News Column

More than 100 experiences to explore at What If festival

September 4, 2014

By Jen Mulson, The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.)

Sept. 04--reative collaboration is the key to the "What If ... Festival of Innovation and Imagination."

The fifth annual Imagination Celebration event will spread out over six city blocks around the Pikes Peak Center and Pioneers Museum on Saturday. Last year, more than 25,000 people attended. This year will be similar in scope, with about 100 "experiences" dreamed up by local organizations, businesses, groups and performing arts groups.

"What If ... Festival of Innovation and Imagination"

When: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday

Where: Six blocks around Pikes Peak Center, 190 S. Cascade Ave., including the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, 215 S. Tejon St., and Plaza of the Rockies, 111 S. Tejon St.

Admission: Free; whatif-festival.org.

Parking: More than 5,000 spaces available at nearby garages. Regular parking prices will be in effect. Street meters are also in effect.

performance lineup

The Color Run Stage

Corner of Sahwatch Street and Colorado Avenue

10:30 a.m.: Taiko Drummers

11 a.m.: Crystal and the Curious

Noon: Mistura Bela

1 p.m.: Tony Exum Jr.

2 p.m.: Charlie Milo Trio

3 p.m.: Surfin Djangos

Movement Stage

Outside the Pikes Peak Center, 190 S. Cascade Ave.

10 a.m.: Yoga

11 a.m.: "Mathtastic": Ormao Dance

Noon: Krithika Performing Arts

1 p.m.: Jamoral African dancing

2 p.m.: Parkour

3 p.m.: Martial arts: Family Karate Center

KRCC Stage

Northwest corner of the Pioneers Museum, 215 S. Tejon St.

10 a.m.: Ryan Flores

11 a.m.: Xanthe Alexis

Noon: Edith Makes a Paper Chain

1 p.m.: We Are Not a Glum Lot

2 p.m.: Millicent

3 p.m.: Moonhoney

Mobile Music Project

Southeast corner of the Pioneers Museum

10 a.m.: 6 Minutes Apart

11 a.m.: Steve Weeks

Noon: Alicia Archibald

1 p.m.: The Changing Colors

2 p.m.: John Wise and Company

3 p.m.: DIY: Open mic

The event is aimed at both kids and adults, allowing everybody to experiment, learn, play, make art and absorb performances (see list below). A food court and beer garden will also be offered.

The festival was created to celebrate all forms of creativity and to help spur the region to be even more inventive, says Deborah Thornton, executive director of Imagination Celebration, a nonprofit organization that provides arts programs for kids in the region.

"We've been told that an important step in economic development is that we need to break down some of our boundaries," Thornton says. "That's part of the point of the festival. How do we bring science, food, technology, arts of all kinds, inventions, entrepreneurs and do-it-yourselfers together to engage our community and to cross-pollinate?"

The usual favorites will be back, including the slingshot water balloon catapult and crime scene investigation how-to.

"Einstein said it best when he said play is the highest form of research," Thornton says. "Adults forget to play, so we don't label things as kids or adult activities. We're inviting people to be adventurous and curious and explore and play."

THREE COOL EXPERIENCES

-- ArcAttack -- The inventor Nikola Tesla, who lived in Colorado Springs from 1899-1900, is all the rage at the festival this year. ArcAttack is a group of scientist-engineer musicians from Austin, Texas, and they'll bring two giant singing Tesla coils for an educational concert. The coils throw out electrical arcs up to 12 feet long that sound like a synthesizer. The group also has a robotic drum kit. Details: 1 and 4:30 p.m., inside the Pikes Peak Center, $12-$20.05; 520-7469, tickets west.com.

Also featured: the Smokebrush Foundation for the Arts' Tesla Toaster, a pop-up traveling Tesla exhibit with different Tesla experiences inside. It will be located at the south end of Cascade Avenue.

-- The Color Run -- The festival is collaborating with the 5K run that douses runners with color powder made from food-grade cornstarch. It starts in America the Beautiful Park and finishes at the heart of the festival, where runners enter a 10-foot kaleidoscope that reflects the bright colors the runners wear. Details: 8 a.m., $40-$45; thecolorrun.com.

Afterward, runners and festival attendees can head to Pikes Peak Brewing Co.'s beer garden. An experience inside allows people to learn about hops, one of the basic ingredients in beer brewing.

-- Ormao Dance Company's bike ballet -- The local dance company will feature bicycles in its latest modern dance work. They'll engage with visitors and perform with people throughout the day at their booth on Cascade Avenue in front of Centennial Hall. They'll also perform at 11 a.m. on the Movement Stage.

"WHAT IF ...

FESTIVAL OF INNOVATION AND IMAGINATION"

When: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday

Where: Six blocks around Pikes Peak Center, 190 S. Cascade Ave., including the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, 215 S. Tejon St., and Plaza of the Rockies, 111 S. Tejon St.

Admission: Free; whatif-festival.org.

Road closures: Cascade Avenue and Tejon Street, from Colorado Avenue to Vermijo Street from 5 a.m.-6 p.m.

Parking: More than 5,000 spaces available at nearby garages. Regular parking prices will be in effect. Street meters are also in effect.

PERFORMANCE LINE-UP

The Color Run Stage

Corner of Sahwatch Street and Colorado Avenue

10:30 a.m.: Taiko Drummers

11 a.m.: Crystal and the Curious

Noon: Mistura Bela

1 p.m.: Tony Exum Jr.

2 p.m.: Charlie Milo Trio

3 p.m.: Surfin Djangos

Movement Stage

Outside the Pikes Peak Center, 190 S. Cascade Ave.

10 a.m.: Yoga

11 a.m.: "Mathtastic": Ormao Dance

Noon: Krithika Performing Arts

1 p.m.: Jamoral African dancing

2 p.m.: Parkour

3 p.m.: Martial arts: Family Karate Center

KRCC Stage

Northwest corner of the Pioneers Museum, 215 S. Tejon St.

10 a.m.: Ryan Flores

11 a.m.: Xanthe Alexis

Noon: Edith Makes a Paper Chain

1 p.m.: We Are Not a Glum Lot

2 p.m.: Millicent

3 p.m.: Moonhoney

Mobile Music Project

Southeast corner of the Pioneers Museum

10 a.m.: 6 Minutes Apart

11 a.m.: Steve Weeks

Noon: Alicia Archibald

1 p.m.: The Changing Colors

2 p.m.: John Wise and Company

3 p.m.: DIY: Open mic.

___

(c)2014 The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.)

Visit The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.) at www.gazette.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services


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Source: Gazette (Colorado Springs, CO)


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