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.

Ways To Connect

Sharpen your pencils, charge up your computers and clear off your desk: November is National Novel Writing Month. Otherwise known to eager scribes across America as NaNoWriMo, a clever web-based arts nonprofit enterprise operating on the belief that within everyone lies at least one great story waiting to be written. And in typical American fashion, why not bang it out in a month? The web site (nanowrimo.org) offers word count gauges, opportunities to compare notes with other writers racing toward the finish line, and plenty of inspiration like this observation by author Neil Gaiman:

Colorado College Professor Stephen Scott’s Bowed Piano Ensemble is on its way to Jazz and Lincoln Center on October 26 in New York to play one of its final concerts before Scott retires. The Ensemble will play a preview of this concert this Tuesday night in Packard Hall on the CC Campus. I sat down with Scott to look back on his career as he prepares to retire from teaching.

It has to be a cold day. Preferably the first really cold day of the season, when the wind has swept down from the north and left the yellow leaves dangling, threatening to fall all at once; when the still-green summer grass stands stiff and frosted. A gray mid-October day when staying at home is in order.

Comedian and Storyteller Patrick McConnell will present his one man show “Vinylogue” beginning tonight and running through the weekend at the new Millibo Art Theatre at Ivywild. I spoke with McConnell about his autobiographical monologue set to music.

Click HERE for complete details about the show.

Playwright, Poet and Colorado College Professor Idris Goodwin’s new play, “The Girl From Crete Falls, ” will premier tomorrow night and run through the weekend at the Edith Kinney Gaylord Arts Center. I spoke with Goodwin about his new work.

Tickets are $5 and you can get complete information HERE.

Tickets are still available for This American Life creator and host Ira Glass's live performance at the Pikes Peak Center on Saturday, October 12.

A few years back my friends started becoming grandparents. It was fun to watch from a distance, but it was not something I longed to be. It felt as though my youngest kids had just flown the nest and honestly, the last thing I could imagine enjoying was the care and feeding of a newborn or chasing a toddler around. I was ready for some middle-aged autonomy.

Tomorrow night, October 9, 2010, the Palmer Land Trust will celebrate the 2013 Southern Colorado Conservation Awards.I spoke with Executive Director Scott Campbell Stuart P. Dodge Award Winner Walt Hecox about the importance of land trusts and Hecox’s efforts with The State of the Rockies Project.

If you'd like to make a reservation to attend the 2013 Southern Colorado Conservation Awards, call (719) 632-3236 x.2.

As the Colorado Springs Philharmonic begins its  90th season in Colorado Springs, I spoke with Executive Director Nathan Newbrough about the organization’s comeback from bankruptcy 10 years ago and its artistic and economic renaissance during the Recession.

Click HERE for more information about this weekend's performance of Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" and more.

For a town that's historically anti-goverment in its political leanings, we certainly depend on it.

Walking the dog yesterday morning, I started calculating the For Sale signs in the neighborhood. They were not the fancy fixed-uppers with new granite counters placed on the market at the height of the season to snatch the highest prices. They were sturdy old survivors in this turn-of-the-last-century neighborhood, well kept and solemn in the flurry of this brilliant early autumn morning.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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