After listening to poet Richard Blanco speak, I want to run outside and embrace the moon. My mind is alive and my soul inspired. I want to relish in the joys of humanity and seek the extraordinary in the ordinary (as Blanco, the inaugural poet selected to recite at President Barack Obama’s second inauguration, so eloquently puts it). Who knew I might like poetry? I wonder, When can I get my next fix?
Turns out that we have a number of mind-provoking and heart-pricking opportunities to hear nationally known storytellers, artists and speakers here in the Springs. Whether looking for creative inspiration or leadership aspiration, you’ll find plenty to engage your mind and heart. Sign up for email updates or bookmark the series below that pique your interest.
Colorado College Visiting Writer Series
The English Department at CC has brought more than 225 established and emerging authors to town since its inception. This fall (Sept. 11−Dec. 10), they will host eight authors, including several listed below. All are free and open to the public.
Location: Colorado College (Gaylord Hall, Celeste Theater)
Sept. 27: Diane Seuss, Pulitzer Prize poetry finalist
Oct. 2: Helen Thorpe, award-winning journalist
Nov. 8: Esther G. Belin, award-winning Diné (Navajo) poet and multimedia artist
Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College
Though known mostly for the galleries, art classes and regional theater productions, the FAC occasionally hosts “An Evening With…” that brings in a nationally known comedian, actor or artist. FAC members receive a discount on tickets.
Location: Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College
Nov. 1: Paula Poundstone, comedian and author
Converge Lecture Series
Be inspired by some of the top award-winning authors and poets of our day. Richer than a TED talk, the goal of this series is to spark meaningful conversations on moral beauty. Tickets available about two months out; premier tickets include a post-talk Q&A with the speaker over dessert and coffee.
Location: The Pinery at the Hill
Nov. 4: Edwidge Danticat, Haitian-American author
National Character & Leadership Symposium
This annual winter symposium, Feb. 21-22, 2019, at the Air Force Academy brings in distinguished scholars, world-class athletes, corporate executives as well as military leaders to discuss good leadership and moral character. Next year’s theme is Leadership, Teamwork and Organizational Management. Open to the public. Speaker sessions are free but require advance registration; meal and symposium dinner packages are available for a fee.
Location: U.S. Air Force Academy
Oct. 1: Registration opens.
St. Anselm Society
A project of a network of churches in Colorado, this group hosts faith-based lectures and workshops to inspire imagination and strengthen tomorrow’s great artists.
Oct. 14: Andrew Lazo, internationally recognized authority on the life and writings of C.S. Lewis, lectures on Lewis’ book Till We Have Faces. At Glen Eyrie or Facebook Live streaming (often free for society members).
The Story Project
You may have heard The Story Project on KRCC radio. Why not catch it live? This is casual true storytelling without a script, and it takes place on the second Friday of each month. If you’re brave, join the storyteller lineup. Entrance fee $5.
Location: Sunwater Spa
Oct. 12: Storytellers Richard Marold, Charlie Ammen, Nori Rost, Mindy Nichols
Nov. 9: Storytellers TBD
A variety of series at the Ent Center for the Arts features intriguing lectures and discussions with local and nationally-known artists, performers, creators and leaders.
Location: Ent Center for the Arts
Oct. 2: Chit Chat: Empathy & Bread featuring UCCS Anthropology faculty Kimbra Smith and David McInnis, owner of Nightingale Bread at Lincoln Center in Colorado Springs
Oct. 21: Prologue: Raisin, Lysistrata, Gender & the Theatre gathers a panel led by Public Theater Producer Stephanie Ybarra to discuss women in arts leadership, modes of community outreach, and diversity in the theater.
Nov. 27: Visiting Artists and Critics Series featuring Dani and Sheilah Restack, who present their collaborative video and multimedia performance work.
Keep an Eye On…
City Center Series
This program of the Downtown Partnership brings in nationally renowned experts to discuss urbanism, innovation, placemaking and design. Buy tickets for individual speakers or for the entire series.
Location: Colorado College
Upcoming: Register for a preview evening Nov. 13 at The Warehouse with Chris Liedel, CEO of the U.S. Olympic Museum, and hear the announcement of series events happening January through April.
UCCS Significant Speaker Event
Once a year, UCCS brings in a well-known actor, speaker or author for a public lecture. Past speakers have included actress Diane Guerrero, elite athlete Gabbrielle Douglas, actor Levar Burton and Bill Nye the Science Guy.
Location: ENT Center for the Arts
Upcoming: The guest for 2019 will be announced this fall.