The Big Something Radio Programme, Episode 1: Drop City, Sylvia Nasar, and Senga Nengudi

Feb 27, 2015

50 years ago this year, two young artists from Lawrence Kansas, Gene and Jo-ann Bernofsky, joined forces with their friend Clark Rickert, a student at University of Colorado Boulder, and moved to Trinidad Colorado to start one of the most influential communes of the Hippie era, Drop City. In honor of the 50th anniversary of Drop City, arts and archaeology organizations across southern Colorado have planned exhibits and events exploring the history of the Commune. Timothy Miller, professor of religious studies at University of Kansas and author of The 60s Communes: Hippies and Beyond will be speaking at Pueblo Rawlings Library in May as part of the festivities, and KRCC’s Noel Black spoke with Miller about the story and the legacy of Drop City.

Here's a slide show of images from Drop City with narration by former resident John Curl that was produced by Big Something intern Ruby Kimberley in 2011:

Join the InfoZone News Museum for the First Friday Artwalk for the opening  of both exhibitions commemorating the 50th anniversary of Drop City. March 6, 5-7 p.m.:

  • Drop City 50| A Southern Colorado Celebration of Poster Contest Winners. Drop City 50 is a Southern Colorado celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Drop City, an innovative community founded near Trinidad, Colorado that embraced art, architecture, and resourceful living. The Spring 2015 commemoration highlights the unique slice of American history and culture associated with Drop City through visual and performing arts, film, exhibits, interactive presentations and special guest speakers throughout the region. The winners of the Pueblo Archaeological and Historical Society sponsored poster contest will be announced, and the top ten posters will be exhibited.
  • Drop City: Photographs by Myron Wood. View photographs taken of Drop City by Photographer Myron Wood. In 1973 the Pueblo Regional Library commissioned Myron Wood to establish a photographic archive documenting the land, people, architecture, and folkways of Southern Colorado, some 10,000 photographs were produced for the archive. This exhibition highlights a selection of his work that show views of Drop City in 1967 and 1977.
  • The documentary, Drop City, will be shown to the public on March 19 at the Rawlings Library InfoZone and we'll sponsor a book discussion around the T. C. Boyle novel, Drop City, April 23 at the Southeastern Colorado Heritage Center.

  • The LaVeta community will also host Dr. Timothy Miller (May 20) as a speaker, and is working to sponsor a panel discussion with folks who were associated with Drop City, and a Saturday night dance.

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Sylvia Nasar

Sylvia Nasar has spent years as a journalist covering economics for such publications as Fortune Magazine, US News and World Report, The New York Times, and The New Yorker. In 1998, she published her first book, A Beautiful Mind, a biography of the brilliant, Nobel Prize-winning economist and mathematician John Nash, who suffered from schizophrenia. The book won the National Book Critics Circle award for Biography, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and was adapted into an Academy Award winning film starring Russell Crowe. Her second book, Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius, is a sweeping account of the evolution of modern economic thought, and was released to great acclaim in 2011. KRCC's Jake Brownell spoke with Sylvia Nasar while she visited Colorado Springs to give the H. Chase Stone Memorial lecture at Colorado College. 

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Artist Senga Nengudi has lived, taught, and worked in the Colorado Springs region for the past two decades, all the while making and exhibiting work on the international stage. Her work, which often uses pantyhose to create abstracted sculptural forms, is designed to be "activated" by interactions with dancers who stretch and move within the pieces. Though difficult to categorize, her work evokes women's bodies both present and absent. Producer Noel Black sat down and spoke with Nengudi last summer on the occasion of her dual retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Redline Galleries in Denver. You can see some of Nengudi's work at I.D.E.A. Space in Colorado Springs through March 7, 2015.