Artist-of-the-Day Archives

Meet Local Creatives

In celebration of Arts Month 2021, the Cultural Office is excited to once again feature a different local artist or creative on the ArtsOctober.com home page each day during the month of October. That’s 31 different profiles of painters, poets, chefs, singers, dancers, actors, and much more, who are each representative of the inspiring talent and diversity that defines the arts & cultural community here in Colorado Springs and across the Pikes Peak region! After their featured day has passed, all of the profiles are archived chronologically below for you to re-read and enjoy (including artist profiles from last year).

To view special Arts Month 2021 content from the Artist-of-the-Day, follow our social media channels below and view our Facebook and Instagram stories each day of October.

Trip Uhault

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 Mindfulofmadness.com 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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