Archive for the ‘events in colorado’ tag
I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.
The fewer expectations you have, the better.
Although we often separate art and science as distinct pursuits, innovative art and science are connected by the process of creative imagination. Throughout history, human imagination has consistently stretched the question of “why?” into the realm of “why not?” and in the process, adjusted our very concepts of reality. However you define it, Imagination, involves the process of reorganizing what we think we know. It’s the ability to question and risk seeing something outside the boundaries of what is “supposed,” to be—the rearranging of variables in new ways! Collectively, we often imagine someone like Albert Einstein, with his signature tousled hair, as a genius for his construction of knowledge and contributions to physics. Einstein published over 300 hundred scientific works, (and more than 150 non-scientific ones)—no small feat—he also said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For while knowledge defines all we currently know and understand, imagination points to all we might yet discover and create.” “
Another innovative thinker, Carl Sagan said, “Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.” Where has your imagination taken you lately? This weekend you don’t have to physically travel very far to explore new possibilities, and stretch your imagination. At the free Beet Street Imagination Fair, downtown, Fort Collins, (June 5, 5-9 p.m.) you can experience performances and demonstrations that explode the boundaries of science and technology, art and music! This month’s First Friday Gallery Walk (the monthly, evening, opportunity to explore the visual art offerings in Old Town) has an added performance dimension where cutting edge technology meets artistic expression.
On Saturday, at the Oak Street Plaza, Christopher “C3” Cardone demonstrates that becoming an accomplished musician is not a destination, but the ticket to musically travel even further. He builds his own instruments to create an amazing range of sounds and rhythms. Don’t miss your opportunity to journey to his corner of the universe—you never know what will be included in his performance! Later, That 1 Guy, aka Mike Silverman, will continue to push the limits of making music. Silverman, a classically trained upright bassist, imagined and engineered a bass out of electronically wired steel plumbing in an effort to find the perfect sound. You’re invited to hear his solutions!
At Opera Galleria (123 North College), event partner, Discovery Science Center, Colorado’s NASA link site, will showcase NASA exhibits and “hands-on” activities. You can also see award-winning student science fair exhibits. The Poudre School District’s Alpine Robotics Team 159 (students from Poudre High School, Lincoln and Preston Junior Highs) will demonstrate their robotic inventions, and the CSU Engines and Energy Conservation Laboratory will showcase their low cost, high-performance cookstoves, engineered for the developing world. Imagine that! Kids of all ages are also invited to not only listen but “play” Laser Harps with traditional harp strings replaced by laser strings. The harps were designed so that large groups can play simultaneously, using interactive movement, dance, and light to trigger sound. The result? A visual and musical performance you won’t forget! Impact Dance Company will also join in for special collaborative performances at 5:30pm, 6:30pm, 7:30pm, 8:30pm.
Then on Saturday evening, creative pioneer, visual artist, composer, poet, photographer, filmmaker, electronics whiz, vocalist, and instrumentalist Laurie Anderson will be in Fort Collins to follow the Imagination Fair. Get your ticket to be transported by her Burning Leaves: A Retrospective, Songs and Stories 2009 at the Lincoln Center box office. Anderson, a self proclaimed “techno-geek,” spins offbeat adventure stories, in an intimate evening of voice, electronics and violin. Her songs and stories include pieces from her acclaimed solo shows The Speed of Darkness, Happiness, The End of the Moon, and Homeland. Among many accomplishments, in 2002, Anderson was appointed the first artist-in-residence of NASA—and you can hear some of her avant-garde interpretation of her adventures into that great unknown. Don’t be surprised if her surreal melodies and your imagination sweep you off on an unexpected trip!
Nothing happens without a start as a dream.
Look at the photo on the left. It is a photo of a mural from the wall of the Guinness factory in Dublin, Ireland. The picture is particularly meaningful when we consider what it means to be ‘at home’ and to find ‘a home’ as we consider our multiple diverse stories in a community.
Last week, we previewed a sample of the Finding Home series and we hope you had an opportunity to enjoy the art on display last Friday on the Gallery Walk (one of my colleagues exhibited some of his work which we are all very proud of!), the Fort Collins Museum’s presentation of “The Move to Fort Collins: Local History Series of Immigration” in collaboration with OpenStage Theatre, and of course, the inaugural open house of the Museo de las Tres Colonias on Saturday!
As we move through April, the Traveling Heritage Quilt Project continues in our community as does the season of Anon(ymous) at the OpenStage Theatre & Company. On Wednesday, April 8th, Science Café will meet to discuss differences in migration patterns among Latin Americans. If you have not attended the Science Café before, it is an international community of scientists and interested citizens who meet monthly for informal discussions of lively and interesting issues in contemporary science. They host top-notch local and internationally recognized scientists, from academia and industry, in a quest to transform scientific discourse into “polite conversation.” This is no mean feat!
This week, the Science Café will be held at the Stonehouse Grille and the evening begins informally at 5:30 with a chance to order some refreshments and meet other participants. The lecture by Dr. Fernando Riosmena, an Assistant Professor of Geography and Faculty Associate at the Population Program in the Institute of Behavioral Science at UC-Boulder will begin at 6pm, followed by group discussion, and of course, a lively Q&A session! Participation is free of charge and the Café concludes at 7pm. Wednesday’s lecture will specifically explore the different reasons Latin Americans come to the US as well as the challenges they face on arrival. Dr. Riosmena’s research examines the relationship between migration and social mobility, well-being and development in both Latin American societies and immigrant communities of same in the US. As we have discussed in earlier blogs, these issues of social mobility, well-being and development depend heavily on the creative community resources present for immigrant populations as they adjust to life in a new ‘home’.
Our ‘old home’ continues to be celebrated in multiple ways as well over the next week, with the Museo continuing its open house this weekend and on Monday April 13, Poudre Valley Regional Library District will present its panel discussion entitled “Immigration in Colorado: The Historical Diversity in Colorado from it’s Earliest Beginnings”. This discussion on the nature of immigrants, how immigration has impacted Colorado from its earliest settlement and how things are different today will feature a range of voices including professors, lawyers, historians and members of the immigrant community. The event will be start at 6:30pm and will run until 9pm at the Elks Club at 140 East Oak Street in Fort Collins. It will be moderated by Dr. Paul Alexander, Director of the Institute for the Common Good at Regis University with English/Spanish interpretation provided by Irene Romsa. We look forward to learning how our collective past can influence our collective present and future as community members!
As always, you can find out the details for any of these events on our Finding Home Series Calendar. We look forward to seeing you this week at our discussions of new and old homes, as well as new and old communities!
With thanks to johndecember for his wonderful image!
Wherever you go, there you are!
Listen to the podcast:
Welcome to the first podcast for this blog, featuring Tom Borrup, a leader and innovator in non-profit community and cultural work for over twenty-five years. Tom’s work explores the intersections between
culture, community building, and economic development and he consults with foundations, nonprofits and public agencies across the U.S. in strategic planning and program evaluation. He has been especially involved with projects nurturing artists and other cultural assets in diverse urban communities, and has served on multiple boards for arts funding and leadership development. Over the course of his career, Tom has consulted with the Rockefeller, Ford, Wallace, and Andy Warhol Foundations, as well as the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. He received his B.A. in Liberal Arts from Goddard College, and continued there to receive his M.A. in Communications and Public Policy. Tom currently teaches for the Graduate Program in Arts Administration at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, and for the Institute for Arts Management at the University of Massachusetts.
When we talked with Tom, we asked him about his views on creative economy and its influence in contemporary times. He shared with us the ways in which the forces of globalization have forced communities to focus on and encourage their multicultural nature as a source of creative efforts and perspectives as well as a continual source of inspiration and learning. Our increasing knowledge of the world around us is forcing us as individuals and communities to revisit the ways in which we function and to think creatively as we adapt new ideas and new cultures into our lives. For Tom, this perspectival shift is becoming central to community survival.
Creativity is about being inquisitive and being open to new ideas as well as new ways those ideas can be put together. Artists are central to the sustenance of creativity as this is part of their natural way of working and being as individuals. Thriving communities are open and welcoming to new ideas and new people. Cultural celebrations bring people together and are a baseline ingredient for encouraging a true sense of community. Tom shares with us several examples from his work over the years as well as how different arts organizations and community initiatives encourage creative communities to thrive. We hope you will learn as much as we did about participating in community based arts from Tom and look forward to seeing you all at our own Finding Home celebrations over the month of April!
According to the United States Department of Labor, “Artists create art to communicate ideas, thoughts, or feelings. “They use a variety of methods—painting, sculpting, or illustration—and an assortment of materials, including oils, watercolors, acrylics, pastels, pencils, pen and ink, plaster, clay and computers.” That creates a lot of possibilities for defining artists AND creative production!
Every day, I rub elbows with people who consider themselves artists or artists in training. People with elbows often splattered with ink, paint, or dust! They usually consider themselves involved in creative production, and certainly view themselves as players in the developing creative economy. Lately, conversations inevitably lead to someone asking, “So, if creative people are necessary in this new economy, where are all the art jobs, and where are all the artists?” Some conversations are optimistic, others imagine stereotypical starving artists waiting to be discovered. All the discussions include some debate about, “what is art?” and “what is an artist?”
It’s pretty well established that old definitions of art have been demolished by multiple voices and experiences. What can be characterized as art, or more precisely old arguments about what is NOT art, have become moot points. The same can be said of the reality of working as an artist in a creative economy. Even though the word “artist,” can still conjure up specific images and ideas of what an artist’s work and workplace looks like, it’s time to free art and artists from the trappings of 19th Century studios with north light! Let’s do a little spring cleaning and throw out those static images of wooden easels, smocks and floppy berets! Get rid of ideas about artists only operating on the fringe! The Colorado Council on the Arts, reports that Colorado is home to the 5th largest group of people in the United States who call themselves artists—think about what that means. We’re in good company!
The US Department of Labor also predicts that employment of “artists and related workers,” is expected to grow in the next decade. At the same time, artists are considered important in fueling the creative economy. Tom Borrup, has taught, written, and consulted about community transformation through the arts. He believes the creative economy needs to ground itself in an active community of artists. How will artists find each other? Who gets to define community? How will we know a community of artists when we see one? Will we recognize each other? Will they be wearing berets? (Probably not, unless it’s REALLY cold!) Close your eyes—imagine the word “artist”—what do YOU see?
Actively engaging artists in a creative economy demands effort, not only on the part of artists but also from the community at large. How we collectively think about the roles of artists is important to the mix. Artists cannot be imagined as commodities, or merely funky, hip inhabitants to live in renovated buildings. Creative individuals contribute daily to the life of our city on multiple levels. They eat, shop, raise families, make homes, participate in the upcoming Beet Street events, recycle, and often do it with a little extra flair—or maybe not!
Fortunately for Fort Collins, exciting creatives in Northern Colorado aren’t waiting to be invited to the party! They’re getting together to celebrate and support each other. This week local designers will gather with friends, clients and colleagues to showcase local artists. Every week, local artists put their work on display in the city’s galleries and coffee shops, while theatre companies, museums and centers for the performing artists support emerging local talent. As the weather gets warmer, take a fresh look at the art and artists at work in our community! If you need some inspiration, check out Re:beet eNews for the lowdown on what’s going on in town!