Apr 18, 2014

Youth Rep Alum Gets Major Scholarship at Marymount Manhattan College

FAC Youth Rep alum Jennie Leski has not only been accepted into Marymount Manhattan College (where alumni include Annaleigh Ashford, who starred as Glinda in Broadway’s production of Wicked and Moira Kelly, who voiced the animated character Nala in The Lion King) she also has been awarded the prestigious Presidential Scholarship and Leadership Scholarship.

Jennie appeared in our recent regular season production of The Wizard of Oz and is seen here in the Youth Rep show Pippin.

We're so proud of Jennie and all our Youth Rep alums! 

FAC wins big in Gazette's Best of the Springs

Tara moving and shaking
She’s moving. She’s shaking.

Our fab Education Director Tara Thomas won a Silver for Best Mover and Shaker in the Arts in The Gazette’s Best of the Springs poll.

Take a bow, Tara!

We’re also grateful for the other awards that came our way (and to those who did such great work with us.)

BEST MUSEUM: Gold (with a nice writeup that also mentioned the theater and school.
BEST ARTS CAMP: Gold for Youth Repertory Theatre
Birgitta De Pree
BEST THEATER COMPANY: Silver for our theater.
BEST MUSICAL: Silver to The Wizard of Oz
BEST PLAY: Bronze to Noises Off
BEST ACTRESS: Gold to Birgitta De Pree (Other Desert Cities, Noises Off);

Bronze to Amy Sue Hardy (Drowsy Chaperone, Play It Again, Sam)


Amy Sue Hardy
Production That Left Me (Jennifer Mulson) Singing for Days: The Drowsy Chaperone

Best Small Ensemble Performance (David Sckolnik): Veronika String Quartet for Mastery at the FAC.

Mar 18, 2014

Public Free Day at the FAC

We are seeking sponsors to continue this worthwhile community effort. Please call 719-477-4366.

Mar 5, 2014

FAC and AspenPointe class wins statewide Impact Award

The class Military Artistic Healing, a collaboration between the healthcare services organization AspenPointe and the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center’s Bemis School of Art won the Impact Award Wednesday at the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts’ annual Business for the Arts Awards in Denver.

The CBCA’s Impact Award “highlights (the) innovative use of the arts to propel business success, programs that engage employees with creativity and other community activities that support arts and business partnerships.”

“This partnership with AspenPointe and the other organizations has certainly helped us reach out to our local warriors with a program that we see making a real difference in their lives,” says the Fine Arts Center’s Director of Education Tara Thomas. “We’re honored to have the CBCA recognize the work we’re doing.”

Military men and women have described the program, which started in 2009, as a life-altering experience.

“It’s allowed me to start seeing the positives,” says Army Staff Sgt. Bobby Mathis, a member of Fort Carson’s Warrior Transition Unit.

Military Artistic Healing Program has been an amazing journey for me and continues to do so” says current student Army Cpl. Eric Cruzat. “Kim, Tara, and the program as well as others involved have assisted me through art to continually fight my demons on a daily basis and give me hope for a better future.”

 “Creative processes have the capacity to reveal, to heal and to transform anyone who's open and willing to fully engage in the program,” says class instructor Kim Nguyen.

The 15-week mutli-media art therapy class also receives support from  the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (which provides college credits) and the U.S. Air Force Academy Hospital (which provides art display space). The current class runs through May 6.

Military Artistic Healing was the only Colorado Springs-based program to win an award.

For more information, please contact Tara Thomas at the FAC’s Bemis school of art: 719-477-4314 or tthomas@csfineartscenter.org.

Feb 25, 2014

Be part of musical history

Wednesday, Feb. 26, 7:30p at the FAC
The Gazette’s recent interview with Preservation Hall Jazz Band creative director Ben Jaffe really got to the heart of what’s so special about this musical treasure from New Orleans. Here’s a portion of the article:
Preservation Hall was originally an art gallery in the 1950s, Jaffe said. Its owner started holding jam sessions, though he called them "rehearsals" as a way to circumvent the Jim Crow laws that prevented blacks and whites from socializing or interacting in certain ways. Jaffe's parents discovered the gallery in 1961, and were handpicked by the owner to own and operate it as a new music hall.
"My parents gravitated here," he said, "and became part of a group of people interested in New Orleans jazz and aging African-American musicians, many of which were pioneers of jazz. They were giving them a home, a place to perform where they received the respect that their art deserved. That was a revolutionary idea. That's what my parents walked into."
His father died when Jaffe was 16; Jaffe assumed duties of the hall in 1995 after graduating from Oberlin College's Conservatory of Music in 1993.

Add dinner and a hotel stay for the complete Night in New Orleans experience!

Feb 10, 2014

So, how do you get your work in a museum without dying?

The provocative title "Aside from death, how do I get my work in a museum?" drew several local artists who see museums as not only credential builders that can increase the value of their work, but also a safe archival storage places that could rescue their works from ending up at Goodwill.

Our panel of experts included: (Blake Milteer, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center's curator and museum director; local artist Pard Morrison; Liz Szabo, interim curator at the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center; and Michael Howell, the FAC's collections manager and registrar.)

Among their recommendations:
- Get out there. Get your work in commercial galleries. Get attention from the media.
- Get your work in private collections.
- Network with your friends and former artists.
- Get a formal art education.
- Before you pitch to a museum, know their focus and how your work might fit into their collections. Never show up without an appointment.
- Create art that's beautiful and/or provocative.
- Get a collector to donate your work to the museum.

FAC's Education Director Tara Thomas moderated the Saturday morning event, which has been part of a series of art-related panels produced jointly with the FAC and the Mantiou Arts Center.

Jan 22, 2014

Fine Arts Center treasures and expert at CC today

We love it when our artwork travels. In this case, it's more than our cultural treasures. It's also our people.

Our Collections Manager Michael Howell will be part of a gallery talk (with CC Professor Rebecca and I.D.E.A. Space Curator Jessica Hunter-Larsen) about the current I.D.E.A. Space exhibit, Devotional Cultures - Spanish Colonial Art in the Southwest

Check it out: TODAY (Jan. 22) at 4:30p in Colorado College's I.D.E.A. Space in the Cornerstone Arts Center at Cascade Avenue and Cache La Poudre.

Dec 19, 2013

LUMA at the FAC to close

The Fine Arts Center is sad to announce that Luma, our wonderfully eclectic gift shop, will close on Dec. 31.

"It's been a grand run," said Luma owner Cathy Coleman. "The partnership has been a privilege. I look forward to seeing FAC members at Luma's Broadmoor location, where I will honor their 10% discount on full-price merchandise through January."

Before the Luma location closes at the FAC, customers can enjoy steep markdowns, as Coleman reduces her inventory.

The FAC will soon be taking bids for a new vendor for that space, and we’ve already had interest from local retailers.

If you have questions, please contact our communications director, Warren Epstein, at 719.477.4316 or wepstein@csfineartscenter.org.

Dec 17, 2013

Trustees Name Nechie Hall
as Interim CEO at the FAC
Hall makes history as first woman to take top job in FAC’s 77 years

COLORADO SPRINGS (Dec 17, 2013)  - The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center’s Board of Trustees announced today the appointment of longtime Springs advertising, marketing and communications executive Nechie Hall to the post of interim president and CEO.
Hall, along with her husband, Jim, founded PRACO (Public Relations Advertising Company), now Vladimir Jones, Colorado’s third largest woman-owned business and one of the state’s largest agencies. While she still serves as CEO and Chairman, Hall retired from day-to-day operations of the company, which are being led by her daughter, Meredith Hall Vaughan.

“Having the freedom to take the reins of this historic institution puts me square in the middle of my lifelong passion for the arts and love of the Fine Arts Center,” Nechie said. “I believe in the importance of the arts in building a healthy quality of life and a strong economic environment for our community. This opportunity to help not only maintain stability of staff and funding sources, but to help identify relevance for all audiences, taps into my strengths.”

She is uniquely qualified, as a business leader, a community leader, a devotee - and a student herself - of the arts, and a highly respected thought-leader throughout the state. She brings experience, passion and talent in business management, nonprofit governance, community outreach, marketing, public relations, branding and organizational development to what is already such a high-quality portfolio at the FAC.

Hall served as a Trustee of the Fine Arts Center from 1998 to 2004, during which time she was a member of the Executive Committee and Vice Chair of Board. She also served as Marketing Committee Chair.

She has served on upwards of fifteen other non-profit boards, championed pro bono projects through her agency for important community needs, and is the recipient of numerous awards and accolades related to her industry and the community, including the first woman to be honored as the Chamber Business Citizen of the Year.

Hardly new to the transition process, Hall has aided many local and national organizations, throughout her career, by going into their businesses to assist with on-site transition management.

She arrives at the FAC at a time of change.

Board member David Kunstle, who has served as chair of the Leadership Transition Team responsible for leading the interim CEO process, said that out of a wide field of strong candidates, Hall stood out.

“The Board is delighted that Nechie has agreed to serve as Interim CEO,” Kunstle said. “She loves the arts and knows this organization well, having previously been a Trustee for many years.  Nechie is a natural leader and communicator, the community deeply respects her, and we are thrilled to have her re-energizing and guiding the Fine Arts Center and its outstanding staff during this interim period.”

Board Chairman Dr. Jim Raughton has served as acting CEO since the departure of previous CEO Sam Gappmayer, assuring continuity, stability and leadership. The trustees and the Leadership Transition Team expressed that his vision and enthusiasm have been instrumental in aiding with this transition.

“We’d like to thank Jim for stepping up, without a moment’s hesitation to serve as Acting CEO,” Kunstle said. “His passion, leadership and his effective outreach to key donors have been invaluable in helping us through this transition.”

Raughton said he was happy to help an organization that’s been so dear to him, and he believes that he hands to Hall an FAC poised for bigger things.

“We’ve turned a corner, and there are real opportunities in the immediate future,” he said. “I’m confident that Nechie Hall has the business acumen – in cooperation with the Leadership Transition Team and the trustees – to capture the tremendous potential of the Fine Arts Center.”

As part of the strategic process and ongoing vision for the future of this historic institution, Hall will proactively work with the board, staff and vendors on guiding robust plans already in place, as well as anticipated updates and modifications to amenities and services, such as restaurant facilities and gift shop offerings as well as an expanded slate of special events.

The FAC is also currently conducting a national search for a Development Director, and has simultaneously begun implementing the search process for a permanent CEO.

“I am a leader who loves change because I believe it is cathartic and presents numerous opportunities for organizations to think differently,” Hall said. “I believe it also enables the staff to demonstrate their strengths in a fresh new way and this alone can create excitement and energy if managed appropriately.  What I glean from time there will go a long way in helping the board build a more in-depth understanding of exactly what the FAC needs, what the culture is like, and where the strengths and weaknesses are.”

Hall will be the first woman CEO in the FAC’s 77-year history.

Dec 5, 2013

Broadway World Denver Awards

Broadway World Denver Awards –

With some of the most talented and best trained performers in the region it is no surprise that once again the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center has so many nominations for the prestigious Broadway World Denver Awards. 
These are the awards for best regional performances in 2013, don't forget to vote for your favorites at Broadway World Denver Awards.
Help promote and show your appreciation for the amazing work our staff is doing. With 26 nominations the Fine Art Center is one of the highest nominated Centers in the Region. With an all star line up in every production there is no question why the Fine Arts Center in Colorado Springs leads the way in theatrical productions.   
Lets come together and celebrate the amazing talents and performers that we have been honored to watch over the past year.  

The Drowsy Chaperone
Sammy Gleason, Other Desert Cities
Michael Miller, Noises Off
Sol Chavez, Prelude to a Kiss

Scott RC Levy, The Drowsy Chaperone
Max Ferguson,  Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris
Birgitta DePree, Other Desert Cities
Kate Berry, Other Desert Cities

Amy Sue Hardy, The Drowsy Chaperone
Halee Towne, Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris

Mary Ripper Baker, The Drowsy Chaperone

AJ Mooney, Gypsy
Daniel Noel, Other Desert Cities

A Christmas Story
A Christmas Story

Jason Fangio, The Drowsy Chaperone

Cory Moosman, The Drowsy Chaperone  
Nathan Halvorson Jacques Brel Is ALive and Well and LIving In Paris

Scott RC Levy, Other Desert Cities  


Other Desert Cities
Other Desert Cities

The Drowsy Chaperone 

Noises Off
A Christmas Story  

Jonathan Spencer, The Drowsy Chaperone  

Holly Rawls, Other Desert Cities

Jay Hahn, The Drowsy Chaperone  

Chris Sheley, Noises Off

Nov 1, 2013

Andrew Beckham Artist Talk and Book Signing

Don't miss a rare opportunity to tour the FAC's magnificent exhibition Andrew Beckham: Firmament with the artist himself!
The Fine Arts Center has timed the exhibition to be presented simultaneously with the publishing of a gorgeous new book representing the extensive body of photographs in Firmament.
Beckham will discuss his photographs and career before signing copies of his new book.
Saturday, November 16, 2013
2:00 pm
Copies of Andrew Beckham: Firmament from GFT Publishing are available at the Fine Arts Center box office.
"Firmament is a benchmark in Beckham's ongoing consideration of photography's intrinsic capacity to depict physical aspects of the landscape and simultaneously to suggest the presence of mystery and time," says Blake Milteer, the FAC's Museum Director and Chief Curator.

Three bodies of work constitute Firmament, each with Beckham's recognition of place as a starting point for deeper questions. From One Square-Mile to Twenty-Thousand Square-Miles, to An Incalculable Distance, the title of each portfolio defines a proximal footprint. As if “streaming” a symphonic work in three movements, Beckham begins with a seemingly solitary meander through a backcountry wilderness in the wooded foothills of the Rocky Mountains west of his home. Next, he walks the aggressive openness of the Great Plains in the Sand Hills of Nebraska and introduces human assertion into Firmament by depicting subtle traces of industry in context with the expanse of prairie grasses and big sky. Finally, Beckham interweaves images of historic star charts with his own pictures of various wild landscapes and personal artifacts that, when blended into a seamless composition, represent quietly reflective moments and materials about one's place in the world.

Individually and together, One Square-Mile, Twenty-Thousand Square-Miles, and An Incalculable Distance not only depict Beckham’s recognition and reckoning of the tangible and mysterious layers inherent in every person's life, but they remind us of similar potential and responsibility in our own - the firmament to be found within us and in the places that surround us.

You can learn more about this artist on his website before the talk. http://www.andrewbeckham.com/andrew_beckham_photography/home.html

Oct 30, 2013

That's a Horse of a Different Color

Want to peek behind the wizard's curtain? Not all wizards are humbugs, as you'll discover when you take a look at the wizardry it takes to stage "The Wizard of Oz," one of the most elaborate musicals the FAC will have ever produced.

The show doesn't open until Dec. 5, but the planning started months ago, with acting auditions and art sketches and concept brainstorming.

For this particular post we want share part of the process of creating costumes that capture the energy and personality of a character.

Our wiz of a costume designer, Lex Liang, has sketched out the amazing costumes below.

"The costumes were absolutely grounded in our initial concept of staying true to the timeline of the novel's original publishing date of 1900.  Because we get to explore both Kansas and Oz, it gave us an opportunity to replicate a dusty, sepia toned look for Kansas in 1900, but also create a totally different look for Oz.  My approach was to ask myself what a simple farm girl from middle America in 1900 would see as spectacular and new, colorful and flashy, yet completely acceptable...just different.  I imagined Dorothy would have had this type of experience if she landed in the middle of Paris or London in the midst of the Art Nouveau or Beaux Arts movement--simply transporting her from the dusty dull world of Kansas in 1900 to the middle of a major metropolis would justify that sensibility.  So most of the Oz clothes are based on couture fashions from the turn of the century, infused with multi-cultural and multi-ethnic elements from around the world at the time.  

"What's difficult about designing a new production of an iconic classic is that people come expecting to see certain characters looking a certain way.  In "Oz," it's the blue gingham dress that has been seared into our minds by Adrian's classic film-version costume, along with the red shoes--something that was specifically changed from the book to capitalize on the new technicolor technology.  So I had to stay true to some of these images and make sure audience members quickly understood who was whom.  At the same time, the aesthetic has to be cohesive.  When it came to Glinda and the Wicked Witch, for instance, I played with different silhouettes and shapes, and took a lot of inspiration from French couture to establish their looks.  There's also a lot of flying involved, and as this is a dream of Dorothy's (or is it...?), I wanted to ground the flying in things that would register with her.  She talks about birds flying high over the rainbow, and so the witch costumes have a lot of bird influence--the Wicked Witch's headpiece is completely made of feathers, as is Glinda's gown.

Now, it's up to FAC costume shop manager Janson Fangio to actually make them before our opening on Dec. 5! 



Oct 28, 2013

Veronika String Quartet

David Sckolnik gushed about the Veronika String Quartet, which played Sunday at the FAC, in The Gazette, calling them "fresh and spontaneous," producing "an intelligent and witty musical conversation."

See the full review.

Oct 23, 2013

Attention Rare Art Sale!

Joellyn Duesberry, Chatfield Thaw (detail), (2012), Oil on linen, 40 x 120 inches, image courtesy the artist.
Art sales at the Fine Arts Center are about as rare as moose in Miami. But we’re planning a huge one, featuring nationally acclaimed landscape artist Joellyn Duesberry.

More than 500 original oils and monotypes will be up for sale, with prices starting at $200, and proceeds will benefit the FAC’s Taylor Museum. None of these works, from her early and mid-career, have ever been seen or sold and have come from her private inventory.

This sale has been made possible through both the generosity of the artist as well as Hayden Hayes Broadmoor Galleries.

Visitors also can view Chatfield Thaw, March 2012, oil on linen, 40 x 120,” which Duesberry has donated to the FAC.

This event will be held on Nov. 2-3 10a-5p