Posts in: Upcoming Events
J Street U is a national organization that works towards a two state solution between Israel and Palestine. This year, it has a presence on the CC campus, an effort led by several students, including Elam Klein ’20, who says he wanted to bring conversations, activism, and education about what can often be a heated topic. “We felt there was a lack of discourse about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on campus, even though people were interested in the topic; J Street U fills this void.”
The primary focus of the J Street U organization is that it is Pro-Israel, Pro-Palestine, and Pro-Peace, and is generally seen as in-between the polarized right and left of the political spectrum. Klein along with Rachel Powers ’20 and Kalie Hirt ’20 started a chapter on campus this semester. “We hope to open up a dialogue and lead some activism on this issue on campus,” Klein says. So far, the group has hosted weekly meetings to discuss current events and the response from the campus community has been a positive one.
“We provide a space for a more nuanced understanding of the conflict, which has appealed to many students who simply wish to learn more about the issues at play, and our open, candid discussions bring in people from a range of ideological backgrounds,” Klein says. “Even people who know little about the conflict have come to our meetings simply to listen and ask questions.”
Wednesday, May 10, 7-9 p.m., J Street U hosts its first big event: A screening of the film “Bridge Over the Wadi,” which gives an overview of the trials and tribulations of starting a school for Arabs and Israelis in Israel. Lee Gordon, a co-founder of this series of schools, called Hand in Hand, will both introduce the film and lead a question and answer session afterwards, both in Cornerstone Screening Room. With this event, “we hope to present a more nuanced look of the conflict on the ground, which will provide a strong foundation for both having important conversations and affecting concrete social change in the future,” says Klein. In addition, J Street U is working to expand outreach and influence on campus as a new student organization.
“We hope that people realize that the whole conflict is more complicated than it is often described,” Klein says of the purpose for the screening and discussion.” In the United States, we tend to oversimplify complex issues and are generally disconnected from the reality on the ground in Israel, so this event will provide a much-needed human look at the situation,” he says.
Klein says he hopes, at the very least, the event helps us all learn a little bit more.
By Montana Bass ’18
A special collaboration is on display in Block 8: CC student art work will be featured at the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center. Jenny Welden ’17 and Jake Paron ’17 were chosen in a campus-wide call for student art installation proposals. Nelson Kies ’18 originally envisioned the project, which is indicative of a growing partnership between Colorado College and the FAC. In celebration of the new alliance, a committee composed of FAC staff and CC faculty selected the students’ proposals to create site-specific installations for the FAC courtyard.
Kies approached curator Jessica Hunter-Larsen last year with a wish for more space for students to display their artwork. Coincidentally, the development of the CC-FAC alliance provided an opportunity for Kies and Hunter-Larsen to focus on a venue for students, which presented an exciting new opportunity for student artists to showcase their work in a prestigious space. “Proposing installations in the FAC was initially intimidating because of the caliber of artwork that is featured in the museum,” Kies admits, “but I was completely overcome by all the support that was provided to this project.”
Hunter-Larsen says this installation encourages students to challenge themselves to connect their art to the community. “I think this kind of program offers wonderful opportunities for students to think through some of the issues surrounding art in public spaces, and affords our community an equally wonderful opportunity to experience our students’ creativity,” she says. Kies adds, “This art project provides an avenue for community members to engage with student thought. Additionally, the insular nature of the CC community can benefit from sharing with the community they belong to.”
Chosen for their attention to the specific site where their works will be displayed — the FAC courtyard — seniors Welden and Paron, both studio art majors, will be the first to creatively initiate this connection. Welden’s “Heart of the Mountain” installation represents the foundations of textile art through the use of non-fibrous materials. These materials create a network of interlocking fragments, demonstrating the dual contributions of the natural and the sacred in a textile image. “I hope that viewers may understand new connections between the forces of the sacred and of the natural in the art of textile through these non-fibrous forms,” Welden says of her piece.
Paron constructed his piece, “Alterne,” out of a non-native grass species that covers much of the landscape surrounding institutions in the Colorado Springs area. The piece explores how the lawn is used to represent nature. However, in an attempt to represent nature, the lawn substitutes the natural composition native to a specific site. “Making art is something I have always done instinctually,” Paron says, “But recently I have been fascinated with studying ideas and philosophies through form. Making art has become an important way for me to communicate ideas to myself and others.”
The installations will be on view in the FAC courtyard Friday, April 28-Tuesday, May 23. You’re invited to the CC Student Artist Exhibition Opening Friday, April 28, 4:30-6:30 p.m., to honor these student artists and further celebrate the FAC CC alliance.
By Montana Bass ’19
Currently on display at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, the “Force/Resistance” exhibit speaks to the relationship between power and violence, particularly as demonstrated through tensions between U.S. police use of force and citizen protest. The exhibit features the work of artists Floyd Tunson, Dareece Walker, and Walter and Bunky Echo-Hawk, along with the film, “Force/Resistance: From Standing Rock to Colorado Springs,” produced by CC’s own Arielle Mari ’12, Han Sayles ’15, and Dwanna Robertson, assistant professor of race, ethnicity, and migration studies.
The installation comes at a time of national tension surrounding perceived infringements on citizens’ civil rights by government policies and law enforcement. As complementary pieces, the still works focus particularly on highlighting the humanity of protestors in the Black Lives Matter movement, and the documentary tells the story of self-proclaimed “water protectors” who have been opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline for the past year. Curator Jessica Hunter-Larsen says a series of campus conversations coordinated by the Butler Center about police violence, as well as the Race, Ethnicity, and Migration Studies program’s spring series “Race and Terror” inspired her to put the installation together.
She says she hopes the exhibit provides members of the Colorado Springs community, including CC students, a place to contemplate and discuss challenging issues. “An opportunity to practice radical empathy is necessary to begin to make real change in the world,” says Hunter-Larsen. “The exhibition is at its core about speaking truth to power, through visual images and through the narrative format that the film offers. Ideally, then, the gallery becomes a forum for discussion about the various ways in which power is used, abused, and resisted.”
It was Hunter-Larsen who reached out to the producers of the documentary, Mari, Sayles, and Robertson, about exploring a connection between Standing Rock and Colorado Springs. The result, as Mari explains, is an expansion on the idea of protest. Their documentary not only reports the high stakes of the Standing Rock conflict, but also the incredible community created through the act of resistance. Interviewees speak with deeply moving conviction, often sharing very similar sentiments regarding their experience. “I think it speaks to the unity of the Standing Rock movement that they responded in such similar ways,” says Mari.
The inspirational exhibit offers an effective compilation of powerful artwork that calls viewers to take accountability for their communities. “I think the call to action speaks for itself,” Mari adds. “When Dwanna [who is featured in the film] says, ‘What is the price of doing nothing?’ That has stuck with me since January.”
“Force/Resistance” is on view at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center through September 9. Catch a screening of the 45-minute documentary “From Standing Rock to Colorado Springs” Monday, May 1, 5:30 p.m. in the Cornerstone Screening Room. A panel discussion with documentary subjects will follow the screening.
By Alana Aamodt ’18
April 15, Reid Arena’s main gym will be transformed into the multicultural, culinary bonanza that is “Taste of the World.” Offering mouthwatering samples of food from across the country and world, the event also features globally diverse music and lots of dancing.
The event is hosted annually by MOSAIC, which stands for Multicultural Organization of Students and the International Community, a club whose role is to “provide a space for international students to come together as a group and build a strong community, making CC a place in which international students feel a sense of involvement and belonging,” explains MOSAIC co-chair Eden Lumerman ’19, who is an international student herself from Israel. “I got involved with MOSAIC because it was a group of primarily international students who have grown to be my family in the US and with whom I felt the most at home at CC.”
Students signed up as chefs prior to the event and have the opportunity to “cook a dish that they love from wherever they identify as home,” according to Lumerman. The event is free and open to the public, the only requirement is that you stop by the Worner desk and pick up a ticket.
This event will be held 5-7 p.m. on Saturday, April 15, in Reid Arena.
Jacob Eichengreen gets excited when a plan comes together. In fact, it’s actually his job to connect dots, strike up conversations, and match resources with ideas. Eichengreen is executive director for the Quad Innovation Partnership, a joint initiative between the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak Community College, the United States Air Force Academy, and Colorado College. He’s spent months digging in to the Colorado Springs community and building a set of programs that connects students with opportunities to implement new ideas, with the goal of integrating recent graduates into the Colorado Springs workforce. Now, he says, it’s time for action.
Applications just opened for the Quad’s signature Summer Intensive. The intensive will run the month of June and is open to current students and recent alumni from the four partner institutions, with preference given to rising juniors and seniors. Ten students from each school will be selected for the opportunity to build, test, and validate a commercially viable solution to some of Colorado Springs’ “most gripping problems” as identified by city and industry leaders. Submitted problems range from homelessness and food insecurity to the implementation of new technologies in a business context. Participants choose which problem they find most interesting to work on and will work in cross-campus teams to realize their ideas.
The program will be facilitated by Air Force Academy faculty with support from Eichengreen, but most actual teaching will be done by members of the community. For example, a unit on design thinking will be led by a premier design-thinking consultant from the area. Other units that touch on marketing, feasibility analysis, branding, fundraising, and legal will all be taught by local experts. The end result is an opportunity for students to learn step-by-step what it takes to bring an idea out into the marketplace from some of the region’s most compelling practitioners. Interested students can attend an information session: Thursday, March 30, 4 p.m. at the CC Career Center.
The summer intensive isn’t the only thing that excites Eichengreen or the community about the partnership.
“The most exciting thing about this partnership is the range of opportunities that I’ve come across; the breadth of opportunities that are right here is awesome,” he says. The partnership’s mission focuses on students from the four participating institutions, working to elevate, educate, and create innovators in Colorado Springs. The elevate component focuses on events programming and celebrating the opportunities for innovation in Colorado Springs, and the four institutions. Educate specifically involves developing skills and providing hands-on opportunities for students through workshops and classes, and offering ways for the students to engage with the broader community. The create component encompasses just about everything else, says Eichengreen.
“That could mean opportunities for students to serve as project-based consultants in the community. The Air Force Academy, for example does problem-solving work with the IndyGive campaign, and has offered their framework to the Quad to create a way for students to earn payment for their work. It’s work that can be lower-risk than an internship, because it’s just for one project. It provides students portfolio development and can offer transitional opportunities for newer alumni, lowering the barrier for entry to smaller for-profits and nonprofits.”
But that’s just one example. Eichengreen doesn’t want the partnership to be limited by a strict definition of innovation. “We’re really trying to be responsive to needs and opportunities,” he says of developing programming. “We have a framework, but it’s flexible. If students are passionate about something, we want to build that in — homelessness, robotics, bitcoin, take your pick on the socioeconomic spectrum. Because our community is smaller, opportunities to get involved at a meaningful level are way more abundant here.” He says innovation can be anything that turns ideas into “valuable action.”
Here, in the Pikes Peak Region, Eichengreen says, there are numerous opportunities to practice innovation professionally, and they’re more accessible here than they might be in other parts of the country. He lists several local organizations off the top of his head that are leading the way locally: “Innovations in Aging is located here, for example, translating cutting-edge research in aging from a research group at UCCS into real-world action; there’s the Olympic sports and outdoor infrastructure; the National Cybersecurity Center; food justice – at least two CC grads are making tremendous waves in food equity, translating waste into plenty and disrupting the food distribution system; and the city itself is looking for new ways to deliver better services, be more agile, and be more responsible with limited funds.” With so many opportunities, Eichengreen says, it’s hard to focus the program because there’s so much happening.
The Quad Partnership is putting the finishing touches on its own dedicated space, a 2,000-square-foot facility right downstairs from Loyal Coffee on the south side of downtown Colorado Springs. “One component is an open workspace, accessible to students, faculty, and staff from our participating institutions to use in a way that’s beneficial,” says Eichengreen. “We have the capability to host art installations, or performance showcases, anything that doesn’t have a home on campus or would benefit by immersion in community. This becomes a neutral, third-party space where the partner campuses and broader community can interact and build relationships. Celebrate the grand opening Wednesday, April 19, 5-7 p.m. at 408 S. Nevada.
He says local and alumni-founded companies can use it as a test marketplace or a space to conduct student, alumni, or faculty-based research. “One week, we could have a demonstration of the national winner of the search-and-rescue robot competition that PPCC did last year; over the holidays, we can host a pop-up retail shop; and if there’s sufficient demand,” he says of the possibilities. There are so many areas in which innovation can be applied and practiced. I hope our space will be compelling, cool, fun to be around, and contribute broadly to applying new thinking and turning ideas into valuable action in our community.”
By Montana Bass ’18
In a creative and fun-spirited performance, the docents of Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center tell the history of the FAC, contextualizing this important cultural monument and reemphasizing its continuing contemporary cultural impact. The play comes at a particularly important moment in FAC history, as soon the museum will merge with CC and begin a new era of partnership. This relationship will allow for sharing of resources between the college and the museum and revamped programming of presentations, classes, and workshops for both the college’s and Colorado Springs’ community members.
The play was adapted from a skit that was part of the FAC’s “Off the Wall” program, which was designed to familiarize children with the museum and bring its art to life. FAC staff were looking for a presentation on the museum’s founding for the popular “First Saturdays” members tour, FAC docents took on the challenge of writing and staging a 45-minute “founding women” play.
Docent Specialty Co-Chair Cindi Zenkert-Strange, a former writer and editor, scripted the play and Wendy Gray, professor of theatre at Pikes Peak Community College, directed. The new, full-length performance describes the founding of the FAC by three incredible women, Julie Penrose, Alice Bemis Taylor, and Elizabeth Sage Hare.
“We spent a lot of time researching,” said docent Kathy Olson, who plays Julie Penrose, “We wanted to add a lot of tidbits about their personal lives, really develop their personalities. These were really incredible, interesting women.” Much of the plot centers around how the three founders incorporated their three very different backgrounds and visions into one cohesive museum. All three were part of Colorado Springs’ elite, although their interests and personalities varied widely.
Julie Penrose and husband Spencer Penrose, the multimillionaire entrepreneur who developed the Broadmoor Hotel, donated their home on Dale Street to be used by the prestigious Broadmoor Art Academy. This, in turn, became the site for the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, which incorporated a museum, art school, theatre, and music performance space under one roof. Julie Penrose’s vision for the FAC was based on her love of beauty and classical art. In contrast, Alice Bemis Taylor had an impressive Native American Southwest and Spanish Colonial art collection, so she held that as her primary interest. “She realized she couldn’t continue to house the collection in her own home,” explained Zenkert-Strange. Bemis Hall was named after Judson Moss Bemis, Alice’s father. Alice herself made significant contributions to Colorado College in the form of student scholarships and building funds. “Also, the Bemises really wanted to give back to the community, so her interest was really in making her collection more widely accessible.” Lastly, Elizabeth Sage Hare’s involvement in the New York City modern arts scene added a third vision for the museum. “She wanted everything to be modern, cutting-edge,” said Zenkert-Strange.
The docents will give their next performance on March 8 to members of the Cheyenne Mountain Newcomers Club and will perform at four other venues through May. They look forward to continuing to share this story with FAC visitors and members of the CC and Colorado Springs community. “I think we want to express what a gem we have in the building and in the collection,” adds Zenkert-Strange. “When you understand history, you can better appreciate the present, and plan for an exciting future.”
Check out events and exhibits at the FAC and look out for a CC-focused showing of the docent’s performance next block!
By Alana Aamodt ’18
Monday, March 6, marks the start of CC’s first Design Week, organized by the extended format art class Graphics Research Lab, taught by Kate Leonard, professor of art. “The idea behind the week is to generate an awareness of design and its role in our community,” explains Mikala Sterling ’17. Sterling and Naomi Van der Lande ’17 are the two students spearheading the week of events.
“The week will give students who are interested in this topic the chance to learn about resources on campus that work to create opportunities for students to get involved with these departments,” says Van der Lande. While CC does not have an explicit design program, this week helps demonstrate that there is no lack of involvement in design fields during and after a student’s time at CC.
Multiple open houses, showcasing the creative resources at CC, will occur throughout the week at places such as the arts and crafts studios, the Office of Communications, the costume shop in Cornerstone Arts Center, the CC Press, and Innovation at CC in the Morreale Carriage House. The Integrative Design Group, which is a club at CC, will also be involved throughout the week, and will run a trial of the Packard Projection Project on at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, in which student design work is projected onto the north wall of Packard Hall.
“The week is also meant to highlight successful CC graduates who have incorporated design into their careers, and to provide workshops and talks to encourage new conversations about how we think about design in our everyday lives,” Sterling says, referring to activities like the talk “Designing with Reclaimed Materials” with Susan Hoff ’06, and a typography workshop in the Visual Resource Center in Packard Hall.
The organizers share that they are especially excited for the Alumni Panel on Tuesday, March 7, at 4:30 p.m. in Cornerstone Screening Room, where past students will be able to share their experiences and successes in the design world since graduating from CC.
View the events schedule for CC Design Week, an event Sterling and Van der Lande hope will continue in years to come, bringing awareness and consciousness to design in the CC community.
By Leah Veldhuisen ’19
Saturday, March 4, CC students will have a unique opportunity to showcase their creativity at the third annual Student Art Show, sponsored by the President’s Council.
With more than 100 pieces on display, this is the largest student-run event of the year. While planning for the event is a team effort, Jaxon Rickel and Jake Walden, both fellows in the Office of the President, and six CC students are the primary organizers for this year’s show.
Caitlin Taber ’17, who has been involved in the Student Art Show since its inception, says the initial goals were to provide “the opportunity beyond art courses for students to show their work to the CC and the Colorado Springs communities,” and to “give artists a chance to gain experience selling their work in a gallery-like setting.” Both of these goals have been met, and the show has grown significantly since it started. This year’s show will be the largest ever, and has more art than the past two years combined.
According to Walden, the art on display is enormously varied. Given its growth, the exhibit will “very likely be the largest display of student art and expression ever at Colorado College, with over 100 pieces of art by over three dozen artists,” Walden says. Paintings, photography, sculpture, pottery, textiles, dance, improv performance, jazz, and movie screenings will all be on display.
Walden says that while some of the artists are studio art majors, for many of the artists, it’s just a hobby. Hanna Bautz ’17 is new to the Student Art Show, and says she’s thrilled to be able to “dabble in the arts and gain an enriching interdisciplinary perspective outside of the classroom.”
The exhibit will take place on Saturday, March 4, 6-10 p.m. in Cornerstone Arts Center.
CC Safety Week begins today, Monday, Feb. 27, a campus collaboration led by the Office of Campus Safety to promote safety awareness and engagement. “We want the campus community to realize that everyone has a role in keeping CC a safe place to live, learn, and work,” says Marty Toland, CSPD campus resource officer.
Monday, Feb. 27 through Friday, March 3, presentations on things like fire safety, crosswalk safety, and substance abuse will be featured. Hands-on experiences like a distracted driving simulator and a self-defense class will also be offered. Here’s a full schedule of the week’s events:
Monday, Feb. 27
Safety Week Information Tables: noon-1 p.m.
Learn about safety tips related to fitness and wellness, including how to know the right supplements to use and information about eating disorders and how to support a friend. Look for representatives from the Adam F. Press Fitness Center and Wellness Resource Center at the tables in Worner Campus Center.
Sexual Safety Program: 12:15-1:45 p.m. Worner Campus Center, Room 212
Join a discussion of safety concerns specific to sexual assault and sexual violence while on Spring Break, risk reduction techniques, party culture, and consent. Lunch will be provided.
“How to Support Someone Struggling with an Eating Disorder” Workshop: 3-4:45pm JLK McHugh Commons
A workshop focusing on how to support a friend who may be suffering from an eating disorder.
Tuesday, Feb. 28
Safety Week Information Tables: noon-1 p.m.
Learn about crosswalk safety including laws surrounding crosswalks and tips on how to stay safe over Spring Break. Students can also learn information about eating disorders and how to support a friend. Look for representatives at the tables in Worner Campus Center.
Wednesday, March 1
Safety Week Information Tables: noon-2:30 p.m.
Learn about a variety of safety topics including the dangers of substance abuse, crosswalk safety, and staying safe during Spring Break. Look for representatives from the Wellness Resource Center and Campus Safety, and the sexual assault response coordinator at the tables in Worner Campus Center.
Safety Simulators: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Worner Quad
Try on beer goggles and learn how being just a little bit impaired can greatly impact driving. Students can also test out the seat belt convincer to see how important it is to wear a seatbelt, and learn how to properly use a fire extinguisher.
Thursday, March 2
Self-Defense Demonstration: 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Bemis Lounge
Check out a demonstration of the self-defense class Campus Safety instructs on campus; learn basic self-defense moves and see if you’re interested in taking the full course.
Eating Disorder Information and Screenings with ED Cares: noon-3 p.m. Worner Campus Center
Learn and ask questions about eating disorders and participate in an eating disorder screening.
Science of Substances Series — Alcohol and the Brain: 12:15-1:30 p.m., JLK McHugh Commons
Learn the truth about how certain substances affect the body from Kristi Erdal, professor of psychology. Lunch is provided.
Friday, March 3
Distracted Driver Simulator: 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Worner Quad
Learn about the hazards of driving while distracted and how to avoid being distracted behind the wheel.
Eating Disorder Information and Screenings with ED Cares: noon-3 p.m. Worner Campus Center
Learn and ask questions about eating disorders and participate in an eating disorder screening.
By Leah Veldhuisen ’19
Ever wish you could sing along with one of your favorite musicals? A new blockly event on campus provides the opportunity for the campus community to come together in song.
Organized by Alec Sarche ’17, the Musical Sing-through Group is a group of students (faculty and staff can also join if interested) meeting each block to read and sing through popular musical scripts. There is no audition process, and the meetings are open to anyone who can read and wants to sing. The atmosphere of the read-throughs will be casual, and is meant to diversify means of performance on campus. It will provide a place for students of all experience levels to read through a play in front of an informal audience of anyone who wants to listen. The MSTG held its first event, performing “Westside Story” Wednesday, Feb. 8, in Taylor Theatre.
As the artistic director for CC’s Theatre Workshop, Sarche says that the “world of theatre on campus is deep and rich and wide,” but putting on a full-scale musical is exceedingly difficult. The financial, musician, and cast requirements are a lot, and the Musical Sing-through Group will be able to “bring musicals to CC with a speed and breadth that other departments can’t match.” The only resources these performances require are people and scripts, allowing them to proceed regardless of other circumstances.
In addition to speed and ease of performance, the group’s accessibility is something Sarche is proud of. He says that he aims to provide a “completely unintimidating performance environment” for people “who may never have been onstage in their lives get to do a show in front of their friends without having to worry if they are any good.” No one will be turned away from the read-throughs.
Although the performance opportunities at CC are vast, this group is slightly different in its goals. The focus of the group is not to ever have finished, polished productions, but just to have fun “throwing yourself at a show that you either know a little of or have never heard of before,” Sarche says. Stay tuned to the Campus Calendar for MSTG events happening once a block.