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Ever wonder what to do or what’s going on around town? Me too. That’s why I’ve created this easy cheat sheet for Denver Events running from July through October. You’ll find arts and culture, music and barbecues, pet-friendly gatherings and social soirees at your fingertips. Print it out, save it to your phone, grab your sunscreen, a blanket, a friend (furry or not), pack up the family or head out alone to any and all of these great events. They’ll remind you what makes living in Denver so spectacular!
Oh, and if you’d like to beat the heat looking at houses in Denver’s hot real estate market, we can do that too! I’m air-conditioned.

Denver Events July-Oct 2016 - TShaffer [219493]

amazing soulsAdmit it. This thought has crossed your mind, hasn’t it? You’ve probably even made a mental note to ask me, or worse… unsubscribe. So what makes me send you this monthly missive? The reasons are few, but they’re mighty.
1. Yes, I am in the business of helping people buy and sell homes and I’d like for you to think of me should that thought also cross your mind. Pretty crafty, huh?
2. To keep you up to date with the Denver real estate market, how it’s doing and where it’s headed. Like this little ditty from USA Today.
2. I believe that life is richer when experienced in community, and that a community is empowered by engagement.
3. I believe that real estate is all about story. Every home, every buyer, every seller, comes with a tale to tell, a story to reveal.
4. I have a knack for meeting interesting people who do really cool things and I want to share them with you.
And here comes the mighty…
5. Every month when I send out my newsy little newsletter, chock full o’ tips about home values and market trends, writing of the wonders of a swanky little art space, or the best place to take a burlesque dance class on a Sunday morning, you call me. You reach out via comment, Facebook, phone or email to let me know what you thought, ask me a question, or (best of all) set up some face-time. And I like that. A lot.

Building and deepening relationships, creating dialogue, drinking coffee… whatever I can do to help you put a little bump in your daily grind.

I ambled downtown to the Junction Box, the new Wonderbound studio, to check out the space, witness the alchemy and have a chat with the wizard himself. The doors wide open policy at this vibrant new studio is perhaps the defining quality of the Wonderbound company. Walkers, wanderers and wayfarers are welcome to watch as Garrett and his lithesome dancers spread their joy, leaping tirelessly from repetition to repetition, stretching for perfection. Rush hour traffic idles, a homeless neighbor stops mid-shuffle and sways dreamily to the music. It’s all part of the soundtrack of community.
One of only a handful of American choreographers to be constantly presenting new works, I sat down with Ammon post-rehearsal for their new show, A Gothic Folktale to talk tutu. (I love when he does that).
Garrett_Ammon_2
TS- So, Innovator… about this award.
GA- Oh my god, it’s humbling. I mean, I’ve had so many opportunities to meet and work with some amazing people. I’m just a part of something much bigger.
No false modesty here, when Garrett speaks his authenticity draws you into his world. His vision is keen, his voice is clear and the feeling is that of an artist at peace with passion.
TS- Being a Realtor, I have to ask. How have things changed in the new space?
GA- Oh, completely, it truly fits our identity; the sense of urgency that urbanism creates, it expands on our relationship with our audience, and the need to make dance accessible.
TS- Denver really responds to you, like you’re our dance company. Why do you think that is?
GA- Hmmn. That’s nice. I think part of it is about how your art engages the world, your personal world and the larger. So dance, movement, exists in relationship to space, to humanity, but it also pushes the internals. I feel really connected, not just to the concept of connectedness, but to the energy of that union which exists in community. It’s like you embrace it, and—
TS- You build relationships.
GA- Yes.
TS- So the Arts Innovation Award is kinda like the city hugging you back.
GA- It feels that way, yes.
TS- Why do you think you’ve succeeded in creating this kind of intimate relationship with Denver?
( a long pause.)
GA- Because we’re not afraid to fail. Because we work really, really hard. And because at the end of the day, we want the same thing as everyone else in this city: to be fulfilled, to do something we’re passionate about, to be able to make a living doing what we love.
He looks out the open door at the river of cars.
GA- Isn’t that what we all want?
TS- What do you want?
GA- I want to keep pushing myself, of course. I don’t want to do the same thing because it’s that thing, so there’s that part. If I can build and sustain this company so that its members can live, you know, buy a house and really make this a career, that would be a great success.
TS- I love that. Especially the ‘buying a house’ part.
(laughs)
The Mayors Awards for Excellence in Arts and Culture will be presented to the recipients on November 14 from 6:30-8:00 PM at the Studio Loft. The event is free and open to the public. http://artsandvenuesdenver.com/events-programs/mayors-awards/
A Gothic FolktaleThe magic of autumn burns golden in its fiery leaves, reflecting on Denver’s cultural scene as it springs back to life. While the rest of us spent the summer at the beach and the ballpark, Denver’s creative community has been crafting their 2013-14 offerings. A highlight for me is the launch of Wonderbound’s inaugural season as they leap to life with a new work called A Gothic Folktale. The magic in Artistic Director, Garrett Ammon’s, choreography is often born in collaboration with other carefully selected artists, this time Denver musician, Jesse Manley, and mentalist Professor Phelyx are the lucky partners in the sublime. The effect is more than just magical, with its haunting strains and evocative story, the show is mysterious, engaging and even soothing as you lilt away to another time and place. The Wonderbound website vows to invert my reality: it was definitely twisted at the Sunday show. I took my fourteen year old son (not always an easy thing to do) and even he was transfixed. We were discussing the performance, elements of dance, the music and illusion, and then he pops out with my favorite observation. He looked at the audience that Wonderbound brings together, mix of ages and styles, and says, “Mom, this is the most interesting looking group of people I’ve ever seen in one room. It’s like the all have a really good secret in life.” Which they do. Well done, Mr. Ammon.
A Gothic Folktale plays this weekend, October 26th & 27th at the Parker Arts and Cultural Center. Tickets available.

rsz_book_stack_2The dawn cracks, pouring indigo, gold and steaks of pink through my windows. I steal one more moment in the glorious dream as time floats and wafts and mingles with the smell of coffee. Suddenly the realization slaps me like a wet towel— GET UP!-and somewhat reluctantly I prepare to face, if not carpe, the diem. I’ve heard of those who rise in the darkness, bounding into their oatmeal and the day with a bright-eyed zest and a can-do attitude, and wondered… What’s with those guys?
The thing that brings us to our feet may vary but I’d bet the alarm clock isn’t the primary motivator. For some it’s routine obligation and the dubious joy which accompanies, for others it’s the spiritual practice of twisting yourself into a contemplative pretzel and for those crazy enough to do so, it’s the bristling thought of a five mile run on a freezing cold morning. Most of us find ourselves in a conflicted combination, making the bed and the best of it; we wake up, surrender our warm comforts and/or our sense of dread and heave those dogs onto the floor to hit the ground, if not the jogging trail, running.
The answer to your personal wake-up call may be private, but it is essential that you ask yourself the question.
The calendar turning the page on another year and we turn our collective thoughts to hope and new beginnings. “This year will be better” we tell ourselves as we create business plans and swear off the carbs, but what we’re really saying is “This is a good moment for me to DO better.” Doing better is most commonly connected to a personal vision of success, our proximity to it, and the perpetually moving goalpost. As a real estate agent working from home, the bells, alarms and time clocks that segment our days are set on silent scream. I set my own hours, create my own task list and my break room is often the laundry room, moving clothes from washer to dryer while negotiating the day via Bluetooth. No one will chastise me for being late or fire me for not showing up, but I don’t make money beating rugs the way I do beating the bushes. I muster some discipline, create order, time block and do that consistently for 325 days.
2013 starts today. Rather than welcome it with the lose-ten-pounds-double-my-sales-goals-and-be-nicer-to my-cat kind of resolutions, I look to the here and now before looking forward. How well do I really use my time? Not in some kind of crackpot, gotta get organized, type-A manifestation because I already do that, but if our lives are a string of moments, how many are pearls? I’m thinking I can do better, trim the fat, and slip in the right-brain stuff as I go along, rather than blocking out ‘creative time’ on my calendar. First let’s identify the fat. Pencils ready?
1. Write down all the things you’d like to do in 2013. (Go wild and without censor!)
2. Write down all the things you wanted to but didn’t do in 2012. (Go deeper.)
3. Breathe and wait until you get over feeling guilty for the length of #2.
4. Now… write down all of the things you did do that kept you from doing those things that you wanted to do in 2012.
5. Resolve to give up those things (or people). Think of it as freeing yourself up.
6. Do only what you want to this year, and I don’t mean playing Angry Birds— but do the things you know you want to do…right?
In other words STOP MESSING AROUND. (I tried to get this message to Congress but obviously they didn’t get it.)
Look at #1. Does it say “Dance with the Bolshoi Ballet?” (Why not?)
Now look at #2. Does it say take a dance class?
Hmmm. Is there anything on item number 4 that you’d gladly replace with Take a dance class… rearrange sock drawer, maybe?
If you go back to the top three items under each of the numbers, you’ll see what you want now and what you wanted when the year began. How close do they match? And then go to number 4 again and peruse the list of things you do to get what you want. I mean, that’s the list you’d make if you were going to make a list of things to do to get what you want, right? That’s what I thought.
The perception that there are doers in this world and do-nothings is just plain wrong. The do-nothings are doing something; maybe not what they should be but they are— playing computer solitaire for example, or playing the busy, busy, busy card. “I really want to work on my dreams, but who’s got the time?” because that card leaves you with lots of dreams and a very organized sock drawer. Time is not something you can manage like split ends, you’ve gotta give into it like a body surfer. How many times have you told yourself you’d do (or not do) something only to find you’re making the same to-do or not-to-do resolution for days, months, and years? This is where life slips away; in the space between the lines of lists made with good intention. Somewhere between the 2 a.m. worries and the 6 o’clock buzzer, your true motivation lies sleeping. The only way you’ll find it is to look for it. It’s probably hiding under what’s comfortable.
I’ve tried to resolve my way into world peace and my skinny jeans without much luck, and I couldn’t be any nicer to my cat, so this year I’ll keep it simple. Do more of what I really want to do and less of what I’m doing to avoid doing what I really want to do. Happy New Year.