Meet Fruita’s Cullen Purser: Taking a hands-on approach to building community | PostIndependent.com

Meet Fruita’s Cullen Purser: Taking a hands-on approach to building community

Brittany Markert
bmarkert@gjfreepress.com

Editor's note: Who We Are features men and women who embody the unique spirit of Colorado's Grand Valley.

Ever since he was a little boy, Cullen Purser, now a Fruita resident, has built things using his imagination and hands.

As a Grand Junction native who grew up in the area, Cullen learned how to build many things like cabinets, harps, furniture and even clothing over the years.

"School was just a thing I did to pass the time when I wasn't making things," he said.

After realizing pursing a career in musical performance wasn't for him during his college years, Cullen then decided to take matters into his own hands and begin working as a handyman.

"Being a handyman I earn money, but the bigger theme is the opportunities for people to come together, learn and build a community," he said. "Working has made it possible to continue things that matter, like my family and Cavalcade."

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Cullen was part of the founding group that started Cavalcade (201 E. Aspen Ave., Fruita) four years ago, along with his wife, Jeannine and several others. The concept began as a place to gather to share music, art, poetry and more.

Cullen was additionally on Fruita's city council, and is currently part of Fruita's downtown advisory board.

For the past two years, Cullen has worked on another big project — a documentary called "The Raven and The Dove," which he hopes to enter into the Telluride Film Festival (Sept. 5-7, 2015).

"Making and creating things is the core of everything for me," Cullen said.

According to Jeannine, her husband's values have already rubbed off on their children — Fen, 14, and Isa, 9.

"They both have community values and creativity, which I think comes from [Cullen]," Jeannine said of her children. "They learn to make use of what they have."

CAVALCADE CELEBRATES FOUR YEARS

Cavalcade will celebrate its fourth birthday with a variety show on Saturday, May 9, at 7:30 p.m. It costs $10 for adults and $5 for students; it is open to all ages.

Since opening in 2011, dozens of shows and performances have taken place at the volunteer-run facility. Events include "Deep Tea" (hosted by Cullen), the regular variety show, and open mic night.

"Fruita was ready for a community gathering place," Jeannine said. "It was the perfect fit."

Upcoming summer shows at Cavalcade include Paper Bird, Shell, and Gigi Love.

To hire Cullen for handyman work, visit http://www.cullenishandy.com. To learn more about his documentary, visit http://www.theravenandthedove.net. For more information on Cavalcade, visit http://www.cavalcadefruita.com.

GO&DO

WHAT: Cavalcade’s Fourth Birthday Variety Show

WHEN: Saturday, May 9, 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: 201 E. Aspen Ave., Fruita

COST: $10 for adults, $5 for students

INFO: http://www.cavalcadefruita.com

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