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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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This week from CPR’s Arts Bureau: Day of the Dead, Mark Mothersbaugh retrospective and more
Colorado Public Radio

October 31, 2014

Flo Hernandez-Ramos (Photo: Stephanie Wolf)
This week's in-depth coverage of the Colorado culture scene from CPR's arts bureau:

Listen online here.

Denver media personality Flo Hernandez Ramos talks with CPR arts editor Chloe Veltman about how the commercialization of the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos threatens to change its essential meaning.

A new exhibition at Denver’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) highlights four decades of artwork by Mark Mothersbaugh of the new wave band DEVO. Arts editor Chloe Veltman tours the exhibition with Mothersbaugh, to explore the relationship between the works on display and the artist's music.

A production of dramatist Diane Samuels’ 1993 drama “Kindertransport" at the 2014 Neustadt Jewish Arts, Authors, Movies and Music Festival (JAAMM Fest) in Denver, honors Holocaust survivors and pays tribute to the late Denver theater impresario Henry Lowenstein. CPR arts reporter Corey H. Jones attended a rehearsal of the play and talked with several of its collaborators.

Before motion pictures had the technology to sync dialogue and sound effects, films relied on live music to bring actors’ muted gestures to life. Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra composer Rodney Sauer talks to CPR about how he scored Hitchcock’s final silent film, “Blackmail” for the ensemble’s Friday night presentation in Loveland.

Arts happenings around Colorado this weekend: CPR’s Arts Bureau spotlights this weekend’s Colorado cultural events, including a drama that follows three generations of a family and a documentary that looks at the future of agriculture in Colorado’s eastern plains and beyond.

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: Feminist art, being Dracula and more
Colorado Public Radio

October 24, 2014

CPR arts editor Chloe Veltman with mixed media artist Judy Chicago (Photo:  Stephanie Wolf)


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

 Listen and view online here

A new exhibition at Denver’s RedLine gallery looks at the entire five-decade span of mixed media artist Judy Chicago’s career. CPR arts editor Chloe Veltman talked with Chicago, who is credited as being the mother of the feminist art movement.

Two Colorado performance artists visit the CPR Performance Studio to demonstrate how they portray the Prince of Darkness in separate productions this fall.

On Thursday, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science unveiled “Snowmastodon,” a new 5,000-pound bronze sculpture. CPR arts reporter Corey H. Jones speaks with the sculpture’s creator, artist Kent Ullberg, who spent two years working with scientists to develop the piece.

CPR arts editor Chloe Veltman talks with Colorado Ballet dancer Dmitry Trubchanov and Matt Radcliffe, an actor for the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center, about how they use their respective disciplines to play Dracula in two very different interpretations for the stage of Bram Stoker's famous novel.

Urban dance choreographer Dr. Lorenzo “Rennie” Harris speaks with CPR arts reporter Stephanie Wolf in anticipation of this weekend’s world premiere of “Free?” Denver’s Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble commissioned the work to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

A Boulder businessman gifted $2 million to the University of Colorado’s opera program. CPR arts reporter Corey H. Jones examines how this endowment will help support programming and recruitment efforts.

Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock appoints a team of arts, business and community leaders to help evaluate how to redevelop the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, the country’s second largest performing arts complex.

A new play by Denver-based community theater company Romero Theater Troupe uses stories of little-known Colorado activists to further the debate around the recent controversy in Jefferson County. CPR arts contributor Jeremy Brieske speaks with the troupe’s founder, Jim Walsh, about “An A(ctual) P(eople’s) Hisotry of Colorado: A Play in Solidarity with the Students & Teachers of Jeffco.”

Arts happenings around Colorado this weekend: CPR’s Arts Bureau highlights a sampling of this weekend’s Colorado cultural events, including a photographic perspective on drinking within Mexican culture and a play about finding love late in life.

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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The Colorado Art Report: Taking a cultural gamble, state of music videos and more
Colorado Public Radio

October 17, 2014

(Photo: Courtesy of Gwen Phillips/Newman Center for the Performing Arts)

Tune in to the Colorado Art Report, CPR's weekly arts show hosted by Chloe Veltman, for in-depth coverage of the Colorado culture scene.

Listen online here.

On this week's show:

A study recently released by University of Denver’s Newman Center for the Performing Arts shows competing trends in ticket buyers’ attitudes towards new or unfamiliar work. The research prompted CPR’s Arts Bureau to start its own investigation. Take our survey and tell us how adventurous you are when it comes to “risky” cultural experiences.

With Halloween lurking around the corner, we revisit a story by CPR reporter Megan Verlee, who goes behind the scenes at an elaborate haunted attraction in north Denver. There, she discovers that good scaring requires good acting. ​

A new music video for the song “Amsterdam” by Colorado singer-songwriter Gregory Alan Isakov lasts only three minutes and 20 seconds. But it took nearly two months to create. CPR arts editor Chloe Veltman speaks with Isakov and artist Laura Goldhamer, who directed the video, about why they invested so much time into the project when digital technology is challenging the format’s reach and relevance. ​

CPR arts reporter Corey H. Jones and digital videographer Irvin Coffee take a helicopter ride with photographer Evan Anderman as he captures aerial views of Colorado’s eastern plains for an exhibition at the Carmen Wiedenhoeft Gallery in Denver’s RiNo Art District. The collection can also be viewed in the Airport Office Building lobby gallery at Denver International Airport through March 2015. ​

Denver youth and elders talk about the importance of standing up for themselves in a storytelling/activism project called “If Not Us.” Participant Marley Aiu, a 16-year-old high school student, shares a powerful story with CPR’s airwaves about a time she felt discriminated against by a stranger because of her sexuality. ​

The Colorado Art Report airs on Fridays at 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tune in live or access online at any time. The weekly show is now also available as a podcast via iTunes and the NPR podcast directory.

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