Arts & Culture

Arts & Culture coverage.

  • Tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Packard Hall, the Colorado College Department of Music will present an evening of bluegrass music featuring three Colorado College bluegrass ensembles under the direction of Keith Reed.
  • Tomorrow night, from 5-8 p.m., the First Friday Shuttle Bus will be back in service, providing free transportation along the Creative Corridor between the Art Walks in Downtown Colorado Springs, Old Colorado City, and Manitou Springs. Complete details at
  • On Saturday morning at 10 a.m., Aaron Anstett, the inaugural Pikes Peak Poet Laureate and author of six poetry collections, will present the Whatchacallit workshop on titling poems at Hooked on Books in Downtown Colorado Springs.
  • Check out for more information on these and other events in the Pikes Peak Region.

Blue Flower Arts


For our second episode of the Converge Lecture Series Podcast, we're joined by poet Richard Blanco.

If you watched the second inauguration of Barack Obama in 2013, then you're familiar with Blanco's work. The White House asked him to write and read a poem for the occasion, making him one of only five writers ever to have held the title, “Inaugural Poet,” a distinction he shares with Robert Frost and Maya Angelou. He was also the youngest, first Latino, immigrant, and gay person to hold the position.

Wikimedia Commons

On Looking Up this week, Bruce Bookout speaks about the mythical Thunderbird and the thunderous Navajo legend behind it. 

The mythology of the thunderbird is wide and various across America and Canada. Navajo legend holds that the Thunderbird carries all the clouds in its tail and rain under its wings. Thus when the Thunderbird constellation is shining brightly in the spring sky, the rainy season has arrived.

  • The annual Pikes Peak Writers Conference will take place at the Colorado Springs Marriott Hotel this Friday thru Sunday. The event will feature a multitude of writing workshops, query sessions with editors and agents, and a chance to meet published authors from all genres. 
  • On Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., the Colorado Ballet Society will present performances of Tchaikovsky’s most beautiful ballet, Swan Lake, performed by 90 local dancers and guest principal artists from the Colorado Ballet and Eugene Ballet. 
  • The Chamber Orchestra of the Springs will conclude its season this Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at the First Christian Church with a performance entitled Timeless Voices: Mozart, Beethoven, Amy Beach.
  • For more information on these and other events check out

Ten years ago today — on April 22, 2008 — NPR Music published our first Tiny Desk concert. Laura Gibson was the inspiration, and the event that sparked the idea of concerts at my desk came from NPR Music's Stephen Thompson. He and I were at the SXSW Music Festival, at one of those lousy shows where the audience chatter was louder than the performer.

Looking Up: Hey Hey, It's Better To Burn Out...

Apr 23, 2018
JA Galán Baho /

Movie stars have been known to lead secret lives. This week on Looking Up Hal divulges the secret of a star called Izar.

There is an interesting star, or rather two stars, up in the Colorado night sky that is, or are, very cool, and by that, I mean hot, the nifty star Izar, in the constellation of Bootes.

  •  Lewis Black, one of the most prolific and popular comedians working today, comes to the Pikes Peak Center  tonight at 8 p.m.
  • Tomorrow night at 8 p.m., at the Ivywild School, “Science Riot” will feature local scientists turned comedians as they attempt standup comedy for the first time and wax hilarious about their topics of expertise.
  • In celebration of Earth Day 2018, the Bear Creek Nature Center will host a Great American Cleanup event, beginning Saturday morning at 9  to complete a variety of projects at parks, trails, creeks, and roadways near the Nature Center. Participation is free, but advance registration is required. 
  • For more information on these and other events check out

Looking Up: Constellations 101

Apr 16, 2018
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Axel Mellinger /

This week on Looking Up guest host Chloe Brooks-Kistler helps us all learn something about constellations. 

So, I’ve kicked Hal out of the studio for this week’s episode. He drones on and on about admittedly cool things in the sky, but he’s never answered a question I have, as a non-astronomer about the Colorado night sky.

  • The Pikes Peak Blues Community will present legendary Blues Hall of Famer, Bobby Messano at the Stargazers Theatre & Event Center tonight at 7:00 p.m. 
  • Beginning tonight, and running for the next three weeks, the Millibo Art Theatre will host an all-Colorado Women’s Theatre Festival featuring three weeks of special events celebrating and promoting the work of Colorado women playwrights. 
  • This Sunday evening at 6:00 p.m., the Woodland Park Wind Symphony will present a free space-themed concert at the Ute Pass Cultural Center in Woodland Park. Be sure to wear your space costume and enjoy a variety of pre-concert activities.
  • For more information on these and other events check out

Looking Up: Galactic Hydra-tion

Apr 9, 2018
Angus Lau /

As it turns out, galaxies tend to hang out in groups. We learn more about that on this week's Looking Up.

April showers bring May flowers, but clear nights in April bring one of the most wonderful and beautiful things up in the sky, clusters of galaxies.

• Beginning tonight, and running for the next two weeks, Theatreworks will present “Peer Gynt,” Ibsen’s classic tale of the boy who would never grow up. This UCCS student production will feature dancers, musicians, actors, puppets, and a full, original score.

• Tomorrow night, from 5-8 p.m., the First Friday Shuttle Bus will be back in service, providing free transportation between the Art Walks in Downtown Colorado Springs, Old Colorado City, and Manitou Springs.

• UCCS Presents will showcase Boston Brass this Saturday at 8PM at the Ent Center for the Arts, featuring a repertoire spanning classical arrangements, burning jazz standards, and the best of original brass quintet works.

  • For more information on these and other events check out

Looking Up: Two For Tea

Apr 2, 2018
M. Procell

This week on Looking Up Hal invites us out for a 'steaming' cup of 'celestial tea'.

One of the frustrations of looking at the sky can be wondering how the heck astronomers decided a particular pattern of stars looks like.

Looking Up: Planet Chaco

Mar 26, 2018

We head south of the Colorado border with guest host Bruce Bookout for this month's archeo-astronomy subject - Chaco Canyon.

The earliest inhabitants of this region were skywatchers of immense sophistication.  Down just below the southern Colorado border is a major center of culture for the ancient Pueblo Peoples.  It is focused in the Chaco Culture National Historical Park in northern New Mexico. The Chaco Canyon area contains the most sweeping collection of ancient ruins in the Southwest.

  • Royal Buckskin, a humorous back-lot, modern melodrama featuring local performer Jim Jackson, continues its run at the Millibo Art Theatre through this weekend.
  • Aesop’s fable “Androcles and the Lion” one of the most popular children’s plays ever written, continues its run at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
  • This coming Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at Colorado College’s Packard Hall, the United States Air Force Academy Band will present a free performance entitled “Neoclassical Winds and Brass.”
  • UCCS Presents will showcase the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet at the Ent Center for the Arts this coming Wednesday evening at 7:30 p.m.
  • For more information on these and other events check out

Till Credner, / Creative Commons / Wikimedia Commons

This week on Looking Up we learn about a rising star in the east that is a harbinger of spring and summer weather.

We are only a couple days away from the beginning of Spring, at least astronomically speaking. And for astronomers, one of the stars we look for as a sign that warmer days are ahead is the brilliant Arcturus, the brightest star in the roughly kite-shaped constellation of Bootes.

  • Inspired by Leonard Bernsteins’ Anniversaries Piano Solos, Ormao Dance Company has commissioned four choreographers to create original works that will be performed at the Ent Center for the Arts this Friday and Saturday.
  • Starting at Noon on Saturday in Downtown Colorado Springs, the 34th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade will feature over 100 entries, including marching bands, floats, classic cars, bagpipers, dogs, bicycles, leprechauns, firetrucks, and much more.
  • The legendary musical group, Chicago, will bring their signature horn sounds, iconic vocalists, and a few dozen classic songs to the Pikes Peak Center this coming Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
  • For more information on these and other events check out

Looking Up: I Am Algieba, Hear Me Roar

Mar 12, 2018
the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication

This week on Looking Up Hal starts looking ahead to a famous springtime constellation...

One of my favorite constellations, Leo the Lion, is back in our night sky.

  • At 8 p.m. tonight at the Pikes Peak Center for the Performing Arts, the Black Jacket Symphony will present a recreation of Pink Floyd’s classic Dark Side of the Moon album in a live performance setting.
  • On Saturday from 10 a.m. -2 p.m., the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum will present a new collection and documentation project focusing on the work of Sankofa, a group founded in 1992 to preserve and promote cultural awareness of the African diaspora in the Rocky Mountain Region.
  • The 26th  Annual Colorado Tattoo Competition will take place during the Annual Super Show and Swap Meet at the Altered Reality Center this Sunday from 1-4 p.m.
  • For more information on these and other events check out

Looking Up: Our Not So Little Runaway

Mar 5, 2018
This work has been released into the public domain by its author, Kryptid at the English Wikipedia project.

Have you seen Naos, the runaway star? This week on Looking Up Hal pinpoints it in the night sky for us.

There is an interesting and odd star visible in the Southern Colorado sky right now that is worth a look, the strange and lovely star Naos, at just under 1000 ly from Earth.

  • Public voting opens online today for Peak Arts Prize—a new granting program from the Cultural Office that supports local artists, arts organizations, and arts businesses. Help choose this year’s winners at
  • Tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Colorado College’s Tutt Library, Colin McAllister and Steven Hayward will present 'The Library at Night' a captivating new recital that takes the listener on a literary, musical, and historical journey through time and place, all based on Alberto Manguel’s book of the same name.
  • Tomorrow night is Jazz night at the Colorado Springs Conservatory beginning at 7 p.m., and featuring the school’s artist mentors and talented students.
  • For more information on these and other events check out

Looking Up: 'V' Is For Hyades

Feb 26, 2018
Image Credit & Copyright: Rogelio Bernal Andreo /

There are two 'sister' star clusters in the constellation Taurus the Bull. This week on Looking Up Bruce Bookout introduces us to the five daughters of Atlas... the Hyades.

Over the last few years we have discussed the beautiful winter asterism known as the Pleiades. These fair maidens of the night are an easily found object high above in the constellation Taurus the Bull.  What most observers overlook are the other sisters that form a ‘V’ shape that marks the head of the  celestial bull.

Coquette’s Bistro & Bakery via Rocky Mountain Food Report

Coquette's Bistro and Bakery, Colorado Springs' innovative, gluten-free restaurant, grows their brand with expertise from new hire, Johnathan Shankland, operations manager, formerly at The Antler's, A Wyndham Hotel. Since starting his position in November 2017 Shankland says the purpose of his role is to allow Michelle and Turu Marx, co-owners and mother/daughter team at Coquette's, "to start looking outside of these four walls."

• Tonight, at 7 p.m., at the new Ent Center for the Arts, GOCA will host another Chit-Chat “mash-up talk” on contemporary culture—this time on the topics of Hyperloop & Cheese.

• On Sunday at 4:30 p.m., UCCS Presents will host a performance by the UK-based, Pasadena Roof Orchestra and their mix of big-band swing and hot dance music at the Ent Center for the Arts.

• The Colorado Springs Chinese Cultural Institute will host a Chinese Lantern Festival Hot Pot Dinner at King’s Kitchen on Sunday at 6 p.m. The evening will also include a special musical performance. 

  • For more information on these and other events check out

Looking Up: So Long And Thanks For All The Barium

Feb 19, 2018
Image via /

This week on Looking Up... meet Alphard, a giant orange sun that seems to have lost its partner but gained a lot of barium in the process.

In earlier episodes, we’ve talked about the bright stars that make up the winter night sky here in southern Colorado. We’ve talked about the very bright Sirius, and the only slightly less bright Procyon, Castor, Pollux, and so on. Today, I want to tell you about a very interesting star that is a bit farther to the east, forming a triangle, laying on its side, with Sirius and Procyon, the weird orange star Alphard.

·      Making their Western Jubilee debut, Chris Daniels & the Kings will kick-off the 2018 Western Jubilee Concert Season with a fantastic night of blues tomorrow at 6:30PM. 

·      The Colorado Farm & Art Market will continue its monthly, indoor winter market at The Cottonwood Center for the Arts this Sunday from 11AM-2PM.

·      This coming Tuesday evening, UCCS Presents will feature Ailey II: The Next Generation of Dance, featuring an exhilarating and diverse repertory that includes timeless classics and thrilling new works from the company that continues the tradition of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. 

For more information on these and other events check our

Looking Up: This Subject Matter Is 'Way Out There'

Feb 12, 2018
Image Credit & Copyright: Damian Peach, Jose J. Chambo /

This week on Looking Up Hal gives us the extended celestial forecast - partly cloudy, with a chance for comets...

I admit it; I’m a sucker for comets. I can’t help but wax a tad philosophic when I think of these remarkable and ancient objects. There are famous comets that come back regularly – think Halley’s Comet – and there are others, like the very bright Comet West back in 1976, that have much larger orbits, over 70,000 times the Earth-Sun distance, and so won’t return for about 500 million years, give or take. 

·      The Pikes Peak Blues Community will present Woodshed Red tonight at 7 p.m. at Stargazers Theatre and Event Center. 

·      Also tonight at 7 p.m., the internationally acclaimed Choir from Doane University in Nebraska, will perform a free concert at Broadmoor Community Church.

·      Beginning this evening for a two week run, the Millibo Art Theatre will celebrate its Sweet 16th Birthday with a selection of fine theatrical desserts created around and about the theme of Cake.

·      Visiting artist Ralph Allen and Colorado College faculty members will discuss the art of Haiti in relation to a new exhibit at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center tomorrow morning at 11:30 a.m. in Gaylord Hall.

For more information on these and other events check out

Image Credit & Copyright: Jingyi Zhang /

This week  Hal dusts off a topic we covered previously on Looking Up but is now in need of an update.

A couple years ago I told you about a cool thing you can see in the Southern Colorado sky, Zodiacal Light! And the good news is, it’s back.

The Broadmoor

The Golden Bee at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado, has been held in high regard as a traditional British pub for decades but in November 2017 the menu was finally the recipient of a long-overdue and Americanized face-lift. John Johnstone, vice president of food and beverage, and David Patte