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This week from CPR’s Arts Bureau: ‘36 Views of Lion’s Lair,’ multi-sensory dance & more
Colorado Public Radio

December 12, 2014

On stage during a dress rehearsal for Wonderbound's "Winter" (Photo: Chloe Veltman)

Read our coverage and listen online here.

This week's in-depth coverage of the Colorado culture scene from CPR's arts bureau:

“36 Views of Lion’s Lair,” a photography exhibition at Denver’s Leon Gallery, offers glimpses of everyday life near the Colfax Avenue dive bar. CPR arts editor Chloe Veltman spoke with photographer Gary Isaacs about how a famous nineteenth century series of Japanese woodblock prints inspired him to pursue the project.

Five years ago, self-proclaimed barfly Drew Bixby wrote “Denver’s Best Dive Bars: Diving and Drinking in the Mile High City.” In his book, Bixby predicted that Denver dive bars would one day disappear. He talked with CPR’s Ryan Warner about whether or not his prediction is coming true.

Instead of “The Nutcracker,” Denver contemporary dance troupe Wonderbound is presenting a production that aims to engage all the senses this holiday season. Artistic director Garrett Ammon explained why the company is taking a departure from the traditional holiday ballet for the first time in more than 10 years.

The metro area Regional Transportation District (RTD) unveiled a bus displaying the winning artwork from a pilot contest for middle school students. CPR arts reporter Corey H. Jones spoke with the young artists behind the creative buses.

In this week’s Book Club segment, Colorado-based authors Lisa Jones, Helen Thorpe and Peter Heller discussed the authors whose work they most envy.

A new Off-Broadway play opening this week at New York’s La Mama Experimental Theatre is set in Massachusetts. But Colorado looms large in the minds of its characters. CPR’s Chloe Veltman explores the themes behind “If Colorado had an ocean” with the drama's playwright, Mike Gorman.

Morrison-based painter Michael Charron endured extreme weather to capture “views rarely seen and probably never painted” of Colorado's Zirkel Wilderness. The resulting artwork is now on display at the Gilmore Art Center in Denver. CPR contributor Shanna Lewis takes a closer look at Charron’s process.

Arts happenings around Colorado this weekend: CPR’s Arts Bureau spotlights this weekend’s Colorado cultural events, including a musical mash-up of “Moulin Rouge,” an exhibition featuring art that comments on consumerism and more.

Coverage from CPR's arts bureau is now also available as a weekly podcast via iTunes and the NPR podcast directory.

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This week from CPR’s Arts Bureau: Refugees’ stories told in images, Biennial artist trade and more
Colorado Public Radio

December 5, 2014

Images from the Picture.Me.Here exhibition (Photo: Stephanie Wolf)

Read our coverage and listen online here.


An exhibition at Denver’s Colorado Photographic Arts Center enables Bhutanese refugees to share their stories. CPR’s Ryan Warner speaks with Denver photographer Brigid McAuliffe and former refugee Birendra Dhakal about the storytelling capabilities of photography.

Denver and Mexico City are collaborating on an artist exchange program for the 2015 Biennial of the Americas. Following the announcement of the participating artists, CPR arts reporter Corey H. Jones speaks with Biennial artistic director Lauren Wright and curator Adam Gildar about the program’s aspiration.

“The War Begins,” an exhibition at the Clyfford Still Museum in Denver, highlights the abstract expressionist painter’s personal and creative journey during the years of World War II. CPR contributor Jeremy Brieske asks curator Dr. David Anfam why the museum chose to explore this era of Still’s work.

CPR remembers Colorado novelist Kent Haruf, who died at 71 on Sunday after battling cancer. Haruf authored several books set in Colorado’s eastern plains, such as “Plainsong” and “Eventide.”

Arts happenings around Colorado this weekend: CPR’s Arts Bureau spotlights this weekend’s Colorado cultural events, including a multi-cultural holiday event from the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, an exhibition of painter Clyfford Still’s early work and more.

Coverage from CPR's arts bureau is now also available as a weekly podcast via iTunes and the NPR podcast directory.

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This week from CPR’s Arts Bureau: Art atop 14ers, changes for Classical and more
Colorado Public Radio

November 28, 2014

Lisa Martin paints the view from the peak of Mt. Elbert
(Photo: Stephanie Wolf)

This week's in-depth coverage of the Colorado culture scene from CPR's arts bureau.

Listen and read more online here.

Denver artist Lisa Martin is on a mission to hike all 53 of Colorado 14ers and paint from their summits. CPR arts reporter Stephanie Wolf joined Martin on a hike up to the highest point in the state, Mount Elbert, to watch the artist at work.

CPR will no longer air performances of the Colorado Symphony’s current and past seasons after a 15-year partnership ended last week. In light of the news, CPR arts reporter Corey H. Jones and digital producer Megan Arellano explore the relationships between public radio services and classical music across the country.

The Western Folklife Center is launching a YouTube-based competition for aspiring young poets. CPR’s Nathaniel Minor reports on efforts to carry on the tradition of cowboy poetry.

The late Eugene D. Eaton, Jr., an alumnus of the University of Colorado Boulder, bequeathed $6 million to the school, its largest gift in years. CPR arts reporter Corey H. Jones speaks with the College of Music dean Robert Shay about how the music department intends to use its share of the funds.

The Denver Museum of Nature and Science celebrates the 30th anniversary of when it first displayed artwork by the late 20th-century Russian sculptor Vasily Konovalenko. CPR contributor Lee Strubinger reports on the priceless collection of gem carvings.

The Denver Performing Arts Complex brought more than $141 million to the city and county of Denver in 2013, according to a new analysis. CPR arts reporter Stephanie Wolf reports on how the city plans to use the findings to inform the reimagining process for the downtown complex.

Arts happenings around Colorado this weekend: CPR’s Arts Bureau spotlights this weekend’s Colorado cultural events, including a Denver photographer's homage to a Colfax Avenue watering hole, an array of holiday-themed events and more.

Coverage from CPR's arts bureau is now also available as a weekly podcast via iTunes and the NPR podcast directory.

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This week from CPR’s Arts Bureau: Artisanal pinball, aging voices and more
Colorado Public Radio

November 20, 2014

Boxwood Pinball's William Manke (Photo: Corey Jones)




This week's in-depth coverage of the Colorado culture scene from CPR's arts bureau:

Read and listen to these stories online here

A new exhibition at the Denver Art Museum features Cartier designs for men, including a necklace worn by a maharajah and a timepiece for a former U.S. president. CPR arts editor Chloe Veltman tours the collection with Boulder jewelry designer Todd Reed. 

Throughout November, several metro-area breweries are hosting pinball tournaments featuring meticulously hand-crafted, wooden machines. CPR arts reporter Corey Jones follows two Colorado artists who are putting an artistic spin on the classic bar game. 

With the Cartier exhibition in full swing at the Denver Art Museum, CPR fashion commentator Georgia Alexia Benjou explores Coloradans’ growing appetite for high-end jewelry. 

For many, singing is a common part of their childhood. But far fewer carry on with it into late adulthood. In the latest edition of VoiceBox, the CPR Arts Bureau's ongoing series about the human voice, contributor John Klein Wilson reports on how aging affects singing. 

Colorado music industry professionals voiced their concerns and desires for Levitt Pavilion Denver, a new amphitheater in Denver’s Ruby Hill Park, at a forum earlier this week. CPR arts reporter Stephanie Wolf recaps Monday night’s event. 

Arts happenings around Colorado this weekend: CPR’s Arts Bureau spotlights this weekend’s Colorado cultural events, including a retrospective on a 98-year-old Colorado muralist’s seven-decade career and an art collection on loan from the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. 

Coverage from CPR's arts bureau is now also available as a weekly podcast via iTunes and the NPR podcast directory.

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VoiceBox: Colorado seniors sing for intellectual, spiritual health
Colorado Public Radio

November 19, 2014

Seniors in the theater group at Clermont Park retirement community rehearse the “Music Man.”
(Photo: John Klein Wilson.)


Listen to the segment online here.

VoiceBox is a sound-rich exploration of the human voice. Each episode delves into the diverse world of shouters, singers, announcers and stutterers, and ponders the meaning and importance of the most primal of musical instruments.

In “Aging Voices,” we speak to Colorado seniors whose voices have changed, their directors, and a professor who believes that singing when you're older is good for you.

John Ahlenius, 75, says that singing "The Music Man" with the theater group at Clermont Park retirement community has been beneficial.

“The intellectual stuff, the memorizing, the learning new things, the stimulating our brain, the physical, the dancing, the movement," Ahlenius says. "The social, getting to know each other a little bit better, learn more names. And then the spiritual side. ”

Fellow cast member Trudy VanderVeen is a lifelong singer. But at age 85, she knows her voice has changed. “And I don’t know what the change is but I know I can hear myself singing differently than I used to sing. That’s because I’m old now,” she says.

Silvertones Choir director Mike Krueger acknowledged that as his singers get older, it's tougher: their lung capacity decreases and their voice range shrinks a bit. But to overcome that, Krueger says that the singers focus more on their bodies.

“We spend a good 20 minutes on our warm up and our stretch exercises," Krueger says.

Professor Julene Johnson of the University of California San Francisco says the effort is worth it since singing could actually help seniors stay healthier.

“There is a cost associated with providing a choir in the community," Johnson says. "But if the cost is lower relative to how much we’re saving in terms of healthcare dollars, the choir is a cost-effective way to promote health."

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This week from CPR’s Arts Bureau: Presidential nod to Aurora arts, Cartier bling and more
Colorado Public Radio

November 14, 2014

Laurel leaf tiara owned by Marie Bonaparte. Cartier Paris (1907). Platinum and diamonds.
(Photo: Courtesy of Qatar Museums Authority)

This week's in-depth coverage of the Colorado culture scene from CPR's arts bureau:

Listen and read more online here.

The Denver Botanic Gardens announced renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly will design a new piece titled “Colorado” for its permanent collection.

Downtown Aurora Visual Art’s (DAVA) Job Training in the Arts is one of 12 after-school programs in the country to receive a 2014 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award. CPR arts editor Chloe Veltman spoke with DAVA executive director Susan Jenson about the significance of receiving the accolade from First Lady Michelle Obama.

61-year-old Allegra “Happy” Haynes of Denver shared a time she stood up for something she believed in. Haynes story is one of several narratives that inspired the new student-led play, “If Not Us,” which premieres this week at East High School.

A new exhibition featuring the jewels crafted by Cartier opens this weekend at the Denver Art Museum (DAM). CPR arts editor Chloe Veltman spoke with the exhibition's curator, Margaret Young-Sánchez, who shared stories about some of the jeweler’s famous clients.

CPR’s Arts Bureau broke down the results compiled from its survey into how adventurous Colorado audiences are when it comes to attending new or unfamiliar cultural events.

Arts happenings around Colorado this weekend: CPR’s Arts Bureau spotlights this weekend’s Colorado cultural events, including the 37th annual Starz Denver Film Festival and a three-day live audiovisual performance festival in Boulder.

Coverage from CPR's arts bureau is now also available as a weekly podcast via iTunes and the NPR podcast directory.

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This week from CPR’s Arts Bureau: ‘Balloon Boy,’ loving once-spurned books & more
Colorado Public Radio

November 7, 2014

The cast of "Balloon Boy: The Musical" (Photo: Stephanie Wolf)

This week's in-depth coverage of the Colorado culture scene from CPR's arts bureau:

Listen online here.

In 2009, a bizarre news story from Fort Collins captivated then-11-year-old Billy Recce so much, it inspired him to write a musical. “Balloon Boy: The Musical” debuted this week at Monarch High School. In anticipation of its world premiere, cast members visited the CPR Performance Studio to share two numbers from the show.

Award-winning Colorado authors Lisa Jones, Peter Heller and Helen Thorpe discuss books that turned them off at first read, but later won them over in this week’s Book Club.

The eighth annual Denver Arts Week, a nine-day celebration of the Rocky Mountain region’s arts and culture, runs Nov. 7 to 16. CPR arts reporter Stephanie Wolf maps out this year’s discounts, free events and a new finale with a heavy focus on fashion.

On Tuesday, voters in the city of Boulder approved a short-term .3 percent sales and use tax benefiting culture and public safety projects. CPR arts reporter Corey H. Jones examines how the passing of Ballot Measure 2A will impact Boulder’s cultural institutions.

A dinosaur head that appeared on a controversial piece of public art in Durango and then disappeared Monday is now in police custody. Sherri Dugdale, assistant to Durango’s city manager, tells CPR News that these types of “creative enhancements” to public art happen often.

Last year, cultural activity in the Denver Metro area generated $1.85 billion, according to a study from the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts (CBCA). CPR arts editor Chloe Veltman reports on how the study’s findings show a dramatic spike in cultural tourism over the last few years.

Arts happenings around Colorado this weekend: CPR’s Arts Bureau spotlights this weekend’s Colorado cultural events, including Denver’s annual weeklong celebration of its arts and culture and a robot-centric art exhibition in Aurora.

Coverage from CPR's arts bureau is now also available as a weekly podcast via iTunes and the NPR podcast directory.

 We also have a question for readers and listeners: How open are you to taking a risk on a new or unfamiliar cultural experience? CPR’s Arts Bureau wants to hear from you. Please take our short Audience “Risk Tolerance” Survey and share it with others.

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