Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center reprises JAM FAC, exploring urban art 

  • Courtesy Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
We like what the Fine Arts Center has been up to lately, though they have always made an effort to offer a wide variety of artistic experiences. With diverse and socially impactful exhibits on display like Force/Resistance, which promotes discussion about activism and protest, and Raízes/Roots, which showcases incredible Brazilian artwork, the FAC has continued its commitment to presenting a satisfying mix of arts and artistic expression, and it’s serving them well.

Along those lines, we are particularly looking forward to this Saturday’s event, a revival of the Fine Arts Center’s successful 2015 urban art festival: JAM FAC. But this year, it includes some changes that make it more accessible and more interactive.

Joy Armstrong, the FAC’s curator of modern and contemporary art says: “I’d like to break down barriers to attendance in any way we can, and I think that we started that process by offering these different sorts of unexpected opportunities for performance and participation.”

Like the 2015 event, JAM FAC will host musical guests, dancers and visual artists, but it will also allow guests to participate in the execution of the art.
Denver-based graffiti artist Robin Munro will be leading a community tagging project — teaching participants how to write their name stylistically so they can contribute to a mural. There will also be community print-making, dance demonstrations and instruction, light graffiti with photographer Fred Greenwood, poetry by Hear Here, live mural painting by Brazilian artist Annie Ganzala (whose art is featured in Raízes/Roots) and much more. Then, rounding out the variety of arts on display, local playwright, poet and CC professor Idris Goodwin will present a staged reading of his award-winning play Hype Man.

“I think I’m just really excited about the diversity of participants this year,” Armstrong says. “You’ll see some familiar faces that were really popular in 2015, the greatest hits ... but then also new faces for JAM and for Colorado Springs.”

The Reminders, a local favorite hip-hop group, will be performing once again, this time alongside California-based Artson, as well as locals Stoney Bertz, DJ Gravity, and Kevin Mitchell and Lord Damage.

It should prove to be a jam-packed event, and — the best part for those who may have a hard time with the FAC’s admission fee — it’s free this year. Armstrong says: “Completely removing that barrier to participation and admission by eliminating the entrance charge makes this an accessible opportunity for anyone.” And “anyone” means anyone. She encourages all ages to attend, including families.


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