Stacy Nick

Arts, Culture & Music Reporter

Despite being KUNC's resident arts, culture and music expert, I have to admit I couldn't carry a tune in a bucket with a handle. However, I have a deep appreciation for those who do have musical talent, as well as anyone who dances, acts, paints, or otherwise utilizes the creative process.

That's why I've been covering the arts in Colorado for almost two decades. My first big interview was Eagles bassist Randy Meisner and his mom about his induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. I love finding out the backstory behind why artists do what they do and getting to see the process up close. At heart, I'm just a fan.

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Stacy Nick / KUNC

Fort Collins artist Haley Hasler didn’t set out to focus on self-portraits.

“It really started as a practical decision, where I needed a model, and as a young art student I had an available body in myself and the mirror,” said Hasler while walking around her latest exhibit, “Haley Hasler,” at the Museum of Art Fort Collins. “My work might start with just a little idea, like I’m going to have the female character. I don’t think of it as me. I do think of it as just a female character.”

Courtesy of Amanda Huner

Choir students at Rocky Mountain High School knew, when you were in Barbara Lueck’s class, you were with family.

“We called her ‘Mama Lu’ for a reason,” said Doug Usher, a 2000 Rocky graduate. “She was there for you inside and outside the classroom and you could go to her anytime with anything and she would be there, she would listen. She embodies that spirit of what we all want teachers to be.”

So when her former students found out the beloved choir director had cancer, they knew there was only one thing to do.

Courtesy Denver Zoo

Time is running out to see polar bears at the Denver Zoo -- at least for a while.

This fall the zoo’s two resident bears -- Cranbeary and Lee -- are being sent to other zoos in the hope that they will produce offspring, said Brian Aucone, the zoo’s senior vice president for animal sciences.

Stacy Nick / KUNC

For Meow Wolf CEO Vince Kadlubek, being a responsible addition to Denver and its arts community was important from the beginning. It was the reason Meow Wolf chose the location that they did, one that was surrounded by Interstate 25, Elitch Gardens, Pepsi Center, Broncos Stadium at Mile High and not much else.

“You can stand at our site and look around and you don’t see any houses (…) and so that felt better to us,” Kadlubek said during the unveiling of the Santa Fe-based arts collaborative’s corporate social responsibility plan for its new Denver venue.

Courtesy of Colorado Shoe School

Dan Huling and Annabel Reader aren’t your typical couple. For almost two decades Huling has been juggling chainsaws as part of the vaudeville troupe the Handsome Little Devils. Reader is a costume designer and part-time stilt walker.

They were looking for a way to slow down and stay closer to their Bellvue home. But Reader said they didn’t want to lose their artistic edge.

“We’re both creatives," she said. "We both need to make to feel sane.”

Then, on a trip back to her hometown in New Zealand, Reader learned about a shoe-making school. It seemed like a perfect fit.

Courtesy of Bas Bleu Theatre

The song “Somewhere That’s Green” from the musical “Little Shop of Horrors” is one of Fort Collins actor Jonathan Farwell’s favorites. It was a standard part of his wife, Deb Note-Farwell's, repertoire whenever she was invited to sing.

“And every time I heard it, I cried,” Jonathan said. “So that’s really what happens to me now. I don’t know if worse is the word or maybe better -- to feel what it feels like to miss her that much.”

Courtesy Denver Zoo

Sometimes beauty is in the aye-aye of the beholder.

A rare aye-aye has arrived at the Denver Zoo. The nocturnal lemur, named Tonks, was born August 8.

Known for their distinct look, the animals feature beady eyes, rodent-like teeth and skeletal hands with hooked claws. Native to remote parts of Madagascar, there are only 24 aye-ayes in U.S. zoos, and an unknown number living in the wild.

While Tonks is now healthy, zoo officials said they were concerned at first.

Ashley Jefcoat / KUNC

This summer, real estate agents James Carlson and Erin Spradlin have been taking tourists around the streets of Denver. But it’s not hot properties they’re taking them to see.

The husband-and-wife team recently started the Denver Graffiti Tour, showcasing some of the biggest murals and best street artists in the city, after taking a similar tour in Bogota, Columbia.

“We got to meet locals in a way that we wouldn’t normally have,” Spradlin said. “We got to see a neighborhood we otherwise wouldn’t have. And we got to hear about the history and the politics of that neighborhood through some amazing art.”

Flickr/Creative Commons

It started as an off-the-cuff Tweet to the Colorado Rockies: “How many retweets for you to buy an organ and let me be the Coors Field organist next season?”

Denver music producer -- and Rockies fan -- Collin Ingram didn’t really expect an answer from the Major League Baseball club, but he got one.

“5,280,000.”

Photo by Patrick Houdek

For more than a decade, a typical “work day” for Anthony Kovacs meant spending time on stage with loud guitars and drums, singing into a microphone as the lead vocalist for the Chicago punk band Shot Baker.

Even when he wasn’t on stage, Kovacs said his daily life was pretty noisy.

“When I wasn’t on tour I was working in music venues as a door guy or whatever I was doing, so I was exposed to loud quite a bit,” he said. “And at some point, I noticed that my hearing wasn’t as sharp as it once was, and it actually started scaring me into wearing hearing protection.”

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