The past four months in this position at the Post Independent has shown me an extraordinary array of art and entertainment opportunities. For the small population of this valley, it continues to blow my mind how much creativity comes out of you folks.
My brain usually only works one week at a time. Those of you who’ve pitched me stories even two weeks out know my response will be, “I’ll talk to you about this on Friday.” But the New Year has me looking ahead, and let me tell you, I like what I see.
A couple of pretty great concerts are coming to the area next year. First, on Jan. 17, bluegrass husband-and-wife duo Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn are coming to the Avalon Theatre in Grand Junction. I had the distinct pleasure of watching these two banjo players pick ‘n’ sing over the summer at Charleston’s Spoleto Festival USA. Fleck gets most of the name recognition, but I find Washburn a little more interesting: She’s fluent in Mandarin and incorporates Chinese culture in their concerts.
Then on Feb. 7, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band founder John McEuen will play a show at the Ute Theatre in Rifle. I was raised on good old country music, and “Fishin’ in the Dark” could very well be the soundtrack to my childhood.
Later on in February, the Aspen Music Festival and School will start its Winter Music Series with a concert by cellist Alisa Weilerstein on the 12th. I caught Weilerstein’s recital this past summer when I was interning for the music festival, and she blew me away. She looks and performs like a total rock star, head banging and all. Maybe classical music isn’t your thing, but I urge you to give this performance a chance. She makes classical music just as exciting as anything you’ll hear on the radio.
And, of course, there are countless opportunities for you to take a class and become an artist yourself. Colorado Mountain College offers continuing education classes in Glenwood Springs and Carbondale, including pastels, pen and ink, sewing and music appreciation, just to name some of the artsy options. And the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts is kicking off a few brand new classes starting in January, like Jenetta Howell’s Theatricals and sculpting classes taught by a former Disney miniatures artist. If you’re in Carbondale, the Carbondale Clay Center offers pottery classes for both children and adults, and the Carbondale Council on Arts and Humanities gives all kinds of classes, from visual to performing arts.
Whether you’re looking for entertainment from a seasoned pro or trying to get your own feet wet in the art world, this valley has a ton of options.
And I will continue to happily tell you all about it.
Every Friday, Cooper Wine & Spirits, 732 Cooper Ave., offers free wine tasting from 5-7 p.m. Yes, free. Yes, wine. Enough said. If you haven’t taken advantage of this yet, you really must.
Every year, Aspen Film screens the movies getting the most attention during awards season. These screenings at the Wheeler started Dec. 21 and last through Jan. 2. On Saturday, catch “The Lego Movie” at 3 p.m., “Foxcatcher” at 5:15 p.m. and “Selma” at 8:15 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.aspenshowtix.com or by calling 970-920-5770. Fees apply to phone and online orders, but tickets are also available at the door or in person at the Wheeler box office, which is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. For more information, visit http://www.aspenfilm.org.
If you’re like me, you’re not going to want to let Christmas go. Luckily, you don’t have to quite yet, thanks to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. Its Winter on the Mountain attractions will still be in full swing from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. If you just want to take the tram up to enjoy the lights, you can get a tram pass for $13 for adults and $8 for kids. If you want to ride the rides as well, a Funday Pass is $39 for adults and $34 for kids. For more information, visit http://www.glenwoodcaverns.com.
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