The Beet Street Blog

Archive for the ‘youth’ tag

What is a Virtuoso?

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Virtuoso is an Italian based word meaning versed, or skilled. We use it today to describe someone who is particularly skilled in a given field, like music!

The Virtuoso Series Concerts, hosted by the University Center for the Arts, has consistently presented talented musical artists who demonstrate beautiful melodies that allure and entertain audiences. These concerts occur on a regular basis and make for a great opportunity to enjoy a night out as well as appreciate the many various musicians featured.

If a sitter for the children is unavailable, consider taking them as well! With ticket prices for youth (2-17) at $1 a-piece, it would be less expensive to bring them along, not to mention the benefits of exposing young children to the arts. Overall, Virtuoso Series Concerts are great events for families!

The next concert is Thursday, November 5th, featuring Duo Francois (a piano and violin duo).  Make sure to check the UCA website regularly for these amazing concerts.

Written by admin

November 2nd, 2012 at 10:00 am

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 »

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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Only in Fort Collins

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One of many musicians unique to the Fort Collins scene: dACCORDion.

Only in Fort Collins can you expect to find a surprise around every corner. That’s Streetmosphere’s slogan, and we’re sticking to it!

The program just completed its seventh weekend of performances in Old Town, Fort Collins. Despite some bad weather and some smoky air, we couldn’t be more pleased with the performances, the artists, and the crowds that have come out to support Streetmosphere every weekend.

All these feelings of nostalgia prompted the “street team” to dig deeper—to uncover the things about Streetmosphere and Fort Collins that are truly different than anywhere else in the world. It wasn’t difficult to find these things; in fact, the list had grown exponentially after just one day of observation.

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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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ARCINDA

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A member of ARCINDA teaches 3-year-old, Torin, to play the demung.

The non-profit, musical and dance performance group, ARCINDA, joined the ranks of Streetmosphere’s talented artists when they played in Oak Street Plaza on Sunday. The group of eight performers nestled themselves cozily into a corner of the plaza—they even brought their own carpets to sit on—and brought the sounds of faraway Indonesia to Fort Collins, Colo.

ARCINDA’s mission is to do just that: to combine the eastern and western worlds by performing and educating people about the arts and culture of Indonesia. They do so using a variety of heavy, wooden instruments called Javanese Gamelan, which they play while other members of the group sing and dance in typical Indonesian fashion.

Many of the eight members that played at Oak Street Plaza on Sunday had their own Javanese Gamelan. These instruments grabbed the audience’s attention purely based on their immensity and ornately carved wooden structures, not to mention their uniqueness to western culture. Of the Javanese Gamelan on site, there were two gongs, four demung, a bonang, and a kendang.

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Arts in Education: Fostering student development through amazing performances

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From February 24 through 26, there will be a showing of the play Almost Maine in Fort Collins. Written by John Cariani and set in the fictitious Maine town of Almost, this play follows one extraordinary night in the lives of nineteen townspeople. Named one of the top ten plays of 2004-2005, it is bound to be a great show.

What is more exciting about this production, though, is not just the play itself but the people putting it on. The students at Poudre High School have taken on the challenge of performing Almost Maine, and the payoff is sure to be huge. Cariani, an accomplished actor himself, made sure his play was both challenging and rewarding to its performers. This particular production is no exception, as only six students will be playing the roles of all nineteen characters. This really demonstrates their talent, hard work, and dedication, their young age aside. Considered the school’s “varsity” show, Almost Maine certainly boasts a lot of talent.

We know that the arts can have a huge impact on students. Learning to be creative, to express oneself through a positive medium, and to work as a team fosters both professional and social growth. But involvement in the arts also helps students out academically. According to a study by the National School Boards Association and Americans for the Arts in 2004, the arts are vital to education completion and contribute to a rising in student achievement. Students who participated in the arts were found to be 4 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, 3 times more likely to be elected to class office within their schools, and 3 times more likely to win an award for school attendance, to name just a few points.

Studies also show that early involvement in the arts is helpful, too. And thanks to Suna Thomas, middle school students in Fort Collins can be active in the arts through music as well. In November, we found out about a band Suna helped form at Kinard Middle School that was creating places for kids to play instruments not always covered in school bands and orchestras (http://beetstreet.org/blog/?p=1180). With a unique blend of guitars, bass, drums, and electric instruments, the Kinard Middle School House Band has gained some serious popularity, playing at a Colorado Eagles game and at Art Lab Fort Collins. Suna has now founded the Kids Create the Music Foundation, an organization that helps encourage music in schools on the student’s terms. Allowing the students themselves to pursue their craft and learn through the arts is an amazing accomplishment.

Both at the junior high and high school level, students are getting more involved in the arts. They are challenging themselves in their own disciplines, creating music, performances, and art with as much talent as any professional. And while students gain advantages through arts education, they are also playing a vital role in the Fort Collins community. The entertainment and opportunity they provide for viewers and peers is fostering continuous growth in our town.

Students often go on after graduation to become accomplished in many professions, and few will follow careers in the arts. However, what they are learning and contributing right now through their involvement in the arts is invaluable. It is what helps build the accomplished future that they strive for.

Be sure to check out Almost Maine:
Where: Poudre High School, 201 S. Impala St.
When: February 24-26, 7:00pm
Tickets: $8 regular price, $6 student price.
Visit http://www.Showtix4u.com or call (970) 488-6212 for more ticket info.

For more information on the Kinard Middle School House Band and Kids Create the Music Foundation, please visit www.kidscreatethemusic.org.

What is Harvest? by Tiffany Hodson

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What does harvest mean? To the dictionary, it means “the gathering of crops, the season when ripened crops are gathered, or a crop or yield of one growing season” among other things. To me, it means life. It means family, togetherness, freshness, sustenance. It’s my favorite time of the year. I love the colors the harvest season brings, the browns, reds and yellows nature gives, along with the colors of the abundant produce. To me, harvest is a celebration of life, of food and family. We enjoy this last burst of seasonal growth, before winter comes and we all tuck in for the rest of the year.

Harvest has big significance in my family. We are direct descendants of William Bradford, the pilgrim governor who was a leader on the Mayflower, and made peace with the Wampanoag tribe who taught the pilgrims how to raise crops in their new climate. Because of this arrangement, the first Thanksgiving was celebrated with days of feasting with their new tribal friends. According to Pilgrimhall.org, by autumn the pilgrims had “fitted their houses against winter” and had “all things in good plenty” because of their successful farming.

As I remember the pilgrims’ struggle for their first successful harvest, it is interesting to think of how simple it is for us to get beautiful, fresh produce from the grocery store, farmers markets, CSA’s, etc. For me, the harvest season, especially Thanksgiving, is a time for me to appreciate the ease of access to an abundance and variety of fresh and whole food. I have an appreciation for my little garden outside that sometimes does well and sometimes doesn’t. If it’s not doing well, then it is no trouble to run to the store.

Eating fresh, seasonal food is the easiest (and funnest) part! Squash, corn, potatoes, apples, and tons more! It is easy to eat these fresh, delicious foods with minimal cooking and full flavor. Get them locally or from your own garden, and the flavor is amazing!

Simple, local grilled corn is some of the most flavorful I have ever had. Skip the butter and seasonings, and eat it right off the cob. Amazing. Cook up some squash, sauté onions in butter with salt and pepper and puree it all together for a fabulous and fresh soup! Eat an apple. Just eat it! If everyone ate this way every day, we would all get our daily vitamin and mineral requirements, and nobody would need added fiber in their yogurt. Seriously, IBS would be a thing of the past, and I bet we would see a huge decline in diabetes, heart disease, etc.

Go to LocalHarvest.org to find a farmers market or CSA near you. Get involved with your local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) or a nearby community garden and learn how to grow your own produce! Your food can’t get any more local than from your own back yard!

Tender Pork Chops with Herbed Two Squash Pasta

4 Pork Chops
1 medium Spaghetti Squash
2 Tbsp EV Olive Oil
1 medium Zucchini Squash, sliced into coins
1/2 White Onion, small diced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Cup Chicken Stock
2 Tbsp Butter
2 Tsp Parsley
2 Tsp Rosemary
2 Tsp Thyme
2 Tsp Basil
Shredded Parmesan Cheese to taste
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 f. Cut the spaghetti squash lengthwise down the center and place both halves face down in a roasting pan half way full of water. Place in the oven for about 45 minutes or until a knife poked into the side slides out easily.

In the meantime, saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil until tender. Salt and Pepper both sides of the pork chops, add the stock to the sautéed onions, nestle in the pork chops and cover the pan with a lid. Turn down the heat to Med Low. Cook the chops low and slow until cooked to your liking. They will stay tender at a low temp.

Once the spaghetti squash is finished baking, pull it out of the oven and let it cool a bit until it is comfortable to touch. Pull out the pork chops onto a plate. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds from the squash and discard them. Using the same spoon or a fork, gently scrape the spaghetti strands out of the squash skin. Turn up the heat on the pan with the sautéed onions to med high or so, and add the spaghetti and zucchini squash. Toss to coat, melting in the butter and adding the herbs, parmesan cheese and salt & pepper. Add the chops back in and you are set to go!

Snuggle close to your sweetheart and eat up! Pack the rest for a lunch your co-workers will be jealous of!

Blog submitted by Tiffany Hodson, http://lifeaftergluten.blogspot.com

Beet Street’s Homegrown Blog

Inspired by the Harvest Season, and our upcoming Homegrown Fort Collins program, we will be featuring the Homegrown Blog for the next couple of weeks.  Look for daily stories, comments and recipies about community harvest, and cooking with local food.  We are opening this special edition of the Beet Street Blog to our community, and will feature a different guest blogger everyday.  Let’s celebrate the bounty of Northern Colorado!

Homegrown Fort Collins celebrates the harvest season and its contribution to community and local culture. The goal is to educate, celebrate, and enjoy food with a focus on local. The old adage, ‘you are what you eat,’ resonates stronger than a parent’s stern warning to their children. The harvest of a community in many ways reflects the essence of the community, and has been at the center of festivals throughout history. Beet Street’s Homegrown Fort Collins will help us take a closer look at what’s around and develop a stronger sense of place and appreciation for our local harvest.

For a full schedule of events, please visit Homegrown Fort Collins!

It all started with baby food by Kristin Mastre

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While busy in the kitchen, the aroma of baking acorn squash filled the house.  Sweet potatoes were boiling on the stove top and the baked peaches that had just been pulled from the oven were cooling on the counter top waiting to be peeled.  The windows were open to let the crisp breeze come through and upbeat music was playing to keep me grooving and singing.  It was autumn, harvest season, and I was up to my elbows in fruit and vegetables making baby food.

My baby (who is now in Preschool) was beginning to eat solids as autumn came around.  We had just moved to Fort Collins and were struggling on a very tight budget.  It was a difficult year, but I found great happiness in those days of making baby food.  We didn’t have much but I felt an ample amount of satisfaction having our home filled with the rewards of our local Farmer’s Market, providing our family with healthy, delicious meals made from scratch and from the heart.  Even now when I open my refrigerator or pantry and see the shelves filled with food, I truly feel fortunate.  Every year since then when I see the signs of autumn at our Farmer’s Market, the memories of nourishing my family come flooding back and that familiar happiness grows within me like the food on the vine.

This year our family is experiencing the riches of harvest season with the abundance of Palisade Peaches taking over our kitchen counters.  Palisade is in the south-west part of Colorado, east of Grand Junction.  Often called the “heart of Colorado’s fruit and wine country”, Palisade is well-known for their amazing peaches that have been growing there since the late 1800’s.  Peaches are a favorite fruit of mine and after being very disappointed with some of the selection at local grocery stores – tough, flavorless and dry, it was refreshing to have juicy, tender, fragrant, meaty peaches, ripe for the eating.  With the peaches being a local food picked ready-to-eat, you can absolutely taste the difference.  We’ve been eating peaches every day and enjoying every last dripping bite.

There’s something about harvest season that brings people in our community together.  I think we all feel very lucky to live in a city where we are surrounded by agriculture, where the concept of “from farm to table” is readily accepted.  With the cornucopia of fruits and vegetables we find, people all around seem to have a stronger connection with one another while talking about the bounty of delicious produce they’ve purchased and discussing different recipes they enjoy.  Recipe swapping is something that many of my friends and I love and it always leads to some lively conversation where our families reap the wholesome rewards.

Experiencing a plenitude of peaches, it’s been fun figuring out how to incorporate them into our daily meals.  We’ve been eating them fresh and raw, baking them, blending them in smoothies and even grilling them.  I’m all for simple dishes that are kid-friendly (especially now that our family has grown to two kids) and recently found a recipe that I’ll use every year that we find ourselves with a bumper of peaches – Peach Caprese Salad.   Simple and classic with a twist, it’s also very healthy and perfect for those who have limited skills in the kitchen.  Using fresh local ingredients makes this mouth watering meal one that friends and family will request for years to come.

During the celebration of harvest season in Fort Collins, I hope we spread the good feelings of camaraderie by sharing some of the ways we enjoy savoring all that we grow in our land of abundance. 

Peach Caprese Salad

Credits:  Serious Eats – Dinner Tonight
-serves 4-

Ingredients
3 ripe peaches, halved, pitted, and sliced
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into slices
Olive oil to taste
Balsamic vinegar to taste
Salt
Pepper
Procedure

1. Halve each peach, remove the pit, and slice. Slice the mozzarella and tear the basil leaves.

2. Arrange peaches and mozzarella on a large plate. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar to taste (aim for a 3-to-1 ration of oil to vinegar). Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and basil.

Kristin Mastre is a wife of 10 years, a mother to 2 boys, a personal trainer and the author of feastingfortcollins.com, a local restaurant review blog.

Beet Street’s Homegrown Blog

Inspired by the Harvest Season, and our upcoming Homegrown Fort Collins program, we will be featuring the Homegrown Blog for the next couple of weeks.  Look for daily stories, comments and recipies about community harvest, and cooking with local food.  We are opening this special edition of the Beet Street Blog to our community, and will feature a different guest blogger everyday.  Let’s celebrate the bounty of Northern Colorado!

Homegrown Fort Collins celebrates the harvest season and its contribution to community and local culture. The goal is to educate, celebrate, and enjoy food with a focus on local. The old adage, ‘you are what you eat,’ resonates stronger than a parent’s stern warning to their children. The harvest of a community in many ways reflects the essence of the community, and has been at the center of festivals throughout history. Beet Street’s Homegrown Fort Collins will help us take a closer look at what’s around and develop a stronger sense of place and appreciation for our local harvest.

For a full schedule of events, please visit Homegrown Fort Collins!

Quick and Easy Meal of Delicious Harvest Vegetables

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It’s fall, my favorite time of year. Picking pumpkins, sipping freshly-pressed apple cider, unraveling corn mazes, admiring the alpenglow on the turning leaves, and of course, enjoying the bounty of the harvest.

This year I’m looking forward to joining Beet Street’s Homegrown Fort Collins harvest celebration and tasting the best of what our local Colorado producers have to offer.

Here in the southwest, the aroma of roasting chile peppers is a sure sign of autumn. The distinctive perfume makes my mouth water and reminds me of one of my favorite fall recipes that brings together many local or homegrown veggies in an tasty and satisfying vegetarian meal.

In Native American lore, the three sisters – corn stalks, the beans that wind up them, and the squash growing in the shade underneath – symbolize the symbiotic relationship of siblings, community and togetherness. Many of the ingredients used in this recipe, including the corn, tomatoes, chiles, and beans, were unknown in Europe before the return of Columbus from the new world, making this a truly American dish.

You can easily add meat to this meal by substituting ½-3/4 lb. meat for one of the cans of beans, or just adding it in an extra layer in the bottom of the pot if your cast iron Dutch oven is large enough (this may require an additional 10 minutes of cooking). Double the recipe and add about 8 minutes to your cooking time to feed a family of 4.

Three Sisters Navajo Harvest
Serves 2 

1 cup white rice
1 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 15 -ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 yellow squash, cut into large julienne sticks
1 zucchini, cut into large julienne sticks
fresh kernels cut from 2-3 corn cobs, or 1 14-oz can, drained and rinsed
3 to 4 large tomatoes, chopped, or 1 14- oz. can chopped tomatoes, drained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage, or 2 teaspoons dried
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried
salt and pepper, to taste
3-5 roasted chile peppers, peeled, seeded and chopped

  1. Preheat the oven to 450° F.
  2. Spray the inside of a cast iron Dutch oven and lid with olive or canola oil.
  3. Rinse the rice in a strainer and put into the pot with 1 cup of water. Swirl gently to settle into an even layer.
  4. Layer the beans, squash, zucchini, corn, and tomatoes into the pot, interspersing sprinkles of sage, oregano, salt, and pepper.
  5. If using fresh corn cobs, shuck the cob, stand on end on a plate and remove the kernels in a smooth, downward motion. Then add the corn to the pot.
  6. Add the chiles.
  7. Cover and bake for about 35 minutes, or until 3 minutes after the aroma of a fully cooked meal escapes the oven.
  8. Serve immediately.

Post by Elizabeth Yarnell, author of Glorious One-Pot Meals: A Revolutionary New Quick and Easy Approach to Dutch Oven Cooking. Her patented cooking technique is perfect for time-challenged cooks. She speaks and gives cooking demonstrations around the country.

 

 

 

Beet Street’s Homegrown Blog

Inspired by the Harvest Season, and our upcoming Homegrown Fort Collins program, we will be featuring the Homegrown Blog for the next couple of weeks.  Look for daily stories, comments and recipies about community harvest, and cooking with local food.  We are opening this special edition of the Beet Street Blog to our community, and will feature a different guest blogger everyday.  Let’s celebrate the bounty of Northern Colorado!

Homegrown Fort Collins celebrates the harvest season and its contribution to community and local culture. The goal is to educate, celebrate, and enjoy food with a focus on local. The old adage, ‘you are what you eat,’ resonates stronger than a parent’s stern warning to their children. The harvest of a community in many ways reflects the essence of the community, and has been at the center of festivals throughout history. Beet Street’s Homegrown Fort Collins will help us take a closer look at what’s around and develop a stronger sense of place and appreciation for our local harvest.

For a full schedule of events, please visit Homegrown Fort Collins!