If your organization is planning an event of any kind, please email Caitlin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
VIRTUAL AND IRL EVENTS
Boulder’s Story Slam — Family Reunion: Stories on race. 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 9 via Zoom.
Boulder’s Story Slam is back for a night of true stories centered on the theme of race, told from the heart in living rooms across the country. This event will work a little differently: the 10 storytellers were selected in advance, and there will be no voting on the best story. The storytellers participated in a seven-week workshop in which they developed personal stories based on the theme of race through the lens of anti-racism work. The diverse group hails from all over the U.S. — the Front Range, Los Angeles, New York, North Carolina and Massachusetts — spanning six decades and several generations. Suggested donation is $5-$20. A portion of the proceeds will go to a Black Lives Matter initiative (organization yet to be named).
Mimesis Documentary Festival. Aug. 12-18.
Mimesis (resemblance, receptivity, representation and the act of expression) is a filmmaker-focused, community oriented not-for-profit initiative of the University of Colorado Boulder’s Center for Documentary and Ethnographic Media. Its aim is create and foster a local, regional and international network of nonfiction artists, scholar and creators. Its first annual Mimesis Documentary Festival will be reimagined as an artist-focused online presentation as a response to the uncertainty surrounding the ongoing world health crisis. Exhibiting short and feature length works via a streaming link, Mimesis will also incorporate live-streamed conversations with filmmakers. Tickets go sale Aug. 6 at mimesisfestival.org.
Boulder International Fringe Festival. Aug. 12-23.
COVID won’t stop the Boulder International Fringe Festival. From Aug. 12-23, the 12-day performing arts festival will present dance, music, theater, spoken word, cultural events and workshops through online venues, live streams and socially distanced live happenings in the city of Boulder. This includes Zoom performances, pre-recorded theater-style shows, live streams from different locations around the globe and some fringy experiments locally, like ‘The Lottery’: Solo performer Brett Johnson (“Poly-Theist”) will show up on the front lawn of a randomly selected audience member who lives in Boulder. Tickets prices range from free to $15 for all Fringe touring shows, with student and senior discounts available, along with two-for-one deals and festival passes.
Boulder Arts Outdoors. Aug. 14-16, Gerald Stazio Softball Fields parking lot, 2445 Stazio Drive, Boulder.
The safest place to have fun on COVID Earth is outdoors, so head to Boulder Arts Outdoors for a socially distanced drive-in performance festival Aug. 14-16. The event will include music, dance, juggling and physical theater. Boulder Arts Outdoors producer Mara Driscoll presents the festival in partnership with the Boulder Symphony and the City of Boulder Parks and Recreation Department. Each evening will feature a different lineup of performances by local artists, including a world premiere by Helanius J. Wilkins, the CU Associate Dance Department Chair and two-time winner of the Kennedy Center Local Dance Commissioning Project Award; a viola performance by Boulder Symphony Executive Director and Altius Quartet member Andrew Krimm; a solo by former Airjazz member and International Jugglers Association champion Peter Davison; renowned Malian djembe drummer Abdoul Doumbia and his troupe DI DA DI; Bowregard, the winner of the 2019 Telluride Bluegrass Band Contest; and 3rd Law Dance/Theatre, recipient of the “Living Legends of Dance” award in Colorado. Tickets are $20 per vehicle and are available at eventbrite.com. All proceeds of ticket sales will go to the performing artists. Livestream broadcasts of the performances will be available through the Boulder Arts Outdoors website.
Five new tracks for your ears.
“€ € € €^^%%!!!!!heaven!!!!!!,” Lala Lala, Baths
Pandemic be damned, Lillie West, the Chicago-based songwriter behind Lala Lala, has been social this year, collaborating (remotely, of course) with fellow Chicagoans Grapetooth, UK post-punks Porridge Radio and now with American electropop producer Baths (Will Wiesenfeld). Leading with a gently rolling piano riff that wouldn’t be out of place on Radiohead’s ‘Amnesiac,’ this grawlix-esque titled track blends Wiesenfeld’s predilection for layering in unorthodox sounds with West’s penchant for intimate dream pop, creating a sensation that straddles the line between soothing and plaintive.
Brijean Murphy has long been in-demand in the indie world, providing percussion for Poolside, Toro y Moi and U.S. Girls. Murphy teams up with multi-instrumentalist Doug Stuart to create a silky smooth blend of ’70s disco and ’90s house music as Brijean. This easy-grooving song takes a stream-of-consciousness approach to lyricism that evokes the contented meandering of a late-summer afternoon with zero plans and no worries.
“Process,” Samora Pinderhughes
While Samora Pinderhughes was studying at Juilliard, he met playwright Anna Deavere Smith, who shaped Pinderhughes’ vision of how film and theater could fuse with music. “Process” is theatrical in the best sense of the word, telling an intimate and emotional story of loss and grief in a conversational way. “I wrote [this song] to try and be kinder to myself,” Pinderhughes wrote on Bandcamp. “I wrote it to honor what pain really feels like, and what grace hopefully looks like.”
“Bluebird,” Cory Wong, Chris Thile
Guitarist Cory Wong’s forthcoming album, ‘Trail Songs: Dawn,’ is a more upbeat compilation than his previous release, ‘Trail Songs: Dusk.’ Banjoist Chris Thile helps liven up the new release on the first single “Bluebird,” a spry, soaring track that lives up to its namesake. Even clocking in at just under 3-and-a-half minutes, there’s still a bit of time for some expert noodling from both of these virtuosos.
“A Hero’s Death,” Fontaines D.C.
The rain and fog of Dublin seem to permeate the post-punk of Fontaines D.C., helping the Irish quintet craft foreboding but lush sonic landscapes. The title track off their sophomore album plays with the notion that happiness is a mindset: “Don’t give up too quick,” Grian Chatten sings, “You only get one line, you better make it stick / If we give ourselves to every breath / Then we’re all in the running for a hero’s death.” But it’s not all tongue-in-cheek; there’s sincerity in Chatten’s words, as though he’s trying to convince himself of the truth buried in those frustrating cliches we bandy about to try to soothe one another: “Sink as far down as you can be pulled up / Happiness really ain’t all about luck.”
Collaborative public art installation highlights waste and consumption
by Caitlin Rockett
Angie Eng was already navigating the challenges of launching her first nonprofit, Creative Catalyzers, when the coronavirus pandemic shut Colorado down — but that was nothing compared to the obstacles she had to face to kick off her collaborative public art installation, “Earth Wear.”
The initial structure of the project — which uses waste materials to highlight over-consumption — involved working with some vulnerable groups: artists experiencing homelessness and an art instructor in her 70s. Eng had applied for a grant from the Boulder Arts Commission to help fund the project, but COVID made that seem like a pipe dream.
“If you think about the logistics, there’s no way it could happen,” Eng says. “I thought I wouldn’t get the grant.”
But she did receive the funding, and back to the drawing board she went.
The original idea involved Eng teaching homeless artists how to weave strips cut from plastic tote bags that would wrap around trees — like the urban street art of “yarn bombing,” but with waste materials. With no way to regularly connect with the artists experiencing homelessness during lockdown, Eng found a new group of artists at Mother House, a shelter for pregnant people.
Using Zoom tutorials to teach her new collaborators how to weave, Eng has been able to create wraps for several trees at the northwest corner of Iris and 26th streets in North Boulder. Installation begins on Aug. 8, and the public can see the finished product on Aug. 10.
“The idea is that the project wasn’t just art for art’s sake, but teaching sustainability in a subtle way so people look at the abundance of things they consume,” Eng says.
The second phase of “Earth Wear” will be on view at Boulder Central Park from May to July 2021. Eng hopes to reengage with artists experiencing homelessness to work on this extended component, which will use recycled electronics and other plastic waste. Artistic engineer Bryan Constanza will assist in the design and development of an interactive sound component of the Central Park exhibition.
For now, the north Boulder exhibit will be on display for three weeks.
“It’s ephemeral,” Eng says. “Anything that’s public art is pretty ephemeral. It will fall apart with wind, snow, rain, vandalization … that’s something that has to be accepted as part of the project and with most things in life.”