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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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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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A Weekend of “Firsts”

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The Honey Gitters' guiar player, Greg, sings to the crowd using a megaphone.

Front Range Village, located south of Old Town on Harmony and Corbett Drive, is the perfect place to escape for the day. The Village has places to eat, shop, relax, and as of last weekend, watch performers display their talents. That’s right, Beet Street’s signature program, Streetmosphere, has expanded to Front Range Village for the first time ever!

With a new location, new crowds, and new surprises, Streetmosphere experienced a weekend of “firsts.” The Honey Gitters, along with ARCINDA and Susan K. Dailey, were the first of Streetmosphere’s dedicated musicians and artists to test out the new location.

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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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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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