Star Cluster Initiative Downtown Artery

The Evolution of the Downtown Artery

Creative Arts, Everything Can Be Art

Musicians, and artists, and performers, oh my! Since its beginning, the Downtown Artery has made its multi-faceted space known for being an inclusive ecosystem for creatives to grow and flourish. As part of the building’s evolution, the Artery has opened its doors to the public for them to be part of each new installation by making every nook and cranny unique and a source of inspiration for all. How can you be part of each art installation, meet other creatives, and learn new multi-media techniques? Become a member of the Star Cluster Initiative.
With the Artery changing its hours, new times have been allotted to learn and create before the cafe and bar open at 4 p.m. Mon-Fri. If these opportunities and experiences seem interesting to you, please tune in to the Downtown Artery’s website and Facebook page, or just come on down to the corner of Linden and Jefferson to see what they have to offer. The cluster is undoubtedly a safe space for you to explore your creativity.

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Make More Art Call for Contributors

Everything Can Be Art, Social Causes

Open Streets is a nationally recognized day in the street without cars. It is located from Overland Park to S. Shields St, including Pleasant Valley Rd., Clearview Ave., Castlerock Dr., and Springfield Dr in Fort Collins. The celebration includes food trucks, live music, local artists. Learn about local businesses and organizations on the streets of Fort Collins. A highlight of the day will be the Make More Art Battle. 60 artist will participate in an epic art thrown down. Create Places, a nonprofit which advocates for Artist in Fort Collins, is the producer of Open Streets Battle.

The Artist Call

This is a call for the artist in the community who like to work spontaneously. Join a live celebration of art in the community of Fort Collins. Participants can be any age. All you need to bring is a tube of paint and a dream. There will be creative juices flowing all around for inspiration.

There is an easy sign-up form. Be a part of a national movement and prove that art is a viable part of the Fort Collins Community.

The Battle

Artist will gather in the streets at 10 am and pick a theme from a hat. Each artist will have 30 minutes to reflect on the topic. If an artist wants a redraw, they can contribute $1 in a cup to veto the theme. There is a time limit of 90 minutes to paint a 24×24 art piece using black and white paint provided by Create Places.

The creator may bring one one additional acrylic color to use. This paint will be contributed to the collective and used only once by the artist. After each round, the paint goes into a bag; each continuing series will have a blind draw

The Format

There are three rounds each formatted the same. There are judges on hand to choose the winners, encourage the artist, and feed compliments to the participants. Completed artwork will be displayed and for sale during National Arts & Humanities Month in October (Venue/Dates TBA). All proceeds from the sale of work will go to the artist who created it.

Donations

If you would like to support the battle and more art related events, give a tax deductible donation here: http://createplaces.org/

 

Make more art. Make It local.Make the community colorful.

Create Places First Friday Creative Relief Fund

Everything Can Be Art, Fort Collins Music, Social Causes

 

On First Friday, 9/1/2017, Create Places of Fort Collins is launching a call for donations. Any musician or artist that donates portions of their sales to the relief efforts of Harvey Hurricane in Houston will be matched dollar for dollar for up to $1000. The donations can be in the form of ticket sales, merchandise sales, fundraiser shows or any profitable contribution. This initiative encourages local grassroots philanthropy from artist and creatives in Fort Collins.

Create Places is an artist-organized economic and workforce development nonprofit established in 2014, that aims increase arts-related employment in Northern Colorado. Andrew Schneider is the visionary behind Create Places. He advocates for other organizations within the community to participate in a drive to match donations.

Andrew says,

“this match is to support, encourage, and celebrate those grassroots efforts as our signal of a music community doing well and doing good.”

A statewide drive created by Colorado musicians and media was launched to raise ONE MILLION DOLLARS to aid the working musicians affected by the flooding in TX. September 15 is a Kick off meeting for anyone wanting to get involved.

To learn more about the musician match from Create Places email Andrew: andrew@createplaces.org

 

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Top Picks for First Friday in Fort Collins

Everything Can Be Art

Fort Collins First Friday art walk happens the first Friday of every month. This is a night for art, community, and culture. This is a family friendly event. This event happens from 6-9 in Old town Fort Collins. There are many galleries open to the public  , do research to find out which ones interest you.

Here are a few highlights:

The Merchant Room

(the second floor of Walnut Creek) 222 Walnut St, Fort Collins, CO 80524

Her Ritual: Sincerity of Identity and Environment

Artwork from fourteen emerging artists:

Alexandra Lake, Amanda Thomas, Ben Stanford, Cass Kruger, Devan Kallas, Emily Roan, Emelia Christensen, Grace Kennison, Holly Nordeck, Jennie Maydew, Krystin Gutierrez, Laura Wingate, Zach Miller, and Zoe LeDonne.

The show will be up for the following week during Walnut Creek’s hours until Friday, August 11th

Akinz 

15 Old Town Square #132 Fort Collins, CO 80524

Flagship 5 Year Anniversary Bash + First Friday Artwalk

New artwork from owner Suzanne Akin.

LIVE PRINTING: First ever “Build your Own” print setup! Make your shirt 1-color, 2-color, 3-color or 4-color, you choose which screens.
RAFFLE PRIZES: Get an entry just for showing up + extra entries with purchase.
SUMMER SALE: All retiring designs will be on sale! Up to 1/2 off!
MORE FREEBIES announced soon!

 Compass Community Collaborative School and Mesh Fort Collins

242 Linden Street Fort Collins, CO 80521

Maker Space and Drone Racing

Two innovative, collaborative, and creative communities showcasing their talents and technology.

 Downtown Artery

252 Linden Street Fort Collins, CO 80524

 Features art, a complimentary beverage, snacks, a wine lounge, music, outdoor patio and a fabulous atmoshphere. Two floors of downtown culture.

Wolverine Farm Letterpress & Publick House

316 Willow St Fort Collins, Colorado

Beth Lighthouse

Acrylic landscape, nature, and sky paintings. Her work will be up the entire month of August.

 

 Center for Fine Art Photography

400 North College Avenue Fort Collins, CO 80524

 Ann M. Jastrab

The gallery director at RayKo Photo Center in San Francisco and an independent curator. Ann has curated many exhibitions for RayKo during the past decade while also jurying and organizing numerous exhibitions for other national and international venues outside of San Francisco. She has also reviewed portfolios for a multitude of organizations including the Seoul International Photography Festival in Korea, Fotofest, Photolucida, GuatePhoto, Review Santa Fe, Medium, Filter, and Lishui International Photography Festival

The Community Creative Center

200 Mathews Fort Collins, CO 80524

Friends of Marsha Krygier

Expressions: A Summer Art Exhibit and Sale

 

 

For other Galleries visit Downtown Fort Collins.

For more events visit Downtown Fort Collins Events calendar.

 

 

 

 

 

Justin plays finger style acoustic

Justin Roth Launches a New Singer-Songwriter group at the Music District

Everything Can Be Art, Fort Collins Music

Justin Roth is bringing his songwriting group to the Music District in Fort Collins on Tuesday, April 11 at 7 pm. For over five years, this group has existed so that songwriters can bring in a fresh song each month to receive constructive criticism and encouragement. It began with its founding members – Justin, Michael Kirkpatrick of The Holler! and the Good Time Travelers and Mike Finders (of Finnders and Youngberg) and has grown with a rotating cast of about 30 other songwriters. Roth saw that moving the group to the Music District would be an opportunity to invite other writers and to be more interactive with the local community. It is appropriate to songwriters of all levels who aspire to work on their craft.

The technique of creating a song is distinctive for all. Creativity can come in waves, which some rely on for song production. Other methods are more strategic and disciplined by writing each day to allow ideas to flow regularly. The purpose of the group is to have a deadline and to be faithful, no matter how the tune was composed or the style of the writer.
This experience can become part of the writing process because getting feedback when a new song is still forming can help writers get a better sense of whether their message is getting communicated they way they intend. It is a chance to examine one’s own writing, as well as that of many others, by being open to honest feedback with the goal of honing one’s craft.

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Roth studied music business in addition to being a musician and educator.  He has invested time on the road touring and has the first-hand experience what it calls for to be successful. Roth can lead a writer through songwriting, instructions, skills/techniques, audio recording, and establishing a business method. Justin is a member of a broad engineering studio in Fort Collins,  Bridgeway Recording.  He owns a home studio, ToneBAR Studio.  He works holistically with an artist according to where they are in their performance and recording career.

Justin teaches online guitar lessons through  JAMPLAY.COM.  This is a live streaming method of teaching. There are dozens of teachers covering many styles, techniques, and tips. Justin’s class is every Thursday at 4 pm called “Expressive Acoustic Guitar” which directs how to spice up your guitar parts in songs.

Upcoming shows:

Sunday 4/9/2017 Justin Roth & Korby Lenker (from Nashville) at Avogadro’s Number

04/28/17 FoCoMX Festival – High Point Bar Time: 10:30pm. Address: 146 N College Ave.

 

Fort Collins Gypsy Swing Band Release Craft Beer

Everything Can Be Art, Fort Collins Music

The Happy Dapples is an eclectic group of musicians from Fort Collins that play Gypsy Swing. This Saturday they celebrated their craft beer release of  Hoppy Dopple with Equinox Brewing in Fort Collins.

The beer has been on tap at Equinox since November of 2016. Oskar Arevalo, singer and guitar player of the Dapples, had an interest in brewing the beer.  He was a chef at Fish restaurant in Fort Collins where he constructed food-beer pairing dinners. He wanted to merge his culinary and musical talents. He initiated a music-beer pairing for his band.  He selected the hops with the help from Equinox brewers and The Hoppy Dopple Lager was born. It was designed to be a low ABV, easy drinking beer, that you could enjoy more than one of.

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The Happy Dapples bring an all-embracing mix of swing, jazz, and fusion. The music they perform is built for moving, tapping, and dancing. There are dueling guitars that vary in art form from classical finger style to a jazz swing that transforms the listener to a speakeasy in the 20’s with a distinctly modern flair.

The Happy Dapples are reinventing jazz in a modern way and have labeled it Gypsy Swing. Gypsy Swing has been alive for over eighty years. The birth of Jazz was almost ten years later. Gypsy Swing was popular in the 1930’s in France and the emersion of American Jazz took the genre in a new direction, Gypsy Jazz. This band impressively aims to revive the genre with the modern influences in play, they are birthing a new form of Gypsy Swing Jazz. They have strong music roots in old school jazz, Tom Waits, and metal. It is all derived in fun and the Dapples want you to enjoy listening to their music as music as they enjoy creating it.

Band members include Oskar Arevalo, Kimeon Young, Dillon Knowlton and Adam Nobody. The members of the Dapples have been playing music collectively over ten years, although the band is in their freshman stages. Oskar, Kimeon and Dillon performed with two guitars and a drum set then discovered the sound they were seeking needed a bassist. They added Adam and the sound they were seeking was born.

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Oskar and Kimeon met in the eighth grade in Fort Collins. They were long time rivals and competed over most things, even a girl. One day they realized that they were better friends than opponents. They started playing music together and fused together this new dynamic sound. Dillion and Adam are long time bandmates and have played together in previous obscure metal experimental bands.

Although there are no formal plans for an album, the band is constantly creating new music. They rehearse at Higher Ground Rehearsal Studio in Fort Collins and have found management support there. Band member Oskar Arevalo is a guitar teacher at the Music District in Fort Collins.

To hear this live session:

 

Happy Birthday to The Colorado Sound

Everything Can Be Art, Fort Collins Music

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Benji McPhail, Program Director at The Colorado Sound

The Colorado Sound is the fastest growing non-commercial radio station in the nation. This week they turn one year old. To celebrate they are hosting a premiere party at Aggie Theatre in Fort Collins that features a lineup of Colorado bands including Dragondeer, Paper Bird, Rob Drabkin, and Brent Cowles.  The celebration will be recorded by a diverse team of videographers and broadcasted on a later date.

THE COLORADO SOUND 1ST BIRTHDAY PARTY with Dragondeer, Rob Drabkin, Brent Cowles, Paper Bird

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Neil Best, GM of KUNC

 

Benji McPhail is the Program Director at The Colorado Sound. He started at KUNC as the Music Director in 2012. His strategic planning collaborated with eTown radio program, the University of Colorado, and the University of Denver, to record performances in audio and video for re-broadcast on KUNC. This expanded the reach of the station and grew the audience. Benji tripled the evening ratings. It was clear that people were craving a new AAA station.That is how The Colorado Sound was born.

KUNC now is a total news outlet, and The Colorado Sound is the music broadcast affiliate. In radio, the measure of success is to increase Arbitron ratings, and The Colorado Sound has mastered that rather quickly.

 

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Benji’s office is decorated with new music cd’s and music memorabilia

Benji wants to do more than just play the hits to get ratings. McPhail is a musicophile with years of experience in programming spanning from KCUV Radio Music Director to programming director at KKPL Radio. His style of broadcasting is a blend of musicology and stellar music taste. His approach is to play the music that resonates with his listeners. He holds a monthly listening party where the audience can vote on the songs they want to hear in a rotation.

The Colorado Sound highlights Colorado music. The station is advocators and curators for the scene. There is no shortage of music coming from the state, and the Sound aims to be the leader in bringing the best of it to your ears.

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Host Ron in his office at the Colorado Sound

 

Colorado’s music industry is the largest in the Rocky Mountain West. The state has 16,300 music based jobs the next highest employment totals in the region are Nevada’s 8500 and Utah’s 79001. Colorado’s music industry generates $1.8 billion in annual revenue, compared to $309 million in Idaho and $556 million in New Mexico. Nevada is again second in the region at $1.3 billion.

 Hosts include veterans in the radio industry: Benji, MargotRon, and Marc. The Colorado Sound has been a dream of Benji’s for a long time. He is a Colorado native. He spent some time in California radio, but his heart-strings were pulled back home. He felt he could showcase his Colorado music roots and help others gain an appreciation for the sound.

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This station goes beyond what you hear on other stations and delivers quality music that excites your senses. The hosts are passionate about music. Each of them is a true innovator of the craft and is shaping the type of music being delivered to you over the airwaves. Overall, The Colorado Sound just plays really good music, all day long.

To support this movement in Colorado music you can become a Colorado Sound member.

Stay tuned because big things are on the horizon for the Colorado Sound.


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Rae McAlister’s Illness Will Not Stop Her From Performing

Everything Can Be Art, Fort Collins Music, photography

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Rae McAlister is a singer-songwriter in Fort Collins, CO.  She is currently in the studio with Paul Andrews at Bridge Studios laying down tracks for her debut album. She is no longer wasting time waiting for things to be perfect or when she has enough money or even when she is healthy enough. Rae realizes that tomorrow is not promised and life is short. She has set out to make the days matter and what that means to her is taking her creative career by the horns.

Just get out there and just do it ~Rae McAlister

Her music has an edge and raw emotion that entices you to hear more. She plays a hollow body guitar, and her soprano tones resonate the room in a very dynamic way. She hits high notes with power, intensity, and longevity. Her songs build to a strong climax. Her sound has an illusive sense of nocturne, a bit dreamy with an airy feel.

Rae has women musician mentors in the Fort Collins community, like Mer Sal of the Symbols, and Nancy Just who help her hone her craft and motivate her. She is really focused on being a heartfelt musician. Rae values music as a business and thinks you don’t have to be a superstar to be a successful musician.  She took The Online Musician teaching course, to expand her musical business service offerings.

Listen to the full interview here:

Every day that Rae plays music is a miracle. Music has always been a part of Rae McAlister. She was born and raised in a musical family. Her musical makeup consists of jazz, folk, and classical training. The thing about Rae is, she has the diagnosis of Myotonia Congenita, Thompson’s disease, and Ehler’s-Danlos. Several years ago her body was immobile leaving her in a wheelchair. Music was an impossible dream.

Rae’s muscles started detaching, seizing and pulling joints out of place, and she could not walk or perform her daily, routine task. She had to quit working or care-taking her family. She was bedridden, and her life took an unexpected turn. The diagnosis was a blessing because it finally meant doctors could start treating her illness. It was at that time she decided to embrace her creativity and devote her life to her passions.

Also, McAlister has an art business Rae’s-Transfiguration-Furnishings for her furniture, visual arts, and photography.She recently applied to be a visual artist for pianos about town. When she was struggling with her mobility Rae would make it a point to get dressed and go into Old Town Fort Collins to sit and play the piano. She contributes the very thing to healing. She noticed others doing the same thing in the community. Older people would flock to town just to play their favorite songs on the piano. It may be their one outing or the one social interaction of the day. As an homage to this, she would like to contribute her inspired design to the program.

Rae has never let her diagnosis get in the way of her creativity. If anything, she uses it to fuel her passion and achieve what some may say is UN-achievable. She cannot push her physical boundaries every day, but she always dreams and creates. Her positive nature shines through her pain. For that, the world can indulge in her art and her music.

 

Children Battling Critical Illness Get the Gift of Music

Everything Can Be Art, Social Causes

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Clark Hodge is the Executive Director of Chase the Music. Chase the Music has original music composed and performed for kids battling critical conditions. Hodge spent the majority of his life working in High Tech. Now Clark spends his day’s enriching lives through music with his non-profit.

Five years ago Clark met a little girl diagnosed with Leukemia and his world view was altered dramatically. He wanted to comfort her in some way. He thought a stuffed animal might do the trick. When a child is sick, they get dozens of soft teddy bears.  Clark realized the gift he wanted to give was music.

He connected the Colorado Symphony and Orchestra with the little girl, and together they wrote a song. A unique event held in her honor served as the unveiling of the song with close friends and family in attendance.

That little girl was Lauren. She told Hodge:

“Clark, I’m never going to stop smiling.” – Lauren, age 5, Leukemia

It changed Lauren’s life to have the opportunity to compose her own piece of music. It also moved Clark so deeply that he started the non-profit that pairs composers with critically ill children. He hopes to help many more children like Lauren.

Chase the Music is expanding its model and growing so that it will go beyond Clark’s circle. This summer a pilot program is launching in another country.

Music offers a special kind of healing. According to Cancer Research in the UK,

“Some studies show that music therapy can help children with cancer to cope, by encouraging them to cooperate and communicate.”

Music can alter a mood, evoke a feeling, serve as a reminder of a particular time, or just be a vehicle for peace. Music is a gift that truly keeps on giving for a lifetime.

“Music therapy can help people with cancer improve their quality of life. It can also help to reduce some cancer symptoms, and side effects of treatment.” –Cancer Research UK

Not only does the music touch the child and the family but also the artist is impacted. The audience fills the room with love for the child at the event. The whole process is healing and makes the child feel like a rock star. The event includes the family as a whole, knowing they are all going through a very traumatic experience. There is food, drink, and a presentation that honors the child in the critical condition.It is a true celebration of life. These have been very special moments to previous recipients.

To learn more about the organization or to get involved visit Chase the Music.

 

Monday Montage: The Week of Love

Around town, Everything Can Be Art, Monday Music

 

The weekend is over. Fort Collins doesn’t stop just because the weekend does. There is sweet gems of live music, art shows, craft beer tastings, and journalistic events every day of the week.

Some highlights this week are from bands like the Lumineers, photojournalism projects,  some Athens Rock, and lots and lots of love.

Plan your week with the Monday Montage:

2/13 Monday: Singles Night at Snowbank Brewing with Denver Band One Way Ride. Beer Tasting, Food Truck, Live Music, Singles, SnowBank Brewery, free

2/14 Tuesday: Valentines Day at New Belgium Brewing with Stelth Ulvan of Dovekins currently touring with Lumineers. Denver Indie Music, Chocolate, and Beer Tasting, New Belgium Brewery, free

2/15 Wednesday: Trees, Water, & People Communities in Action Photo Exhibit featuring journalist Jeff Abbott. social movements and human rights, photojournalism, fundraiser, beer tasting, snacks, Horse and Dragon Brewery, entry fee

2/15 Wednesday: Storytellers Project seven stories told about love & heartbreak hosted by the Coloradoan and Wolverine Farm at the Downtown Artery. oral storytelling and journalism, community-building, bar, tickets purchased in advance

2/16 Thursday: Drop of Productions presents Future Birds at Lyric Cinema. Athens Rock, Indie Film Cafe, Tickets in Advance, Bar

2/17 Friday: Discovery After Dark: Archer & Tripp and More Than Physics at Otterbox Digital Dome Theatrelive ambient melodic percussions, audio-reactive visuals, modern technology and ancient ethereal music, tickets purchased in advance.

2/18 Saturday: IMPACT Dance Company presents Wo/men & Song at the Music District.Dance, Tickets in Advance, diverse choreographic work and music; classical instrumentation,  improvisation, and live vocalization.

2/19 Sunday: Her Story Worry & Fear at the Articulate. Women, Community Building,  how to live with a hopeful perspective, free, coffee, storyteller

Step out every single night of the week to strengthen the community and enjoy something new.There is plenty more to do in this town beyond what is listed. Seek something out that fuels your flame.

 

Sign Up For Monday Montage:

 

 

Chad Fisher: Fort Collins Bluegrass Musician and Teacher

Everything Can Be Art, Fort Collins Music

 

Chad Fisher is a Fort Collins Bluegrass Musician and a Teacher. He got his start from listening to music, and it pulled on his heartstrings so much that he devoted his life to becoming an artist. His home was remarkable, but no one was a musician. That did not stop him from pursuing his passion.

Chad sitting in his home studio

Chad fell in love with the Mandolin after a good friend left one at his house and a co-worker gave him a couple lessons on the side. After a failed business attempt his passion for music took over. He casually created a Bluegrass Band of friends and his wife Olivia’s family to perform at his wedding. That band stayed together and called themselves Lonesome Traveler and in the act of kindness and support asked him to join their band and musical journey.

Chad developed the “Strings Program” at Laurel Elementary. He created a mandolin program and afterschool program call bluegrass club which fostered the growth of young musicians. Fisher believes firmly in not only teaching children how to play an instrument but also supporting them throughout their journey. He has moved into a full-time role in his home studio and passed the torch of his school program to his fellow band mate Lydia Demi-Smith.

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Chad’s dog sits by his side through every lesson he teaches

Chad Fisher’s home studio has children from age four and up. He teaches mandolin, violin, and guitar. In addition to weekly lessons, he has a group jam session. These happen once a month. They begin with a lesson and then break out into smaller group jams. This helps the students learn how to use the repertoire they spend hours memorizing and actually applying it to musicianship with a group.

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Chad loves that he gets to share his love of music with the youth in Fort Collins

There will be jam sessions in February at the Music District and in March at the Downtown Artery.

Chad will be performing with the Lineage Band for a Bill Monroe tribute. He will also be playing at Jerry Garcia and David Grisman tribute show with Lineage and Switchman Sleeping. Linage Band has a unique model of acting as mentors to their students and peers. They have discovered their greatest joys come from expanding their circle of musicians and sharing the knowledge, they each have learned along the way.

For Lessons: please visit Chad Fisher .

For Performance: visit Linage Band.

For Monthly Student Jams: visit Lineage

 

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The Ugly Architect Live from the Merchant Room

Everything Can Be Art, Fort Collins Music, photography

The Ugly Architect is debuting a new sound in Fort Collins. If you read this blog on a regular basis, this is part two of the Ugly Architect interview.  As they get to know each other better, they are developing a sound unparalleled to any other. They are connecting and collaborating as they establish strong music relationships.

The concept of the Ugly Architect is not a new one:

“I started this project in 2015. It has kind of had a rotating cast of people.” ~William Knudsen

Yet the arrangement of the members is what is newsworthy.

To get a glimpse of the music they are creating, they performed in the Merchant Room for a live recording of this podcast.

Fort Collins is home to a thriving music ecosystem. Music is quickly becoming an anchor in the community. There is no one Fort Collins sound, however. The city has a diverse artist base that is fluid. It seems to have an evolutionary spirit.

The Architects are perfecting their new sound. They are building the frameworks within the Fort Collins Creative Community.

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Wolf van Elfmand is Pioneering the Fort Collins Indie Folk Scene

Everything Can Be Art, Fort Collins Music

Wolf van Elfmand is pioneering the Fort Collins Indie Folk scene. It all started when Wolf arrived in Fort Collins to attend graduate school at Colorado State University in Music Therapy. He stepped into the Wild Boar coffee shop to a poetry reading with his guitar and a desire to perform. He stepped out with a showcase that has been a platform for songwriters in Fort Collins for over 6 years.

With a host of friends, that platform was born, and it was the Black Mountain Ramble.  It found a home in the basement of the Wild Boar Coffee Shop. Many of Fort Collins bands performed for their very first time at this event like Free Range Pickens and Rich with Friends. Wolf even met his future bandmate Luke one night at the ramble. They went on to perform under the name Von Stomper. Von Stomper constructed a unique sound and attracted a huge following.

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The Black Mountain Ramble grew larger with every new gig that was booked. Eventually, a regular crowd and performers were itching to get their chance to play. The Ramble outgrew the Boar. In its transition, it was renamed the Olde Town Folkways and relocated to Wolverine Farm and Publick House.

Wolf has matured in his career. He is releasing his fourth solo EP which he recorded with Dango Rose of Elephant Revival and a host of other respected musicians in Colorado. He is performing under his original moniker, Wolf Van Elfmand, handed down from his grandfather.

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He has a private Music Therapy practice Cottonwood Music Therapy.  He continues to grow the Old Towne Folkways in Fort Collins. His heart for Folk Music has opened up doors for other performers and allowed for a true Folk Scene to emerge in Fort Collins.  He has set the stage for Folk to flourish in Fort Collins and up and down the Front Range.

Follow him on Sound Cloud and Facebook to be alerted when his 4th solo project drops.

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Wolf’s Fourth Solo project; Real Wolf. To Be Released.

The Ghost Ship Digital Compilation and Fundraiser at Downtown Artery

Everything Can Be Art, Social Causes

 

DJ Anna and Echo live in Fort Collins but felt very connected to the Ghost Ship devastation that happened in Oakland. They knew that the community of Fort Collins could do more than contribute worry. They joined forces with the Downtown Artery and created the Ghost Ship Fundraiser.

 

The Fundraiser was a concert that took place on 1/21/2017 featuring 3 local acts:

 

The Ugly Architect

Maxwell Hughes

Madelyn Burhs

In addition, one national touring act Tristen.

Tristen is set to launch Nat Geo at the Sundance Film Festival.

They also recorded a 10-track compilation for purchase. This has only Fort Collins recording artist. All proceeds benefit the Ghost Ship Fund.

So far they have had great success with the support of the local community. Anna realizes the value of a DIY network of artist and how powerful it can be to support one another.

If you feel compelled to help in any way, please visit the links below.

You can download the album here: Fort Collins Friends Comp for the Victims at the Ghost Ship

Want to learn more about the fund? Click here:Relief, Recovery, and Resiliency Fund for Oakland Fire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fort Collins Band The Ugly Architect Adds New Members

Everything Can Be Art, Fort Collins Music

 William Knudsen is the lead singer and creator of the Fort Collins Band the Ugly Architect. He is shifting the design from a solo act and adding new members.  The Ugly Architect configuration is to add and subtract members that are accessible in the proximity of the surroundings. with William being the only consistent member of the band. William took this idea on the road for a US tour. In each city, he played with the local musicians and designed new structures within the frameworks of his songs. Each song he writes has an intricate sketch like a blueprint, and need a variety of musicians to make it complete. That tour ended, but William was not ready to stop creating this masterpiece.

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William Knudsen plays an intimate acoustic session at The Merchant Room. Photo by Argento Studios.

He found himself at a crux after the tour and knew the Ugly Architect was just the groundwork he wanted to build.   He seeks to keep the momentum of the summer going all year long.

What happens to the Ugly Architect next? A remodel of sorts, yet all the fixtures of this version have become permanent:

  • Bob Shipton – Bass
  • Thomas Wentz- Violin
  • Preston Charlesworth Rice- Percussion
  • William Knudsen – Singer-Songwriter/Guitar
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The Ugly Architect Photo by Argento Studios

William is creating a bounty of songs and original versions of the band. Roving musicians will still join the group from time to time. The Architects will carry on the spontaneity that is the core of the band. They have just expanded beyond a solo act. Now Ugly Architect is a full band. There are a newness and an explosion of energy going on between them. They are set to record a full LP by mid-year.

Upcoming shows:

Old Town Folkways at Wolverine Farm

Ghost Ship Benefit Show

Also, pop-ups as the mood strike them.

Special thanks to the Merchant Room for hosting the video and photo shoot.

Wood Belly is the New-Grass Quintet in Town

Everything Can Be Art

Wood Belly resonates the soul by combining traditional bluegrass with modern new grass styles. They were born in bluegrass heaven, Rocky Grass 2015, and tour around the Front Range.

Wood Belly describes their music as,

“boundless song-focused repertoire is sure to get boots on the floor and make any true bluegrass fan feel right at home.”

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Wood Belly plays at Mobb Mountain Distillers in Fort Collins photo by Argento Studios

 This is a five-piece string band combining talented musicians:

  • Craig Patterson (Guitar/Vocals)
  • Chris Weist (Mandolin/Vocals)
  • Chris Zink (Dobro/Vocals)
  • Aaron McCloskey (Banjo/Vocals)
  • Taylor Shuck (Bass/Vocals)

They plan to start the year touring and building a loyal fan base. This new band is nothing short of charismatic and robust with fingers full of lightning. There is no shortage of innovation from this group.

 

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Fingers Full of lightning, fast playing bluegrass. Photo by Argento Studios

 

In the fall, they have hopes to record a studio album. Until then you can catch them playing:

There is an eclectic mix of backgrounds.  The member’s lives seem to intertwine even before meeting. It seems this band would have happened no matter the circumstance. Although the band is new, they have roots in the Rocky Mountain Bluegrass community. Aaron McCloskey teaches at Swallow Hill. Taylor Shuck is the former bassist of Von Stomper, he also plays in another band, Mustard Licks, with Chris Weist.

You can check out their website, visit them on social media, or just see an upcoming performance. Special thanks to Mobb Mountain Distillers for hosting Wood Belly for this interview.

 

If you want to know more about how they met, listen to the SoundCloud podcast:

 

What Lies on the Horizon for Bluegrass Guitarist David Jensen’s Solo Career

Everything Can Be Art

Beloved  Fort Collins bluegrass guitarist  David Jensen is venturing out into a solo career after spending the last few years with National Touring band Blue Grama. What lies on the horizon for his solo career is fun and light hearted, a new group called DJ Meow Mix & the Grabbers.

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David playing tunes in the Attic of the Music District in Fort Collins, Co Photo credit: Argento Studios

David has had a long time love affair with the guitar. It started when he was 13 and has flourished into more than just a passion over the past 17 years. He traveled down the path of garage bands with friends to a formal education at Mary Washington University where he studied Jazz Guitar. Jazz methodology is like bluegrass in a way that a repertoire of songs is rehearsed solo, then groups gather together for freeform playing and jamming. Like bluegrass, the real magic happens in the jam sessions.

David met a very influential person while at the University, Jim Burton, who nurtured his bluegrass guitar playing. Jim was an avid activist who promoted Folk and bluegrass guitar music to the younger generation. He took David under his wing and introduced him to a circle of musicians that acted as a support network for David. It gave David the opportunity to hone his craft, excel in his passion, and become the experienced player he is today.

Dave speaks about Jim,  “He was ‘instrumental in recruiting Bluegrass bands to the D.C. Area. that would be influential to the younger generation.’ He was not much of a live performer himself.”

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Hank, David’s guitar, gifted from his mentor and long time friend Jim. Photo credit: Argento Studios

David set out on his way to the Wild West. At that point, Jim gave him the guitar he still plays today. Hank is the name of Dave’s trusty guitar. You can see on the body all of the years of pickin’.

David has his debut show on January 20 at Oskar Blues Longmont with his new project DJ Meow Mix and the Grabbers.

This band is “a pop bluegrass band playing tunes like Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up” and Blackstreet’s “No Diggity” (think the best of the 80s & 90s – Madonna, Blondie, etc.) with a bluegrassy flair.”

Dave’s extensive background blends styles from across genres. This band is something fresh, modern, and progressive.

David also does in home lessons for bass guitar, acoustic guitar, and drums. Visit his Facebook page to learn more.

Listen to the whole interview on Soundcloud:

Derek Blake playing Folk Music

Fort Collins Musician Derek Blake: Live Acoustic Session

Everything Can Be Art

 

Derek Blake is a singer-songwriter in Fort Collins, Co. He has a new album, Pop hits released July 20, 2016. Pop hits were created to be easy listening. The songs average about 2:00 each and follow the “made for radio” style.

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The album was recorded by local Fort Collins band, Tallgrass, at GPM studios.

Musicians on the LP are:

  • guitars and vocals- Derek Blake
  • bass-Austin Morford
  • vocal harmonies-Matthew Skinner and Austin Morford
  • drums-Adam Morford
  • Engineers- Matthew Skinner and Austin Morford
  • Mastering-Tyler Lindgren

Derek has deep Americana roots felt in every chord he plays. He grew up in Steamboat Springs with a family of musicians who enjoyed gathering together to play and celebrate life. Derek writes a lot about family and the stories made in that Steamboat Springs home.

Derek is currently touring in Northern Colorado, playing the tunes from his new album. He is ambitious, however, already planning his next mixtape. Recording with Tallgrass again is his goal. The synergy that was created in the studio on Pop Hits is something rare. The next album will be different but still full of the magic that his freshman album had.

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Derek plays an acoustic session at the Music District in Fort Collins

Derek has upcoming shows in Fort Collins:

Derek also has a new web show airing called Fishin’ and Pickin’ that focuses on catchin’ fish and playing tunes. This will air on FC public Access as well as on the web.

Derek’s style is unique. Sometimes it is Folk, often it is Honkytonk or Western Swing. He can play fingerstyle bluegrass and tell a story that makes you cry. His music is moving and very heartfelt. Download or stream the album Pop Hits from Bandcamp.

Listen to the acoustic session on soundcloud:

Write Minded Wins Scene Magazine Fresh Talent Showcase

Everything Can Be Art

Write Minded

Write Minded: a Fresh-Funk-Fusion-Jam-breaking-genre-boundary-band  competed for Scene Magazine Fresh Talent Showcase and took home the grand prize pack that includes free recording time, a spread on the cover and a spot at the Arise Festival.

Write Minded calls Fort Collins home. They are a six-piece band comprised of:
Vocals / Sam Mouton (who competed on The Voice in 2012)
Vocals / Jesse Neth
Bass / Jarod Ford (Turtlebear)
Guitar / Forrester Tamkun
Drums / Jonah Greene
Keys and Synths / Wilson Slaughter

Scene Magazine is an independent monthly publication that empowers the local Fort Collins music Eco-system with journalistic support. The Scene has evolved with Northern Colorado Music. They still exist in print; despite that, some say it is extinct, in addition to a digital version online.

The Competition is in its 3rd year of existence, staged, so all ten bands go head to head for 20 minutes each. Judges vote for the winners who are announced at the end of the evening.

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Lead Singer of Senorita Sometimes rocks out for the crowd

Competing Bands included:

The Seen and Unseen
Johnny and the Mongrels
The Bardots
High Country Lowlifes
Race to Neptune

South to Cedars
Senorita Sometimes
Write Minded
The Great Aerodrome
I Am the Owl

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Senorita Sometimes enjoying the stage together

Write Minded is just under two years old but quickly carving a name for themselves in the music industry. This year they won the Independent Awards for best Funk/Fusion/Jam Album.

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Write Minded Guitar player giving his whole self to the performance

Find their album on Spotify, iTunes, or simply go to their website.

Laura Burhenn of Mynabirds teaches about protest songs at the Music District

Everything Can Be Art, Social Causes

featuredShout It Out

Laura Burhenn is a new revolutionist. She examines the question:
“What does a revolution look like today, and what are we fighting for?”
Laura presented her version of protest through song at the Music District  workshop, “Shout it Out,” in Fort Collins, CO on November 22, 2016. She speaks of the threads of change in her TED Talk and through her band the Mynabirds.

She is accustom to the spotlight and chooses to use it to make a difference in this world. Laura is using her voice through creative projects in an attempt to help heal the nation. She hopes to see a significant shift occurring in thought leaders, as the country experiences this division. The idea is to use art as a powerful form of protest. Laura explained how she devoted her voice to protest in Under the Radar Magazine interview in September of 2012.

“Shout it Out,” was an open dialogue of writing, reflecting, and sharing.  Laura expressed hopeful intentions of it being a refuge for the artist who was contemplating where to put their emotions.

Participants had moments to reflect on what it means to them to protest through song and write about it. Everyone shared what they wrote with the group. Attendees were from places as far as South Africa who spoke of protest songs from around the globe. In South Africa,  some of the most turbulent times brought people together singing in pubs, enjoying songs of protest because they could not openly protest the government. There is a beauty in people gathering for music in times of trouble and strife.

There was a feeling of decompression in the room from the most recent election in almost every piece of writing. Wide age ranges brought viewpoints from many revolutions that have happened for centuries. The perspectives were all very different, yet the willingness to share was outpouring.

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A slide in the presentation that prompted a great discussion

Music has been a form of protest throughout the ages. Music is a mechanism that artist use to evoke emotion or propel change. There is a movement rising in the arts community that is using art to protest the transitional state of the nation.

The history of protest songs is rich. As early as the 1900’s, songs were a form of protest.  In the days of slave trading, a protest song was more of an allegory for the present status of the slaves. Sometimes the songs were code although spiritual in nature. The Library of Congress tells the story of the African American Spirituals,  “Because the Underground Railroad of the mid- nineteenth century used terminology from railroads as a secret language for assisting slaves to freedom, it is often speculated that songs like I got my ticket may have been a code for escape.”

In the 1960’s the song “Dancing in the Streets” was released just as the Vietnam War escalated. It became “a call to arms” song, for protesters. Time happens and the world ages, but it is clear that music is the vehicle of peace.

In the most recent election, “30 Days and 30 Songs,” was released on an Independent Website. Modern Day artist wrote songs to protest Trump. To learn more listen to the Spotify playlist.

 

Music’s role in the public good: Colorado Music Strategy

Everything Can Be Art, Fort Collins Music, Social Causes

“Music as a business” is a unique concept. Our culture often romanticizes the view of the struggling artist. A creative may struggle their entire life, chasing their passions, never quite making ends meet. A successful musician is a bit of a fallacy in our society. A movement is born to provide proactive solutions and change the industry standards.

 

That movement is The Colorado Music Strategy. The Bohemian Foundation and The Colorado Creative Industries are spearheading the plan. Fundamentally, this is an economic plan that infuses over $200,000 through music as a business development. Creatively, this empowers the music industry with resources such as funding opportunities, networking with national industry partners, music licensing, music for film and TV, and thought sharing opportunities with like-minded businesses and industry leaders.

 

The Bohemian Foundation contributed $75,000 to the strategy. Colorado Creative Industry matched that grant with equal funds. Also, there is a separate award called the Music Event Fund that is available for live performances throughout the Front Range. Gov. John Hickenlooper appointed Shawn King of Devotchka as the official Music Ambassador who will link other communities who are seeking the Colorado Sound in film, commercials, and other lucrative opportunities.

The Music District’s Jesse Elliott, who is a lifetime accomplished musician and Bohemian’s Bryce Merrill, lifetime musician and an arts research and cultural policy scholar, dreamed up this partnership after years of devoting their lives to the cause and worked aggressively to make it come to fruition. This concept is rooted in education for the musician but encompasses a mentorship-like role to help music as a business be profitable.

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Music District is a separate entity created by Bohemian Foundation with a different mission that aligns with the strategy; The Music District will be the defacto home to the strategy. The Music District will be the “practical laboratory,”

Jesse Elliott, Director, states:

“ The strategy has even more physical and geographical locations, but it will be the central heart.”

 According to The Colorado Creative Industries:

“Colorado’s music industry currently, contributes 16,300 music-based jobs to the state’s economy and generates $1.8 billion in annual revenue. The state’s music economy has outperformed the nation as a whole, and job growth in live music has grown by 70 percent in the past five years. Colorado is a global destination for music festivals, and our musicians play to fans just about everywhere in the world.”

 

This plan can disrupt at the local level to strengthen musicians, at the state level to boost the economy, and the national level to build bridges to the Colorado Sound. The Strategy acts as a model for other states seeking ways to boost their economy.

Although the interest seems quite economical on the outside, the root of the strategy is:

What is music’s role in the public good?

 National Strategies exist around Music Cities; this envelopes states, cities, and foundations that focus on industry and community. 

Who else is doing this? Austin, Seattle, Tennessee, Australia and Canada to name a few.

The Colorado Strategy does have foundational components that mirror some of these models. What makes Co Music strategy unique?  Its ability to connect philanthropy, government, nonprofit and for profit, parties all at the same table.

The Colorado Strategy has a very broad approach that is:

What does music do that is for the vast good of humanity?

 

The Music Ecosystem Colorado is building captures the idea of a “music city”, amplified.

The transformative nature of the strategy is thinking beyond just disrupting the music model but rather a holistic approach to building an “ecosystem” that:

  • Supports the creative with resources
  • Lifts the creative up through mentorship
  • Enriches Economic development
  • Embodies social good
  • Creates social change 
  • Induces a better quality of life

 

A few things are at the heart of it as Elliott says,

“ To make it possible for musicians to make a living, to make it possible for small businesses related to music,  for non-profits related to music, all to make a living. On the other end of it, to then make it possible for those things to do a bigger and greater public good because they can make a living. A lot of the conversation is, What can entities government or industry do for musicians and music business? Then the follow-up is, what can musicians and music business do for the larger public good?”

 The strategy takes a deep look at how communities are symbiotic with the end goals that maybe don’t have anything to do with music. The outcomes support people who work in Colorado to be able to sustain a living as middle-class workers, in addition to reaching anyone connected to the music industry.

 

 

Merrill explains his goal as:

“The big picture for me is general health and well-being and sustainability of the state. Music for me is my little path. I have been playing music for 26 years, married to a musician, I am always hesitant to let music be too precious. It is critical, it is vital, this is absolutely about music, but it is in servicing a bigger picture.”

 

Fort Collins comes in as one of the best places to live for Tech, Families, Cycling, and Craft Beer. Although the strategy will live here, the reach will be statewide, national and international. Changing the personas of an artist and helping educate people how creatives enrich society can put Fort Collins on a mutual interest list one day.

Teaching youth that creative careers are an option. Allowing the community to see just how much they have touched my music every day and the power of its reach goes beyond just something on the radio.

This plan will give music a sector of the community that is lucrative, enriching for the soul and has a cyclical effect for the nation. Music is an art. Music is a feeling. Now Music can be a business. Music can be a career. Music can change the world and the communities people live, play and work in.

 

 

 

If you want to learn more about what other states are doing, the American for the Arts has a state-by-state guide.

 

 

 

 

 

infographic on the impact of creative communities

The Economic Impact of Colorado Creative Industries

Everything Can Be Art, Fort Collins Music, Social Causes

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Colorado Governor Hickenlooper passed the HB11-1031 bill in 2011. This bill focuses on the conception of more Creative Districts in Colorado. A Creative District is an enterprise that adds economic value to a community through creative entrepreneurship. The Office of Economic Development’s initiative states:

“We have one of the only programs in place to develop affordable housing and work space, including commercial space, for artists and arts organizations in rural communities. We’re also providing access to grant funding and mentorship opportunities, and ensuring that more art finds its way into public spaces.”

This bill will attract other creatives to the community,  and provide a richer culture investing in the arts.

In 2014, a loan was created to supported this 2011 bill, 

“THE CREATIVE DISTRICT COMMUNITY LOAN FUND IS CREATED IN THE STATE TREASURY.THE PRINCIPAL OF THE FUND CONSISTS OF MONEYS APPROPRIATED OR TRANSFERRED TO THE FUND BY THE GENERAL  ASSEMBLY, MATCHING  MONEYS  LEVERAGED  BY  THE  DIVISION FROM   ANY   COMMUNITY   DEVELOPMENT   FINANCIAL   INSTITUTION.”

What this means is, the state of Colorado is willing to fund creative business growth throughout the state. They value that so many visionaries live here.  The program also offers support for marketing, social media, access to mentors, and education. Additional sources of financing are available if the  creative projects exceed the original state grant.

This economic shift is lucrative and beneficial for people that work in Design, Literary and Publishing, Film and Media, Performing Arts, Visual Arts and Crafts and Heritage. There is also a significant crossover into other fields such as Crafts and artisan enterprises, tourism, information technology, and outdoor recreation. The pay scale for a creative is above average for the state median wage.

Fort Collins went through the application process that started in April of 2016 and became  Full Creative District Status in Oct. 2016. The City has formed a Creative District and is one of 13 across the state. The Bohemian Foundation built a campus for musicians called the Music District. Fort Collins is putting plans in place now also to reap the benefits and become a stronger, creative community that values art and artist from all mediums. The Bohemian Foundation became a public partner and is supporting the Colorado Music Strategy,  a strategic plan to garner music as a medium for economic growth in Northern Colorado.

There are coordination and collaboration between the state, the city, and the non-profit sector. Any city with the district status will be booming with artist and resources to support their work. Already the state has seen positive economic growth because of the Creative Districts.

Watering the West: Funding the Documentary

Everything Can Be Art, Social Causes

Community Funded Campaign

Shari Due and Mona Masser are the founders of Be Reel Parthena, a Film and Video Production company in Fort Collins, CO. They just launched a Community Funded Campaign for “Watering the West: The Story of the Cache la Poudre River.” This project is in pre-production but needs financial backing to become a reality.  Be Reel have set a 30-day campaign to raise $63,000 to fund the documentary. They are hoping to get the local community behind this project and expand their production team.

There is a significant war on water rights in Colorado, and this film aims to show who is battling.

According to Be Reel,

“Municipalities, oil companies, beer brewers, and recreational interests compete to buy farms with water rights and convert those rights to new uses in water court. This keeps Colorado’s numerous water lawyers in business. “It’s not the farmer that can afford to buy water in this state anymore,” says Brian Werner, Northern Water Conservancy District. Some say Colorado’s 150-year-old system of allocating water by seniority is outdated as every drop of precipitation is owned by someone, resulting in bidding wars.”

The Itemized Budget is below. The objective is not to make millions of dollars but to shed light on a pressing concern within the state of Colorado.

 

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Be Reel Productions has one documentary under their belt, Desplazado, a gentrification film. It took two years to make and includes an animated art history of Hispanic settlement in Fort Collins. They are hoping the experience will bring insight into the production, budget, and distribution of their sophomore film. These issues are relevant to our community, but they offer value to the rest of the world as well.

In the shifts and the transitions our community is facing today, the growth plan and the becoming a creative arts community, there are underlying issues that occur that are not mainstream. The water that flows from our river feeds the whole United States. The culture that has built our town gave us the opportunity to be so nimble. With great growth comes great responsibility. It is all a process synced together. Be Reel acknowledges the creative opportunity this transition will give them. The story they tell in both films brings light to simple things that may go under the radar.

There are many ways to support beyond just giving money. Be a spokesperson. Tell a friend. Share the stories Be Reel is telling. Filmmaking is an art. The craft is the story.

Within the process, they bring together a collection of creatives from every medium. Pat them on the back and applaud their unique vision.

To fund this project and support local film click here: Community Funded

Arts Initiative in the North Fort

Everything Can Be Art, Social Causes

Music Creates Community is the topic of discussion, and three organizations have come together to build the case: The City of Fort Collins, Create Places, and Youth Art Connections. The very first initiative was presented at lunch and learn event at the Music District on September 28, 2016.

This new arts initiative has been born from a collaboration between Ann Denny of YAC and Andrew Schnider of Create places. Ann has a growing organization in Canada that has proven results to bring change into these communities that may be invisible. As Ann puts it she, “lends out my white privilege” to those people who may not be able to get a seat before the decision makers. Her strong views and appreciation for the art of diverse communities have been rewarded and changed the ecosystem in Canada. She hopes to help the North Fort become a thriving arts community that empowers the youth to become leaders in their neighborhoods and even out into the world.

Andrew Schnider has been a staple in the Fort Collins creative scene. He is a filmmaker and a true visionary. Schnider is the fuel behind the new formed create spaces, and he is a residence of the north fort. He hopes to make his neighborhood versatile and robust creatively. He wants to see growth and change but also showcase the diversity that lives here. Fort Collins needs to pull out the diverse nations that live here and allow them to shine. We easily have 98 nationalities that live here but often they go unnoticed.

Fort Collins is a creative town bustling with artist and musicians. Public initiatives foster pianos about town, independent collaborations, art in public places, and live music on every corner as well as the newly developed Music District envisioned by Bohemian Nights, the New West Fest, the expansion of the old town square, and city streets. Just this year Fort Collins was awarded a formal “Creative District.”

There are areas of town that don’t quite fit in, yet they have existed as long as the town has. These areas may be forgotten, or that quickly may be swallowed up by gentrification of this cool, eclectic community. If not given the opportunity to shine creatively.

The City of Fort Collins has funding to support initiatives like this and even a pilot program that will highlight individual neighborhoods. They see great value in the small community hubs around town and want to be a financial resource for building the arts and creativity in Fort Collins.

This initiative will be a revitalization for the North Fort and provide new opportunities and new career paths. The arts are important to the community. This program can shed light on how creative arts can be very lucrative financially for individuals if given the right tools needed for success.

Tallgrass:Songs of Happiness and Sorrow

Everything Can Be Art

 

Adam Morford, Austin Morford, and Matt Skinner make up the eclectic band Tallgrass. This band delivers riveting melodies, three-piece harmonies, and transformative ways to provide sound. They are an auditory delight.  The way they bend sound and structure songs are like a metamorphosis of music. It is conceptually built to delight and challenge what you have ever thought a song could be.

 Morford, percussionist, and producer speaks about the band,
“Tallgrass was the first project I had been in that allowed me to be myself.  My quest for sounds was encouraged.”
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Adam goes beyond a drum kit and sticks. His musicianship showcases obscure objects and altering the methods of playing the kit. It is no rare sight to see him bust out various sizes of bows to stride across the symbols to make a melodic steel melody.  Those sounds he has been encouraged to play have set him a sail on a discovery beyond just playing percussion. He has begun a design studio called Morfbeats where he creates original percussion pieces for others.

 

 

Adam talks about the process,
“This eventually led to the idea of me building percussion from scratch to produce sounds I wanted to hear and use.  A few days after I began I started to make instruments with promising tones.  From there I have just let my imagination run wild, and it has allowed for me to work and perform with some of my favorite musicians.”

 

 

Tallgrass writes and performs original music. They are currently in production of their 3rd album, laughing. As they have taken their time for this concept album, they hosted many guest artist to play. This collaboration led to Tallgrass producing other local artist albums from their home studio.

 

 

They have shared the stage with President Barack Obama, Melissa Etheridge, Sublime with Rome, The White Buffalo, and The Ben Miller Band, Ben Sollee, and so many others. The evolution of this band can be one for the records. They are not stopping and only getting better each day.
When a band can write, perform, produce, manage, tour, and build instruments, you have a rare find. There is a uniqueness about their gifts. They are humble with their approach.
Adam’s great words of inspiration to anyone pursuing creative arts is,

 

 

 

“Be honest and sincere in what you do and you will find your true potential.”

 

 

 

Things are connected, and one decision can quickly lead you into the direction of your dreams. Your gifts will shine if you stick to it. Something is waiting for you to take that chance.

 

 

 

What is on the horizon for Tallgrass?

The calendar has only a few dates posted. Hopefully, that means lots of work and surprises to come. These guys are hard working with the potential for anything.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Longmont’s Bridge Studios:Both Sides of the Glass

Everything Can Be Art

Paul Andrews is the owner of Bridges Studios in Longmont, Colorado. Paul built this studio originally for his personal use.  The more people he told about his “passion project”, the more interest developed to open the doors to his local community as a production studio.

Paul expresses: “I am finding myself now on both sides of the glass, In the control room as the engineer but in the recording room as the artist.”

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His whole home is a living studio. It has a warm ambiance and a comfortable feel. The colors are vibrant, and the instruments are fluid. Every moving component of this production base is eclectic and hand chosen because of its ability to create alluring music.

Paul uses a technique of recording that is faithful to his origin, the analog recorder. He has mastered recording analog  and making it available to digital channels without loosing the quality that analog brings to the sound. The actual essence of the studio is to capture an old world style of recording into a modern world.

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Andrews studied and performed for most of his life, he once was solely a recording artist. He was in the process of writing and producing an entire album while living in Denver a few years ago. This collection represents the pinnacle of change for his career. He placed this album on the shelf for two years.

He decided to move north, design his dream studio, and continue recording.  He settled in a new town, rebuilding his studio for his own creative use. He unveiled the album and quickly realized that wasn’t who he was anymore.

Since then, he has spent extensive time engineering albums for others. He has taken on a new role, as a mentor and leader in his craft. He has a gentle spirit and world of experience to offer to his studio clients.

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Beyond that, music scores have sparked up his inner creative flame. He has been creating music for film. He works with Hannah Holbrook, from the band SHEL, on original musical scores.  He has found a balance and a new place in this studio world.

His current project in development is for a short film, proposed to be named “Rebel Girl.”  This is worldly and transcending because the boundaries it pushes in the creator’s society. It is born of a young woman in Pakistan. Her vision is to follow the story of a girl who rides horseback. The provocativeness of this story is that it is unheard of in her country for women to be filmmakers, and it is shameful for them to ride horseback due to purity interest.

The story line is breaking all the rules for women. There is little information about the young women other than her vision and her need to execute it.The music created for this short film embraces those feelings. The use of dissonance in the songs anticipates the moment where the resolve happens.

Paul is a visionary, and he helps so many artists achieve their musical dreams. He uses his studio as a vessel for people’s visions to become reality. Paul speaks about becoming successful with your passion, “It rarely falls in people’s laps. It is the kind of thing where you find something you love and you just go for it, you are continually chasing that, whatever it is on the inside of you, that pushes you forward.”

Always chase the art inside of you.

To learn more about Paul visit: Bridge Studios