Arts and culture

Courtesy, Lisa Kennedy.

David Ansen and Lisa Kennedy are two of the jurors at Aspen Film’s ShortsFest this year. They are veteran critics who will be helping to decide the winners of this year’s festival. Winners become eligible for the Academy Awards.

The spot where the Arts Campus at Willits, or “TACAW”, is going to be built is currently a vacant lot. There’s some construction equipment and fences, but other than that...nothing. This patch of land is just a few blocks away from the new Element hotel. It was zoned for a space like TACAW in the early nineties, so this has been a long time coming.  The plan is to have the building completed by 2018. And it’s big. The plans are for the space to have a kitchen, some performance space…

Curated - April 4

Apr 6, 2016

Judges will start watching films during the 25th year of Aspen Film’s ShortsFest tonight.

First Draft - Rebecca Makkai

Apr 4, 2016

Rebecca Makkai is the Chicago-based author of the novels The Hundred-Year House, winner of the Chicago Writers Association’s Novel of the Year award, and The Borrower, a Booklist Top Ten Debut which has been translated into eight languages. Her short story collection, Music for Wartime, will appear in June of 2015. Her short fiction was chosen for The Best American Short Stories for four consecutive years (2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008), and appears regularly in journals like Harper’s, Tin House, and New England Review.

On Tuesday, Aspen Film’s 25th Annual Shortsfest starts at the Wheeler Opera House. The event features about 60 short films and is a qualifying event for the Academy Awards.


Sandra Cisneros speaks at Paepcke Auditorium as she closes Aspen Words Winter Words series. She achieved critical acclaim in the mid ‘80s with her novel “The House on Mango Street”.


The Carbondale Council on Arts and Humanities is hosting a talk at the Carbondale Library on Thursday about the Importance of Humanities.

Curated - March 28th

Apr 4, 2016

Today's episode of Curated features Christopher Kale Jones of the group, Under the Streetlamp. We talk to author Paul Lisicky about his memoir, and the Gonzo Gallery's owner reflects on how a culture inspired a generation of artists.

Courtesy, the writer

Sandra Cisneros is an American writer known for her novels “The House on Mango Street” and “Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories”. Cisneros grew up with seven brothers and as the son of Mexican immigrants. She commonly writes about her feelings of isolation as she traveled between the United States and Mexico as a child. She spoke with Aspen Public Radio about her experiences as a writer and teacher ahead of her appearance at Aspen Words’ Winter Words series.




Last week, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper expressed concern about whether film incentives would be cut from the state budget. Film crews have brought $151 million into the state’s economy. It’s a big concern that is already showing itself in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Courtesy, The Aspen Art Museum.

Artists who want to learn the skill of constructive art critique can hone their abilities at the first “crit session” held tonight at the Aspen Art Museum. The program began out of a desire to get community artists more involved in art critique and criticism.

Museum curator Courtenay Finn will lead the first session which will guide local artists through a discussion of the works, while explaining the differences between criticism and critique.


Patrick Fort / Aspen Public Radio

Even for a small-scale operation, the amount of grain and other materials needed to make a spirit at the Marble Distilling Co. is huge. Connie Baker is the founder of the distillery. Later, she’ll be shoveling grain from a one ton bag.

The 5Point Film Festival announced the festivities for the April festival


This year, there is a larger amount of films directed by women. About ten women are showing their films at the event, when typically that number is about two or three.


5Point Film executive director Sarah Wood says that it is a good sign for the outdoor film industry.

First Draft - Paul Lisicky

Mar 28, 2016

  Paul Lisicky is the author of five books: The Narrow Door, Unbuilt Projects, The Burning House, Famous Builder, and Lawnboy. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, BuzzFeed, Conjunctions, Ecotone, Fence, The Offing, Ploughshares, Tin House, Unstuck, and in many other magazines and anthologies. His awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the James Michener/Copernicus Society, the Corporation of Yaddo, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, where he was twice a Fellow.

Michael Franti and Spearhead start of the week with a show at the Belly Up. The singer has brought us hits like “Sound of Sunshine”. He is touring in support of his latest album.


Rocky Mountain Stomp plays at the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue on Wednesday.


Los Lonely Boys play at the Wheeler Opera House on Tuesday. The group has been going strong after their breakout hit, “Heaven”.


 Under the Streetlamp is a vocal group made up of musical theater veterans. In fact, the singers all performed in the musical “Jersey Boys”, which tells the story of the famous group Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. This week, the group performs at the Wheeler Opera House. Group member Christopher Kale Jones spoke with Aspen Public Radio ahead of their performance.

Courtesy, Carbondale Creative District

Signs directing people to places like galleries, breweries and restaurants are being posted along the Rio Grande Trail and in Carbondale over the next month to direct people to the arts in town. That’s part of an effort to bolster the Carbondale art’s community while the town tries to become a certified Colorado Creative District.

Patrick Fort / Aspen Public Radio

If you ask Manik Sakya, the owner of Nepal Restaurant in Glenwood Springs, what he values the most, he’ll tell that it’s culture, cuisine and nature.

Patrick Fort / Aspen Public Radio

D.J. Watkins heads up the Gonzo Gallery in downtown Aspen. The gallery shows the work of Hunter S. Thompson, Paul Pascarella and Tom Benton. For Watkins, it isn’t just a place to display art. It’s a space to celebrate what has become known as “gonzo art”.

Courtesy, AMFS

The Aspen Music Festival and School received a large financial gift on Monday. Allison and Warren Kanders gave the institution an endowment gift of $2.5 million.

Curated - March 21

Mar 21, 2016

Today's episode of Curated features film director Gayle Embrey, author Emily St. John Mandel and the band Nahko and Medicine for the people.