ArtReach 8th Annual Dine & D'Art Fundraiser


Thanks to hosts Kuni Lexus of Greenwood Village, the 8th Annual ArtReach Dine & D’art held Friday, April 7 was a huge success in generating funds for the ArtReach mission of sharing visual and performing arts with youth, seniors and underserved Denver populations.

The mission of ArtReach is to “change lives through the arts” by providing access to arts and cultural experiences for underserved and at-risk people of all ages.

Executive Director Karla Johnson-Grimes and her team organized an exciting signature event featuring artworks donated by two dozen generous local Colorado artists. The auctioneer for the evening was Libby Pollack of The Auction Divas who inspired many donations for ArtReach programs including this year’s Summer Camp arts programs.

This year’s event featured various singers and belly dancers who performed individually and together as part of the evening entertainment. During the cocktail reception guests reviewed various artworks donated by local artists and then are given a limited time to select their favorite piece, including drawings, paintings, mixed media pieces and sometimes jewelry and sculptures.

Among the artists featured this year are: Julio Alejandro, Diana Andersen, Jonathan Applegate, Susan Bell, Christine Blackburn, Lynn Burnes, J. Michael Carr, D. Todd Clough, Lindsey Dechant, Connie Dines, Amy Dixon, Michael J. Dowling, Dan Ericson, Deb Mueller Hruza, Jack Estensoro, Julie Federico, Michelle Follett, Sherry Helmstaedter, Bronwen Jones, Lynda Knowles, Andrea Mallen, Ivadell Marie, Kelle Moder, Louise Nett, Kay Ray, Lyndsey Rosenberg, Chris Schranck, and Bruce Zander.

Johnson-Grimes thanked this year’s sponsors including: Jay’s Valet Parking, Peggy Brannick/Equity-Colorado Real Estate, Jackalope Artisan Fair, Prestige Estate Services, Frame de Art II, Design-A-Palooza, Source Four Interior Elements and  RayCreative Digital Design.

For more than four decades the non-profit ArtReach has provided art programming through its ticketing system to provide arts/cultural access to several underserved communities including senior citizens,  after-school art classes for Denver Public Schools as well as Camp ArtReach summer programs for kids. Each year ArtReach serves an opportunity for 35,000 individuals and families in the Denver metro community to experience Visual and Performing Arts.
For more information on how to volunteer, donate and support ArtReach please visit the web site at, call 303-4333-2882, ext. 752 or email Karla directly at





Lone Tree Art Center 2016 Gala Opening Night


The 2016 season of the Lone Tree Art Center opened in style with cocktails, dinner, an auction, and plenty of dancing on October 1st 2016.

The Citizens of Lone Tree authorized the construction of a new Lone Tree Arts Center in 2008. The new Lone Tree Arts Center (LTAC) is a professional, innovative and environmentally green venue designed by Westlake Reed Leskosky, a leading national designer of performing arts centers. Included in the Arts Center are a grand entry hall event and gallery space; a 500 seat main stage theater with orchestra and balcony seating, state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems, an orchestra pit, fly space and expertly designed acoustics; and an adaptable 225 seat event hall for intimate performances, events and meetings that opens through a glass wall to a 350 seat outdoor terrace theater. The Arts Center was built on a multi-million dollar parcel of land donated by the developers of the RidgeGate community south of Lincoln Avenue in Lone Tree.

The Lone Tree Arts Center is a professional, innovative and environmentally friendly, LEED Certified venue. Owned and operated by the City of Lone Tree, LTAC has created a dynamic model for the performing arts in both presenting and producing performances for all ages. In addition to producing their own theatrical shows each year, LTAC collaborates with premier Colorado performing arts companies to present their productions in Lone Tree. An intimate venue with every seat closer than 60 feet from the stage, LTAC has become a prime location for intimate concerts with headline performers as well as international and national touring artists. LTAC is also an important meeting and event rental site for corporate, civic, private, and community arts groups.

The Gala marks the beginning of the very exciting 2016 – 2017 calendar of events. Log on to for a schedule and information.






Colorado Symphony Ball: Battle of the Bands Rematch


The Battle of the Bands returned at the 2016 Colorado Symphony Ball, but actually everybody won on Saturday night.

The crowd continued to carry forth the tradition of the “Bach to Rock” theme, sporting t-shirts and bow ties, gowns and leather, and just plain zany outfits sprinkled in.

Libby Anschutz, with her band Tracksuit Wedding, was one of the contenders, along with serving as co-chair with bandmate and longtime friend Ali Pashel Frankfurt. The DaVita Blues All Stars gave them a run for the votes, with Tracksuit Wedding prevailing after lots of jammin’ and rockin’ and crowd-pleasing numbers from both, playing with members of the CSO.

Mike and Michelle Fries were recognized as the recipients of the 2016 Margaret Phipps Award.

In the end, approximately $1 million was raised for Colorado Symphony programs, which continue to be more and more creative and passionate under the steady leadership of Board Co-Chairs Jerry and Mary Rossick Kern. The Symphony performed over 150 times in 2015 with an expanded and diversified repertoire to appeal to people of all ages and many different tastes. Educational programs were expanded, with activities for a wide array of participants from preschool to senior citizens.

To learn more about the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, log on to

Holiday Spirit: Beautiful Music, Gaudy Sweaters and Ice Cold Beer

Nothing makes a holiday statement like a festive sweater adorned with real ornaments, smiling reindeers, and 3-D garland. Colorado Symphony Orchestra, at its holiday Beethoven and Brews, along with its event partner Buffalo Exchange helped guests get in the spirit in a big way. The store, specializing in vintage and used clothing, graciously brought 80 decked out sweaters to the party for guests who just couldn’t put their hands on one at home. Melissa Acosta walked in wearing a striking green and black silk blouse. She looked nice, normal . . . but that wasn’t the aim of this gathering.

“Oh, I feel sexy,” she cooed, stroking her newly acquired sweater with its giant faux pine branch and cones.

“It’s ravishing,” chuckled Day Lapira in reference to her over-the-top holiday number. She even gained a pal for the party as a smiling stuffed animal frog with arms outstretched ready for a hug was sewn onto the front of her garment.

Renegade Brewing Company proved the ideal beer partner for the occasion. The company aims for “an offensively delicious brew.” Renegade is for “those who do the don’ts and don’t the dos.” In short, it was the perfect pairing to the outlandish sweaters.

It was fitting that the event was held at the VFW Post #1, the oldest post in the country. The CSO offers a significantly discounted rate to active military personnel and veterans. The compelling array of artwork in the facility is from veterans throughout the country.

For birthday girl Tanya Hass the evening was the perfect present.

“It’s a brilliant combination,” exclaimed an elated Ms. Hass. “It’s great to hear symphony music while drinking beer.” The more than 150 others in attendance shared her sentiment.

Launched in 2013, Beethoven and Brews features small ensembles of Colorado Symphony musicians performing in casual, non-traditional venues, including art galleries and local breweries.

“This season the events will be in three different venues and will involve a variety of breweries. We want to bring community out, so we are getting out into the community,” said CSO Event Planner Christine Devereaux.

Patrons attending Beethoven and Brews supports the mission of the Colorado Symphony: Creating extraordinary musical experiences that transport today’s listener, from the best of the past to the edge of the future.

One of the leading orchestras in the United States, the Colorado Symphony performs more than 150 concerts annually at Boettcher Concert Hall in downtown Denver and across Colorado. Led by internationally renowned Music Director Andrew Litton, the Colorado Symphony is home to eighty full-time musicians, representing more than a dozen nations, and regularly welcomes the most celebrated artists from the world of symphonic music and beyond. Every season, the Colorado Symphony serves more than 250,000 people from all walks of life, performing a range of musical styles, from traditional to contemporary. Recognized as an incubator of innovation, creativity, and excellence, the Colorado Symphony continually expands its reach through education, outreach, and programming. The Colorado Symphony partners with the state’s leading musical artists, cultural organizations, corporations, foundations, sports teams, and individuals to expose diverse audiences to the transformative power of music. To learn more, visit





Mi Casa 2nd Annual Women's Empowerment Luncheon


Recognizing and acknowledging Latina founders and program alumni were one of the themes at this year’s Mi Casa Women’s Empowerment Fund Luncheon. 7NEWS Anchor Anne Trujillo, a former Mi Casa board member, welcomed more than 150 guests for the 2nd Annual Women’s Empowerment Luncheon at Mi Casa offices in Denver’s historic Baker neighborhood.

Executive Director Christine Marquez-Hudson reviewed the history, achievements and challenges during her six-year tenure and announced a new 3-year $690,000 grant from the Kellogg Foundation to integrate business and career training programs.

Marquez-Hudson recognized early founders and directors including Carol Hildebrand and Ermalinda Monge. Among others in attendance were: Veronica Barela, Patricia Barela Rivera, Angelena Gleason, Roweena Naidoo, and Mary Ricketson, Teri Chavez, Jeri Barajas, Martha Rubi Byers, Angela Montoya Bricmont and Mi Casa board members Benita Duran, Amy Kahn, Debbie Trujillo.

Keynote speaker Kim M. Rivera shared her immigrant journey from Latin American orphan to global Fortune 500 corporate executive.

Needless to say, it wasn’t easy. Without friends or family with intimate knowledge of higher education scholarships, grants and student loans, she had to figure things out for herself. Arriving fresh off an airplane in North Carolina the wide-eyed freshman asked the cab driver to drop her off at Duke University. The driver scoffed and explained that the 9,000-acre campus was comprised of more than 200 buildings.

Thanks to family support and many helpful mentors along the way she navigated the campus, class work, and workload to compete with the best of the best, eventually graduating from Duke and Harvard Law School.

Today, Rivera serves as the Chief Legal Officer for DaVita Healthcare Partners, and has remembered the men and women throughout her life who helped her through the undergrad and law school maze of competing priorities. Rivera told the audience to learn quickly how things work, set goals, and strive to “pay it forward” and lend others a helping hand when possible.

Mi Casa works to advance the economic success of Latino and working families by expanding opportunities for educational, professional and entrepreneurial advancement. For more information on Mi Casa visit




Colorado Symphony Ball 2014


They say that music is the universal language, and it spoke loud and clear Saturday night at the Colorado Symphony Ball at the Fillmore Auditorium.

The “Bach to Rock” theme returned with an added “battle of the bands” component that gleeful audience members got to vote on and dance to. While the contest between The Moderators and the DaVita Blues All Stars was competetive, it provided exciting entertainment that drew an unprecedented level of audience buy-in.

And buy-in they did, not just in twist and shouts, but in crucial monetary support for the Colorado Symphony. This year’s soiree was the most successful in the Ball’s 21-year history (early reports put the fundraising north of $1 million). And by no stretch of the imagination could this evening be considered boring.

There was Governor Hickenlooper (after receiving the Margaret Phipps Award) donning a wig and singing on stage with the Moderators. There was Mike Fries going out and buying a 2014 Mustang and raffling it off. There was Mary Rossick Kern bidding $5,000 in the live auction just to have her husband Jerry NOT wear the tin foil-like jacket he arrived in. And the jacket matched the color of Jerry’s Mercedes SL600, which he offered up for auction after pampering it for the last 15 years.

This isn’t your grandmother’s symphony. Well, maybe it is, but it’s hers along with the rest of the family, because the Colorado Symphony is an exciting, dynamic package for all ages and musical tastes.

We can’t wait to see what happens next year, because this one will be tough to top!


Denver Film Society Oscar Party "Hollywood Hustle"


This year more than 200 guests attended the Denver Film Society’s live Oscar viewing party held at the Sie FilmCenter for the 86th Academy Awards held on March 2, 2014 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Denver film lovers joined an estimated 45 million viewers worldwide for Hollywood’s most famous awards event.

This year’s live Oscar party titled “Hollywood Hustle” celebrated the year’s best films and, most importantly, served as the signature fundraising event benefiting the year-round programs of the nonprofit Denver Film Society.

The Society’s location at 2510 East Colfax Avenue has been home for two years. And, thanks to a $2.5 million donation from the Anna and John J. Sie Foundation, the DFS was able to buy the building and theaters, located across the street from East High School and next to The Tattered Cover Book Store.

The annual signature event promotes and raises funds for the non-profit Society’s year-round activities, programs, and educational events including more than 500 films shown per year. In addition, the Society sponsors Film on the Rocks, the Starz Denver Film Festival, various award ceremonies and special screenings year-round.

Chilly weather kept guests indoors most of the evening although a red carpet outside led the way to what is called Denver’s longest-running Oscars viewing party for the Academy Awards. The party’s salute to the Oscar-nominated 1970s-era movie “American Hustle,” invited many guests to wear aviator glasses, wide lapels, big hair and ascots.

Food and drinks kept the party alive with large HDTV screens found all around the bar area, otherwise know as Henderson’s Lounge, named after


long-time organizer and Film Festival co-founder Ron Henderson. Guests relied on tablets and smartphones to bid on silent auctions and were given an opportunity to vote their own predictions for Oscar winners for the evening.

According to DFS Festival Director Britta Erikson, ticket sales account for only half of the organization’s operating expenses, so individual and corporate donations, grants and other support are critical for future success. Among this year’s events is the Stanley Film Festival to be held April 24-27 at the historic Stanley Hotel in Estes Park. And, this summer, the Denver Film Society’s Young Filmmakers Workshops provide filmmaking camps for teens, ages 12-18 with introductory summer classes starting in June.

For more information visit

Mi Casa Taste and Tango Brazil


Lindo maravilhosa! Beautiful, marvelous! is a popular expression for the ever-passionate Brazilians who typically know how to throw a party like there’s no tomorrow. So on Saturday, January 25, Mi Casa Resource Center celebrated Taste and Tango Brazil 2014, its third annual fundraiser, auction, dinner and wine tasting event hosted by the Warwick Hotel.

As part of the Brazilian theme, the annual event brought out samba dancers, and a Brazilian-themed dinner and musical tribute to the late Brazilian singer/songwriter Antonio Carlos Jobim. Nearly 200 guests enjoyed an intimate evening featuring a cocktail reception, silent auction and live entertainment as part of a long-term partnership with the Warwick Hotel and Mi Casa, a 38-year-old non-profit established to advance the economic prosperity of Latino families.

Emcee Jessica Alvarado introduced board members and entertainment for the evening while Mi Casa Vice President Richard Gonzales described Mi Casa’s latest achievements in several service areas. Among the Mi Casa board members in attendance were Board President Benita Duran of the DPS Office of Community Engagement; Luis Ventoza of PCL Construction; Inez Davis of URS Energy & Construction; Ana Cabrera of CNN; and Patricia Leipiani of The Idea Marketing. Several other long-time supporters attending were Pat “Gabby Gourmet” Miller, Juana Bordas, Teri Chavez, Bertha Lynn, Susana Cordova, Renny Fagan, Gloria Padilla de Garcia, Pauline Nuñez, Daniel Luna, Anna Alejo, Tim Sandos, and others from the academic, small business, construction, news media, banking, corporate and food industries.

Live entertainment featured a live samba performance by En Fuego Productions and the guitarist and bandleader Manuel Molina and his band. Special thanks went to Warwick Hotel Catering Director Nancy Litvak and to Randolph’s Restaurant & Bar Executive Chef Jesper Johnson.

Silent auction items featured some 50 baskets including packages for artists, special events, attractions, and some of Denver’s most popular restaurants and even a trip to Rio de Janiero. And, just in time for the Denver Broncos Super Bowl appearance, was an autographed No. 18 Peyton Manning jersey and a painting by Denver artist Daniel Luna titled “The Generations,” a piece that reflects the organization’s mission of family prosperity. The gourmet highlight of the evening went to Chef Daniel Asher of Linger and Root Down who presented a mouthwatering Brazilian-inspired 5-course feast.

Under the leadership of Mi Casa Executive Director Christine Marquez-Hudson Mi Casa has introduced and expanded programs, fostered partnerships and enhanced its efforts for community impact. In the past five years programs have been expanded to serve more clients throughout the Denver metro region including numerous success stories, represented by special guest speaker Latasha Bell, a graduate of the Mi Casa business program.

Founded in 1976, Mi Casa is among Colorado’s oldest Latino-serving nonprofit organizations. Most recently the non-profit has launched TalentSource, a staffing agency with diverse talent for contract, contract-to-hire and direct placement employment opportunities. For more information visit

Museum After Dark Takes Guests "Across the Universe"


When the sun goes down and the Denver Museum of Nature & Science revs up for its annual Museum After Dark fundraiser, guests know they’re in for a unique and fun-filled experience—hors d’oeuvres, live music and dancing in the Atrium, dinner among the multitude of galleries and a great silent auction—even an additional After Dark Soiree. But with this year’s “Across the Universe” theme, the evening was definitely a stellar affair. You might say it was “out of this world.”

On Friday, Nov. 8, DMNS planners pulled out all the stops to take guests on a planets-and-constellations journey without leaving the museum. Aerial performers and a super-sized telescope greeted them at the museum’s west entrance, and “Star Wars” Imperial Stormtroopers, music and additional futuristic characters guided the way through the venue’s permanent Space Odyssey area into a lively reception for 600. No speeches or formal program at this event—instead, guests were treated to a silent auction of earthly delights (chaired by Lisa Levin Appel), plus universally tasty food and intergalactic décor. String-focused Spinphony fired up the reception with lively music as the crowd socialized and prepared for a delicious sit-down dinner served among the museum’s galleries. Event chairs John and Ginny Freyer, and DMNS President and CEO George Sparks graciously visited with guests throughout the evening.

(l to r) DMNS President and CEO George Sparks, event chairs Ginny and John Freyer, and Bridget Coughlin, DMNS VP of strategic partnerships and programs and adjunct curator

(l to r) DMNS President and CEO George Sparks, event chairs Ginny and John Freyer, and Bridget Coughlin, DMNS VP of strategic partnerships and programs and adjunct curator

After the last bite was savored, guests were invited to continue the evening at the 3rd Annual Young Professionals “After Dark Soiree” featuring tidbits, beverages and desserts, and dancing to The Fab Four and Digital Pocket till 1 a.m. Tickets were available for $50 per person for those who didn’t attend Museum After Dark.

The event is geared toward students and education—100 percent of the funds raised go toward providing educational programming that seeks to inspire young minds to think, learn and grow through science. Donations also support activities such as scholarships, onsite classes, labs and tours, and teacher professional development—“helping ensure that every child in our community has access to world-class science opportunities” writes a DMNS rep. For more information about the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, please visit

CSO's Beethoven and Brews a Tasty Duet


Whether guests were hardcore classical music-lovers or just in it for the beer, Beethoven and Brews was a tasty evening for all at the Magnolia Hotel on Friday, Sept. 27.The Colorado Symphony Orchestra’s inaugural beer sampling-plus successfully featured the stellar talents of pianist Michael Tilley and violinist John Hilton, flavored with beers from Wynkoop Brewing Company.

More than 100 music-and-hops fans were treated to a professional performance in a relaxed atmosphere, featuring Beethoven’s Sonata No. 10 in G Major, Op. 96, also known as “The Cockcrow.” Hilton served as genial host, telling the crowd that a subito (meaning suddenly or immediately) moment in the music was good for a drink, and everyone was delighted that the piece contained plenty of opportunities for imbibing.

(l to r): Jackson Stevens, Michael Tilley and John Hilton

(l to r): Jackson Stevens, Michael Tilley and John Hilton

Event coordinator Jackson Stevens, CSO’s individual giving associate and instrumental in the creation of the event, introduced the musicians and encouraged the crowd to enjoy the brews, as well as the food provided by the Magnolia. Guests were able to meet the musicians post-performance, as people lingered in the convivial atmosphere. Tickets are available for upcoming Friday-evening Beethoven and Brews events scheduled on Nov. 8, and also in 2014 on Feb. 7 and May 9. (For complete information, go to:

The region’s only full-time professional orchestra, the Colorado Symphony embraces a tradition of musical excellence by presenting a diverse array of symphonic performances throughout the year. Originally established in 1989 as the successor to the Denver Symphony, the Colorado Symphony thrives on a spirit of collaboration among musicians, staff, trustees and the community. The Colorado Symphony performs in Boettcher Concert Hall and On Location throughout the state and region utilizing small ensembles to the full-sized orchestra. Programs include expanded education and outreach initiatives, as well as Masterworks, Pops, Holiday, Family, Inside the Score and Symphony on the Rocks series that have attracted an ever increasing level of concertgoers. By presenting music that is both timeless and inspiring, while taking risks with new musical collaborations and interactive concerts, the Colorado Symphony is committed to reaching global audiences with the use of state-of-the-art digital media via live streaming and concert downloads. To learn more about donation opportunities, please visit: