The Beet Street Blog

Archive for the ‘Power of Art and Culture’ Category

Only in Fort Collins

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One of many musicians unique to the Fort Collins scene: dACCORDion.

Only in Fort Collins can you expect to find a surprise around every corner. That’s Streetmosphere’s slogan, and we’re sticking to it!

The program just completed its seventh weekend of performances in Old Town, Fort Collins. Despite some bad weather and some smoky air, we couldn’t be more pleased with the performances, the artists, and the crowds that have come out to support Streetmosphere every weekend.

All these feelings of nostalgia prompted the “street team” to dig deeper—to uncover the things about Streetmosphere and Fort Collins that are truly different than anywhere else in the world. It wasn’t difficult to find these things; in fact, the list had grown exponentially after just one day of observation.

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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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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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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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Oom-pa-pa, Oom-pa-pa!

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Fort Collins Four Tuba Quartet: Sam Arrieta, Chris Krueger, Cody Krueger, and Zach Garcia (pictured left to right)

Comprised of professional musicians from the Fort Collins area, the Fort Collins Four Tuba Quartet embodies everything that is Fort Collins music.

The Fort Collins Four Tuba Quartet has performed several Streetmosphere performances this summer and has certainly gathered a lot of local attention. Performing at sites such as Moe’s Original Barbeque and Oak Street Plaza, the Quartet appeals to a wide variety of audiences by playing all types of genres: polka, jazz, classical, ceremonial, and even some modern pop. 

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Streetmosphere gathers momentum

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Are you new to town? Are you frantically searching for things to do on your Friday evenings? Well, the search ends here. Streetmosphere enters its fifth weekend this coming weekend, and things are heating up.

Last Friday, artists and musicians alike performed under the blazing sun. The Steve Johnson Group played outside Ingredient for a steady stream of adoring fans. The quartet, headed by pianist, guitarist, and vocalist, Steve Johnson, also included Pat Moorhead on bass, Mark Manges on trumpet and flugelhorn, and James Richards on drums. The group performed vocal jazz as well as classic pop songs, and people sang along to the words as they sat on the benches to watch.

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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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The show goes on!

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Despite the smoke caused by the High Park Fire, many people were about Old Town this weekend to enjoy many Streetmosphere performances. Chris Bates, a local artist, set up just outside of Austin’s on Saturday evening and mesmerized many community members with his unique artwork.

Bates specializes in pen and ink portraits, acrylic paint, mixed media, and murals.

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A Family Affair

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Amber Waves BandIt has been said that talent runs in the family and that is especially true for the Amber Waves Band. The six-piece band consists of parents, Michael and Cheryl Costello; twins, Alexandra and Kaitlin; son, Sean; and youngest daughter, Mary.

A definite crowd favorite, the local band drew in families and individuals of all ages who stopped to watch and clap along to the music. They engrossed the crowd outside of Cache Bank this Saturday with their alluring strings and haunting melodies.

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