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Arts & Life

Stories from KUNC, NPR & others on Life, Religion, Arts, Culture, Movies, Books, Theater, Entertainment & more...

Courtesy Colorado Symphony

In this time of social distancing, when your job relies on getting 80 people in the same room, things can be difficult.

“We had a team meeting once we all realized we couldn’t get the ensemble together to perform,” said Tony Pierce, chief artistic officer for the Colorado Symphony. “Because you know, that’s what an orchestra does, we put on live concerts, and when you can’t have audiences or even get the 80 musicians in the Colorado Symphony in one place, we knew we’d have to get creative.”


The movie theaters are closed, but some film distributors, working with theaters, have come up with a temporary fix. There are now new movies available online, and viewers can access them through theater websites, which means that a share of the streaming price goes to the theaters. I hope it doesn’t become a habit, because seeing a movie in a dark theater with a bunch of strangers is still the best. But this new system will have to do for a while.

Courtesy Bob Spillman

In times of distress, a quote from Mr. Rogers often comes up: "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'"

In a recurring segment, KUNC is collecting stories of local "helpers," people who are going above and beyond to aid others during this time of crisis.

Billy Barr

“The snow’s going sideways, it’s swirling,” said Billy Barr, from the abandoned silver mine he lives in almost 10,000 feet up in the Rocky Mountains.

We’re all social distancing these days, and it’s unclear when exactly that will end. But Barr has been doing this for almost 50 years. He’s the only full-time resident of Gothic, Colorado. 

“I'm the mayor and chief of police,” he said. “I hold elections every year but I don't tell anybody when they are, so it works out really well.”

Olle Jonsson/CC BY-SA 2.0

We are all being smart -- laying low, avoiding crowds, especially indoors, washing our hands. All of that. So, over the next few weeks, I’ll make some suggestions for good films to watch from the safety and comfort of home. I’m not going to suggest stuff that most everyone knows. You don’t need me or the radio to tell you about the Jurassic Park films, Batman, The Incredibles or anything like that. These are films you may not know, but that I think may surprise and delight.

With the need for social distancing, most events are canceled for the foreseeable future and artists ranging from musicians to dancers are losing jobs. That has some looking for creative ways to make ends meet.

Jackie Hai / KUNC

During this unprecedented time, finding coping mechanisms for anxiety, stress and isolation will be critical. You can go for a run, write in a journal — or enjoy some good-natured humor.

That last one can be tough in the midst of a global pandemic, but critical, said Peter McGraw, director of the University of Colorado Boulder's Humor Research Lab, or HuRL.

Photos courtesy of the Denver Art Museum

In its upcoming exhibition, "Natural Forces: Winslow Homer and Frederic Remington," the Denver Art Museum looks at how the two American artists were alike and different. It also focuses on each artist's time as a war correspondent, and how that influenced their later works.

Music Box Films

And Then We Danced is something of a mess, but at times it’s a gorgeous mess. It opens with archival shots of traditional dancing in the country of Georgia, and for the rest of the film you can’t get the sight of the muscular, intricate dancing and the music out of your head.

History is full of famous art heists. In 1911, the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre. The Scream was stolen, twice, in 1994 and 2004.

Those works were ultimately recovered, but in some other cases, there's more to the story.

In KUNC's four-part series, "Stolen," arts reporter Stacy Nick looks at an almost 100-year-old mystery in Fort Collins, the time a lifted cartoon of a flatulent unicorn made headlines, the repatriation of Native American artifacts and how a vandalized artwork in Loveland ended up bringing people together.