A great big Summit County arts celebration
Special to the Daily
It may prove difficult not to “Fall for the Arts” in Summit County this weekend, as the inaugural arts festival will feature more than 40 different music, visual art, history, film, radio, dance, theater and kids-oriented activities throughout five towns made possible by more than 20 local nonprofits. The goals are artistic collaboration and a coordinated celebration of the arts at a scale available in few other mountain towns, organizer Sandy Greenhut said.
“This has been Sandy’s vision for a very long time – that we could all be highlighted and featured without stealing an audience from another group,” said Melanie Frey, owner of Summit School of Dance, whose elite group of young dancers, CO.motion, is teaming up with the Summit Community Orchestra and the Dercum Center for a free 7 p.m. show at Warren Station tonight (donations welcome).
Entitled “Melodies in Motion,” the program will feature eight to 10 members of the Summit Community Orchestra – the usually 40-strong group whose season begins later this month – showcasing its string section in conjunction with Charles Wetherbee of the Dercum Center. The repertoire will be interspersed with ballet performances by CO.motion Dancers, with one truly collaborative piece in which the dancers perform to the orchestra’s rendition of “Dare You to Move” by Switchfoot as arranged by Wetherbee. The Art Gallery at Keystone Lake will also hang pieces at Warren Station for the event.
The collaborative nature of tonight’s program is in keeping with the spirit of Fall for the Arts, explained harpist Janet Harriman with the Summit Community Orchestra.
“We’re all locals – as local as you can get,” she said, hoping to combat the misconception that local talent lacks quality. “Come out and support your community,” she advised. “Come and see someone you know. See what people are doing in your community in the arts.”
The county-wide Fall for the Arts festival kicks off today and runs through the weekend, with many nonprofit organizations providing activities above and beyond their normal offerings.
On Saturday at the Backstage Theatre in Breckenridge, for example, young people ages 7-14 can take part in free stage combat workshops in which they will learn how to do faux slaps, punches, falls and other tricks used by stage fighters to safely bring fights to life. Instructor Seth Maisel is a Denver-based actor, stunt man and fight choreographer with experience teaching combat classes to students of all ages. The workshops are at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., and participants should wear sneakers and clothes suitable for movement.
In Frisco, Fall for the Arts visionary Sandy Greenhut herself will take participants on a two-hour, 3-mile Summit County Arts Exhibit Committee bike tour showcasing 10 pieces of public art. The tour meets at the County Commons at 10 a.m. Saturday.
On Sunday, members of the 100-strong Timberline Toppers converge on the Dillon Amphitheatre, expanding the influence of both square dancing (consisting of eight people to a square) and round dancing (two people) beyond the club’s home base in Frisco. Last year, Timberline Toppers was the biggest square dancing club in the state. Gatherings usually involve a “caller” who organizes and calls out the square dance sequence and “cuers” who call out the round dances. A good caller or cuer makes for smooth dancing, said Robert Gray, who currently shares the two-year term as the Toppers’ president with his wife, Kaaren. Local Ron Hopson will serve as caller for this event, which takes place from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
While the Summit Historical Society and Dillon Marina will offer their ever-popular interpretive tour via pontoon boat on Lake Dillon at 10 a.m. Saturday (Call (970) 468-5100 for cost/info; the tour may sell out), the historical society will also showcase the Old Dillon Schoolhouse Museum and late 1880s cabins with a free, 45-minute tour from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Both the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance and the Frisco Historic Park and Museum will also offer open museums free of charge at various times throughout the weekend; check the schedule in this paper for details.
In 2004, Greenhut founded the umbrella organization, Arts for the Summit, as a way to get Summit County’s arts organizations working together – especially in light of the fact that there are so many of them. Today, Arts for the Summit includes 24 cultural nonprofit members, many of whom are taking part in the weekend’s event. Members include Lake Dillon Theatre Company, Friends of the Library, Keystone Neighborhood Company, Summit Choral Society, Summit Public Radio and the National Repertory Orchestra, to name a few.
“We were at an Arts for the Summit meeting when Sandy Greenhut asked, ‘What about having a countywide arts event?’ said board member Tom Myers of the Breckenridge Festival of Film, which will offer a $10 showing of “The Kennedy Detail,” the independent film based on the book by Gerald S. Blaine and Lisa McCubbin, at 3 p.m. Saturday. Afterwards, there will be a free screening of “Perspectives,” an “unorthodox ski film” by recent Summit High School graduate Cody Cirillo.
“I don’t believe any of us had any idea what a huge event it would turn into,” Myers said. “The county has a great history of organizations supporting the arts. It’s fantastic to bring all the organizations together for one event.”
“I think it’s really cool that the whole thing is laid out so that we’re all featured one weekend without overlap,” Fey added. “It’s a vision long in coming. There are so many art groups up here so it’s kind of a big task to all do something without stepping on each other’s toes.”
What: Fall for the Arts celebration
When: Today through Sunday
Where: Summit County towns including Breckenridge, Frisco, Keystone, Dillon and Silverthorne
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