Archive for the ‘Lincoln Center’ tag
Entrancing. Provocative. Celebratory. Poignant. Mythic. These are just some of the ways I have heard people in the community describe their engagement with the ideas and performances shared by the Imagination Fair and Laurie Anderson this past weekend. My family was downtown on Friday evening to capture the performances and music there on an early summer evening and witnessed the atmosphere created by That 1 Guy and others on the Oak Street Plaza. So caught up were we in the relaxed, fun filled atmosphere, we did not even make it to see what was happening at Opera Galleria! Others, however, journeyed on to be captivated by the Laser Harps and the works of local artists presented in CoCOA’s annual member exhibition at the Poudre River Arts Center as they voted on the People’s Choice Awards and celebrated our own local art community at the First Friday Gallery Walk.
Then on Saturday, a close to full house at the Lincoln Center witnessed the extraordinary talent of Laurie Anderson as she mixed music, metaphor, social commentary, light, life and air to fill that space with imagination, laughter and reflection. With stories ranging across the continent and beyond, Anderson enthralled the audience with accounts of small Amish boys learning to kiss without affection, hitch-hiking to the North Pole, staying in bed all day and teaching adult students at night school, narrowly escaping a hatchet and more successfully escaping the burn ward as a child, not to mention the precise performances of working at McDonald’s. She, the “ugly one with the jewels”, also spoke on indigenous people’s encounters with that strange tribe that calls themselves ‘anthropologists’, all the time reminding the audience of the ways we learn to be with each other and the multiple and diverse motivations for our actions, be they money, salvation, education and of course, self-preservation and identity.
Outlining “the stories of stories”, Anderson asked the audience “what are days for?” and to reflect on what some have described as the end of ‘American Empire’, when the people realized, like her little dog, that “attacks could come from above as well.” It was an evening of remembering (re-membering, or the ways in which we bring people from the back of our mind to the forefront of same) and forgetting, not to mention reflecting on what we choose to remember and forget in our stories. As I watched her skip lithely on stage to acknowledge her standing ovation for the third time, I dreamed that I might find myself at her age, capable of such wit, energy, art and love of life. It was an evening that will stay with me for a long time.
Tomorrow, the Science Café presents Dr Arlyn Andrews of the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Laboratories) in Boulder. Dr Andrews’ presentation is entitled “Carbon Detectives” and discusses her colleagues’ efforts to monitor and understand the global carbon cycle and the importance of taking quick action to reduce carbon dioxide pollution. The event is free and starts at 5:30pm at the Stonehouse Grille - we hope to see you there!
Don’t forget to leave us a comment on your experiences of these events – it would be great to hear from you!
This is my favorite time of the year. I know I blogged earlier about festivals and summer but just this week, I have noticed a whole bunch of new cultural sprouts popping up in the community so I thought I would start with what I have seen around and then if you see some others, you could post them too and spread the word!
This weekend, Opera Fort Collins presents Il Trovatore or The Troubadour, at 7:30 pm on Friday and 2 pm on Sunday at the University Center for the Arts (Griffin Concert Hall), on Remington Street (which is a fabulous building by the way!). Tickets are $30/$40; $20 for CSU students and children ages 18 and younger. For more information, call 221-6730 or go to www.lctix.com.
If opera is not your thing, how about some Jane Austen? OpenStage Theatre kicks off their run of Pride and Prejudice (one of my all time favorite Austen books) at the Lincoln Center mini-theatre this weekend. There’s been many a movie based on this storyline and representing this storyline — who can forget Colin Firth as Mr Darcy! Ok, now I am showing some prejudice of my own! For more information about Pride and Prejudice, performances please visit OpenStage Theatre & Company , or for tickets please visit Lincoln Center Box Office. Don’t forget that this week is also your last chance to catch OpenStage’s presentation of The Maiden’s Prayer by Nicky Silver which runs Friday and Saturday at 8pm with their final matinee performance Sunday May 24 at 2pm. The Maiden’s Prayer is at the Center for Fine Art Photography: Black Box at 44 N. College Ave.
Finally in May, over at FCMOCA , they are hosting “Fort Collins Collects” from May 22 through to July 18. This exhibit runs in the main gallery and is joined in June by Joseph Rafael in the Mezzanine Gallery for a run through the rest of summer. If you need an art fix more frequently, don’t forget that FCMOCA also hosts “start your lunch break with an art break” every Wednesday at 12:15pm sharp where you can join a 15 minute guided talk about some of the objects on display. Don’t say we don’t try to inspire you!
As you know, June kicks off with Imagination Fair June 5th with That 1 Guy and Laser Harps and will take place in two locations in Old Town — Oak Street Plaza and Opera Galleria. In conjunction with the Imagination Fair, but separately presented, Laurie Anderson will perform her Burning Leaves show at the Lincoln Center on June 6, which will be outstanding! If you haven’t got your tickets yet, click here! We’re fighting over who will get to go and review her show!
The next weekend is one for the younger members of our community and kicks off with the Fossil Creek Park Bicycle Festival, featuring kids’ bike games, bike rides, food and all manner of cycling shenanigans! The festival runs from 11am-4pm. On Sunday, June 14, the Fort Collins Regional Library District presents A Victorian Sunday in the Park – an afternoon of music, song, vintage games and crafts, and historical bicycles, all provided by the Fort Collins Museum and Discovery Science Center and their friends, in the historic cabins of the museum’s courtyard. Bring your lunch as the afternoon’s fun starts at 12 and goes til 4pm! Or you might pop over to the Taste of Fort Collins event in the Civic Center Park beforehand and pick up some tasty treats to take to the picnic! There’s food (of course), music, kids games and tons of fun there too…. All in all, an excellent weekend to get out and see what we have at our fingertips in the community!
Right on the solstice, when Spring becomes Summer on June 20 and 21, the Fort Collins Irish Festival arrives in the Civic Center Park for the weekend and the Father’s Day 5k Run/Walk to benefit Northside Aztlan Community Center Youth Programs. The run starts at 8am with registration from 6:45-7:45am in Old Town Fort Collins. The Irish Festival has a special gift for the first 300 dads to enter its gates as well! Fun for the whole family!
Then, just in case, you haven’t had enough fun already, June 27 and 28, is……that’s right! Colorado Brewer’s Festival!!! Get ready! Proceeds from the Festival help to fund the Lucky Joe’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Santa Claus, The Holidays Downtown, free summer concerts, and the 4th of July Downtown. This is a reason in and of itself to attend, but in case you need some more persuading…. there will be music, 50 different Colorado beers, food and fun from 11am to 6pm on both days!
Phew! That’s what I have got coming up! If you have any other information on events in the community that you would like to share, please feel free to add them here in the comments and we can send out the word!
Remember – art is part of everyday life!
“I was sitting in a taxi, wondering if I had overdressed for the evening, when I looked out the window and saw Mom rooting through a Dumpster.”
Confronting your past, and bravely telling your story (no matter how different you may feel) can help you realize that nobody is actually normal! That’s what Jeannette Walls talked about on Monday night at the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins. Ms. Walls discussed her memoir The Glass Castle, and her nomadic childhood with eccentric parents who often seemed to make abnormal choices about raising their family. Her book describes the sometimes bizarre episodes in her life, but Walls was here to celebrate her survival. She’s not afraid to tell the truth about her life now, although for years she lived in fear that her friends and colleagues would reject her if they learned the details of same life. She spent many years feeling ashamed that her family was not like other families, but now believes that even when people seem to have “perfect lives,” that probably isn’t true. Her advice is that if we set aside the stereotypes that blind us to seeing people as individuals, we will see a world full of people all doing the same thing—doing their magnificent best to survive their circumstances.
Ms. Walls is compelled to read reviews of her book at Amazon.com, since they add to her process of self-discovery through writing and promoting her book. I looked up one entry that she talked about. The comment was made by beckybramer who knew Walls and her family while growing up in West Virginia, and she writes, “As I read, I was filled with sorrow and shame because I was one of those people who didn’t want to have close association with them because they were so different from me. I try to assuage my guilt by telling myself I saw things from a child’s maturity level. I wish I could apologize and find myself wondering what would have happened if I had befriended Jeanette. She could have enriched my li[f]e tremendously.”
This exchange makes me think about how important it is to build personal connections in our own community. To be successful, we have to include as many people as possible in defining who we think we are as a group. Who are we excluding because we believe they are too different to care about? Ms. Walls was not always an eloquent, humorous, and successful journalist, gossip columnist, and writer. She has learned from both sides of the issue, that people who think they are better than others, miss the mark. She successfully argues that one of the most basic things people have in common, is that we all have a story—and most stories have parts we might wish to leave out. Ms. Walls is convinced that if we bother to see the complexities in individual experience, and face the truths of our lives, we raise the odds of experiencing the true joy of living together. In case you’re wondering, after reading the Amazon post, Walls contacted beckybramer–not to accept an apology or express her pain, but to connect with her as a person and share their stories!
Many people in the audience at Lincoln Center, attended the Jeannette Walls event with other members of their book club. So here’s a shout out to all the book clubs that meet in the Fort Collins area—it was great fun to see so many readers out in the open! Whether or not you belong to a book club, you have opportunities to read with others in our community. On November 7-8, T. C. Boyle will be in our town to discuss his novel, Tortilla Curtain. Get your copy soon, so that you can join in this community-wide book club! Since 2002, Fort Collins Reads has encouraged multigenerational residents to read and meet each other. Each year, books are selected to engage both adults and teens, and this year’s readings add to our community discussion on immigration.
So here’s to being together! Remember, the more stories you give away, the more stories you’ll have!
“Things usually work out in the end.”
“What if they don’t?”
“That just means you haven’t come to the end yet.”
— Jeannette Walls (The Glass Castle: A Memoir)
Thanks to B a m s h a d for the great reflection photo.
Over the next few weeks here in Fort Collins and Northern Colorado, we will be visited by several inspiring, determined and brave artists and scientists as we explore diverse forms of creativity across many realms of life. Tomorrow, Wednesday May 13, we will be amazed at Science Café to discover new forms of waste management using biogas technologies as Dr. Sybil Sharvelle, Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at CSU leads us in a discussion on renewable and renewing energies. Science Café will be held at the Stonehouse Grille from 5:30 to 7pm and is free to attend.
On Monday, May 18 at the Lincoln Center, Jeannette Walls, author of The Glass Castle, her bestselling memoir will share with us her story of struggle, determination and inspiration in a childhood characterized by hunger, love, poverty, beauty and chaos. Her story, as the latest in our series of Thought Leaders highlights the strength of the human spirit and its ever renewing and renewable energy and the power of inspiration to turn adversity to triumph. Once a reporter making her money from celebrity gossip, in The Glass Castle, Jeanette Walls turns the spotlight on her own life to show that indeed, truth can be stranger than fiction! Her work is used all over the nation in literature, psychology and child development courses; and Walls demonstrates to her audiences how everyone has a story and we are more alike than we think, suffering the same struggles, inspired by similar dreams and blessed with strong spirits. The conversation starts at 7pm with tickets available at www.lctix.com. Check out the audio interview here!
As schools get out and graduation caps get thrown in the air, June and its promise of summer also brings several events to lift our musical spirits and imaginations starting with the Imagination Fair on Friday June 5th, featuring Laser Harps and That 1 Guy. The Laser Harps are immersive installations that replace traditional harp strings with laser strings, using interactive movement, dance and light to trigger sound. The harps are designed to enable large groups to play simultaneously, resulting in a visual and musical performance to remember. That 1 Guy, alias Mike Silverman, is an upright bassist often hired as a one-man-rhythm-section, functioning as a bassist, drummer, and entire mini orchestra simultaneously. All in all, Imagination Fair presents the community with a vision of creation, innovation and imagination that merges science, technology, music and art in a thrilling variety of forms at three venues to enhance the First Friday Gallery Walk in downtown Fort Collins. I can hardly wait for this event – it sounds extraordinary!!!
Imagination Fair is closely followed by Laurie Anderson, one of the world’s premiere performance artists, on Saturday June 6, at the Lincoln Center. Anderson’s ability to personify innovation will move your heart and your mind. Over the next few weeks we will preview more of what is to come on June 6 but in the meantime, find out more about Laurie here and get ready to get some tickets quickly as she sells out fast!
“Laurie Anderson is a singer-songwriter of crushing poignance – a minimalist painter of melancholy moods who addresses universal themes in the vernacular of the commonplace.” Rolling Stone
Determined. Inspirational. Brave. We look forward to seeing you out and about in our community over the coming creative weeks!
With special thanks to h.koppdelaney for his image!
They are all pieces of the vision for a spectacularly diverse and tolerant human race that belongs to Edward James Olmos which he shared with the Fort Collins community at the Lincoln Center last night. I would be hard pressed to say what was the most illuminating moment of the night. There was the potent opening in Spanish, the ideally desired but unfortunately never achieved love scene between Olmos’ European and indigenous cultures, there were the nostalgic stories of the barrio and her people, and the exceptionally funny representations of people brushing their teeth in the morning. Through his humor, passion, presence and narratives, Edward James Olmos spun a tale for the future and of our children, based in our present struggles and dreams and recounted in each of our lives.
From his self confessed ‘know it all’ twenties, to his more humbled sixties, Olmos expressed desires as far ranging as living until he was 120, a hope for people to treat each other so that we might all live sustainable and long lives and the eradication of the word ‘race’ as a cultural determinant from our everyday vocabulary. To all of which he asked the audience to respond, “So say we all.” Drawing on his experiences with and the lessons embedded in Battlestar Galactica, Olmos asked us to consider our relationships with technology, our relationships with each other and our relationships to our varied and diverse cultural his/herstories that present themselves in our bodies. Demanding more respect for the UN (they are the UNITED Nations after all) and presenting himself as ‘our worst nightmare – a Mexican”, Olmos produced some disturbing (for some) truths for the audience’s consideration. I offer them here for yours:
1. Culture does not equal race. There is one race – the human race. All else is culture.
2. There is no other person of color, other than Martin Luther King that the people of the US celebrate collectively.
3. We don’t know each other. It hurts.
4. All cultures and their contributions should be infused into our children equally.
5. We think we have it figured out now we have a black President and that is our greatest deception. We are further away from unity now than we have ever been because we think the struggle for it is over. It is not. We must recognize the worth of all.
Then there were the life lessons:
1. When you see a stop sign, look for the trees, flowers, birds and Earth (from his grandfather).
2. Infuse your kids with self respect, self worth and self esteem, for a cultured sense of self, before they are 5.
3. Have schools require a school uniform. Then the kids will know they are on the same team and are equal. It will not destroy their individuality but will build their collectivity.
Finally, the dreams:
1. Multilingual education.
2. Geronimo carved right beside the others at Mt Rushmore.
3. A Latina President.
After two hours of bewitching his audience, Olmos departed the stage to a standing ovation from his multicultural, multilingual, multigenerational audience. One of his statements though, remains etched in my mind…..
“I am African first, Asian second, Indigenous third, mixed with Europeanness and that’s what makes me brown. I am a part of every single person I meet.”
So say we all.
Around my house we’ve been listening to Dan Zanes and Friends on compact discs for a while, thanks to a gift from great friends. On Sunday, my daughter and I had the thrill of singing along or as Zanes put it “belting it out,” live at the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins, where everyone was encouraged to sing out loud. Zanes confessed that he had originally been asked to do a “concert” in Fort Collins, but that his heart was set on having a house party with us. If you didn’t make it to the party, you missed hundreds of Zanes’ friends singing and dancing in the aisles. For his rendition of Catch That Train! we joined together to make a human train thattravelled through the auditorium. From the stage, Zanes pointed out that we represented all ages, sizes and temperaments—he didn’t have to point out that we were having a ball. A couple of times fans shouted requests for favorites and Zanes sweetly suggested that they might be songs we could sing together in the lobby after the show, but that he was here to raise the roof! Kids and grownups spontaneously sang and danced together—nobody risked standing out in the crowd by not joining in! Dan Zanes and Friends make music for families and people of all ages—not music to just listen to, but music you can make at home and with family and friends. This means you have to get involved—you have to sing along–even if you don’t know the words!
The “Friends” part of Dan Zane and Friends are as eclectic as the music they make. They started out from all over the globe, just like the songs they perform. In Fort Collins, the band played ukeleles, an accordion, drums, fiddles, guitars, bass and more! On top of it all, they took turns singing! To truly understand the variety of music and instruments, you had to be there, but if you weren’t, take a look at the Dan Zanes and Friends website!
On Sunday, we didn’t gather to hear a group “play kids’ music,” we joined as new, old friends to play together and celebrate possibilities. Zanes acknowledged that we are living in “let’s just call it what it is—uncertainty.” But, even in uncertain times, we can come together and remember what makes us human. It is possible to imagine a world where everyone is part of a giant house party—you just have to start where you live. In Fort Collins, Dan Zanes and Friends illustrated that we don’t have to speak the same language, or even know the words to have fun together—some of his friends speak Spanish, and he’s learning, but that didn’t stop him from singing before he has all the pronunciation down. In his bright lime green jacket and pointy shoes, Zanes sang songs that celebrated the vibrant culture that comes with immigration, songs that represent our Spanish-speaking neighbors in the Americas. Zanes explained that making new friends, and learning from them, is a way to break out of categories based on ideas of age, language, and cultural difference. This is why his performance couldn’t just be what it’s “supposed to be,” people sitting quietly and listening at a concert.
Zanes also doesn’t want to stay quiet about immigration issues that affect our friends and neighbors. Before asking us to join him in singing “Welcome Table,” from his latest album, he shared his concern for the suffering of immigrant families trying to make their lives in the United States today. Proceeds from this album will support the work of the New Sanctuary Movement, a coalition of interfaith religious leaders and congregations that actively and publicly support immigrant families torn apart by deportation. The “Welcome Table,” is drawn from North American gospel traditions and poignantly reminds us that there are repercussions to how we treat each other.
On Zanes’ website it states that he sees himself as “the town conductor,” and after watching the faces of the singing audience he led out of the Lincoln Center auditorium, I think he has a point. Zanes and his collaborative band offered a model for playing together that can be applied not only to an auditorium, but to a street, a neighborhood, a town, a state, and beyond! What I’ll remember from Dan Zanes and Friends, is that if you gather together some accomplished musicians; some songs—new ones, and some you have heard before and forgotten; some local friends and neighbors; and if you are willing to join in, you can’t but have a house party! And, who doesn’t want to have a party? In Fort Collins, people who don’t look the same, sound the same, or even sing the same tune, proved that if we do it out loud, we can make music together. Zanes’ message is that some things are for certain, even when things are uncertain—good parties invite everyone to join in and don’t leave anyone out!
Home is where you feel free to dance!
There is much talk in globalization circles that we are moving closer and closer to the eradication of the nation-state and the rise of a global society and world system. It would be easy to say that those who propose such ideas are fantasists, yet there is no doubt that the world faces global issues, on a global scale, with no easy global solutions at hand. Many of these global issues have been wrought by the movements of people, their belongings, their cultures, their food and their homes. It’s funny what kinds of cultural diversity we celebrate and which ones we deem catastrophic. The Politics of Open and Shut.
Last year, as I tended to my garden at the University Village, my Indian neighbor was educating me on what he was growing in his plot. I asked him where he got the seeds to grow the spices and vegetables fundamental to his native cuisine. He said, “oh you know, my friend’s cousin sent them from India and we all shared them around.” He then told me how to cook them, what they are used with in the cuisine of Goa where he was from and later that afternoon, I went home and wrote my Indian colleague in New Zealand to learn some more. The Politics of OPEN.
This weekend, my colleague shared a story with me about a scholar who had lived in the Village for several years with his family (3 children, one an infant), and who at the end of his stay had tried to return to his home in Gaza, only to arrive in Egypt to find he did not have appropriate documentation and the border was closed under current circumstances. The family was then sent to Austria who did not know what to do and sent them to Jordan where they remain in a refugee camp and hope to return home one day. The Politics of SHUT.
Seeds travel. Stories travel. Images travel. People travel. Homes travel and sometimes unravel. My thesis research was conducted on the border of Arizona and Mexico, in a small town called Douglas on the US side and Agua Prieta on the Mexican side. Every day I would conduct fieldwork at the local high school, the soup kitchen and the post office (amongst other places). I watched people come across that border to get their mail, do their shopping, get something to eat and go to school. Then I saw them go home. My friends would tell me of the tunnel that ran under the border where drugs ran both ways. Holes you could drive a truck through. Packages of food and clothes left by charitable folks on either side for those who risk their lives to cross. They would also tell me of shootings in the alleys and disappearances; always calm, always matter of fact. This is what it means to live on the border, they would say. Borders. Outer edges. Lines. La Frontera…where you walk the line between life and death, figuratively and literally.
I would get on a bus to travel back to Tempe to see my advisor. “Make sure you carry your documents”, she would say. See, I’m an immigrant too. At Bisbee, or before, the bus would stop for a siren. Armed men would get on the bus, we would all produce our tickets and our papers; those of us who had them, that is. Every time, 3 or 4 people would leave the bus and get into a van, arms handcuffed behind their backs. I would watch them from my window as we drove away. Me, with my white face, shaking like a leaf.
Immigrant tales. They are as diverse as the people from whose tongues they roll. I admire people who have a clear position on immigration because my immigrant life has no clear position. That’s what makes discussing immigration difficult. But on Tuesday, April 21, at 7pm at the Lincoln Center, we hope to try and hear diverse voices on this most human and global of topics — the Politics of Open and Shut. Frank Sharry, of America’s Voice, a nonprofit communications organization dedicated to winning immigration reform and previously of the National Immigration Forum of Washington DC, one of the nation’s leading immigration policy organizations will engage our community in a lively dialogue on fresh perspectives on immigration as the 5th presenter in Beet Street’s Thought Leader series. Frank Sharry, himself, while pro-immigration reform, is the first to admit there is no easy answer to the country’s immigration challenges and he is accustomed to his views being contested. Described by some as a common sense voice of reason and by others as a controversial radical, we hope you will join us to entertain your brain and make up your own mind about this extraordinary speaker and topic. For more information about Frank Sharry and other Finding Home events, visit Beet Street.
We would love to hear what you think of the event afterwards! Just post a comment below…:)
Home is where they understand you.
“Infamous con shares advice on life, security and family”– The Collegian, March 11, 2009
” Out of the shadows: Speaker divulges security secrets learned during life of crime” – The Coloradoan March 11, 2009.
Infamous Con. Life of Crime. Are we talking about the same Frank Abagnale, FBI educator, family man, security genius and all round authentic, humble, extraordinary man with an extraordinary American story? These headlines do not do justice to the extraordinary thought leader that graced the stage of the Lincoln Center last night, telling tales of his 5 year life of crime and his 35 year life of repaying every penny he stole and quest to keep people safe from those that would steal their identities and lives. They do not do justice to a man who credits his wife with saving his life, who didn’t tell his children of his life until he felt they were ready to read his book entirely, a man who commutes from Tulsa, Oklahoma to Washington DC every week to go to work. Nor do they do justice to a man who in one night, gave his audience invaluable advice on keeping themselves safe financially, told kids in the audience to think about what they do and the consequences of their actions, not just when they are 20 but when they come back to haunt them when they are 40, and who states that ‘life is not short; life is long and we live with the consequences of our decisions all the days of our lives’.
We thought we knew who Frank Abagnale was before he stepped on the stage. We had done our homework, we had seen the movie. But the Frank Abagnale at the Lincoln Center last night surprised many people with his humility, honesty, story telling, and his willingness to stay until the last audience member left, signing autographs and posters, answering questions and dispensing advice. His story is a family story, of a boy told to choose between his divorcing parents at age 16 and who runs away to avoid this hurtful decision. Of a boy forced to live by his wits until he faces his inevitable capture and imprisonment. Of a man who lives for his family and his country and believes that every child deserves a mother and a father. A man far more interesting in the flesh than any tale of his life.
And, what’s more, he could have been your neighbor! Little known fact - 28 years ago, Frank Abagnale and his wife put a bid in on a house that was being held by the Feds after a major embezzlement rocked Fort Collins. The Feds never responded to their bid and so the Abagnales went to live in Tulsa, where they have been since. So close!
With advice from using only your credit cards to purchasing micro-cut shredders, Frank Abagnale, thought leader extraordinaire, shared many a gem of wisdom with the 700 odd members of the audience last night. But perhaps his most enduring message is about how your family can really save your life and how a life dedicated to the safety of others is perhaps one of the most rewarding. Fort Collins thanks you, Frank, for your generosity of spirit and time last night! (Remember you can come back here, any time!)