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The AIR Shift Workshop: Lessons for Life

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Beet Street is hosting a weekend workshop September 20-22 for anyone who wants to boost their career or build their community.

One of the most unique aspects of the AIR Shift Workshop is that it brings something different to everyone by connecting creativity and business in innovative ways. If you are a visual artist, musician, writer or performer you will learn how to bring business tools into your creative practice and how to find partners and funders. If you are an accountant, lawyer, teacher, or business owner you will learn how you can benefit from working with artists and how you can bring more creativity to your day job. You may even find the inspiration and skills to begin a new venture or career change.

During the three day workshop you will discover new opportunities in the new economy of innovation and art, learn design thinking and business planning in a hands-on process, develop new relationships with people of diverse backgrounds, imagine new career paths, and develop your own personal action plan.

High School Science teacher Jan Harrison said, “I was ready for a change and AIR Shift gave me a place to start. I now have the confidence and practical skills to begin a new creative venture and will also bring this inspiration to my current job.” Jan went on to take the AIR Evolve Program which guides participants through launching their own creative venture over 6 months. Now she says, “My business isn’t just a dream any more, it is a real venture in process, and I owe it all to the Arts Incubator of the Rockies’ Shift and Evolve lessons and tools, as well as the instructors, coaches, and fellow artists I met through these programs”

Join the participants who are already registered for the September AIR Shift Workshop from New York, Utah, and all over Colorado. The $225 workshop fee includes meals and happy hours during the weekend and a year-long membership to the Arts Incubator of the Rockies, which brings many benefits of its own.

If you are ready to develop and launch your own venture, the AIR Shift Workshop is also a prerequisite for the six month AIR Evolve Program which begins in October. The $900 AIR Evolve Program (monthly payment plans available by emailing info@airartsincubator.org) includes nine specialized classes to focus on practical business tools and six executive coaching sessions to provide individualized feedback and motivation for your project. You will use design thinking, the AIR Venture Canvas, and Lean Startup principles to refine your venture and make it a reality.

All AIR programs are designed to serve and connect creatives, businesses, and the larger community. Only you can say where that might lead you. Learn More and Register Today.

Thank You All for a Great Season!

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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.



Thank you all. We can’t wait to do it all again with you next year! 

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.

Fresh AIR

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The Arts Incubator of the Rockies (AIR) is a new program created in collaboration with Beet Street, Colorado State University, and the City of Fort Collins. But, instead of just Colorado based, it is a 10 state regional arts incubator program with a beautifully crafted website as its foundation.

The AIR website provides a place where artists can share and get feedback on their work, collaborate with other artists, look for job opportunities in the Opportunity Center, watch inspirational videos, and read helpful articles in the Knowledge Center. Also offered, are the Shift and Evolve workshops, which were generated to develop and expand individuals’ confidence and success in their professional journeys. Overall, It is an amazing site centered around and specifically constructed for all kinds of artists and art organizations.

There is an option to be a free or paid member (added benefits and features for paid members), and with paid memberships starting at $50 annually, the benefits outweigh the cost. AIR combines marketing opportunity, a constructive artist community, and the convenience of multiple tools for artists in one place.

The more members who join AIR, the deeper the benefits and the higher the quality the website becomes. If you haven’t already, check out the website and all its amazing features, become a member, and tell all your friends.

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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Community Members Join In

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dAccordian plays with a community member Sunday at Front Range Village

This past weekend, New West Fest brought crowds into Downtown Fort Collins, spilling out over the festival area, enjoying music, art, and the wonderful atmosphere. There was a true sense of community this week, with people coming together to celebrate and enjoy the festivities together. But not just Downtown! At Front Range Village, Streetmosphere was building community as well, encouraging patrons of the shopping center to stop and have a listen. Read the rest of this entry »

Digital Con Brio

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Despite construction closures and tremendous traffic jams, people came out to the streets Friday night to hear a variety of Streetmosphere musicians. This was the first weekend of the summer where the majority of performers have been musical, with Susan K. Dailey being the only visual artist on the lineup.

People loved the unique sounds of the four musical groups: MDT 3, the Steve Johnson Group, the Fort Collins Four Tuba Quartet, and the String Quartet Con Brio.

I’ve already written about the Fort Collins Four Tuba Quartet and the Steve Johnson Group, but MDT 3 and the String Quartet Con Brio deserve some attention.

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Enthusiastic Streetmosphere Fan!

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Branden Sipes performing with Streetmosphere, photograph taken by Tim Van Schmidt

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.”

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Dancing is Encouraged

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Sawmill

Sawmill performing in front of Cache Bank this Saturday.

There is just something about old-timey music that makes people want to dance, and Sawmill’s music is no different. The duo set up on the corner of Mountain and College, in front of Cache Bank, last Saturday night where they were met with an enthusiastic crowd who, you guessed it, couldn’t help but stop and dance.

The banjo and fiddle pair consists of Beth and Eric, who have casually been playing music together for three years, but only formed Sawmill about a year ago. In previous years, Beth and Eric attended Streetmosphere as spectators, but decided this year it would be fun to audition and here they are!

Sawmill draws in crowds with a fun, relaxed set, encouraging people to interact and dance along. The duo’s laidback attitude helps to create a carefree performance environment where people can just enjoy themselves and have a good time.

Sawmill will be performing at both the downtown and south locations of Streetmosphere all summer long. For more information about the band, including a schedule of their upcoming performances, check out their website.

To find out more about the Streetmosphere artists and schedules, be sure to check out our Facebook page or our website. While you’re there, be sure to take our survey to let us know what you think for a chance to win a prize! And don’t forget, while you’re at next week’s event, pick up a guidebook to learn more about the sponsors that make Streetmosphere possible!

A Variety of Visuals

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HalfMoon Arts

All of Streetmosphere’s performers are impressive. The musicians invoke spontaneous dancing by people walking past. The dancers draw huge crowds of people to watch and participate. But the visual artists often don’t receive the recognition they deserve. They sit quietly in front of their project for hours, painting, drawing, carving or sewing, and occasionally stop to chat with a passerby. Their craft doesn’t gather as much attention as the noisy musicians or the lively dancers, but the visual artists are just as important to Streetmosphere’s success as any.

Among the performers of this past weekend, some notable visual artists deserve some attention. These visual artists include HalfMoon Arts, Art on Mountain, and Chris Bates.

HalfMoon Arts is an arts apprenticeship program for youth ages 13 to 21. The youth who participate in Streetmosphere all design, carve, and paint totem poles in Oak Street Plaza. They begin with a log that has been flattened on one side. The artists must first shave down the surface of the log until it becomes smooth. Then they draw out their design in pencil on the log and begin carving into the wood. Once it has been carved to their liking, they paint it, mount it, and add any additional features—one of the artists added a tiny strand of lights to her totem pole. The artists can then opt to sell their work to the public and generate a small income.

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