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Coming Attractions

RMCAD students contribute to White House Christmas

FKJ, Santa at Red Rocks, and other activities for the week


President’s Park, the 77-acre park surrounding the White House, spends the holidays full of 56 trees representing each U.S. state, territory, and Washington, D.C., as part of the America Celebrates display.

All the trees are decorated by representatives from the source location, and for this year’s Colorado tree, students and faculty from the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design contributed the ornaments.

“We had contributions from all nine of our departments, and several from our Animation and Game Art department,” said Sean Brown, chair of the Animation and Game Art department. “Some of the entries were combinations from students and instructors together, and others were created by individual students or faculty.”

The trees are part of the 95th annual National Christmas Tree Lighting display, and will be on display through Jan. 1. The tree lighting happened on Dec. 4 and was broadcasted on the Hallmark Channel.

In addition to Brown, RMCAD students Maya Dite-Shepard, LaVanna Holland, Christopher Jackson, Avery Lamb, Shania Ortegon, Erin Simenson, Gabriella Vagnoli, Justin Van Gend and Esther Yi created ornaments for the display.

“I made a mini replica of Red Rocks,” Brown said. “Some of our students incorporated a columbine, and another recreated one of our amazing Colorado sunsets.”

Students and staff used a variety of mediums and methods when making their ornaments, including sculpture, painting and 3-D printing technology.

Presented by the National Park Service and National Park Foundation, the National Christmas Tree Lighting first started on Christmas Eve in 1923, when President Calvin Coolidge lit a Christmas tree in front of 3,000 visitors.

“It is a great honor for our school to be chosen to participate in this event on behalf of the state of Colorado,” said Chris Spohn, president of RMCAD.

“Our campus holds so much talent, and we are excited to showcase the ornaments that our students and faculty members have created for the America Celebrates display,” Spohn continued.

Music for the soul at the Ogden

French multi-instrumentalist FKJ’s debut album, “French Kiwi Juice,” was released in March of this year, and has quickly become one of my favorite albums of 2017. It’s an enchanting blend of electronic, R&B, funk and world music, and sounds great at a party, or just coming through your headphones.

At 9 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 14, FKJ will be swinging by The Ogden Theatre, 935 E. Colfax Ave.

If his live show is anything like his album, audiences are in for a blissed-out experience. Tickets are still available, and can be purchased at www.ogdentheatre.com.

Santa Claus on the Rocks

There are opportunities all over town to meet Santa Claus, and make sure he knows what your children want for Christmas. But it’s hard to top seeing the jolly old elf at the country’s best music venue.

Families can have Brunch with Santa from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 17 at Red Rocks Amphitheater, 18300 W. Alameda Parkway.

In addition to photo ops with Santa, there will be holiday games and crafts for the children, a made-to-order omelet station and waffle and hot chocolate bars, as well as a specialty children’s buffet. Children can eat free if they bring a gift for a child in need.

Reservations are required, and the event costs $34.99 for adults and $13.99 for children.

Visit www.redrocksonline.com for information and reservations.

Making handmade ornaments in the Furnace

Furnace Glassworks is one of Lakewood’s many creative hidden gems, and has built up quite the reputation over the years for its intricate and detailed work.

For the holidays, the studio, 11354 W. 13th Ave. Suite 6, is hosting a Make Your Own Ornament Extravaganza from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 17.

The owners of Furnace will help guests select the colors they like, apply the color to the molten glass, shape the bubble and assist with adding the hook to hang it on a tree. There will also be pre-made ornaments and other items made by Furnace for sale, and 10 percent of net sales on products and workshop fees will be donated to creativity and arts programming at Brown Elementary and The Boys School of Denver, part of the Denver Public Schools system.

The event is free to watch and costs $35 to make an ornament. For more information, visit www.furnaceglassworks.com/make-your-own-ornament-workshop.html.

A Christmas miracle at Su Teatro

For those looking for a story of faith during the holidays, Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center brings the pageantry of a small hill called Tepeyacatl, where 57-year-old Juan Diego has a vision of the Virgin Mary.

“The Miracle at Tepeyac” runs at the performing arts center, 721 Santa Fe Drive, through Dec. 23.

The play calls audiences to question what it means to serve a higher purpose and ponder how they can help other people. The music will move audiences, the message will inspire them and it’s a show that will stick with audiences.

Go to www.suteatro.org for the schedule and tickets.


Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. A community editor with Colorado Community Media, he can be reached creader@coloradocommunitymedia.com.


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