Zach Russell, Where The Flowers Meet The Dew

For seven years in Nashville, Russell studied how fellow writers and performers were approaching their craft, even spending a stint on the road as Tyler Childers’ merchandise manager. Getting a firsthand look at precisely what it takes to chase down greatness, Russell believed he could achieve it as well. But ultimately, taking a breather from Nashville brought clarity—and lots of songs—to the East Tennessee-based artist, and got the ball rolling on what would become Russell’s debut full-length album, Where The Flowers Meet The Dew.

Boosting Colorado’s Outdoor Industry Impact Fund

Today, the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office (OREC) of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) announced 24 recipients of the Outdoor Recreation Industry Impact Fund (ORIIF). These grants aim to assist outdoor recreation businesses and nonprofits in hiring and keeping over 100 full-time and part-time employees.

Marc Broussard’s Chart Topping S.O.S. 4: Blues for Your Soul Keeps the Blues Alive

Marc Broussard’s fourth volume in S.O.S. philanthropic album series is out now. S.O.S. 4: Blues for Your Soul has blues and soul classics, plus one Broussard original. Upon debut, it premiered at the top of the Billboard Blues Albums Chart in its first week. The new record also reigned at #1 on the iTunes Blues Chart and splashed across genres debuting at #8 on the Americana/Folk Album Chart and a slew of other charts: #31 Independent Albums, #37 Current Rock Albums and #38 Current digital albums Joe Bonamassa and Josh Smith bring their expertise and passion for music to the table as the producers, and other guests, Roddie Romero, Bobby Junior, JJ Grey, Eric Krasno, and Calvin Turner contribute to the efforts. 

Dawes’ Album: Good Luck with Whatever – A Timeless and Authentic Musical Journey

Taylor Goldsmith, the lead singer of the folk-rock band Dawes, is passionate about creating authentic and timeless music that resonates with his fans. However, in a world where success is often measured by chart-topping hits and commercial popularity, Taylor and his bandmates have taken a different approach, focusing on building a legacy of albums and shows that will stand the test of time. The band’s “Good Luck with Whatever” album is a testament to this philosophy.

Programs for youth..everywhere

Youth on Record (YOR) recognizes that education alone can not solve systemic injustice, nor can it alone liberate youth. Art is a powerful tool, but it also cannot bear the sole responsibility of creating more equitable communities. Still, education and art, when integrated under the right framework, are powerful tools for liberation and equity.

The Lilac Hour in Fort Collins

Zoe Berman grew up in Simsbury, Conn., but calls Denver home. Zoe is a singer-songwriter who plays a mix of soul, jazz, and Americana music. Zoe wrote her new release, “Lilac Hour,” on a bike ride through the foothills (over by Reservoir Ridge) when she lived in Fort Collins.

This song will ultimately be part of a seven-song EP released in 2021 entitled “Freezing Heat,” a project Zoe is working on at Third & James Studios in Denver.

Liz Lawrence

Lizigns, also known as Liz Lawrence, has been designing since she was a kid but got most of or formal training at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where she majored in art. Chattanooga was close to her home in Nashville, TN, where she was born and raised. Liz is a robust and talented designer who lives in Colorado Springs, CO. When she discovered graphic design, she unearthed her genuine gift and deepest passion, but it wasn’t easy for her to accomplish this, she faced many barriers as a Black Female in the south. Her views were not accepted and she learned a lot from simple self-preservation.   

“My favorite aspect of design is being able to bring someone’s vision to life. Having someone reach out to you because someone either referred them or they are simply a fan of your work is such a great feeling,” says Liz. “Someone is trusting you to help bring an idea into a digital space so they too can grow and share with others.”

But as much talent and passion as she has for her craft, she wasn’t able to pursue a pure Graphic Design degree. When Liz was a sophomore, she did not pass her review. It wasn’t for the lack of trying. She saw peers who were not as good as she, get into the program. She was asked to change her designs to fit into a mold that she did not feel comfortable doing, frankly. “It was already difficult being the only Black female in my classes. I always had to explain myself more for class critiques than my peers because of their lack of wanting to understand and viewing others’ life perspectives,” Liz says.”I had other Black peers, but they ended up changing their major due to bad experiences in the art department. I made sure to stay true to myself and push through because art and graphic design are most definitely my passion and purpose.”    

Liz took every opportunity to learn and grow as a designer, crafting her own educational journey. Lizigns designed even if the administration did not like it. She enrolled in all the design classes she could. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in fine arts with a minor in business and a concentration in design. “Going through things makes you a better person, and it feels good knowing that even though I didn’t get accepted in the graphic design program back in college, I am still a graphic designer then and now,” Liz says. “Hard work and patience are definitely keys to life. Just because someone says you can’t do something doesn’t mean you can’t still pursue something you are truly passionate about.”

Liz’s passion grew beyond designing visuals; she dove into fashion design through thrifting and repurposing her finds. Liz thrifted with her dad and dabbled with her biz a bit in college. “I originally started off just reselling, making customs, and having my own Pop Up Shops around campus and local events. As years passed and the vintage market grew, I knew I needed to find my niche when it came to selling vintage clothing,” says Liz. “My niche when it comes to reselling vintage is Wearable Art. I give thrift store finds a new life by repurposing and adding my artwork and designs to them.” Liz graduated and joined Americorps for a year. She visited Colorado on a birthday trip to celebrate her and her boyfriend’s special day. Lizigns transferred with Americorps to live in Colorado Springs and work in Aurora. She lived her dream, and her boyfriend could pursue his, Cannabis cultivation and cannabis culinary arts.

Lizigns just launched Been Thrifty Vintage Mystery Boxes for Vinyl, Kids clothing, and Adult clothing. It is easy to join on her website, fill out a survey of your styles and tastes, and get a box thrifted from Liz. Liz also designs patches, “Been Black Been Proud 2018” and “Black is Beautiful” in 2016/2017. “I created the patches to express how I feel as a Black person. I am always seen as a Black person first, then a Black female. I am Black 365, and I am proud to be, and I embrace it every day!” Liz says.

You can visit Lizign’s website, join her Patreon, or visit her in-person shops in Colorado Springs at Chapels Hills Mall and Citadel Mall. Starting Feb, 1. Liz was the featured artist for the month with her Black is Beautiful and Black Lives Matter Designs on the back covers.

“Never stop learning, and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there!” Liz says. “If you have an idea, do it! Who cares if it has been done before. You are you, and no one else can be you and bring what you can to the table.” 

What is the most important thing you think that our state and our community could do to educate and support the Black community right now? 

“SUPPORT!!!! It’s crazy the number of people who have reached out or even bought things from me since the Black Lives Matter Movement this past summer. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good thing, but it’s a bad thing like a double-sided sword. With how the world is showing its true colors, everyone can and needs to do their part, but it needs to be genuine and not just for a season.” 

Liz says: Before reaching out to a black person or a person of color, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Why are you reaching out to them? Is it just because you feel like you need to save face? Is it because you know of an opportunity they wouldn’t normally get or know or about?
  2. Why haven’t you reached out before now? Why now?
  3. How can we make this space more inclusive? 
  4. How can I listen and create better opportunities? 
  5. How can I nurture and continue this new relationship? 








Soundcloud Playlist:

Start Where You Stand, Support The Cultural Enrichment Center

Jamal Skinner, founder and Executive Director of FoCo Cultural Enrichment Center asks, “Initially, I challenge the community. 170,000 people are living in this community. Probably point zero-zero-2% of that are Black teenagers. So my idea is, can we find 1% of 170,000 people who are willing to contribute $5 a month?”

Little Zurich: An Open-Air Holiday Market in Fort Collins

The Little Zurich is an ethereal open air holiday market with warm fires roaring, and hundreds of twinkling lights adorning the four Swiss wooden vendor huts built by the owner, Todd Simmons and local legend Phil Benstein, with support from volunteers/regulars of the Wolverine Farm Letterpress & Publick House. Little Zurich is every Thursday-Saturday 4 pm-8 pm and Sundays from 12 pm-4 pm from now through the end of the year.

Stand like an Oak with Compassion and Strength

“Music can be a great equalizer…. bringing folks together across the boundaries of country, language, ideals, religions, rage, gender, politics, and everything else that can separate us. I believe, and have felt in the music that I love, a deepening of my own spirit when in musical spaces. A certain levity as well. Some could call it spiritual. Others may call it celebratory. Either way, art calls us into a very sacred space… outside of our heads and our to do lists. From that space, so many things can be built and reimagined. We need artists at the table of policy and design and education. Artists bring the charisma and magnetism that the world is drawn to. Without that, where is the intrigue?”

Snakes & Saints: What We Decide to Carry and Hold Onto

“We live in a world of snakes and saints. It’s hard to tell the difference these days” sings Treva Blomquist on a brand new song called “Strong”. The singer-songwriter hails from Nashville TN and just released an album called Snakes & Saints. “Navigating life in this world is not easy,” says Treva. “At the end of the day, the only thing I have control over is my own actions. Who will I choose to be? What are the ideas I will let carry and guide me? Will my voice and actions match my heart? I hope so.”

Make Believe at the Drive-in

“​Make Believe ​ is whatever your wildest imagination can dream up. It’s an unwavering commitment to that dream in order to make it reality,” said TGR co-founder Steve Jones. “Ultimately, it has been in the works for 25 years. Realizing all-time conditions in almost every location this past season, ​Make Believe ​showcases some of the most progressive athletes and riding on the planet. We are pumped to kick off winter with innovative worldwide screenings at locations such as Drive Ins, Outdoor Pop-up Theaters, private screenings, and more.”