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Weekend Spotlight: Half Moon Arts

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Alicia Randall, 17, works on painting her piece entitled 'Dragon'

Bright colors, towering animal faces, and wood chips lined College Avenue this weekend, while as many as 4 artists worked away with Half Moon Arts. The local non-profit, run by Rose Moon, works with at-risk youth, ages 13-21, to create an environment both artistic and imaginative.

The program utilizes the process of making totem poles to inspire the participants. From a log of wood, they carve out a unique world, followed by a heaping amount of colorful paint. Creativity is highly encouraged, helping to promote self-esteem and healing. The work produced by these amazing young people sells through local events, allowing for feelings of accomplishment and success. The organization has been commissioned to make totem poles for many organizations in town as well, such as the Fort Collins Cat Rescue.

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Weekend Spotlight: Carolyn Lauttenbach

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Carolyn LauttenbachUkulele strums could be heard throughout Old Town Square Saturday afternoon, followed by a smooth voice singing the words to Paramore’s “The Only Exception”. This unlikely combination resulted in a unique cover by Florida native, Carolyn Lauttenbach, which had crowd members of all ages nodding, clapping and dancing along. Throughout the rest of the set, Carolyn did a mix of classic and popular covers, as well as original material, occasionally trading the ukulele for an acoustic guitar.

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The Sweet Songs of Elyse Miller

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Elyse Miller

Have you had the chance to check out Elyse Miller performing for Streetmosphere yet? If your answer is no, you’re missing out.

Elyse Miller is one of Streetmosphere’s toughest and most dedicated musical artists. Back in May, she would play her guitar through the night despite icy fingers and the risk of frostbite. Now, seven weeks later, Elyse Miller is still braving the elements. This past weekend she conquered the heat; she tucked herself subtly into the shady space between Moe’s Barbeque and Pueblo Viejo, plugged in her fan, and played for hours.

But Elyse Miller is anything but subtle. On Saturday, her voice drifted through the hot air and attracted the attention of many a passerby. (Fellow Streetmosphere musicians, Peter and the Wolves, even stopped by to listen!) Elyse sang many of her own original songs, including titles like “New Life” and “Paper Doll” but also covered some songs by a wide range of artists, such as Green Day and Tom Petty.

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ARCINDA

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A member of ARCINDA teaches 3-year-old, Torin, to play the demung.

The non-profit, musical and dance performance group, ARCINDA, joined the ranks of Streetmosphere’s talented artists when they played in Oak Street Plaza on Sunday. The group of eight performers nestled themselves cozily into a corner of the plaza—they even brought their own carpets to sit on—and brought the sounds of faraway Indonesia to Fort Collins, Colo.

ARCINDA’s mission is to do just that: to combine the eastern and western worlds by performing and educating people about the arts and culture of Indonesia. They do so using a variety of heavy, wooden instruments called Javanese Gamelan, which they play while other members of the group sing and dance in typical Indonesian fashion.

Many of the eight members that played at Oak Street Plaza on Sunday had their own Javanese Gamelan. These instruments grabbed the audience’s attention purely based on their immensity and ornately carved wooden structures, not to mention their uniqueness to western culture. Of the Javanese Gamelan on site, there were two gongs, four demung, a bonang, and a kendang.

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Weekend Spotlight – Peter and the Wolves

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Peter and the Wolves play infront of Cache Bank and Trust on Saturday, June 16th.

What do you get when you add together string instuments, family ties, and a love of folk music? Well, Peter and the Wolves of course!

This past Saturday, two of the three band members, brothers Peter and Dan Workman, drew a crowd with their captivating harmonies and array of instuments, including a guitar, banjo, and mandolin. While the band was formed just last year in 2011, the Workman brothers were playing together long before that, starting in high school and continuing onward. Now, accompanied by a drummer, the group draws inspiration from groups such as the Fleet Foxes and Arcade Fire, creating a folk sound with a rock kick to it! While the drummer couldn’t be with us Saturday, the brothers talked about the enjoyment of “busking” on the street, relating it back to their music roots and the tradition of folk being played for the people.  Both know how to play the instuments they had in tow, and would often switch with each other, even from song to song. Warm and inviting, this group is one you don’t want to miss!

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CROMA Brings An Old-Time Feel To Streemosphere

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This Saturday, on the corner of Mountain and College, directly in front of Cache Bank, a group of people sat in a circle, each with a string instrument in hand. These people, the members of CROMA (Central Rockies Old-Time Music Association), drew in a crowd with their infectious old-time tunes and occasional tap dancing.

CROMA

The relaxed vibe of the “jam circle” encouraged onlookers to surround the musicians. Whether they stood against the walls of the bank or sat on the benches that lined the planters in the shade, people could not help but stop and take in the festive plucking of strings and tap dancing. Some members of the crowd even stopped and joined in, tap dancing along with the members of CROMA.

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Streetmosphere’s Spotlight

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Rocky Mountain High School Spotlight and Syrens performs at Oak St. Plaza on Friday

Nothing kicks off your summer like a Streetmosphere performance! At least, it did for Rocky Mountain High Schools Spotlight and Syrens Jazz group. These very talented youg musicians kicked off their performances right in Downtown under a big blue banner, welcoming all ages to sit and listen. Though the temperature approached the low 90’s and Taste of Fort Collins called visitors on, people were more than willing to stop and listen.

Crowds also gathered by Moe’s Barbeque to listen to the catchy tunes of the Honey Gitters, a bluegrass band with attitude. Although there are only four band members, they create a monstruous sound, and it’s something you can’t help but stamp your feet to!

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Peter and the Wolves Captivate at Ingredient

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Peter and the Wolves

What do you get when you take a two-part harmony, a mandolin, a banjo, a guitar and some drums? The folk-rock band, Peter and the Wolves, that’s what! The local Fort Collins band graced the streets of Old Town this Sunday with their acoustic set in their first show of this Streetmosphere season.

Doing a mix of covers and originals, the group entertained onlookers with their smooth sounds. People sat in the shade provided by the trees of Mountain Avenue to avoid the heat and listen to the soothing music. With a mesmerizing folksy twang, Peter and the Wolves drew people in, causing them to stop and watch the trio. One person even made it a point to stop at tell us how much she enjoyed the performance, stating that the group was “definitely a great choice” for the event.

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Come Out and Dance!

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This past weekend, the streets were filled with artists, dancers, and musicians, all bringing new sights and sounds to Downtown. They were not, however, the only performers out for the afternoon. Children and adults, those big and small, came out with their dancing shoes on!
The group Viewsic, a piano, drum, and painter trio who work together to create both a visual and auditory experience, drew community members of all ages. While the drummer and pianist played classic favorites, they had their image captured in an imaginative new scene of paints and pastels. Bringing Old Town Square to life, more than one curious bystander felt compelled to stop.
It was more than just standing and watching, however. One little boy could not contain himself as he ran, twirled, jumped and danced to the sounds, while another child stomped his feet. A little girl was fascinated by the painting coming to life before her eyes, and couples sang along with the songs they knew. What a great thing to see, a whole community brought together, participating and sharing, celebrating the arts here in Fort Collins!
Make sure you come out, and see what surprises are in store!  There are no performances next weekend (May 25-27, 2012), but Streetmopshere returns June 1!

Just a couple of friends…

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A member of C.R.O.M.A tap dances while the band plays old-time music.

Beet Street’s second weekend of Streetmosphere performances brought people to the street and dancing to their feet in Old Town Fort Collins.

The Central Rockies Old Time Music Association, also known as C.R.O.M.A., played in Oak Street Plaza Saturday evening. With their tent nestled neatly to the side, the group left plenty of room for dancing in the plaza.

The members of C.R.O.M.A. describe themselves as just a couple of friends playing music together. On Saturday, the music of the group’s three fiddles, two banjos, guitar, and cello attracted audiences of all ages to the square. The musicians all tapped their feet in synchronization to the music and to each other, and one of the banjo players occasionally took the stage to do some tap dancing of her own. She invited the audience to join in on all of the foot tapping, and soon enough the plaza was filled with people line dancing and clapping along to the music.

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