Noel Black

The Big Something, Producer

Noel Black is a Colorado Springs native. He has worked as a print journalist, blogger and radio producer everywhere from San Francisco and New York City, but has always considered the Pikes Peak region home.  Noel oversees a fleet of Colorado College interns overseeing the production of KRCC's The Big Something. He is also the author of many chapbooks and two full-length books of poems, including La Goon, (The New Heave-Ho Press, 2013), which you can read online for free HERE and Uselysses, (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2011), which you can read online for free HERE.

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The Big Something
1:28 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

RIP Elizabeth Wright Ingraham

We were saddened last week to learn of the death of famed local architect Elizabeth Wright Ingraham, who was 91. Her homes in the Pikes Region could very well have defined a regional style if design were valued as highly as affordability. To be inside her homes is to understand the way architecture can be both imminently practical and inspiring all at once, which is to say that a home is not merely the sum of its square footage and furnishings.

Here are three slide shows we produced about Wright Igraham homes in the Pikes Peak region.

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The Middle Distance
12:00 am
Fri September 27, 2013

The Middle Distance 9.27.13: Untethered

[Aspen Leaves] by Myron Wood, September 1976. Copyright PPLD. Image Number: 002-5859.

Yesterday, the air was so clear you could see the Wet Mountains and the Spanish Peaks from Colorado Springs. Not a distant blur, but a sharp blue line in a stark blue sky. I took the dogs to the park in the afternoon, and as we rounded a turn in the path of Monument Valley Park, where those huge, ragged old cottonwoods stand, a gust of wind rushed through and sent a spray of leaves falling. I froze in my tracks and the dogs froze, standing witness to something glorious we hadn’t experienced in a year, the chilling rush of pending autumn.

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The Big Something
4:35 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Prepping for Live Story Project: An Interview with Sharon Friedman

This Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m. at Ivywild, KRCC and Smokebrush will present the first "dry run" of what we hope will be a monthly live storytelling event broadcast on KRCC. I spoke with Sharon Friedman last month about the evolution of the Story Project.

Click HERE for complete event details.

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The Big Something
4:29 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

City Auditorium Celebrates 90 Years: An Interview with Judith Rice-Jones

City Auditorium by Harry L. Standley, courtesy of Special Collections, Pikes Peak Library District.

This Sunday from Noon to 6 p.m., the City Auditorium in downtown Colorado Springs will celebrate its 90th anniversary. I spoke with Judith Rice-Jones, a historian, Geographer, Civic Ecologist and founding member of the Historic Preservation Alliance about the building’s significance to the community.

Click HERE for complete details on the FREE event.

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The Middle Distance
4:36 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

The Middle Distance 9.20.13: Stardust

A friend sent me a link to a beautiful video recently, illustrating the cosmic level at which we are all connected, atoms derived from vast explosions of stars. We are stardust, basically, just like Joni Mitchell said. Watching the video and listening to the brilliant astrophysicist narrating it, I felt at once connected and disconnected, amazed and confused. Astrophysics discussions send me right into a mental black hole of incomprehension. But call it God and I can begin to crawl out of my hole, see the light and begin to feel those atoms buzzing within and around me.

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The Big Something
2:31 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

His Heart is an Idiot: An Interview with Davy Rothbart

Davy Rothbart, the creator of FOUND Magazine and author of the new book of personal essays , My Heart is an Idiot, will perform tomorrow night at Ivywild School with local musicians The Changing Colours and Poet Idris Goodwin. I spoke with Rothbart about the connection between FOUND Magazine and his new book.

Click HERE for more info and tickets.

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The Big Something
4:56 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Baby, You Can Drive My Art Car: An Interview With Artocade Organizer Rodney Wood

"The Lizard King" by Rebecca Bass and her high school students

Beginning Friday, Trinidad Colorado will host the First Annual Artocade, a 3-day festival featuring a parade of Art Cars through the heart of town on Saturday.I spoke with organizer Rodney Wood about the event.

Click HERE for more information about Artocade.

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The Big Something
4:36 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Progressive Niche: An Interview with Theatre'dArt

Theatre'dArt will announce and launch its 7th season this Saturday with its annual fundraising gala. Off Topic’s Craig Richardson spoke with Board Members, Actors and Directors Benjamin Bonnenfant (BON-IN-FONT), Christian O’Shaugnessy and Michael Lee about the company’s niche in the community.

Find them on Facebook or click HERE for complete information about tomorrow night's Gala.

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The Middle Distance
5:39 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

The Middle Distance 9.6.13: The Inner Edge of Old Age

As I was driving across South Park this week, the massive open plain settled between mountain ranges in south central Colorado, a hot air balloon lifted off and climbed upward in a diagonal line between earth and sky. From the road I zoomed down at 65 miles per hour, it looked as though the massive rainbow-striped balloon was very near the peaks looming behind it. But the closer I got, I could see that the pilot had launched from the center of a huge pasture, well away from the threatening rock walls.

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The Big Something
4:58 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Gods and Monsters: An Interview with Daisy McConnell and Jessican Hunter-Larsen

Beginning tonight and continuing on through the beginning of November, many local arts organizations will participate in a community-wide arts collaboration on the theme of Gods and Monsters. I spoke to creators Daisy McConnell of the Gallery of Contemporary Art at UCCS and Jessica Hunter Larsen of IDEA Space at Colorado College about the impulses behind the second bi-annual series of events.

Click HERE for a complete listing of Gods and Monsters Events.

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The Big Something
2:44 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Clean: An Interview with Poet Kate Northrop

Poet Kate Northrop will read tomorrow night with Jane Hilberry at 7 p.m. in the Gates Common Room in Palmer Hall on the Colorado College campus as part of this year’s Visiting Writers Series. I spoke with Northrop about her most recent book, Clean.

Click HERE for complete information about the reading on Thursday, Sept. 5.

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The Middle Distance
5:07 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

The Middle Distance 8.30.13: September Morning

I have a friend in New Mexico who used to rope off the entire month of September and keep it for nothing but hiking in the mountains, hunting grouse and fishing for trout in the Rio Grande. He was and still is a hard-working writer who chose this vacation month for its natural splendor — changing seasons, cooler temperatures, the river running low and clear. He was religious about his Septembers, about not letting worldly concerns keep him from his earthly communion.

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The Big Something
4:07 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Interview with Manitou Mayor Marc Snyder and Andrea Chalfin, Part 3: RMJ

Credit Marc Huebert

In this third and final installment of my interview with Manitou Mayor Marc Snyder and KRCC News Director Andrea Chalfin, we discuss recreational marijuana and how revenues may or may not help with flood cleanup and mitigation.

Click HERE to listen to Part 1 of this interview about flood mitigation.

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The Big Something
4:50 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Interview with Manitour Mayor Marc Snyder, Part 2

Credit Bryan Oller

Last week, I interviewed Manitou Mayor Marc Snyder and KRCC News Director Andrea Chalfin about mitigation efforts related to the Waldo Canyon burn scar flooding. In this second part of the interview, I speak to Snyder about cleanup efforts and plans for next summer. Tune in tomorrow to hear the final part of the conversation about the future of Recreational Marijuana in Manitou Springs.

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The Big Something
4:55 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Waldo Burn Scar Mitigation: An Interview with Manitou Mayor Marc Snyder and Andrea Chalfin

One of the metal nets in Queen's Canyon
Credit Andrea Chalfin

Much of the work being done to help prevent another disaster like the August 9 flood in Manitou Springs can’t be seen. As flood watches and warning continue to threaten the Waldo Canyon burn scar area on an almost daily basis, I sat down with Manitou Mayor Marc Snyder and KRCC News Director Andrea Chalfin to talk about what’s planned and what’s already been done to mitigate the flood threat.

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The Middle Distance
6:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

The Middle Distance 8.23.13: Summer of 1971

Memphis, 1971
Credit Ted Eastburn

Summer of 1971. Our hip-hugger bell-bottom jeans are worn thin in the seat and we like to wear them with flimsy halter tops. It’s possible we are emulating the hippies in San Francisco we’ve seen on the news since hippie sightings are still rare here in Memphis, Tennessee. We will be high school seniors in the fall and this, we faintly realize, is our last summer of real freedom.

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The Big Something
4:51 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

The Ins and Outs of Disaster Photography: An Interview with Bryan Oller

Black Forest Fire
Credit Bryan Oller

Local Freelance Photojournalist Bryan Oller took some of the most memorable photos of the Waldo Canyon and Black Forest fires, and he’s been covering the flooding in Manitou. I spoke with him about the challenges of documenting disasters so close to home.

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The Big Something
5:04 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Aftermath of the Manitou Flood: An Interview with Kelly Snyder, Farley McDonough and Hannah Rockey

Credit Bryan Oller

It’s been just over a week since the August 9 flood in Manitou Springs. I spoke with Kelly Snyder, Board President of the Business of Art Center who took over much of the volunteer organizing in Manitou; resident Hannah Rockey, and Farley McDonough, Owner of Adams Mountain Café to talk about the aftermath and the future.

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The Big Something
4:18 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Build Ivywild Part 2: An Interview with Jim Fennell and Mike Bristol

Beginning today and continuing through the weekend, Ivywild School celebrates its grand opening. Yesterday we posted Part 1 of my interview with Co-Owners Mike Bristol of Bristol Brewing and Jim Fennell, Lead Architect of Fennell Group, and author of the book BUILD IVYWILD.

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The Middle Distance
5:27 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

The Middle Distance 8.16.13: Ripe for Transformation

Several lifetimes ago, when I was the mother of three young boys, I understood the concept of escapist reading in the summertime. Grabbing reading moments between afternoon trips to the pool and T-ball games, I required something lightweight and entertaining, easy to read in small bites. And since I wouldn’t remember what I read anyway, mainstream chick lit, good or bad, usually fit the bill.

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The Big Something
4:37 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Symbiosis Part 1: An Interview with Ivywild Partners Mike Bristol and Architect Jim Fennell

[Listen to Part 2 HERE]

Beginning tomorrow and continuing through the weekend, Ivywild School will celebrate its grand opening. The Big Something’s Noel Black sat down with Co-Owners Mike Bristol of Bristol Brewing and Jim Fennell, Lead Architect of Fennell Group, and author of the book BUILD IVYWILD. Tune in to KRCC tomorrow, Friday, August 16 at 4:50 p.m. to hear Part 2 of the interview.

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The Big Something
3:23 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Video of Manitou Flood on Lovers Lane

If you haven't already seen this video by Cheyene Grow of Grow Motion Video of last Friday's flood as seen from a home just above Lovers Lane in Manitou, do give it a watch. It compresses 40 minutes into 4 and gives an instructional look at how powerful even a relatively small flooding event can be. 

The Big Something
3:07 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

MODBOCO School of Art Opens This Weekend At Ivywild: An Interview with Lauren and Brett Andrus

Credit Claire Swinford

Modboco, a new art school founded by Brett and Lauren Andrus, will celebrate its grand opening tomorrow from Noon to 8 P.M. at the Ivywild Building. I spoke with them about their gallery downtown and how it evolved into a school.

Click HERE for complete information about the school and grand opening.

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The Middle Distance
4:44 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

The Middle Distance 8.9.13: Summer in Full

[Clouds] by Myron Wood, June 1976. Copyright PPLD. Image Number: 002-1619.

The clock is ticking and it’s making me uneasy. I’ve got those back-to-school, back-to-work, back-to-reality, check it off the to-do list, end-of-summer blues.

This year I decided the summer would be mine to do as little as possible in. I would recharge, replenish, rejuvenate. No road trips to places I hadn’t been before or to visit family. This would be the first summer in memory when I just stayed home and received whatever the day delivered.

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The Big Something
3:27 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

COS Native Scores Role in Margaret Cho's New Web Series

Will Boddington (right) in a screen grab from Margaret Cho's new web series "In Transition".

As Hollywood moves to the Web, we're fascinated with the ways that distribution is changing and, in some cases, changing the way films and TV shows are made. Filmmakers who'd have found their careers in the toilet after a straight-to-video release 10 years ago are now bucking the studio system and big budgets to go straight to iTunes along with limited theatrical release. Movies like The Canyons and Margin Call are already proving the model.

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The Big Something
4:52 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Smokebrush and Story Project Move to BAC — An Interview with Don Goede and Sharon Friedman

The Smokebrush Foundation and The Story Project have both just moved to The Business of Arts Center in Manitou Springs. I spoke to both Don Goede, Executive Director of The Smokebrush Foundation, and Sharon Friedman, Founder and Creative Director of The Story Project about the new space and this Friday’s first storytelling event at the BAC.

Click HERE for complete information about this Friday's Story Project event.

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Off Topic
4:49 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Breaking Good: Martile Rowland's Strange Road to Opera Stardom

In celebration of this Wednesday's Opera Theatre of the Rockies POPera concert, here's our feature on Martile Rowland and her amazingly circuitous road to fame.

Click HERE to get complete information on POPera.

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The Big Something
3:54 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

An Interview With GOCA Curator Daisy McConnell

"You Keep Things [3]" by Suchitra Mattai

The Galleries of Contemporary Art at UCCS open a new show called "Visual Environments" tonight, Friday, August 2 at their downtown gallery featuring the work of Pattie Lee Becker and Suchitra Mattai (see images below). A week from tomorrow, GOCA will host its largest fundraiser of the year, an art party called BRILLIANT. I spoke with GOCA Curator Daisy McConnell about the events.

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The Big Something
4:43 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

The Middle Distance 8.2.13: The Serendipity of Yes

Boudhanath Stupa

Out here in the middle distance, the light is sometimes so harsh and bright that we want to draw the shades and just rest in cool darkness. The impulse to retreat has never been stronger than in these years approaching old age.

At home I am safe, is my mantra. At home I know who I am.

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The Big Something
3:37 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Locally Produced Web Series Seeks Your Help - An Interview With Zach Wolfson

Springs resident Zach Wolfson just launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $28,000 for the second season of his web series Beyond the Gallery. I spoke to Wolfson about the first season and his vision for the project:

You can watch the entire first season of Beyond the Gallery HERE. And here's an episode from the first season that feature's Colorado Springs enamel artist Pat Musick:

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