Mar 29, 2013

Monsoon Wedding at the FAC

Check out this clip from Monsoon Wedding, which is being screened at the Fine Arts Center as part of the Families Film Series From Hollywood to the Word: Social Raptures and the Changing Family in Cinema.

The film was nominated for a 2001 Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, and is set in the modern upper-middle class in India. It follows the events surrounding the arranged wedding of a young Indian woman to an Indian man living in Texas, and relatives from both families and all corners of the world come to celebrate during monsoon season in New Delhi.

In this scene, the women sing a song while decorating the bride with temporary henna tattoos, a traditional wedding activity in India.

Monsoon Wedding 
Apr. 3, 7p | $7; $5 FAC Members | Buy Tickets

The Story Project at the FAC

"Some are funny, others profound and all are true" 

The Fine Arts Center is partnering with The StoryProject for a special performance of stories revolving around families of different shapes and sizes on Friday, April 5, at 7:30p.

The Story Project has provided a community vehicle for the presentation of personal narratives for more than two years. Some are funny, others profound and all are true, staged without a script in front of a live audience. The project's regular home is the Marmalade at Smokebrush, where new stories are presented every second Friday at 7 p.m. 

This special edition of The Story Project at the FAC is called, "Modern Families." As Warren Epstein, co-host of The Story Project, said, “Families who face issues that in some way speak to our time.” 

Stories Told By:
  • Barb Reichert, mother and U.S. Figure Skating executive
  • Roy Kieffer, actor, athlete and vitamin representative
  • Xanthe Alexis, singer and musician
  • Jennifer Ryan, insurance consultant
  • Pablo Sebastián Quiñones, a former ranch hand

Epstein is co-producing this episode of The Story Project with Sharon Friedman, the producer and director, who developed the concept in 2011 after serving on various local publications (Springs Magazine, Bon Vivant, etc.) for over 30 years.  

"I was looking for something which would keep me in contact with the community and, one day after listening to Kathryn Eastburn's stories on KRCC, I thought that I would, could, love to do live stories with an audience," said Friedman. "And no one else was doing this."

The response has been incredible.  Usually over 100 people fill the space at Smokebrush.  Sometimes there is a theme, but not always. Friedman solicits people to tell stories, often people approach her.  The program is aired on KRCC on the first Saturday of each month from 2-3 p.m. and aired on the Pikes Peak Library District's Channel 17 on Tuesdays and Thursday at 7 p.m.

In 2012, the Gazette named The Story Project as the "Best New Theater Experience."
"Theater doesn't happen like this very often," wrote Tracy Mobley-Martinez of the Gazette. "It's regular Joes telling stories -- true stories, stories told without a script or notes or visual aids. The intimacy of 'The Story Project' is often very moving funny and insightful."

And those moments are shaped by Friedman.

"I always hear and help shape each story long before the event, sometimes shaping four or five times, so that it's compelling, true, personal and 15 minutes with a beginning, middle and end," she said. "I don't used scripts because  storytelling is different from acting and I want the stories to feel natural.  People can and do rehearse at home, but stories change once your on stage. "

For the event on April 5 at the Fine Arts Center, Friedman has arranged Jackie Shane to sign the stories for the deaf. 

The Story Project
Friday, April 5,  7:30p | $5

Join the Fine Arts Center this spring in exploring the enduring, yet evolving, role of families.

Mar 28, 2013

Why You Don't Want to Miss 'Other Desert Cities'

Audiences and critics alike are raving about the FAC Theatre Company's production of Other Desert Cities, enjoying its state premiere here in Colorado Springs. 

This weekend is your final opportunity to experience the Colorado Premiere at the FAC, closing on Sunday, Mar. 31. We cannot emphasize how fantastic this drama is that features a stunning script by Jon Robin Baitz, a talented cast of actors, and a beautiful set by Chris Sheley.

Not so convinced? Read through a few of the recent reviews below. 

 "Some of the best performances I've seen all season; [the] set is a work of art ..."CS Indy

"The play is both laugh-out-loud funny and quietly-wipe-away-a-tear sad." —Denver Blogger

"A smart script, clever dialogue, many comic moments and numerous fine performances make this Colorado premiere a challenging but entertaining evening of theater."Gazette

"This [play] was brilliant and one of the best we've seen." —Theatre Season Subscriber 

Other Desert Cities
Thursday, March 28 | 7:30p
Friday, March 29 | 7:30p
Saturday, March 30 | 2p; 7:30p
Sunday, March 31 | 2p

Ikebana at the FAC

Ikebana flower arrangement. source

If you're a fan of Ikebana, the Japanse art of flower arranging, make sure to stop by the FAC April 5-7 to experience Art Comes Alive, a special flower show by members of the Colorado Springs Ikebana Chapter 95


The Ikebana artists have selected over 20 pieces from the FAC's Permanent Collection for inspiration, and will interpret and respond to these works with a flower arrangement. 

These artists consider Ikebana both an art and discipline that leads to self-awareness and expression. Ikebana, sometimes referred to as the Way of Flowers, is a Japanese art form of flower arranging that incorporates dynamic containers, fresh flowers and natural materials to inspire, delight and hopefully lead to a deeper appreciation of the inherent power and artistic beauty of nature. Three lines of materials, symbolizing Heaven, Man and Earth, are often found in these arrangements.

The Colorado Springs Ikebana Chapter 95 have a long association with the FAC, having presented flower shows and providing weekly Ikebana arrangements in the lobby for over 25 years. The chapter also meets monthly in the Music Room.

Make sure to stop by and experience the FAC galleries filled with Japanese floral art! As you stroll through the galleries, look for arrangements done in classical styles and those that embrace a more modern, free style approach. 

Art Comes Alive

Mar 27, 2013

Classics for Kids Festival

The Fine Arts Center is proud to partner up with Southern Colorado Children’s Arts Partnership to help present the first Classics for Kids Festival, a day-long festival that exposes kids to classical art forms and encourages them to explore their interests and potential talents in the arts. Offering a variety of fun, new, entertaining and engaging activities, this a great event to add to your calendar.  


Saturday, April 27, 2013 from 10am - 7pm


The Citadel in Colorado Springs


The Classics for Kids Festival - a day-long event that includes:
  • Live musical, dance, and vocal performances by local youth arts groups
  • Interactive visual and performance art opportunities for attendees
  • Information Booth for participating organizations to distribute materials
  • Promotions Tables for businesses and organizations serving local youth 


To inform the local public of classical arts opportunities for children in southern Colorado; draw greater attention to classical art forms that include music, dance, performance and visual arts;  provide children an opportunity to experience and observe other children participating in the arts.  


The Southern Colorado Children’s Arts Partnership is proud to bring the Classics for Kids Festival to Colorado Springs. SCCAP members consist of the Fine Arts Center,The Colorado Springs Children’s Chorale, Colorado Springs Youth Symphony, 88.7 KCME-FM, The Ballet Society of Colorado Springs, Imagination Celebration, Performing Arts for Youth Organization (PAYO), Thomas MacLaren Charter School, Colorado Springs Dance Theatre, and the Buell Children’s Museum in Pueblo. These are the core groups who will be ‘doing the leg work’ to plan, implement, and carry on the traditions created by the 2013 festival.

Classics for Kids Festival 
April 27 | 10a-7p | Citadel Mall in Colorado Springs

MORE opportunities to experience Knuffle Bunny!

Due to popular demand for the charming, entertaining, everyone-friendly musical Knuffle Bunny, the FAC's Theatre Company has added more performances!

The following performances take place in the Music Room, with all tickets priced at just $15:

Wednesday, Mar. 27 | 1p
Thursday, Mar. 28 | 6p
Friday, Mar. 29 | 1p; 6p
Saturday, Mar. 30 | 1p; 6p
Sunday, Mar. 31 | 1p; 6p
Friday, Apr. 5 | 6p
Saturday, Apr. 6 | 10a; 1p; 6p


Mar 26, 2013

Actress Spotlight: Kate Berry Mann

Kate plays Brooke in the Colorado Premiere of Other Desert Cities

"It's a story about a family, and I think it represents a lot of how divided this country is right now, but it gives a human side to that division. In the end, both sides want the same thing, they just express it differently."
-Kate Berry Mann

We sat down with Kate Berry Mann, who is currently playing Brooke in the Colorado premiere of Other Desert Cities, to chat about her role and thoughts on the play. Kate suggested that we meet at Urban Steam (everyone should check out this great coffee spot), so the first thing we learned is that she has great taste in coffee shops! 

What first attracted you to this play, Other Desert Cities?
Kate: I had gone to New York City and seen another play at the Lincoln Center, and I saw that Other Desert Cities was playing there too. So when I was looking for another show to see, I looked at that one, and it piqued my interest. When Scott announced that it would be part of this theatre season, I emailed him and said that I was interested in auditioning for it. It's a story about a family, and I think it represents a lot of how divided this country is right now, but it gives a human side to that division. In the end, both sides want the same thing, they just express it differently. 

What do you like about the play? Is there anything you don't like about it?
K: What I like about the play is that the dialogue is written really well. It's only five people, and I like smaller plays sometimes. I also like the fights that happen. There are very strong points of view on either side. I don't think there is anything I don't like about it, but there are struggles. You learn that my character, Brooke, had a breakdown a few years prior, but the audience doesn't get to see that, because the play takes place over only one day. So it's been a challenge to me to find places where you can still see that depression in Brooke, and to present that. 

Other Desert Cities was nominated for several awards, including the Pulitzer Prize. What do you think makes this play stand out from other plays?
K: I think people are really interested in the American family, and the points of view that happen within families. Like a lot of kids nowadays, the parents might be more conservative, and the children have differing views. That is key in this play. And also, our country seems so divided right now. You're either on this side, or that side. Sometimes it seems like there's no in between, even though there really is. I think this play represents that gray area, and deals with the question of why family members do the things they do. 

This play is part of an ongoing series at the Fine Arts Center of artworks, plays, and movies that focus on the concept of family. What are your thoughts about the family in Other Desert Cities? Are they relatable?
K: Family dynamics can be really similar in a lot of ways. You usually have families who have a wide variety of opinions happening. In this story, one kid does something that messes up the equilibrium of things, and the family has to deal with that. I think that's what is relatable. 

Who is your character, and what is she going through?
K: I am the one who upsets the equilibrium. I play Brooke, and she's the middle child. She's a writer, and she went through a nervous breakdown. She hasn't been home in six years, and this is the first time she's been back to California. She brings this book she's written, and it's a memoir of her difficult time. Her older brother, who died, was sort of a radical liberal who had gotten involved in some pretty nasty things. He was kind of messed up, and from Brooke's perspective, her parents turned him away when he needed help. It's something that her parents don't really want out in the public, so that creates conflict. All these characters have so many layers going on, and Brooke is the one who comes in and wants to uncover these layers. 

Other Desert Cities
Mar. 14-31 | Buy Tickets! | Invite Friends!

Arthur Dove's 'Fog Horns' now on a U.S. postage stamp

Arthur G. Dove, Fog Horns, 1929, oil on canvas. Collection of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. Anonymous Gift, FA 1954.1 ©The Estate of Arthur G. Dove, courtesy of Terry Dintenfass, Inc.

 "Arthur Dove's Fog Horns is the most renowned and historically important painting in the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center's Collection." 
- Blake Milteer, FAC Museum Director

The influential works of 12 American modern artists — including Arthur Dove’s Fog Horns — were honored this month by the United States Postal Service with the dedication of the Modern Art in America, 1913 — 1931 stamps.

“Arthur Dove's Fog Horns is the most renowned and historically important painting in the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center's collection,” said FAC Museum Director Blake Milteer. “As a first generation Modern artist, Dove helped to transform the face of American art forever and Fog Horns is among the finest of his work.”

Fog Horns was painted during a period in the 1920s when Dove lived on a boat in the waters surrounding Long Island.

Yet the painting “does not depict the fog horn apparatus or the seascape as much as it represents the interpenetration of deeply echoing sound into air and land as all become shape and color in the painting,” said Milteer. “It is about a sensory experience. As Dove described it, he wished to weave disparate parts in a scene ‘into a sequence of formations rather than to form an arrangement of facts.’”

Dove's profound contribution is celebrated in the inclusion of Fog Horns among a powerhouse selection of the artist's contemporaries on Modern Art in America, 1913 - 1931. This beautiful USPS stamp set has been released on the 100th anniversary of the 1913 Armory Show, a groundbreaking exhibition that beaconed Modern artistic innovation in America that was organized by another prominent artist in the FAC collection, Walt Kuhn.

The other masterpieces reproduced in the Modern Art in America, 1913 - 1931 U.S. stamps include:


House and Street (1931), Stuart Davis | Whitney Museum of American Art

I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold (1928), Charles Demuth | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Prodigal Son (1927), Aaron Douglas | Amon Carter Museum


Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 (1912), Marcel Duchamp | Philadelphia Museum of Art

Painting, Number 5 (1914-15), Marsden Hartley | Whitney Museum of American Art

Sunset, Maine Coast (1919), John Marin | Columbus Museum of Art

Razor (1924), Gerald Murphy | Dallas Museum of Art

Black Mesa Landscape, New Mexico/Out Back of Marie's II (1930), Georgia O'Keeffe | Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

Noire et Blanche (1926), Man Ray | Museum of Modern Art

American Landscape (1930), Charles Sheeler | Museum of Modern Art

Brooklyn Bridge (1919-20), Joseph Stella | Yale University Art Gallery

Fog Horns is currently on view at the FAC in the North Courtyard Gallery, Tues.–Sun., 10a–5p, alongside works by Georgia  O'Keeffe and Marsden Hartley.

Mar 21, 2013

Win This Bunny!

You can win the beloved Knuffle Bunny used in our musical production! 

One lucky winner will receive the 24" stuffed Knuffle Bunny and a hardcover copy of Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale signed by the cast.

To enter to win, purchase a drawing ticket at our Box Office.

Tickets are $5 each, or buy 5 tickets for $20!

Knuffly Bunny: A Cautionary Musical
Mar. 21-31 | Buy Tickets! | Invite Friends!

Mar 19, 2013

Ormao Dance Company's 'Breaking Bread'

Leah Ragan in "As Vines We Walk Along the Path ..." Photo by Alberto Leopizzi

Inspired by the FAC's spring project exploring the theme of Families, Ormao Dance Company has commissioned four guest choreographers to create original work considering the many potential definitions of the timeless and complex topic of family, performing April 12-14 in our SaGāJi Theatre.

Choreographer: Tsui-Shuang Lai
Family. Sometimes it can be a microcosm of society. There are moments within a home of harmony amongst differences, but there can also be estrangement and suspicion ... A family that appears perfect on the outside may not know each other's inner world and the inconsistencies of each individual's external presentation and their true feelings. Perhaps if these inconsistencies were revealed, suspicion and jealousy would not exist.

“Rehearsal for the Aftermath”     
Choreographer: Mollie Wolf

This piece explores a family and an individual as they journey through grief. The loss, confusion, forgetfulness, anger, despair, and the power of a collective support system leads to the eventual calm of acceptance. Wolf collaborates with San Francisco-based digital composer, Albert Mathias and Denver-based video artist, John Regalado. Together they employ distorted video, fragmented text, and vibrational soundscape along side physical dance to create the depths of the dampened, heavy silence of an aftermath, which blends so unpredictably into the roller coaster of grief.

“As Vines, We Walk Along the Path...”   
Choreographer: Chung-Fu Chang
"Recipes Process" is a choreographic procedure that draws an inspiration from family recipes of making foods. Culinary cultural is a big part in Taiwan, we socialize with families and friends very often with food on the table. Each region in Taiwan and each family makes dishes that have their own character, flavor and texture with individual family’s touch; a common theme in all cultures. Recipes are an oral culture similar to dance, meaning the art form is passed down through generations of people, teachers and masters who instruct and verbally communicate the art forms and movements in his/her presence. Chang interacts with the dance artists to develop a theme, movement vocabulary and create an original dance work. The dance work is not necessarily about the foods or cuisines, but it is about sharing your family stories, cultures and oral tradition with others.

“the way it may be”    
Choreographer: Jeff Bickford
A 'fairy tale' series of images and events. Different ages, different personas living inside of us, appearing and disappearing like the phases of the moon. This is not a narrative, there is nothing to 'get' beyond what you experience, and your experience is determined by what persona you are in at the moment.  I never know what a piece is 'about', it starts with a visual image that comes with a certain feeling, then unfolds - I choreograph to find out what the Muse is pointing to.

Friday, Apr. 12,  7:30p | Saturday, Apr. 13, 7:30p | Sunday Apr. 14, 2p

Mar 15, 2013

Special 'Families' Partner Programs

image source

As the FAC explores the enduring, yet evolving, role of families this spring, you might be interested in researching your own family history. The Pikes Peak Genealogical Society is offering workshops on researching genealogy at the Pikes Peak Library District East Library.

Below are some of the workshops. Registration is required; for questions call 719.531.6333 ext. 2252. 

Computer Resources for Genealogy – Federal Census Fundamentals on HeritageQuest
Wednesday, March  20, 2013, 10:30 A.M. – 12 Noon, Penrose Adult Room

Genealogy Level I
Saturday, April 20, 2013, 9:00 A.M. –1:00 P.M., East Library Community Room
Getting Started, Standards & Terminology, Census Records
Genealogy Level II
Saturday, May 11, 2013, 9:00 A.M. -- 1:00 P.M., East Community Meeting Room
Vital Records, Church & Cemetery Records, Newspapers and Immigration Records
(Prerequisite: Genealogy Level I Workshop or permission of the instructor)

Genealogy Level III
Saturday, June 22, 2013, 9:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M., East Library Community Meeting Room
Military, Land and Court Records
(Prerequisite: Genealogy Level I Workshop or permission of the instructor)
Genealogy Workshops taught by J. Richards

Mar 14, 2013

Peek the Set of Other Desert Cities

Here's a behind the scenes peek a the set coming together for the Colorado Premiere of Other Desert Cities! The stunning set was designed by the FAC's own Chris Sheley, a two-time Denver Post Ovation Award winner. Photos are by actress Kate Berry, who is playing Brooke in this scintillating new drama. 

Mar. 14-31 | Buy Tickets! | Invite Friends!

Mar 13, 2013

Actor Spotlight: Sammy Gleason

Sammy Gleason as Trip Wyeth in Other Desert Cities
 "This play is about people. Real people. Flawed people. It's a story that an audience can relate to, and all they have to do is listen."  
-Sammy Gleason

Other Desert Cities, making its Colorado Premiere at the Fine Arts Center, features a great cast of Colorado actors. We had the chance to talk to Sammy Gleason, a mainstay in the Colorado Springs theatre scene, who has appeared in several FAC productions. He will be playing the role of Trip, the youngest son.

What first attracted you to this play, Other Desert Cities?
Sammy: I was actually approached by the director Scott RC Levy to audition. I'd never heard of the show before it was announced on the season, and I only knew the basic plot - but no details. In fact the first time I really read the script was after I was cast. That's when I fell in love!

What do you like about the play? Is there anything you don't like about it?
S: I love the dialogue! This piece has such incredible language and witty banter - it's just really fun to get to say and listen to these words. I wasn't initially a fan of the ending when I read the script. However, seeing it on its feet and watching the story unfold with actual people has completely changed that view and I understand it now.

Other Desert Cities was nominated for several awards, including the Pulitzer Prize. What do you think makes this play stand out from other plays?
S: This play is noteworthy, I believe, because it doesn't rely on tricks or smoke and mirrors or fanfare or anything like that to distract the audience from reality. This play is about people. Real people. Flawed people. It's a story that an audience can relate to, and all they have to do is listen.

This play is part of an ongoing series at the Fine Arts Center of artworks, plays, and movies that focus on the concept of family. What are your thoughts about the family in Other Desert Cities? Are they anything like your own family, or completely different?
S: The Wyeth family had been molded by tragedy when we meet them. They are a household of carefully locked doors and fiercely guarded secrets. In reading and rehearsing this play, I've found a lot of touchstones to my own family dynamic - how each individual can affect the whole, and why certain people need to talk when others would rather stay silent and forget. Also depression and alcoholism, which have marked the Wyeths very deeply, are subjects my own family has experience and history with. It makes the story very personal for me.

What is your character like? Do you find him relatable?
S: Trip, the youngest child, is an easy going, laid back kind of guy. He just wants everyone to get along and to love each other. He is someone who has made his own mistakes, has learned from them, and has created a life for himself that is happy and productive and isn't tied down by past events. I find him very relatable in the dynamic that he brings to his family. He's a mediator, he's a confidant, and he's someone that manages to navigate the tempestuous waters of family tragedy and pain while still maintaining his own sense of self. In many ways, that is the role I fill in my own family - it is very familiar.

Other Desert Cities
Mar. 14-31 | Buy Tickets! | Invite Friends!