 7, 2019 at 1:00 AM

  • Courtesy Millibo Art Theatre

Circus of the Night: The Kiss

Fridays-Saturdays, cocktail hour at 8 p.m., show at 9 p.m., through Aug. 24, Millibo Art Theatre, 1626 S. Tejon St., $25,

Years ago, when the Millibo Art Theatre first started its summer tradition of an adults-only, late-night circus, it was one of the only places in town offering a themed presentation of burlesque, acrobatics, song and dance. Now, even though more acrobats are performing at local venues and themed burlesque shows occur weekly at The Gold Room, the Millibo’s Circus of the Night still manages to stand out as an exciting, one-of-a-kind production — a blend of all sorts of performance art that really gets the blood pumping.

Themes in the past have included sci-fi, surrealism and Brazilian nights, but this year will pay special homage to an artistic inspiration: Austrian painter Gustav Klimt. “We’ve sort of done a variety of themes for Circus of the Night,” says Millibo co-artistic director Jim Jackson, “and, because Klimt is, you know, he’s such a weirdo, but his stuff is so, so beautiful, but also has this very sort of erotic undertone, I just thought it would really fit our Circus of the Night idea.”

Klimt, most famous for his 1908 painting “The Kiss,” has served as the pivot-point for the entire show. The set, designed by Millibo co-artistic director Birgitta DePree, is meant to echo the feeling of the artist’s studio and “The Kiss” itself, but deconstructed and a little surreal.
“I think we’ve wanted to play with using artists’ work as a — not necessarily a backdrop — but as a way to springboard into the show for a while now. And so this gives us a chance to play with it,” Jackson says.

Many of the Millibo’s veteran performers will be returning to the theater with Klimt-inspired pieces, including juggler Kyle Cox, silk aerialist Elizabeth Fluharty, singer Miriam Roth, and acrobats Carlos Salazar, Tatiana Nikitenko and “Super” Dave Hale. The night will once again be hosted by the indomitable Babette Matdiva, DePree’s hilarious alter-ego. So, intermixed with beautiful music, dance and acrobatics, we’re sure to enjoy a good bit of comedy.

As this is an adults-only show, it’s only fitting the Millibo provide some adults-only libations. They’ll be serving up drink specials like sangria and Axe and the Oak whiskey punch at the pre-show cocktail hour.

“I think what it’ll do, too, for us is break some new ground in terms of how to frame circus and cabaret,” Jackson says. “We’ve always sort of had an approach to [circus] that allows us to make the audience feel like they’re somewhere different. And this will do that. I think it really will feel like an artist’s studio — that gives us a lot of material to play with.”

The Tempest

Fridays, Saturdays, 7-9 p.m. and Sundays, 4-6 p.m. through Aug. 18; The Cellar at The Carter Payne, 320 S. Weber St., $8-$15,

There’s no shortage of Shakespeare in town this summer, but you don’t want to miss out on Counterweight Theatre Lab’s exciting production of The Tempest, one of the Bard’s most beloved works. In true Counterweight fashion, the company has enriched The Tempest with live music, puppetry and even special effects, “all while finding the human core at the heart of Shakespeare’s words,” according to Counterweight’s website. So join the disgraced former nobleman Prospero, his beautiful daughter Miranda, and the spirits of their island of exile, and get ready for an immersive Shakespearience.

Military Family Movie Night

Aug. 9, 6-10:30 p.m., Vibes Baseball Stadium, 4385 Tutt Blvd., free for military and families, registration required at

Colorado Publishing House, the Indy’s parent company, also runs the Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group (CSMNG), which covers many of our local military bases and communities. Far from just spreading news, though, these papers want to be a part of the neighborhoods and lives that they serve. To that end, MNG has teamed up with Phil Long Ford to provide a night for military members and their families to let loose and have fun. Expect games, food trucks, music, and of course a screening of The Sandlot — a family-favorite baseball film.

  • © 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment /

11th Annual Intertribal Powwow

Aug. 10, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Norris-Penrose Event Center, 1045 Lower Gold Camp Road, $5, free for children,

Hosted by One Nation Walking Together, a local nonprofit that provides life-changing resources to Native American reservations, this annual gathering is meant to be a celebration of Native culture. They encourage Natives and non-Natives alike to attend, to enjoy traditional dancing, drumming, singing, art and artisans, food and games — and most importantly to learn and ask questions. In addition to the $5 entry for adults, they ask that attendees bring one non-perishable food item to be donated.

Inaugural Multicultural Festival

Aug. 11, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Mineral Palace Park, 1600 N. Santa Fe Ave., Pueblo, $5,

We could all do with broadening our horizons a bit. Especially in land-locked Colorado, we may not realize the sheer number of different cultures the people in our communities represent, nor do we always seek out those people in an attempt to learn more. Enter the Multicultural Festival hosted by Mad Fresh Productions in Pueblo, which has gathered Native American dancers, a bagpiper, a Mariachi band and more to provide entertainment, plus an ethnic poetry slam, food trucks, a beer garden and vendors. Go support this effort at inclusion and diversity and learn a little about the world in our region.
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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 17, 2019

Funky Little Theater Company's Spamalot, acrobatic cats at Stargazers and more events to enjoy this week

Posted By on Wed, Jul 17, 2019 at 12:00 AM

The Amazing Acro-Cats come to Stargazers this week - SKIP BOLEN
  • Skip Bolen
  • The Amazing Acro-Cats come to Stargazers this week

Monty Python's Spamalot

Starting Friday, July 19, then Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m. through Aug. 17, Funky Little Theater Company, 1367 Pecan St., $17-$19,

The anticipated 2004 Broadway debut of Monty Python’s Spamalot inspired in many of us the same worry that we feel when a favorite book gets adapted for the screen, albeit somewhat in reverse. The original movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail, a farcical, anachronistic interpretation of Arthurian legend, became a cult classic for a reason, and no one expected a musical theater adaptation nearly 40 years later to be so successful.

But Spamalot, which was nominated for 14 Tony Awards, follows the plot of the film closely enough to hook diehard fans, and any changes play into the same kind of humor that made us love the original — plus it incorporates bits and pieces from other Monty Python media, like a rendition of “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” from the film Monty Python’s Life of Brian.

All of this is to say that fans and newbies to Spamalot should go coconuts for Funky Little Theater Company’s upcoming production — their first-ever musical in five seasons. “It’s just been literally one of the most enjoyable theater experiences I’ve gotten to have as an actor and as a director,” says Chris Medina, Funky’s artistic director.

Medina, who is both directing the show and playing the part of Sir Galahad, is particularly excited to welcome to the stage two newbies to Funky, Cheerish Evans as the Lady of the Lake and Josh Neal as King Arthur. Evans was recently in a TheatreWorks production of Little Shop of Horrors, and Medina says, “Cheerish walked in as the last audition slot. And I was like, ‘She can have all the parts.’” Neal, also locally based, hasn’t been actively involved in theater for nearly 20 years, but Medina says he has blown the Funky crew away with his talent.

Though Spamalot will prove an ambitious production for a small space, Funky has pulled out all the stops to make it perfect. The cast has been rehearsing since April. “We literally, like, laugh-cry, every rehearsal, and you would think that we would be immune to it by now too, because we’ve been around each other so much,” Medina says. “... But I think we’re so ready for, like, an audience. And I think that’s what the itch is.”

On July 21, after the matinee performance, Funky will be announcing its next season (beginning with On The Roof, a play about the Stonewall riots). See Funky’s Facebook page for Spamalot’s select Sunday matinees and special industry night performances.

Rocky Mountain State Games

July 19-21, prices, times and locations vary, see for schedule

Sports fans always anticipate the Rocky Mountain State Games, a weekend-plus each summer packed with sports of all kinds — even some, uh, weird ones. Sure, you’ve got your indoor volleyball (July 20-21), your tennis (July 18-21), basketball (July 19-21) and your soccer (July 27-28), but then you’ll notice air hockey (July 26-28) and, new this year, rifle and handgun shooting (July 28), along with tons of other options (sorry, you missed the Ninja Challenge in June). Participating or spectating, you’ve got plenty of options to explore.

Beer, beer, beer

719 Day Brewfest: July 19, 5-10 p.m., Weidner Field, 6303 Barnes Road, $10-$45,; Springs Beer Fest: July 20, 1-4 p.m., America the Beautiful Park, 126 Cimino Drive,

Lucky us! This week we have not one, but two beloved beer festivals hitting the Springs back-to-back, meaning you’ve got double the chance to check out some of the region’s best breweries. Coming up first on July 19, 719 Day Brewfest includes almost 20 totally local breweries and other booze-makers, like Red Leg Brewing, 3 Hundred Days of Shine Distillery and Apple Valley Cider Company. On July 20, Springs Beer Fest celebrates its 13th anniversary with unlimited samples from more than 50 brewers. Both events include live music and entertainment, so the deciding factor on which to attend may just come down to how much your Uber/Lyft/cab fare home will cost.

The Amazing Acro-Cats

July 21, 1 and 5 p.m.; July 22, 7 p.m., Stargazers, 10 S. Parkside Drive, $19-$33,

Though most of us may avoid the practice, Samantha Martin of Rock Cats Rescue has made herding cats her living, and she’s saved more than 200 house cats along the way. By touring the Amazing Acro-Cats around the U.S., Martin has proven that any cat can be trained — to do some incredible things, no less. Watch cats perform amazing feats like riding skateboards, walking tightropes and balancing on balls, and hear the musical stylings of the only all-cat (plus one chicken) band in the world, Tuna and the Rock Cats. Trust us, this is better than YouTube.

When We Knew Everything

July 24, 7-9 p.m., Springs Ensemble Theatre, 1903 E. Cache La Poudre St., $10,

The word “cringey” seems to come up a lot when we discuss our tumultous childhoods and teenage years, and sure, maybe we did some things worth cringing over — awkward love notes to our teenage crushes, weird niche hobbies we picked up and abandoned — but we can look back on all that now and laugh, maybe even feel a little love for the nerds we used to be. Tonight, join a few awesome adults who have volunteered to read their old diaries, journals and other artifacts, and enjoy the hilarious or heartbreaking stories we all have of growing up. Proceeds benefit Inside Out Youth Services, which provides a safe space for area LGBTQ youth.
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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, July 3, 2019

Red by John Logan play, plus more events this week

Posted By on Wed, Jul 3, 2019 at 11:37 AM

  • Ethan Everhart

Red by John Logan

July 5-6, 7 p.m., and July 7, 4 p.m., The Cellar at the Carter Payne, 320 S. Weber St.,

As the lights come up onstage, actor Steve Emily stares out over the audience, eyes narrowed in concentration. The first line he speaks is to actor Joe O’Rear, who stands nervously in the doorway: “What do you see?” It’s an appropriate way to open a play presented by Counterweight Theatre Lab, which never shies away from making its audience think. The works they present consistently delve into deep human truths or traumas, often asking questions that stick with the viewer long after the curtain falls. Red, a play about famed abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko (you know, the one with the fuzzy colored rectangles), does the same. It beautifully weaves together philosophy, humor, history and tragedy, but you can’t credit the script alone for its success.

With only two actors bearing the weight of long monologues and conversations on creativity and art world zeitgeists, Red isn’t the kind of play you might sit down and read for funsies. But Emily as Rothko and O’Rear as his assistant, Ken, put so much emotion and physicality into their lines, the play doesn’t come across as weighty or self-important — except when it wants to. Rothko was, after all, a weighty and self-important man.

At its best, Red turns the audience into a third character. We become the murals Rothko is painting to decorate a new Four Seasons restaurant — a commission that brings him two years of grief. He stares critically at us, discusses our vulnerability and our meaning. We feel all at once valued and lacking in his eyes. But we aren’t only the paintings. At times, we’re also Ken. Ken and Rothko’s interactions could be any interaction between a young creative and the mouthpiece of the generation that came before him. We see Rothko’s irrelevance creeping into the studio, even as he tries to shut it out, and we feel Ken’s frustration with this artist he admires.

This makes the second act so satisfying. Ken isn’t always just Rothko’s dutiful assistant. He has his breaking points; at times he delivers lines so piercing I half expect the bass to drop and Lil Jon’s “Turn Down for What” to come out of the record player in the corner.

But, through all of the philosophy and tension, it’s funny, too. The moments of humor — expertly delivered by these two talented actors — make this play work. 

Red functions best in an intimate setting like The Cellar at the Carter Payne. In this space, we hear every whisper, and suffer the tension when the characters shout. Sitting in one of those chairs, we really are paintings on the wall, hanging in the studio of a man whose creative energy was always too big to be contained in any box.

Queer Open Mic

July 5, 6:30-9:30 p.m., Switchback Coffee Roasters, 330 N. Institute St., free,

While we always love Hear Here Poetry’s queer open mics, which offer the mic to LGBTQ talent from across the Pikes Peak region and beyond, this should prove a special event. For one, it’s the first Queer Open Mic in a while, so some of our favorite poets and musicians will likely take the stage with new material. Plus, the night will feature a vegan potluck and a special performance by Josephine the Singer (also known as Heidi Beedle, an occasional Indy contributor), who will be dropping her debut Americana album The Mouse People.

  • Jamie Moon

A Handful of Dirt

Opening reception, July 5, 5-8 p.m., on display through July 31, Art 111 Gallery & Art Supply, 111 E. Bijou St., free,

Artist Jamie Moon, who works with clay and soil, says: “My artwork represents the coming together of earth and man. It shows the bond between that which is permanent, and all that is temporary.” In Moon’s solo exhibition at Art 111, viewers should see this influence through her paintings, created with dirt, soil and clay from around the world. Using an acrylic binder to turn the colors of the earth into paint, she creates deeply spiritual pieces that should resonate with all.

Broadmoor Art Experience

Weekends starting at 9:30 a.m., through July 28, The Broadmoor hotel, 1 Lake Ave., free,

Fans of live art demonstrations or plein air painting will want to wander the Broadmoor grounds this month, where every weekend a fresh cadre of artists from all over the country will be creating their works in the great outdoors. Working in all kinds of mediums and styles, these artists will be available to chat with viewers and demonstrate their work. See the Broadmoor Galleries website for a list of participating artists.

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