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Archive for the ‘culture’ tag

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.

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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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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Viewsic Art Entertains in Old Town Square

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Viewsic Art

The motto for Streetmosphere is, “Expect surprise around every corner,” and the group, Viewsic Art, represents that to a T. Viewsic combines beautiful music and singing, with the artistic stylings of Streetmosphere solo artist, Chris Bates, for an overall unique performance.

Set up in Old Town Square this past Sunday, Viewsic Art drew in a crowd of curious bystanders. Some members of the crowd danced, clapped or sang along to the music, while others stopped to admire Chris’ artwork. Whatever they did, the audience as a whole was completely captivated by the performance.

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Three, two, one… Tuba!

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Cody Krueger of the Fort Collins Four Tuba Quartet

When you become a street musician, you want your performance to be memorable. You want people to stop, watch, listen, and groove to the music. You want people to take pictures, grab your flyers, and tell their friends. You want to entertain, and you want to do it well, obviously.

No one masters the art of street performance better than Streetmopshere’s Fort Collins Four Tuba Quartet. The quartet played outside of Cache Bank this past Friday evening.

Their first attention getter: they are a quartet of three members. This isn’t entirely true, but it happened to be the case Friday night, which was highly confusing to the people on the streets of Fort Collins. The Four Tuba Quartet played for three hours with only three tubas… a trio, according to most dictionaries. Their fourth band member had prior commitments, but that didn’t prevent the three remaining tuba players from pouring their heart and soul into their performance.

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Get Your Game Face On!

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Stage Manager Jan is welcomed by FRV staff!

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!

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