Archive for the ‘Power of Art and Culture’ Category
This has been another wonderful Streetmosphere season, with live performances all summer long, both downtown and in South Fort Collins. There are many people and organizations that are behind all of this free, public art, and we want to make sure everyone knows who has contributed their time, money, and talents to make Streetmosphere possible!
First and foremost, we thank this year’s sponsors: Otterbox, OtterCares, the City of Fort Collins Fort Fund, the Bohemian Foundation, Front Range Village, KUNC, Killer Rabbit and White Balcony, and Go West. These businesses and organizations listed on the Streetmosphere signs each week as well as all of those in the Streetmosphere Guidebook made a major commitment to the program from the start and we could not do it without them.
In addition, we had an incredible show of public support through our Streetmosphere Kickstarter campaign. We can’t thank our 320 Kickstarter supporters enough for pitching in to fill the funding gap we experienced this year.
In addition to funding, we have a dedicated and hardworking team of on-street stage managers and interns. They are the people ones that set-up, organize, and problem-solve each weekend to make the season run smoothly.
Finally, we could not do ANYTHING at all without our amazingly talented Streetmosphere performers. This year there were 90 unique acts, from youth dance groups to rock bands and improv comedy. We thank you all for sharing your art, for engaging with the community in such a personal way, for at times braving harsh sun and hail, and for being professional and graceful through it all.
Diane Findley’s paintings are vibrant and energetic – you can’t miss them! She has been painting with Streetmosphere since the program began in 2010, and has been mainstay of the artist community in town for much longer.
Diane is especially known for her portraits. This spring she generously donated a custom portrait to Streetmosphere’s Kickstarter campaign, with the proceeds strengthening this year’s season. The painting that resulted is of a Fort Collins business owner that has also been supportive of Streetmosphere from the beginning, Nora Hill, the owner of Kilwin’s.
This painting is a great example of how Streetmosphere brings the community together! Diane further explains, “The Streetmosphere life from my side is rich. I am not the least bit shy about sharing the art experience and often I think little children are my best audience. It is a grand moment when you can introduce someone to the magic of what happens when yellow meets blue. It is always great fun to move the paint around and talk about what is happening on the canvas and how it relates to a physical reality.”
Even though there is still snow on the ground, here at Beet Street, we’ve got Streetmosphere on our minds. This year’s season begins on Mother’s Day weekend, and May 10 will be here before we know it. We will be back in Old Town every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Labor Day weekend. We will also be back at Front Range Village in South Fort Collins July 5 – August 3, with Friday night performances and a NEW Saturday evening concert series!
We are very pleased to announce that we will bring over 90 acts to the streets of Fort Collins this season! That is a 48% increase from last year, allowing us to support more performers and provide a greater variety of entertainment. It was wonderful to see over 120 talented acts apply this year – thanks to all of you.
These increases say a lot about the program. First, that the word about Streetmosphere is spreading, not only in Fort Collins, but throughout Colorado. We are proud to see how far Streetmosphere has come in just three years, helping to put Fort Collins on the map as an arts and culture destination. There are also several cities that are interested in starting a similar program, and we are working with them to discover how they might bring Streetmosphere to their own communities.
Our recently launched website, Arts Incubator of the Rockies (AIR), has been growing rapidly—now incorporating almost 600 members. The website includes a variety of great resources designed for all artists and art-based organizations, not only for inspiration and motivation, but also for connecting and succeeding. This regional arts incubator is a wonderful opportunity for artists to utilize many tools in one convenient website.
Recently, we have added a helpful and comprehensive website tour to the homepage. This tour, guided by our own Executive Director, Beth Flowers, walks viewers through the website features and functionality. If you have never visited the website before, have casually browsed it, or have recently become a member, this tour is the perfect chance to learn the power of the website and how to use it.
We are still in the midst of our membership drive and are recruiting as many people as possible. There is no force to commit. Though paid members have access to more features and benefits, free memberships still include a great base of available resources. So please, visit the website, and take the tour to help get you immersed in AIR.
Creativity is one of those traits everyone wants a little more of and you can never have enough of. It is a characteristic pursued in both the art and the business world. According to the Americans for the Arts, “… creativity is among the top 5 applied skills sought by business leaders…the arts—music, creative writing, drawing, dance—provide skills sought by employers of the 3rd millennium.”
Innovation becomes more important as we experience current challenges and attempt to predict problems of subsequent years. It is important to examine creativity as an entity in our lives and the role it plays in shaping our future.
To look at how we can encourage it in our children, inspire it in our daily lives, enhance it in our workplace, and take the steps necessary to grow creativity in our communities.
Resources to expand knowledge on the nature of creativity are abundant. Local creatives and artists, books, magazines, and especially the Internet, – information on creativity is everywhere. A great place to search for them online is our AIR (Arts Incubator of the Rockies) website. The Knowledge Center is full of videos, articles, and more on creative topics.
Tim Van Schmidt is a craftsman, and a freelance writer and photographer. He specializes in writing about contemporary music on the local and national level. An experienced writer, Van Schmidt wrote for The Coloradoan as the music columnist, for the Fort Collins Forum as the entertainment columnist, as well as edited for Scene Magazine, of which he is a co-founder. Since then, Van Schmidt has been publishing his writing and photographs online.
Van Schmidt’s photography career really blossomed because of his writing. When attending concerts to write a review, he was always asked, “Do you also want a photo pass?” Since then, he has photographed many artists, such as Clapton, Springsteen, U2 – and of course our Streetmosphere performers!
Tim followed the end of the 2011 Streetmosphere program and photographed eight of the performers in Old Town. This year, Van Schmidt says that “checking up on Streetmosphere is a regular part of my summer!!” He has photographed twenty-two of our artists so far in both our downtown and Front Range Village locations.
Live music is what keeps Van Schmidt ticking, and Fort Collins doesn’t disappoint. Out of the hundreds of cities he has visited, he says that “Fort Collins has gone way beyond the average city.” Our city provides programs like Noontime Notes in Oak Street Plaza, concerts in Old Town square, FOCOMX, Bohemian Nights at New West Fest, and of course Streetmosphere to promote live music and its native artists.
Van Schmidt enjoys the diversity and accessibility Streetmosphere offers and says that “it would be a crime not to take advantage of what is offered in so much abundance.”
Streetmosphere was welcomed by Front Range Village staff during their second week of operation. Stage Manager Jan paused for a photo-op on the vehicle used by the Front RangeVillage’s security team.
Streetmosphere has expanded to the shopping mall at Front Range Village, located on Harmony and Ziegler. You can find lots of different shops and places to eat, but if eating and shopping isn’t your thing, you can check out a book at the public library!
Through the weekend of August 19th, Streetmosphere will be operating both at Front Range Village and in Old Town! Hours do differ a little between FRV and Old Town, so be sure to check out the hours below, or you can check out or website for a more detailed schedule!
Sunday afternoon was a host to great weather, bustling crowds, and of course Streetmosphere!! Along with many other performers with Streetmosphere on Sunday, The Seers entertained crowds downtown at Old Town Square.
The Seers, a rock/blues duo, is comprised of two talented musicians, Brian Collins and Sean Waters, who perform on guitar and piano, as well as sing. They perform many pieces they have written themselves and even take song requests!
This past Friday, I began my internship with Beet Street. What a fun night to start out!There were performances and artists to pique anyone’s interest. My favorite, however, had to be MDT3.
MDT3 is a jazz trio made up of Ron Holleman (trumpet), Chuck Landgraf (drums), and Tim Gauthier (guitar). These gentlemen have been involved in the Colorado jazz scene for quite some time now and they each belong to multiple bands besides MDT3. They name their group after Ron’s marquis instrument: the Morrison Digital Trumpet (MDT). Though Ron is a very talented trumpeter, he played the MDT just about as often as he did his traditional instruments on Friday.
Not all Streetmosphere fans come out on two legs. Usually, there’s more than one furry, four-legged friend in the crowd, and the last weekend of June was no exception. One of our most dedicated fan-dogs is a little grey terrier named Ike.
Ike, along with his owner, loves to experience the sights and sounds of Downtown. Whether it’s a visual artist painting, such as the lovely Ren Burke, or the whimsical sounds of Fiddle Whamdiddle, Ike is always more than happy to visit. His owner mentioned that he loves to be downtown, and that coming out for Streetmosphere has become a weekly ritual.