During my time as an arts journalist, I’ve met and spoken to wide variety of entertainers, from metal heroine Otep to pianist extraordinaire Jeremy Denk — and that’s just in music.
But I have talked to more young artists since joining the Post Independent than I ever have before. Student Spotlight offers me that opportunity every week, but I love being able to get in the schools and write beyond that series.
This week, I sat in on an assembly and poetry workshop led by Arizona spoken word artist Myrlin Hepworth at Glenwood Springs High School. Hepworth is one of three poets who have been brought to schools all along the valley by Aspen Words.
Thinking back to my high school friends, I couldn’t help but wonder how productive the workshop was going to be. I remembered studying poetry in English class, and getting us to even read someone else’s poem out loud was like pulling teeth for my poor teacher. How was this Hepworth guy going to get these students to share their own writing?
I wouldn’t go so far as to say I was skeptical going in, but I was certainly surprised coming out. Hepworth created a safe space for these teenagers to share some deeply personal material, and much of what I heard was told through beautiful, descriptive language. It made me hope with all my heart that those students remember that moment and realize that what they shared meant something to other people in the room. And I hope they continue to nurture the talent they showed in that workshop.
The whole experience got me thinking about my own talents that I haven’t nurtured in years. I write almost every day because of my job, but I don’t write creatively like I did in high school. I recorded albums and albums of songs in my basement when I was a teenager, but somewhere along the way I stopped.
I think that’s true of a lot of adults. We have less time, more responsibility, and when we are able to relax, maybe we don’t feel like being creative. Maybe we feel like watching TV and falling asleep on the couch at 8 p.m.
And that’s okay. But I was so affected by what those kids shared in the writing workshop that I urge you to share your gifts, even if you don’t think you’re that gifted. You never know who you might help.
This is your last weekend to see “Shrek the Musical” at Rifle High School and “Legally Blonde” at Glenwood Springs High School. Both musicals start at 7 p.m. on Friday and at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets for “Shrek” are $10 for adults and $7 for students, seniors and Garfield-Re 2 employees. Tickets for “Legally Blonde” are $12 for adults and $8 for students and all matinee attendees.
Ever wonder how exactly spring river conditions can be predicted by looking at snowpack? Or how water content is determined by exploring the snow? And, frankly, why does it even matter how much water is in snow? Saturday’s Snow to Flow Snow Day on McClure Pass, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., can answer all these questions and more. Meet at the Redstone Inn for coffee, refreshments and an introduction to exploring snowpack as a natural resource and its critical importance in Western water management. Then go on a guided exploration of a McClure Pass SNOTEL monitoring site, conduct a snow course survey and dig a snow pit. Snowshoes or cross country skis are required. Participants will carpool to McClure Pass from the Redstone Inn. The event is appropriate for ages 12 and older, and minors must be accompanied by an adult. Early registration and $30 payment is required at http://www.roaringfork.org/events.
Get creative at Silt Historical Park with a workshop to transform a piece of furniture into a unique shabby-cottage-chic design. Emily Barham, owner of Me and My House, will lead the class. Bring your own small piece of furniture, or call Emily at 970-948-6938 so she may bring something from her own antique collection. The workshop is from 1 to 3 p.m., and the $35 admission fee includes supplies and a donation to the park. For information and registration (space is limited), call 970-618-4182.
Jessica Cabe is constantly amazed by young people in the arts. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Questlove’s directorial debut, the documentary “Summer of Soul” brings to vivid life the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival with previously unseen footage of Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sly and the Family Stone and others. Aspen Film and Jazz Aspen Snowmass will host a drive-in preview on Sunday.