Artist-of-the-Day Archives

Meet Local Creatives

Since 2020, the Cultural Office has featured a new artist on its social pages for all 31 days of Arts Month. This program started in an effort to elevate artists of all mediums as the community faced shutdowns and isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As we enter 2023, the Cultural Office has decided to suspend the Artist-of-the-Day program. The past features will remain on and our social pages. The 2023 campaign will still uplift and elevate the strength of our arts community, and we are excited to debut new programming soon! 

To view special Arts Month 2022 content from the Artist-of-the-Day and to get ready for Arts Month 2023, follow our social media channels below and view our Facebook and Instagram stories each day of October.

Arts Month 2023 Artist-of-the-Day

As part of our reimaging of Arts Month for its 10th anniversary, the Artist-of-the-Day program will not take place in 2023. However, we invite you to visit the Artist-of-the-Day Archives to see the features from the past three years. Enjoy!

Maria Fetterhoff

Date Featured: October 31, 2022

Born and raised in North Hollywood California, Maria’s art definitely represents her Mexican heritage and her urban upbringing. She loves Frida and loves Dalí so her work has been called surreal. She loves using color for drama and mood. Her work is inspired by work itself. Really just sitting and letting images come and playing with combining images that may otherwise be opposites. Maria has owned and operated Glory Badges Tattoo for 19 years now and hope to transition into being a full time painter in the near future. She’s looking forward to showing her work and maybe hosting more art shows.

Isabella Flores

Date Featured: October 30, 2022

Isabella has lived in Colorado Springs for 12 years, which has enabled her training at the Olympic Training Center, where she trains amongst other high-achieving athletes as a Team USA ice dancer. She is also a full time student at UCCS; she plans to get her math degree in 2025. In her free time, Isabella coaches young kids, spends time with her family, and reads.

Baylee Parks

Date Featured: October 29, 2022

Baylee is a Colorado native singer-songwriter with a passion for creative expression. She specializes in music composition, performance, management, producing, and is intrigued by innovative and entrepreneurial methods of the music industry. Currently, Baylee works as the General Manager at School of Rock where she helps students of all ages become performing musicians in Colorado Springs.

Aoi Koenig

Date Featured: October 28, 2022

Aoi Koenig (née Funakoshi) originally hails from Chiba, Japan, where she started her classical ballet study at the age 7. Recognizing her talents, the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music awarded Aoi a scholarship and she graduated Cum Laude with a BFA in Dance in 2000. As an active international performing artist, Aoi danced with classical ballet and contemporary dance companies around the world, appearing in prestigious theaters and international festivals including Joyce Theater, New York City Center, Festival Internacional Cervantino, Palacio de Bellas Artes, and DanceXchange Birmingham to name a few. Her favorite memories of intensive performing years were with Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (USA), Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company (USA), Compania de Danza Tania Perez-Salas, Ballet Nacional, and Lalejet Danza (Mexico City, Mexico), as well as Cas Public Production and Les Sortileges (Montreal, Canada). Aoi moved to Colorado Springs with her husband and their first child in the spring of 2011 and has been enjoying a full life with her growing family while serving passionately as dance instructor at Ormao Dance Company and School, Pikes Peak State College as well as performing locally whenever possible.

Jeremy Van Hoy

Date Featured: October 27, 2022

Jeremy is the Bass Trombonist with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, and Opera Colorado.  He is the Band Director at Colorado College and plays in local band Edith Makes A Paperchain.  Jeremy grew up in Detroit, Michigan and moved to Colorado Springs in 1994.  His wife, Barb, works for the city’s Housing Division and his daughter, Raven, is a cellist in 8th grade.

Colin McAllister

Date Featured: October 29, 2022

Guitarist and conductor Colin McAllister is an Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. His performances have been hailed as “sparkling….delivered superbly” (San Francisco Chronicle), “ravishing” (San Diego Union Tribune), and “an amazing tour de force” (San Diego Story). His most recent recording of all-original compositions with the Hennessy 6 jazz sextet was released in 2021 on Summit Records. His guitar instructional videos with The Great Courses have been watched by millions of avid guitarists worldwide. Here in Colorado Springs, he can often be seen performing with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs, and with two different jazz groups, the Hennessy 6 and the Trilix Jazz Trio.

E. De La

Date Featured: October 25, 2022

E. De La aka Ebony De La Cruz, a Colorado Springs native, holds a passion for touching the lives of people through her music. Although very shy growing up, it was at 15 years of age that she began growing in her own artistry, as a soloist singer-songwriter. Since then, she has enjoyed singing publicly and she has won trips, prizes & opportunities using her musically talented gifts. De La says she is more so touched, by her musical experiences and feels her greatest satisfaction, in connecting with people, on an emotional level. “I like to make it personal for others, which is why I like to write/sing the types of music that I do. Music can heal the heart & move ones soul; I enjoy & appreciate my ability to deliver that experience,” she says. E. De La shares a liking appreciation for many genres, though her individual style would cross between, 90’s R&B and Neo-Soul with a slight contemporary vibe.

Danny Tryon

Date Featured: October 24, 2022

Danny was born in Wyoming but has since circled the globe pursuing dances of all styles. Starting small while studying Kinesiology at the University of Wyoming, he has found himself dancing in Salt Lake City, Portland, Dublin, London, Paris, Tokyo, and was even caught on TV dancing in a local festival in Niigata, Japan. A short time after moving to Colorado Springs, he was introduced to Naomi, the owner and head instructor at Dance Wonderland, and soon became a teacher so he could share his passion with dancers of all levels.


Date Featured: October 23, 2022

Chocuba is a local musician who seeks to bring different kinds of music and soundscapes to every corner of the planet. Chiluba brings a fusion of music and textures to send you into another dimension. Styles of music integrated are alternative, R&B rock, space oprea blues, Spanish indie. and much more. Chocuba can be found on Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify, and their new single, ‘Autopilot’ is out now!

Kim Olgren

Date Featured: October 22, 2022

Kim Olgren is the author of the internationally-selling cozy mystery, Flipped – A Jillian McElroy Flipping Mystery (writing as Kimberly Olgren). Flipping houses can be murder. As Jillian soon finds out when she buys her first house for renovation, setting off a powder keg of murder, kidnapping, and worst of all, the necessity to hire infamous womanizer, Nathan Strong as her general contractor. When not writing Kim can be found in her local community renovating houses with her husband, volunteering with her local writers’ organization, or camping somewhere in the Rocky Mountains.

Jennifer Yancey

Date Featured: October 21, 2022

Jennifer K. Yancey, aka The Poet RoseGold, is a native of The Bronx, NY and 20-year Army veteran dedicated to powerful expression through the written – and spoken – word. She believes Poetry is not a spectator sport, nor is it for the faint of heart, thus her personal art does not serve as entertainment. As Poet RoseGold often says: We are on assignment! Poet RoseGold wants her verses to serve as history lessons, so readers generations down the line will understand the true historical narrative of our time.

Emily Newton

Date Featured: October 20, 2022

Emily Newton was born in Iceland and traveled with her military family from Alabama to Germany to Colorado where she spent a majority of her life.  She dabbles in all things story-telling.  She writes poetry, novels, plays, draws cartoons and illustrations, and is a professional actor in the Colorado Springs region.

Peyton Elise

Date Featured: October 19, 2022

Peyton Elise is a Colorado Springs poet, and just finished publishing her first poetry collection titled, Beyond the Yellow Door. From the beginning, Peyton has written over heartbreak. She remembers the first time she shared her first blog, “the beautiful heartbreak,” and the world loved it — she hasn’t stopped ever since. Through love and loss, poetry has been Peyton’s anthem. She loved poetry so much, and really craved community, so Peyton and her best friend started a poetry business, becoming // poetry that does pop up art weddings and events, and hosts poetry workshops.

Vanessa Little

Date Featured: October 18, 2022

Vanessa Little has always been an educator artist at heart and spent the first nine years of her life in Landstuhl, Germany, before settling with her family and growing up in Colorado Springs. She is presently the founder, owner, and director of Lil’ Miss Story Hour, a grass roots, donation-run educational literacy program that hosts community story time events highlighting authors and illustrators from marginalized communities, specifically Black, Indigenous, People of Color, women, LGBTQIA, individuals with disabilities, and veterans. She believes that representation matters and wants to ensure that all children see themselves represented in media. In 2022, Lil’ Miss Story Hour’s program was identified as a high-impact, intergenerational program that elevates diverse stories by the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS) MOSAIC LGBTQ+ Resource Center. Additionally, in 2021 Vanessa won 3rd place in My Black City’s People’s Choice Award for educator of the year. In addition to Lil’ Miss Story Hour, Vanessa also runs a piano business, Miss Vanessa’s Piano Studio, writes poetry, writes and illustrates children’s books, sings, dances, paints, and draws.

Russell Keller

Date Featured: October 17, 2022

A young upstart on the Colorado scene, Russell Keller has already established himself as a local comedy staple, regularly performing at both Loonees Comedy Corner and 3Es Comedy Club. Born and raised in the Springs, Russell started his comedy journey after a screenwriting professor told him a script of his wasn’t very funny – out of spite, the very next day he signed up for the open mic at Loonees and has been hitting the stage up and down I-25 ever since! Although he performs clean, Russell is not afraid to tackle topics like race, mental health, and way too many jokes about milk for some reason, all while bringing a warm joyful presence to the stage. Make sure you check out Russell’s monthly showcase, The Pikes Punks Comedy Show – the biggest independent comedy show in the Springs – on the last Saturday of every month at The Public House located on N. Nevada in the historic Alexander building.

Kels Choo

Date Featured: October 16, 2022

Kels Choo (she/they) is a Hawai‘i-raised artist self-publishing comics and making art in Colorado Springs. Working in a variety of mediums, her work is inspired by color & nature she was surrounded by growing up in Hawai‘i, her mixed East Asian heritage, as well as general monsters & magic.  Since graduating from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013, they have been exhibiting in local, national, and international comics & zine festivals. In 2019, they partnered with Jennifer Eltringham to organize the Pikes Peak Zine Fest, which has since run annually in-person or virtually every October.  She strives to foster inclusive creative communities in Colorado, Hawai‘i, & the Midwest.

Zack Sztanyo

Date Featured: October 15, 2022

Zack Sztanyo runs the Butte Theater in Cripple Creek Colorado. The Butte Theater is one of the few places left in the US to see the Classic Melodrama. Zack is an actor at heart, and it is beyond exciting to for him to be running the Butte. Taking this job was an answered prayer for Zack, getting him back to his acting roots and he loves that the town is so unique. Where else can you go to see live theater at 10,000 feet?

Pirronne Yousefzadeh

Date Featured: October 14, 2022

Pirronne Yousefzadeh is the Producing Artistic Director of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center Theatre Company. Pirronne has a passion for new work that centers and uplifts the stories of global majority communities and has developed and directed work at Playwrights Horizons, New York Theatre Workshop, The Public, Soho Rep, Atlantic Theater Company, Page 73, Ars Nova, The Kennedy Center, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, La Jolla Playhouse, Cleveland Playhouse, Geva Theatre Center, Magic Theatre, InterAct Theatre Company, and more. Current projects in development include new plays by Ramiz Monsef, Nikki Massoud, and Vichet Chum. Pirronne is a Usual Suspect at NYTW, New Georges Affiliated Artist, and member of EST and No More 10 Out of 12s. She is an alumna of the 2050 Fellowship at NYTW, Williamstown Sagal Fellowship, SDC Denham Fellowship, Lincoln Center Directors Lab, Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, and Drama League Directors Project. She is a co-founder of Maia Directors, a consulting group for artists and organizations who wish to engage with the stories from the Middle East, South Asia, and North Africa. M.F.A., Columbia University. Proud member of SDC.

Kendra Dae Shock

Date Featured: October 13, 2022

Kendra Dae Shock has been an aspiring actress since she was in elementary school and has pursued it ever since. She has been in a variety of live productions such as SET’s Julius Caesar and Theatre D Art’s Walking Ghost Tours as well as local films such as Venus In Cancer and Only Devil’s Die On Wednesdays.

Melissa O’Rear

Date Featured: October 12, 2022

Melissa O’Rear founded Theatre Across Borders in the summer of 2020 during COVID. TAB’s first show, Magic of the Marsh, sold out all 36 shows before opening day as was the first play staged in El Paso County after the lockdown. An MA grad from NYU, Melissa commits to creating safe places for young people to explore the arts. She’s worked with over a dozen organizations and schools in Colorado Springs and hosts a Performing Arts Teachers Facebook group. Come see TAB’s next show, Ghost Fish: Legend of the Lake, staged at Fountain Creek and Bear Creek Nature Centers, October 15, and 22!

A.M. Lewis

Date Featured: October 11, 2022

Annemarie (A.M.) Lewis is an American actress and director. She grew up in the small, rural town of Enfield, New York with her mom and sister. As a kid, she wrote and performed plays to stuffed-animal audiences as an outlet and a passion. Lewis moved to Colorado at age 15 and has lived in Colorado Springs for 6 years. In 2020, despite no formal training, she directed her first feature film and performed her first major role as the main character in the film “All The Beautiful Things.” The film centers on the importance of mental health and follows the impact suicide has on a Colorado Springs family. The project was inspired by Lewis’s own experience with suicide, and she hopes to make the topic less taboo and inspire more genuine conversations/media involving it than currently exists. The film is set to release in 2022.

Ralph Giordano

Date Featured: October 10, 2022

Ralph-Michael Giordano is a New Jersey native but has called Colorado Springs his home for over 35 years. Ralph is a graduate of New York University Tisch School of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film and Television Production (1982). He is the Owner/Operator of ArchAngel Productions, LLC. Ralph writes, produces, and directs video productions ranging from commercials, training, and marketing videos to short independent films/videos. He was a co-creator of the Pikes Peak Film Council, a non-profit organization whose mission was to produce the U.S Environmental Film Festival where he served as President of their Board of Directors (1989-1993). He currently is the Executive Director of the Peak Film Forum, a non-profit (fiscally sponsored by the Independent Film Society of Colorado) public networking group for local writers, producers, directors, and actors to promote film/video production in Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Region. In addition, Ralph is the Festival Director for The Independent Film Society of Colorado, a local non-profit organization serving the Pikes Peak Region.

Matt Radcliffe

Date Featured: October 9, 2022

Matt Radcliffe is a marketing strategist, an award-winning graphic designer and president of Springs Ensemble Theatre (SET). Matt is an Eagle Scout and served in the Army, earning a  Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service. Since departing the army, Matt has earned an Associates Degree in Multimedia Graphic Design from Pikes Peak State College and Bachelors of Science in Business Administration from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. He currently works for Pikes Peak State College as their Digital Strategy Manager and has gone back to UCCS to complete his MBA. Over the past eight years he has produced, directed, acted and/or designed in over 40 plays for SET and about a dozen more amongst just about every other theatre company in Colorado Springs. His previous acting roles include: Fatherhood Up Close (SET), Treacher in Strangers on a Train (SET), Captain Brice in Arcadia (TW), Various Roles in The Laramie Project (SET), Ransome Foster in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (SET), Macduff in Macbeth (TW), Prior in Angels in America Parts I & II (TdA), Conrad in Much Ado About Nothing (TW), Don in Rapture, Blister, Burn (SET), Tartuffe in Tartuffe (PPCC), Sheldrake in White Christmas (FAC), Motherhood Out Loud (SET), Dracula in Dracula (FAC), Yvan and Marc in ‘Art’ (SET), Inspired (MAT), Six Women Playwrighting Festival (MAT), Victor in One for the Road (SET), Joey in A Steady Rain (SET), and Roy in The Odd Couple (SET). In 2016 he was nominated for a Colorado Henry award for directing The Elephant Man at SET and in 2022 he was nominated for a Colorado Henry award for best supporting actor as Dr. Aster in Life Sucks at SET.

Denise Dethlefsen

Date Featured: October 8, 2022

Denise Dethlefsen is from a family of talented artists, musicians, and writers, but could never make her brain and fingers work together for any of those skills – thus her tagline, “Some of us just can’t draw.” The camera gives her a view into the world that is sometimes impressionistic, sometimes real. It allows her to “see” something, then take it home and bring out either the original vision or something entirely new in post-processing. She doesn’t call herself a nature photographer, but most of her photography is done outdoors.

Kevin Persaud

Date Featured: October 7, 2022

Kevin Shinelikar Persaud studies identity through expressionist abstract paintings he calls, double conscious jazz. Vulnerability as strength. Feelings and ideas in a tactile, frenetic form. Primal, dumb, layered but always telling a story.

Karen Mosbacher

Date Featured: October 6, 2022

International award-winning artist Karen Mosbacher is an abstract expressionist painter, known for the synesthetic qualities in her work. When Mosbacher says, “I paint music,” she is describing her work which typically focuses on oil and cold wax, acrylic, and mixed media on canvas and panel. Ms. Mosbacher shows at G44 Gallery, Kreuser Gallery, and Cottonwood Center for the Arts in Colorado Springs, Day 2 Day Gallery in Lyon, France, Farrell’s Gallery, Gallery 4945, and I.D.E.A. Galleries in Atlanta, JRB ART at the Elms in Oklahoma City, and in Victoria at Home in Santa Fe, and her most recent larger work, ‘Enchanted Landscapes,’ a collaboration with Dr. Ofer Ben-Amots, Chair of the Music Department of Colorado College, is installed at Packard Hall, the recital hall. Ms. Mosbacher’s current body of work, ‘The Alchemy of Gesture,’ is a multisensory exhibition exploring the importance of gesture in expression and communication now showing at several galleries in Colorado and Oklahoma.

Sean O’Meallie

Date Featured: October 5, 2022

Sean O’Meallie is a long time resident of Colorado Springs. A former toy inventor for the international market and studio art instructor at UCCS, O’Meallie’s colorful sculptures can be found in collections around the world. A show of new work opens downtown at Kreuser Gallery on October 7.

Phil Lear

Date Featured: October 4, 2022

Phil has been painting professionally for 20 years along the front range. In his work he strives to bring an emotional charge that will resonate with the viewer. As a narrative figurative painter, it’s his mission to create artwork that embodies classical ideals in a manner fit for today — traditional, but fresh.

Marjorie Vernelle

Date Featured: October 3, 2022

Marjorie Vernelle is a watercolor and pastels artist, a writer of blogs and books, college professor, and traveler who enjoys exploring the human mystery and sharing the beauty of art and good living.

Gayle Gross

Date Featured: October 2, 2022

Gayle Gross owns Reserve Our Gallery in Woodland Park where she also has a studio. Gross displays her work, 3rd Relief, in Gallery 113 in Colorado Springs and is featured at the visitor’s center of Garden of the Gods for Arts Month. 3rd Relief incorporates items from the subjects (mostly landscapes) where she paints.

Ian Dedrickson

Date Featured: October 1, 2022

Chef Ian Dedrickson is a life-long Springs native who began his culinary career at 15 in Manitou Springs. Since, he has worked for several chefs including as Sous Chef for Chef Brother Luck. In 2018, Dedrickson started a series of art and concept driven pop-up dinners along with Chef-Partner Adam Ridens, and Creative Director Jasmine Dillavou under the name Ephemera. In the fall of 2020, Dedrickson and Co. opened their Brick-and-Mortar location at CO.A.T.I. in downtown Colorado Springs where he and his team continue to provide culinary, wine, and art experiences.

Grace Easley

Date Featured: October 31, 2021

Grace Easley began her musical life as a child with a burning desire to play the violin. At the age of six she began piano and violin lessons. She studied violin continually from that point on and eventually adopted a love of playing the viola as well, performing on both instruments in ensembles across the Midwest, in Minneapolis, Kansas City and St. Louis. Viola Performance was Grace’s focus in college and she continued to perform on violin and viola both solo and in symphony and chamber orchestras at Missouri State University, which eventually led her to teaching orchestra and her instruments in both studio and classroom settings in Colorado Springs. The desire to compose, perform and travel moved Grace to fully focus on her eclectic bohemian jazz inspired duo Roma Ransom, which has enjoyed numerous extended national tours and has received accolades from the broader Colorado and regional community. In her role as violinist and co-creator of Roma Ransom (with multi-instrumentalist Gordon Lewis) Grace has had the opportunity to perform on professional stages alongside musical legends, even serenading Itzak Pearlman at his own after-party! Grace has also had the honor to co-create music for independent films, and has had her work featured in digital productions for brands such as Patagonia, Yeti, Vice, Xtratuf, Huckberry, and Bud Light. Grace currently resides in Colorado Springs and continues to pursue performance, composition, teaching and session playing.

Jeni Kemper

Date Featured: October 30, 2021

Jeni Kemper graduated from the University of Arizona in May 2005 with a BFA in Dance.  Her early training in ballet, jazz, modern and tap came from several studios in Colorado Springs, CO. She has had the opportunity to work with Mia Michaels, Debbie Allen, Bill Hastings, Sherry Zunker and several other world-renown choreographers. Jeni received a full scholarship to Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, as well as the opportunity to study intensively with River North Dance Company. Upon graduating, Jeni worked for Royal Caribbean Cruise Line as a dancer and dance captain in the production shows. She has choreographed for the Colorado Children’s Theatre Productions, D-11 Productions and many more rewarding experiences. Jeni has been a mentor and instructor to many students throughout the U.S. and enjoys sharing her love for the performing arts.  She has received many Top Choreography Awards at numerous dance competitions. Many of her students have received scholarships and top awards throughout the US. Jeni Kemper’s main focuses for the studio is help students with either their career as a dancer or help them realize they are able to stay in the dance world but not have to be a dancer (i.e. PT, Agents etc.) Jeni was never directed in the right direction while she was growing up and only thought dance as a hobby. When she was accepted to the University of Arizona it opened her eyes that dance is not just a hobby. All the hard work and money Jeni’s parents put into dance can be well spent. Jeni wants to help her students realize these things. Plus with the many connections she has, Jeni can help her students make great connections while they are still trying to figure out what they want to do with their lives. Her greatest pride is seeing her students grow and getting into a college or seeing them push for something they really believe in.

Tony Exum Jr.

Date Featured: October 29, 2021

Tony Exum, Jr. is taking 2021 to new heights musically and professionally with an unrestrained passion and impeccable work ethic that is second to none. Performances in 2021 already included the 30th Annual Berks Jazz Fest and the 2021 Jazz Legacy Foundation 8th Annual Gala Weekend with dates in Houston, Dallas, Phoenix and Florida under his belt just to name a few. Tony’s catalog consists of two critically acclaimed albums, “Finally” and “The One” and now he is back in the studio working on his third project. In October 2021 he released his current top smooth jazz top 100 single “Get At You” feat Desmond “Motown” Washington with international airplay on over 80 internet/terrestrial radio stations. October 2021 brought a career first as Tony signed his 1st record deal with BSE Recordings/The Orchard/Sony Records.

Rachel Stovall

Date Featured: October 28, 2021

Rachel Stovall aka The Event Diva is a vocalist, writer, and an interior designer. An artist since childhood she delights in connecting people through the beauty of music, prose, and décor. She works and resides in Colorado Springs inspired by its people, culture, and landscape.

Aja Black

Date Featured: October 27, 2021

Aja Black is one half of the musical duo, The Reminders! The Reminders are a rare and remarkable musical duo seamlessly blending soulful sounds and roots music with insightful messages and thoughtful lyrics. The group consists of Brussels-born emcee Big Samir and Queens-born emcee/ vocalist Aja Black, a collective creative force that’s hard to beat. Aja Black has a confident delivery, diverse cadences, and unique vocal stylings. The two have an undeniable magical chemistry as they share more than lyrical abilities and stages; the couple shares a partnership in both music and life as Samir and Aja have been married for almost a decade.

Lesario Cantu

Date Featured: October 26, 2021

Lesario Jose Cantu (LJ) is a twenty-one year old professional street dancer, musician, and graphic artist from Colorado Springs, CO. LJ has been dancing since he was three years old. He’s always learning and maturing in various dance styles; such as, Krump, Breakdace, Ballroom, Lyrical, and Pop N Lock. Dance bas been a big outlet for him throughout the years. His family owns a successful dance company called J&J Hip Hop Dance Performing Arts Company in Colorado Springs. LJ has had the privilege of choreographing performances for the Harlem Globetrotters, Amazon, Denver Nuggets, Better Business Bureau, Colorado Business for the Arts, Fox 21 News, and plenty more. As a master instructor at J&J Hip Hop, LJ continues to inspire, instruct, and choreograph for hundreds of children, youth, and adults.

Edie Carey

Date Featured: October 25, 2021

Award-winning singer-songwriter Edie Carey has been singing at festivals, colleges, and listening rooms across the US, Canada, and Europe since 1999, performing alongside Sara Bareilles, Brandi Carlile, Emmylou Harris, Lyle Lovett, and Shawn Mullins. She’s also been a featured artist on PRI’s Mountain Stage. She’s appeared at Telluride Bluegrass, Rocky Mountain Folks, Newport Folk, 30A Songwriters, and Cayamo. She released her 9th album, Paper Rings: 8 love stories, in February 2016. Her prior release, a duo lullabies project with Sarah Sample, garnered several children’s music awards, including Best Children’s Album in the 2014 Independent Music Awards. She recently lent her voice to two of the tracks on Joanie Leeds’ 2020 Grammy-winning album All The Ladies. She is currently at work on her 10th album, “The Veil,” which is slated for release in 2022.

Jenny Maloney

Date Featured: October 24, 2021

Jenny Maloney writes dark fiction that her mother hates. She holds a BA in Creative Writing. Her work appears, or is forthcoming, in Dissections, All Worlds Wayfarer, NeoSapiens, an anthology by, Shimmer, and others. When she’s not writing fiction, plays, poetry, or essays, she’s creating theater as a writer and performer in Colorado Springs.

Jennifer Eltringham

Date Featured: October 23, 2021

Jennifer Eltringham is a zinester, librarian, and co-organizer of the Pikes Peak Zine Fest. She uses collage and writing to explore heartbreak, relationships, the moon, and possums, North America’s only native marsupial. She anticipates that her magnum opus will be a zine ode to chicken nuggets.

Carly Stevens

Date Featured: October 22, 2021

Carly Stevens’ life revolves around stories. When she was young, she fell in love with Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings, and then went to school to study literature. Now, she lives and writes in beautiful Colorado, where she drinks coffee, enjoys the mountains, and teaches high school students about Hamlet. Her immersive YA fantasy novels star characters who, even in the face of hopeless odds, help each other find their courage.

Trip Uhalt

Date Featured: October 21, 2021

Trip Uhalt started doing standup comedy at Jeff Valdez’ Comedy Corner here in Colorado Springs in the mid-80’s. He’s opened for Sinbad, Judy Tenuta, Pat Paulson, Jeff Allen, and more. He stepped away from professional comedy to start a career in broadcasting. Uhalt has produced thousands of TV commercials and done documentaries around the world, chronicling the life of Jesus and the Apostles. He also owns and runs Spot On Productions, a multimedia production company, and teaches multimedia and broadcasting at UCCS and PPCC part time as well. Trip started Oxymorons Comedy in September 2018. They are an award-winning, clean and family friendly, Christ following, standup and improv comedy group dedicated to putting the “joy of the Lord” in people’s hearts and raising money for charities; demonstrating at every laugh-filled show that God is not just the God of “thou shalt nots” but also of great joy, love, Grace, forgiveness and Salvation through His Son, Jesus.

Fleur Bradley

Date Featured: October 20, 2021

Fleur Bradley is the author of the spooky mystery for kids Midnight at the Barclay Hotel (Viking/ Penguin Random House), which is nominated for the Reading the West Award, Anthony and Agatha Awards, and recently won the Colorado Book Award in the Best Juvenile category. Fleur is passionate about two things: mysteries and getting kids to read. She regularly does (virtual) school visits and speaks at librarian and educator conferences on reaching reluctant readers. Originally from the Netherlands, Fleur now lives in Colorado Springs with her family, and entirely too many rescue animals.

Michael Ferguson

Date Featured: October 19, 2021

Michael “Skillzilla” Ferguson is a tall, black man, all too aware that his size makes him particularly vulnerable in America.  His writing and scholarship focuses on racial and social injustice, and nerd stuff.  If Michael isn’t writing, then he’s sitting at home with his wife, Dr. Sandy Ho, and watching trash television, reading comics, or playing videogames.  He is currently working on obtaining his MA in English at CSU Pueblo and hopes one day to be the Black professor for students who look like him that Michael never had.  This semester, he’ll be teaching a Rhetoric and Writing course with the goal of centering the class around the voices of Black and other marginalized communities and scholars.  Michael is always open to talk about Poetry, Comics, and Naruto.  Feel free to ask him about any of these things if you see him at an open mic.

Susan Peiffer

Date Featured: October 18, 2021

Susan M. Peiffer is a queer poet, educator, and youth advocate who has worked since 2012 to elevate literary arts and spoken word poetry in Colorado Springs. Appointed 5th Poet Laureate of the Pikes Peak Region, Susan promotes poetry as a lifelong skill to enjoy. Recognized for five consecutive years by the Pikes Peak Arts Council with awards in performance poetry and leadership, Susan’s confessional and observational poetry covers challenging topics using colorful language and unique cadences to inspire urgency and conversation around visceral issues affecting people today. Susan is an animated and inclusive presenter who readily engages audiences and inspires the unique circumstances into which poems arrive. Susan serves as Executive Director of Hear Here Poetry, a nonprofit encouraging people to listen, write, and share together, and whose focus is on activating and amplifying youth voices.

Pete Schuermann

Date Featured: October 17, 2021

Pete Schuermann is an established motion picture writer/director/producer, born on Long Island and currently a resident of Monument, Colorado. His experience in the visual field includes on the job training in almost every aspect of motion picture production, including but not limited to: photography, lighting, editing, directing, scripting, graphics and his most favorite directing. Pete maintains an eye for what he calls “a cinematic style of storytelling”, which he feels adds a special dynamic and compelling content to any visual project. Numerous advertising, production and corporate entities have tapped him for creative vision on many projects, both long format and short. But his first love is making movies, best known for his cult film The Creep Behind the Camera and the award-winning documentary HAZE (with Robin Wright). Mr. Schuermann has written and directed over 5 feature films and many short films, featuring celebrities like Julie Andrews, George Lucas, Tony Todd and many others.

Lynne Hastings

Date Featured: October 16, 2021

Lynne has been a part of the Colorado Springs Arts Scene for 25 years. Past performances include: Pipeline, A Raisin in the Sun, Happy Days, A Christmas Carol, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Seven Guitars, and Doubt at Theatreworks; Hairspray, Intimate Apparel and Little Shop of Horrors at the Fine Arts Center; and Afterlife: A Ghost Story, Motherhood Out Loud and Julius Caesar at SET. Lynne is the happy wife of actor David Hastings, and the proud mom of Trevor and Maya.

Cyndi Parr

Date Featured: October 15, 2021

Cyndi Parr is the program director and co-founder for Dragon Theatre Productions where everyone who auditions gets a role, and has helped create over 500 roles in 12 years for actors of all ages and abilities. She has performed over the last 20 years as an actor, writer, director, puppeteer and magician for local theatres Theatreworks, The Millibo Art Theatre, Theatre ‘d Art, Star Bar Players, Springs Ensemble Theatre, Counterweight, Craft Production Resources, and Smokebrush. She is currently a board member for the Rocky Mountain Puppetry Guild, and has performed for four years with Katy Williams Design.

Casey Fooshee-Gurtler

Date Featured: October 14, 2021

Casey Fooshee-Gurtler is an 18 year old aspiring queer artist living in Colorado Springs. She works with both digital and traditional media, making use of markers and vibrant colors. She focuses on character illustrations. She has developed a style of cartooning and aims towards getting involved in the animation industry as a storyboard artist or animator. The animation medium is attractive to her because of the deeper themes and stories these drawings can tell, and because of the emotion it can evoke in the audience.

Caitlin Lowans

Date Featured: October 13, 2021

Caitlin Lowans is a theatre director, educator, and community advocate who just began their fourth season as Artistic Director of Theatreworks Colorado Springs. A longtime New Englander, Caitlin most recently pursued an MFA at Northwestern University and before that served as Associate Artistic Director at Stoneham Theatre (now Greater Boston Stage Company), north of Boston, where Caitlin was also the Director of Education. Caitlin has directed over fifty productions in New England, Chicago, and Colorado. At Theatreworks, Caitlin has directed A Christmas Carol adapted by Murray Ross; Arcadia by Tom Stoppard; Witch by Jen Silverman; and both Comedy of Errors and Midsummer Night’s Dream for their Free-For-All program. In 2021 Caitlin wrote the text for Theatreworks’ shadow-puppet production, The Mitten, co-produced with KatyWilliamsDesign and JParkerArts, and will collaborate again with Katy Williams for Snowy Tales this December. Caitlin is passionate about community-engaged arts, and work that confronts social questions about how we live now in unexpected, joyful, and metaphorical ways; in 2021, let’s keep uplifting arts and artists.

Ethan Everhart

Date Featured: October 12, 2021

Ethan Everhart is a director, actor, playwright, and the artistic director of Counterweight Theatre Lab, a small theatre company dedicated to intimate, hard-hitting plays. When not trying to explore the human experience with theatre or audio, he is a gardener, amateur historian, cook, and friend to all cats (even the mean ones).

Marisa Hebert

Date Featured: October 11, 2021

Marisa D. Hebert (She, Her) is an actor, director, and playwright located in Colorado Springs, where she lives with her wife and rescue dogs. As an actor, Marisa works with THEATREWORKS, The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, and numerous other local and regional Theatres. As a director, Marisa works with THEATREWORKS, Vintage Theater, and The Millibo Arts Theatre. As a playwright, Marisa’s first full-length play Pieces of Him won the FAC’s 2013 Rough Writers New Play festival, and pieces of her lyrical autobiographical play High Yellow have been performed locally at UCCS and The Millibo Art Theatre. Marisa is also one of the Founding Members of IDEA Stages (@ideastages).

Cortney Smith

Date Featured: October 10, 2021

Cortney is a Chef and Co-Owner of Gather Food Studio! She’s passionate about our food system and knowing about where our food comes from! Her love of food started early in life. Born into a food obsessed family, her uncle was a chef and owned a restaurant and food and family were intertwined. Working her way through college while working at restaurants led to working in 15 restaurants by the time she was 30. Exhausted and frustrated, providence intervened in the guise of CHEFS Catalog. Combining a love of food and product, her position allowed her to select merchandise, develop recipes and work with food styling for 8 years at a corporate level, until one day it came to a crashing halt as their beloved CHEFS closed. Taking a step into entrepreneurship, she have found her calling in teaching. Specialties include: Healthy cooking, gluten-free, diabetes, Latin cooking and spices.

Stephanie Merchant

Date Featured: October 9, 2021

Stephanie Merchant has been creating art for over 30 years and has become proficient in many mediums: acrylic, airbrush, oil, chalk, charcoal, colored pencils, graphite, and pan pastels. In addition, she sews, crochets, embroiders, needle felts, and whittles; and does face painting, flower arranging, and pyrography. Due to the “extensive buffet” of mediums she uses, she named her business “Stephanie’s Smorgasbord.” She quit her corporate job in June 2021 to focus on her business full time and to teach art and sewing classes out of her home to people of all ages. The majority of her art is custom work, but when creating something she loves, she takes most of her inspiration from nature and wildlife. She accepts fine art commissions–what can she cook up for you?

Gray Warrior

Date Featured: October 8, 2021

Gray is a Photographer / Videographer in the Colorado Spring area. He enjoys taking pictures of those who like long walks on the beach, getting caught in the rain, posing in front of loud motorcycles, or even those who enjoy long sweaty hikes up the mountains of Colorado. If you want a picture taken or a video captured then call this guy. It’s kind of his thing.

Mattie O.

Date Featured: October 7, 2021

Beauty will save the world” – is a quote attributed to Fydor Dostoevsky, which Mattie has hanging in her studio, to keep her centered. Mattie embraces an automatic style of creation, (the first step begets the next, which begets the next . . .), backed by intricate designs and themes for each woman’s dress that she creates. Each is filled with nostalgia and nuance. Their real power rests in their ability to represent two opposites at once, an inner and an outer life, a forcefulness of form and a delicate construction. The beauty is in the harmony that she can find in the contradiction, suspended between opposing forces. Her sculptures are generally suspended. She works primarily with abaca fibre (a strong, high shrinkage paper pulp), wire, and ephemera that she collects.

Brother Luck

Date Featured: October 6, 2021

With a name like Brother Luck, it would be easy to attribute your success to good fortune, but Brother’s is a result of hard work, determination, and passion. As a teenager, Brother fell on hard times when his father passed away at the age of 10. After relocating from the San Francisco Bay Area to Arizona, Brother enrolled in a vocational school for high school students to learn the culinary arts. The free food was intriguing enough to keep attending the cooking classes and eventually led him to find a passion in the kitchen that would set him up on an incredible journey inspired by a love for food and service. Brother eventually was awarded with enough scholarships to attend the Art Institute of Phoenix, including one from the college, which named him “Best Teen Chef.” His time in college would lead to a diverse career cooking in places around the world including in Japan; Hong Kong; Chicago; New York City and finally in Colorado Springs where he would start Brother Luck Street Eats. There he was honored as “Best Local Chef” by Colorado Springs Independent and “Most Cutting Edge Restaurant” by The Gazette Newspaper. Since his global travels, Chef Brother Luck stepped into the role as entrepreneur opening his signature southwestern concept, Four by Brother Luck; a modern Asian eatery, Lucky Dumpling; and campaigning his mental health awareness slogan #NoLucksGiven.

Tim Penland

Date Featured: October 5, 2021

Tim Penland is an artist in Teller County, Colorado. He is also the president of The Cripple Creek Art Alliance. Tim is a graphite artist doing western, portraits, and railroad art in pencil. He’s been an artist for over 50 years and is self taught. You can find Time mainly doing art shows in Teller county.

Liese Chavez

Date Featured: October 4, 2021

Liese Chavez (b.1974) is owner and artist at Chavez Gallery in Colorado Springs, CO, established in 2014. Her art education has been achieved through dedicated study of textbooks and videos combined with daily practice in drawing and oil painting since 2005. Liese delights in depicting the resiliency and tenacity of the human spirit. Her subjects are often strong females finding power or humor in a less than ideal world, with the intention of lifting you up by reminding you of your strengths, passions and potential for growth.

Bunny Bee

Date Featured: October 3, 2021

Bunny Bee began modeling full time in 2007 and has won prestigious notoriety within the modeling industry as a model. She has broad experience within the industry, and has worked with many different and well-known photographers, companies, promotional, and a variety of different bikini companies as well as Playboy. Bunny Bee joined Peaks and Pasties Burlesque troupe in Colorado Springs in March of 2009, and became a Co-Director/Producer in 2010. She is also the Co-Owner/Co-Director/Producer of the Colorado Burlesque Festival, as well as the Chair of the Board of the Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas. You can see her at The Gold Room monthly performing, or soon, she will be opening a Cabaret/Restaurant/Nightclub in the once well known Underground in downtown, now named La Burla Bee.

Mistia Fallon

Date Featured: October 2, 2021

Mistia Fallon is the owner of the Dragonfly Aerial Company and carries over two decades of performance experience in the entertainment industry, with over a decade as a headliner entertainer on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian. and Holland America Cruise lines. Mistia now dedicates her focus on helping others develop professionally, cultivating exceptional aerial coaches through DAC teacher trainings, overseeing over 50 artistic aerial classes a week, directing a youth and adult performance company, a youth/teen award winning competitive group ,and a sophisticated event entertainment company, (which has the privilege to have been one of the first artists invited to partner with COPPeR’s Curbside Culture program!). Mistia is a directors’ group and insurance committee member of the American Circus Educators Organization and has launched 13 Dragonfly aerial programs nationwide with Dragonfly’s proprietary, nationally recognized, safety-focused aerial studio licensing program. Her current project: Dragonfly’s interpretation of “The Jungle Book”, opening February 2021 in their new studio theatre under construction at Powers and Woodmen, complete with an indoor flying trapeze!

Idris Goodwin

Date Featured: October 1, 2021

Idris Goodwin is an award winning scriptwriter, breakbeat poet, educator and executive director of The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College. He was recently named a 2021 United States Artist Fellow. In addition to Can I Kick It?, he’s had several publications from Haymarket Books including Inauguration co written with nico wilkinson, Human Highlight: Ode To Dominique Wilkins, and the play This Is Modern Art. He’s appeared on Nickelodeon, HBO Def Poetry, Sesame Street, NPR, BBC Radio, and the Discovery Channel. His plays include And In This Corner Cassius Clay, How We Got On, Hype Man and Jacked!

Profile Story by Curbside Culture

Harriett Landrum (a.k.a My Name is Harriett)

Date Featured: October 31, 2020

Harriett Landrum, “My Name is Harriett,” is a songstress who composes and plays all original music. She is known for her compositions that fuse violin with electronic looping to create gorgeous soundscapes with passionate vocals. “It’s simple music made for complicated people,” she says. Harriett also plays a variety of modern and classical works on violin, and has been teaching violin & piano privately for fifteen years, and performing professionally for ten years.

AuroTejas Hemsell

Date Featured: October 30, 2020

AuroTejas Hemsell was born in India and has been studying Indian Classical Dance from the age of five both in India and America. Her mother is Gujurati and her father is American. Tejas has devoted her entire life to studying, teaching and performing Indian Classical Dance. Tejas founded the Shakti Dance School and the Shakti Dance Troupe in Colorado Springs in 2004. Tejas performs and teaches Odissi East Indian Classical Temple Dance, Bollywood Dance, World Fusion & Zumba in Colorado Springs & Online. Tejas has been organizing World Dance Festivals in Colorado and in Auroville, South India since 2006, and is extremely passionate about Cultural Performance Arts Education. She collaborates with talented artists to promote Traditional Cultural Dances from around the Globe in her World Dance Festivals. Currently, since the pandemic, Tejas is focusing on teaching online dance classes and performing at outdoor garden parties.

Profile Story by Humanitou

Yves Sturdevant

Date Featured: October 29, 2020

Yves is a Colorado Springs native, lover of yummy foods, avid dog petter, and shenanigan maker. She dances with her troupe the Luddites who were born, by coincidence, on the eve of the Waldo Canyon fire. She loves to organize shows such as The Odd Show and Zoetrope and otherwise engage in the wonderment our entire heart-filled arts community offers. She hopes to curate an art show soon and am inspired daily by the artists who live work and dream here.

Profile Story By Humanitou

Joe Johnson

Date Featured: October 28, 2020

Joe Johnson is a dynamic writer and performer with more than 20 years entertaining fans, friends, and family alike. Hailing from a musical family that includes Country music legend BJ “The DJ” Johnson, he presents his honest and thought provoking work anywhere and everywhere it’s appreciated from theaters and festivals to dive bars and coffee shops. Originally from South Mississippi, Joe has called the Westside of Colorado Springs home for the last 16 years, in the process becoming a cornerstone of the Springs vibrant artists community and a musical ambassador to towns all across the state and the country.

Profile By My Black Colorado

Kailani Dobson

Date Featured: October 27, 2020

Kailani Dobson is a local installation artist with a background in movement-based works and a love for film and textiles. She is passionate about making dance more accessible by taking performances off the stage and exclusively performing in galleries and public spaces. Kailani believes that art is a community-driven endeavor that benefits from the conglomeration of multiple art-forms. During the Covid-19 quarantine she opened a small coffee roasting business focused on ethically sourced beans that are roasted mindfully and packaged with hand drawn illustrations.

Latisha Hardy

Date Featured: October 26, 2020

Latisha Hardy Dance & Co Ltd. was established in 2010. Latisha started creating this brand after learning salsa roughly 12 years ago. Latin Dancing helped her grow past a very difficult time in life. Currently, she works to give that back to others and her community through the art of dance and empower individuals to empower themselves.

Profile Courtesy of Curbside Culture

Ryan Flores

Date Featured: October 25, 2020

Ryan Flores is a California native with Czech and Mexican roots (Czexican or Czex-Mex as he calls it) who moved to Colorado in 2010. Flores is a songwriter playing mostly original songs in a genre he bills as Latin Gypsy music—a mixture of Tango, Flamenco, Mariachi, Caribbean, and Balkan styles. He is a multi-instrumentalist as well as a dynamic performer and plays several instruments simultaneously. The sound is sophisticated, rhythmic, danceable, and fun.

Andrew Ingram

Date Featured: October 24, 2020

Andrew Ingram is a writer and comedian from Colorado Springs. His writing focuses on human stories in fantastical circumstances and he posts a new short story to his blog every month. When there isn’t a pandemic making live performance tricky you can find him slinging jokes at bars, clubs, and independent venues across Colorado. His comedy album This Was A Bad Idea is available just about everywhere music and comedy are streamed online. Likewise his podcast, also called Mindful of Madness, where he interviews artists of any discipline about their work and process, is available on all podcast platforms. Andrew also wants you to know writing a bio for himself makes him very uncomfortable and this last sentence is certainly not a callous attempt to humanize him after shilling for all the stuff he makes.

Birgitta De Pree

Date Featured: October 23, 2020

Birgitta De Pree has been acting, directing and teaching theater throughout Colorado for the past twenty years. Starting the Millibo Art Theatre with partner Jim Jackson in 2001 is one of her proudest achievements. She loves generating laughs, hanging out with her family, tending her garden and embodying outrageous characters in silly situations. Until the theaters reopen, you can find her on-line this Fall in weekly episodes of “Babette’s Kitchen” and “Judy & Judy Safety Tips.”

Chris Beasley

Date Featured: October 22, 2020

Christopher “Beas J” Beasley (he/they) is an nationally recognized poet and organizer in the community. He has been performing for 10 years and was instrumental in building Hear Here poetry and Word Wednesday. He started Colorado Black Voices Matter, 3 years ago and received the Pikes Peak Arts Council Award for Literary Art Leader and best re-occurring event. They are the Co-Director of Poetry719, a local group that uplifts the voices of marginalized communities and people of color through poetry. Chris has a jewelry and resin business, Blackmancraftman and creates custom unique jewelry, resin, and paint pours. He is committed to the strengthening of the bipoc community and healing for men of color.

Profile Story by Humanitou

Nico Wilkinson

Date Featured: October 21, 2020

Nico Wilkinson is a poet, printmaker, farmer and organizer based in Colorado Springs. They are the 2017 champion of the Capturing Fire International Queer Poetry Slam. They have authored and co-authored multiple books of poetry, most notably Inauguration with Idris Goodwin. They are the co-founder of Prickly Pear Printing and the founder of The Quaill Club, a living community for queer artists working toward cooperative sustainability.

The Lovely Rebel

Date Featured: October 20, 2020

The Lovely Rebel first appeared on YouTube in 2008, where she shared her earliest written works via video with a scanty but die-hard supportive audience. It didn’t take long for her follower-ship to grow on and offline. The eventuality of such led her to the heart of downtown Atlanta, at the iconic Apache Cafe’ where she nervously lost her “mic virginity” to a packed house. Today, the Lovely Rebel has made an official reentry into the Spoken Word circuit in Colorado Springs and Denver.

Joe Barrera

Date Featured: October 19, 2020

Joe Barrera, Ph.D., has lived in Colorado Springs since 1968. Joe graduated from The Colorado College with a degree in English, earned the MA in English at Claremont Graduate School in California, and his Ph.D. in American Literature at the University of Texas at Austin. He taught at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, at Pikes Peak Community College, and The Colorado College. He was the founder of the Sister Cities Mural Art Project and coordinated mural art projects with artists from our sister cities in Mexico and Australia. Joe is currently the publisher of The Almagre Review/La Revista Almagre, a literary journal with contributors from all over the U.S. and from other countries. The Almagre Review publishes essays and original fiction and poetry, as well as graphic art and photography. The next issue of The Almagre Review, named after the original Spanish name for Fountain Creek, el rio Almagre, will be the Chicano Collection, parts I and II. Joe is active in the arts scene in the Pikes Peak region and supports artists and their art through the efforts of the Black/Latino Coalition and other grassroots organizations.

Molly Wingate

Date Featured: October 18, 2020

Molly Wingate is the executive director of Poetry Heals, a nonprofit organization that brings therapeutic poetry writing to people living difficult lives. This organization is Wingate’s crowning creative achievement. After decades of writing and teaching writing, including 14 years as the Colorado College Writing Center Director, she learned about a program that takes poetry writing to teens in jail and in homeless shelters in Seattle. She sought out collaborators and adapted the program for the Pikes Peak region. Five years later, Poetry Heals has worked with hundreds of writers — some many times, some only once. Poetry writing transforms trauma and opens doors for writers to understand their experiences and seek support. It seems like magic.

Linda Broker

Date Featured: October 17, 2020

Linda’s passion for film started when she first volunteered for the Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Festival 26 years ago. After serving in a variety of positions (Box Office Manager, Programming Chair and Operations Chair), she was hired on as the first Festival Director in 2000. Today Linda serves as the Executive Director of what is now Rocky Mountain Women’s Film, overseeing year round programming with three employees, an active Board of Directors and a highly dedicated corps of volunteers. In addition to the festival in November, RMWF hosts three annual events as well as a Filmmakers Retreat every June. This year marks the 33rd anniversary of the Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Festival, making it the longest-running women’s film festival in North America. Linda currently serves on the Board of the Film Festival Alliance, the only professional organization for film festivals world-wide and the people who run them.

Profile Story by Humanitou

Hannah Rockey

Date Featured: October 16, 2020

Hannah Rockey is an actor, teacher, comic and storyteller for all ages. Her most rewarding job was playing rolls for the police crisis intervention team. She has fallen in love with devised work. She has just published her second book called “Magnificent: Growing Up with a Bipolar Parent.” Hannah has a BA in communications and an MA in Drama Therapy. So whether you need to laugh or cry, spend your time with Hannah.

Jennifer DeDominici

Date Featured: October 15, 2020

Jennifer DeDominici, mezzo soprano, has a performing career spanning several genres including musical theatre, opera, and concert work. She was seen most recently as Francesca in Bridges of Madison County at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, a performance for which she won a Henry Award for Best Actress in a Musical. She has performed throughout the world, but some of her favorite performances have been with organizations right here in Colorado Springs such as Opera Theatre of the Rockies, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Chamber Orchestra of the Springs, and Theatreworks. She is the principal voice instructor at Colorado College and a Lecturer in Voice at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Jennifer has been a proud host of the First Friday Shuttle Bus and First Friday Live on the Street.

Profile Story by My Black Colorado

Cheerish Evans

Date Featured: October 14, 2020

Cheerish Evans is a vocalist, social activist, and actress in Colorado Springs, CO. She was last seen in the theatre playing the lead (Adria) in Puerto Rican Nocturne. Other recent productions include Spamalot (Lady of the Lake) at Funky Little Theatre Company, Little Shop of Horrors (Chiffon) at THEATREWORKS, High Yellow (Just Right) at the Millibo Arts Theatre, Crumbs from the Table of Joy (Ermina Crumb) UNC, and Dearly Beloved (Honey Rae) First Company Theatre. When she is not onstage Cheerish is likely creating or hosting an event with Just Be Colorado a local 501c3 non-profit organization in which she is one of the founders. Cheerish also is the creator of this year’s “Praise in the Parking lot,” a Southern Baptist themed church service that celebrated and encouraged healing for Black and Brown queer Christians.

Jonathan Andujar

Date Featured: October 13, 2020

Jonathan works as a teacher, actor, poet, director, and producer in Colorado Springs. Most recently, Jonathan has devoted his writing talents to the CS Fine Arts Center in their Of Spacious Skies podcast. He has also produced and directed THEATREdART’s partnership with the Manitou Springs Heritage Center’s annual Ghost Stories of Old Manitou, and produces provocative local works as the President of THEATREdART. Currently Jonathan is a middle school Spanish and Theatre Arts teacher at the Colorado Springs School.

Chris Armbrister

Date Featured: October 12, 2020

Chris Armbrister was first attracted to the theater as a teenager and received a Master of Fine Arts degree in acting from the University of Alabama, following graduation he made his first trek to the Pikes Peak Region to perform melodrama in the Gold Bar Room Theater at The Imperial Hotel in Cripple Creek. Over the last three decades, Chris has acted, directed and produced theater in Cripple Creek (as well as 40+ US States & Internationally) and currently promotes the arts in the Pikes Peak Region as Producer & Artistic Director for Thin Air Theatre Company, the resident company of The Butte Theater in Cripple Creek.

Sarah Sheppard Shaver

Date Featured: October 11, 2020

Sarah Sheppard Shaver has her MFA in Theatre Arts and is the chair of the Theatre Department at Pikes Peak Community College. She is a founding member of Springs Ensemble Theatre, an all-volunteer company now in its 11th season, where she produces, administrates, performs, directs, and designs. In 2013, the Colorado Thespians honored her for Distinguished Service within the Profession, and in 2018 she was awarded PPCC Faculty of the Year for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Profile Story by Humanitou

Vincent Coleman

Date Featured: October 10, 2020

Vincent Coleman is a Colorado native, public artist, photographer, videographer, producer, and musician. Growing up here has made him appreciate nature and draw inspiration from the beauty that surrounds us, transposing those experiences into art and music. He strongly believes art and music has the ability to heal as well as inspire so he tries to create experiences that do both, whether it be playing meditation music for yoga classes or drawing mandalas with sidewalk chalk around Manitou Springs. His mission as a creative is to inspire others to create, especially the ones who think they can’t.

PAES 164

Date Featured: October 9, 2020

Paes164 is a full time artist, muralist, tattooist, and family man. His father was military so he had the opportunity to live in different cities and counties while growing up. He can remember at a young age going with his dad to the tattoo shop in Hawaii to see him get tattooed and new it would be something he’d do. In his teenage years he ended up moving out at 15 and getting heavily into graffiti, only years later finally getting to peruse tattooing. Now after painting for nearly 30 years and tattooing for 23 and after all his travels and mural/tattoo opportunities, he wants to be able to share these things with our beautiful city. By doing many projects around the 719 and starting with the Knobhill Urban Arts District and holding events like #culturefest, the 420 art jamboree,  the box state expo tattoo convention, and others.

David Cook

Date Featured: October 8, 2020

A 20-year restaurant chef, David Cook discovered the intriguing nature of local cuisine when he tasted his first bite of kimchi. That was 30 years ago when his parents took him to a local Korean restaurant in Seoul. Since then, David has explored local cuisines and cooking methods throughout the Caribbean and U.S., with particular interest in learning how different regions use herbs and spices to create exciting takes on traditional favorites. Having studied at the College of Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales University, David’s formal and Classical training underpins his practical experience and creative flair for creating dishes that make the most of locally-sourced ingredients combined with herbs and spices one may not expect. Now David brings his talent and sense for the exciting to Gather Food Studio.

Profile Story by Humanitou

Jasmine Dillavou

Date Featured: October 7, 2020

Jasmine Dillavou is a Boricua mixed-media artist from Colorado Springs. Dillavou received her BA in Visual and Performing Arts from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and has since shown in numerous exhibitions across the Front Range. Her work often explores themes of visibility within Caribbean diaspora identities. From intimate performance pieces to immersive installations, Dillavou investigates liberation, decolonization and femininity through a personal lens.

Jantzen Peake

Date Featured: October 6, 2020

Jantzen Lennon Peake seeks to inspire communities through his vision in the arts. Jantzen tries to raise awareness and funding to help young aspiring artists receive the benefits of essential art programs. And, with the new world we find ourselves in he has turned to virtual art teaching to attain these goals. Jantzen is an art curator at the Perk Downtown in Colorado Springs to help local artists strengthen their craft and voice. His passion for painting murals both traditionally and through aerosol art are starting to catch on in the town of White Walls/ Buffed Walls.

Profile Story from Humanitou

Mark Wong

Date Featured: October 5, 2020

After graduating from Pomona College with a Bachelor of Arts in 1990, Mark Wong returned home to the foot of Pikes Peak where he has been making his one of a kind ceramics ever since. He specializes in all things round as his concentration has been focused on wheel thrown vessels. The decoration of said vessels has led to experimentation with a variety of treatments and temperature ranges.

Melanie Audet

Date Featured: October 4, 2020

Melanie was born and grew up in the Detroit area and received her BA in visual art from Albion college and went on to receive her BFA from the Oregon College of Art and Craft majoring in Textiles. After graduating in 1999, she impulsively moved to Colorado and now lives in the Pikes Peak region and shares her life with her printmaker husband Nikos, and their children, Onora and Ivy. She continued her education by learning the art of natural dyes from various instructors such as Donna Brown, Catherine Ellis, and Yoshiko Wada. She is the owner and proprietor of Melanie Audet Limited Editions and Twig and Berry Dyes. Her love for textiles is more of a compulsion and she loves to share this passion with others.

Profile Story From My Black Colorado

Tamara Nisbeth

Date Featured: October 3, 2020

Born and raised in Montego Bay, Jamaica, Tamara Nisbeth has been cooking delicious Jamaican cuisine since she was a child. Now, Ms. Nisbeth is the proud owner of Reggae Pot Express, located at the cross-section of South Circle and Chelton Road, in Colorado Springs. Her charming and nostalgic eatery first opened its doors in May 2015 to a very enthusiastic response. Opening day ushered in Jamaican food enthusiasts from all over the city and is a popular enjoyment for passing out-of-towners.

Profile Story from Humanitou

Steve Wood

Date Featured: October 2, 2020

Steve Wood is the executive director of Concrete Couch, where he gets to work with kids and community groups on a vast array of zany and creative projects. Come design, create, and construct with The Couch!

Emily Wegert

Date Featured: October 1, 2020

Emily Wegert is an aerial performer and coach from southern Colorado and the co-founder of the aerial group, Aerial Aura. Beginning with aerial straps shortly after college graduation, then moving on to silks, hoop, and trapeze, Emily discovered and cultivated her passion for performing high above the ground. She has trained in Montreal and performs regionally throughout the year, developing solo and duo routines on silks, hoop, trapeze, and straps. Emily is an instructor at The Dragonfly Aerial Company in Colorado Springs, and has taught workshops internationally as well.


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