The Beet Street Blog

Archive for the ‘culture’ Category

AIR Tour

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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.

Holidays of the Arts

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The holiday season is upon us once again. The cold weather has finally come out of hiding, helping the transition into the winter months. Old Town is glimmering with a mass of glowing lights, familiar holiday drinks have returned to menus across town, and often, this cold time of the year brings warmth through traditions and the spirit of the season.

As many people are building our local economy by shopping at local stores, may we not forget about our wonderful arts scene, which can be a wonderful option to indulge in the spirit of the holidays. Many arts organizations feature holiday shows, including the CSU University Center for the Arts’ production A Christmas Story, Canyon Concert Ballet’s The Nutcracker, Bas Bleu Theatre’s Almost Maine, and Opera Fort CollinsGift of the Magi. The opportunity to enjoy and support the arts during this holiday season is invaluable.

Sharing time with friends and family is a large part of many people’s traditions and what better occasion to create memories than attending the multitude of fantastic, spirit boosting, arts events in Fort Collins.

No Talking

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Silent films once captivated audiences when the invention of the motion picture was just getting started. The ability to record synchronized sound was not yet available, and the films often featured subtitles and an accompanying score of music. Actors, such as the famous, Charlie Chaplin, were forced to act in a way that would tell a story through action and body language rather than dialogue. Silent films were around from 1894 through the 1920s, until they were replaced with “talkies,” or films produced with recorded sound.

In the beginning of the film era, the silent film was the foundation of our modern flick and deserves to be remembered on occasion. The first filmmakers were true innovators, because movies had yet to exist before, and plots were completely original.

The event, “4 Funny Films,” presents the opportunity to view some of these films in their true comedic mastery. The films are being featured at Everyday Joe’s Coffee House, are sponsored by the Fort Collins Symphony—and they are showing Friday, November 16th, at 7:00 p.m.  For more information visit their website.

If, however, you happen to miss this event, do not hesitate to seek out these films in libraries, online, or in video shops; they are worth any time it takes to find them.

Spook-tacular Music

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Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor is the ‘unofficial’ theme song of Halloween, and though the name might not be familiar, those few opening notes are unmistakable. The 7th annual Halloween Organ Extravaganza couldn’t offer anything less than an amazing night of spooky organ music for all to hear, not to mention costumed musicians.  Joel Bacon, a CSU organ professor and performer at the event, sums it up by saying, “It’s a shame Halloween only comes once a year.”

The Extravaganza will be held appropriately in the Organ Recital Hall at CSU’s University Center of the Arts on Halloween night at seven, nine, and eleven o’clock.

It’s a great opportunity to bring your children or friends, or just to enjoy a night of ghoulish music to celebrate the holiday and the end of National Arts and Humanities Month.  Visit the University Center for the Arts website for more information.

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October 26th, 2012 at 10:00 am

Bach and Beer

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Imagine, Johann Sebastian Bach’s Harpsichord Concertos saturating the background during an evening amongst friends; the sophisticated classics offering a more mature environment for those feeling a little under-cultured and overwhelmed with contemporary hits on the radio. What could be better?

How about if those attending had the opportunity to indulge in some of New Belgium’s finest locally crafted brews? Presenting, “Bach and Beer,” an event hosted by The Fort Collins Symphony and, you heard right, New Belgium Brewery.

Listen to Bach while sipping beer with friends, and enjoy “Bach and Beer” on Friday, October 19th, starting at 6:00 p.m. at New Belgium Brewery. Please visit this website for more information.

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October 19th, 2012 at 10:00 am

Bugs on the Wall

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Jennifer Angus’s exhibition “Memory Game” depicts an interconnected world of insects and humans. Angus’s work incorporates various patterns and beautifully organized arrangements of bugs that are displayed on the wall. The installation was partially inspired by the Ray and Charles Eames Memory Game the artist experiences in her childhood.

A wall full of bugs might not sound the most appealing to some, but Jennifer Angus redefines the nature and conception of insects in a precise and wonderful manner. Seeing this installation will not only surprise viewers, but also get them thinking about bugs and art in a new way.

In addition to the regular exhibition, CSU Professor of Entomology, Dr. Whitney Cranshaw, is presenting a gallery talk this Thursday, October 18th, at 6:30 p.m. on “Colorado’s Big Bugs.” This exhibition is currently featured in the Lincoln Center and will run through November 3rd.  For more information, please visit this website.

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October 17th, 2012 at 10:00 am

Observing “Observations”

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Imaginative imagery illustrates a working mother juxtaposed by “two distinctly different worlds” who is “hoping to navigate them both successfully.” “Observations” by Assistant Professor of Studio Arts at Brigham Young University and mother, Sunny Belliston Taylor, explores these beautiful opposites in blissful complexity that makes you want to stare at each piece for hours. The endless layers, overlapping patterns, and visual texture contributes to an intimate setting in this wonderful, must-see collection of works.

“Observations” currently resides in the Clara Hatton Gallery in the CSU Visual Arts Building. As a free exhibition, there is no excuse to miss this event and is worth dodging the multitude of students on campus to get there. The show will run through November 16th.

For more information, please visit their website.

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October 12th, 2012 at 9:00 am

Troubled Teens from the Past

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Frank Wedekind’s theatre performance, “Spring Awakening,” opens on October 4th. The performance captures the essence of teenage life in the early 20th century. The impudently direct content inspired avant-garde playwrights of future eras, and was subject to censorship for the first sixty-three years of production.  The themes depicted in the performance— adolescence struggle, anxiety, and sexual awakening— are eerily familiar, even premiering a century prior, to modern times.

This performance, which first premiered in 1906, is being held in the University Center for the Arts in the Studio Theatre, starting October 4th at 7:30 p.m. “Spring Awakening” is part of the CSU Theatre Guest Artist Initiative with Denver Center Theatre’s Douglas Langworthy’s new translation.

The uncensored content in “Spring Awakening” is “R-rated.” Admission is for 18 years of age and up only. For more information, please visit their website.

Written by Beet Street

October 3rd, 2012 at 10:44 am

October is Arts and Humanities Month

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October is National Arts and Humanities Month. The arts are a significant entity in our families, community, and hearts. Not only do the arts entertain us, they inspire us and make the world a brighter, more vibrant place. Art is a vast presence in our daily lives, and deserves the appreciation of its many supporters. Many of us are hobbyists, enthusiasts, or even artists, and we can agree that the arts play a unique role in shaping our community.

This month-long event gives us an excuse to add some extra events to our list of those to attend this month.  However, celebrating doesn’t have to mean going to events. It can be as easy being a regular advocate by spreading general love of the arts to others, or even enjoying art related activities with your family, like listening to music, reading, dancing, or drawing. The degree and nature of our celebration is up to each individual, but regardless, let us take the time to commemorate and explore our arts culture in October.

Written by Beet Street

October 1st, 2012 at 10:00 am

The end is near…

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Sometimes there’s nothing better than sitting in the grass, listening to music on a warm weekend afternoon. I had the opportunity to do this three times this past weekend—twice listening to the jazzy beats of the Steve Johnson Group and once enjoying the softer melodies of the Seers. I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend.

The Steve Johnson Group is a Streetmosphere regular. They wedge themselves into the back corner of Oak Street Plaza, fitting at least five people and more than five instruments, plus a water cooler, amps and speakers, and all sorts of other equipment under a big, blue tent. They may be located way in the back, but their music can be heard from all around the plaza and beyond. They play old favorites, such as Steely Dan, as well as non-lyrical jazz tunes.

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