CMC in Breckenridge’s Speaker Series to show “I Am Able”

Inspirational Rwandan artist, cyclist, and humanitarian featured at CMC Speaker Series

Photo of 'I am ABLE" co-founder Frederick Ndabaramiye riding his bike.BRECKENRIDGE – The CMC Speaker Series partners with the Breckenridge Film Festival to bring a powerful documentary to campus June 4. Frederick Ndabaramiye, the co-founder of “I am Able”, witnessed and lived through one of the worst genocides in history in Rwanda when he was a young boy. Four years later, at age 15, he was on a bus that was taken over by Interahamwe rebels. After a gruesome beating, they demanded that Ndabaramiye kill all his fellow passengers. He refused, infuriating the rebels. After killing everyone in front of his eyes, the rebels took him into the forest, cut off his forearms with a dull machete and left him for dead.

Ndabaramiye was in a coma for six months, and remained in the hospital recovering for a year. Upon his release, it was very difficult for him to live with his anger and sadness, but he soon found hope at the Imbabazi Orphanage where he started sharing his story and realized he was not alone. Determined to be independent again, the first thing he relearned was how to smile. Thereafter, he also relearned how to feed, bathe and dress himself. No matter how many attempts each task took, Ndabaramiye never gave up.

Today Ndabaramiye is an artist, an internationally-known speaker, and the co-founder and director of the Ubumwe Community Center for the disabled in Gisenyi, Rwanda and co-founder of the I am Able project. The I am Able disabled cycling team rides through rural African villages to spread their message that disability is not an inability and that we are all able. By sharing their stories along with encouragement, support and training, they hope to inspire a sense of self-worth and independence for all, raising awareness that all beings are valuable members of society.

In collaboration with the Colorado Mountain College Speaker Series and Breckenridge Film Festival, Ndabaramiye is inviting the public to hear his inspiring story of forgiveness, determination, courage and love on June 4 from 7-9 p.m. The evening will begin with a talk about Ndabaramiye’s life and the short film “I am Able,” that recently screened at the Telluride Mountainfilm festival), a Q & A, and a meet and greet. He will also have his book for sale along with some of his paintings.

The evening is being held at Colorado Mountain College in Breckenridge at the Eileen and Paul Finkel Auditorium, 107 Denison Placer Road, and is free and open to the public. Call Heidi Kunzek at 453-6757 ext. 2614 or go to for more information. To learn more about I am Able, visit

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CMC Isaacson School photography professor wins award in international Rotarian photo contest

Colorado Mountain College’s Isaacson School for New Media professor Klaus Kocher wins honorable mention

Klaus Kocher's photo of Costa Rican schoolchildren

Entries to the Rotarian Magazine’s international photography contest, The Best Shot, came from around the world. The contest was judged by esteemed New York Times Photography Director Kathy Ryan,  and Isaacson School for New Media photography professor Klaus Kocher’s image of children in San Jose, Costa Rica won an honorable mention. To read Ryan’s commentary on Kocher’s powerful black and white image, click here.

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CMC ArtShare Gallery Looks Awesome!!!


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2015 Portfolio Show


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Words of wisdom brought Hazel Miller to Colorado

By Mike McKibbin

The Hazel MIller Band, with Miller and Rich Lamb, bass, Dana Marsh, piano, Dave Camp, sax and flute, and Brian Mikulich, drums will perform free concerts at CMC in Rifle and Leadville April 24 and 25, respectively.

Mom’s advice paid off for Hazel Miller.

It led the now-popular singer to leave her home as a young adult in Louisville, Ky., and eventually travel the world, performing jazz, gospel, blues and R&B.

“When I was 16, she saw me perform in a show and said, ‘You’re good at this. Go, get out of Louisville and see the world,’” Miller recalled. “She wanted me to branch out. So I did.”

While she didn’t quite make it to her destination of Los Angeles, California’s loss was Colorado’s gain, as Miller made Denver her home base for more than three decades.

Miller and her band will perform a free concert at Colorado Mountain College’s Rifle campus at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 24. This concert is sponsored by Chevron, with lodging provided by WPX Energy. An after-concert reception will be provided by Grand River Health. Hazel Miller and her band will perform in the Clough Auditorium at the Rifle campus, 3695 Airport Road.

They will also perform a free concert at the Climax Molybdenum Leadership Center, 901 South Highway 24, at Colorado Mountain College’s Leadville campus at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 25. This concert is sponsored by Colorado Mountain College ArtShare.

Meeting people highlights Miller’s travels

“Traveling is the best kind of education, too,” Miller said. “You meet so many different people at their levels. And one thing I always see is how we’re all more alike than we are different.”

The band has toured North America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Central America and has appeared in countless festivals, concerts and fundraisers. Last winter, Miller toured the U.S. with Big Head Todd and the Monsters, marking the 19th year the two bands have performed together.

The summer of 2014 featured festival appearances in Grand Junction, Del Norte, Pagosa Springs, Frisco, Breckenridge, Erie, Boulder and Telluride, not to mention Mississippi, New Mexico and Wyoming. The band has appeared many times at the historic Red Rocks Amphitheater as the headliner and as an opening act.

“I never get tired of traveling in Colorado,” Miller said.

Adding to music that people know

The music Miller and her band plan to perform will combine five different “jazz experiences,” she said, including swing, bebop and smooth jazz, along with the blues and gospel.

“We like to make the music enjoyable,” she said. “We took a song written by Stevie Nicks (of Fleetwood Mac), called ‘Dreams,’ and added a smooth jazz tempo with a layer of continental jazz feel. But people still recognize the song, because it’s Fleetwood Mac.”

Miller said the band also put a “funky dance beat” to Lee Ann Womack’s country hit, “I Hope You Dance.”

“We think it’s all right to like every kind of music because it all blends together in the end,” she said. “It’s all music. We hope they like it enough to get up and dance. If we don’t move them, it’s very disappointing.”

Colorado audiences are usually quite active, though.

“I think it’s that Western pioneer spirit, and the fact that Colorado loves all kinds of music,” she said. “It’s almost like they’re waiting for you and they never let you down. So when they jump up and dance, that’s our greatest accomplishment.”

For more information about the Hazel Miller Band in concert, call 970-947-8367. Find more about the vocalist and her band at

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1907 French farce gets 21st century update, lands on the CMC stage

Poster for CMC Theatre production "A Flea in Her Ear"Playwright Georges Feydeau wrote “A Flea in Her Ear” more than 100 years ago. Now, modern-day playwright David Ives has updated this intentionally ridiculous bedroom farce. Sopris Theatre Company at Colorado Mountain College, formerly CMC Theatre, is presenting it in a five-performance run in April.

Directed by Brad Moore, the play takes the audience to Paris in 1900. A jealous wife suspects her husband of cheating on her, and tries setting him up to catch him in the act. What follows is a dizzying array of mistaken identities, secret passages and rotating beds – and all at a rendezvous spot named the Frisky Puss Hotel.

Curtain is 7 p.m. on April 10-11 and 16-18, and 2 p.m. on April 12 and 19, at the New Space Theatre at Colorado Mountain College in Glenwood Springs-Spring Valley, 3000 County Road 114.

Tickets are $15 for adults, and $10 for seniors, students and CMC faculty and staff, and are available by calling 947-8177 or going to or

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Poetry Slam goes multilingual this year

March 9, 2015  

Flyer for CMC Breckenridge's annual Poetry SlamA beloved Summit County literary tradition is less than a month away, so it’s time for local poets to prepare for Colorado Mountain College’s eighth annual Poetry Slam on March 26.

The slam gives local poets a venue to present their works (either memorized or read) to fellow poetry aficionados. The rules are minimal:
– The poem must be your own.
– The poem must be three minutes or less in length.
– Presenting poets are not allowed any props except for a folder.
– Poems must be presented solo – no group pieces or music.

This year, poems in Spanish are encouraged – or any language, though all poems must be translated to English. And if you’d like to attend a writing lab prior to the slam, two workshops, from 2-4 p.m. on Mondays at Colorado Mountain College in Breckenridge and Wednesdays at Colorado Mountain College in Dillon, are available.

The college’s eighth annual Poetry Slam is on March 26 at 7 p.m. in the Eileen and Paul Finkel Auditorium, Colorado Mountain College in Breckenridge, 107 Denison Placer Road. The event is free and open to the public.

For more information contact Joyce Mosher or Mark Palz at the college at 453-6757 or go to

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Photography Students Exhibit 2015

Flyer for photo show.Professional Photography Students’ Show

Opening reception Friday, March 6, from 6 to 8pm

The CMC ArtShare Gallery in downtown Glenwood Springs is hosting an exhibit of wide-ranging photographic works by Colorado Mountain College professional photography students March 6-April 28.

Because the college’s professional photography program encourages its students to develop their own ways of seeing, the show’s common denominator is the high quality of the photographic explorations in each image.

The photos range from award winners in the College Photographer of the Year competition; to journalistic, commercial and art prints; to unusual portraits and reflections on the human spirit. The college’s professional photography program is under the umbrella of CMC’s Isaacson School for New Media.

The exhibit will be on display through April 28 at the CMC ArtShare Gallery at 802 Grand Ave. in Glenwood Springs. An opening reception is set for Friday, March 6, from 6 to 8 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public.

The CMC ArtShare Gallery winter hours are weekdays 8 a.m.-5 p.m., and Saturdays 10 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information, call 970-947-8367.

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Empty Bowls soon to be filled at Grand River’s Meals on Wheels event

CMC, Grand River Health form partnership for fundraising on March 11

empty bowls potter

Two entities in the Rifle community are preparing to raise funds while providing students opportunities to use their artistic and culinary skills for a worthy cause.

Organizers are busy getting ready for the March for Meals “Empty Bowls” Lunch event on March 11 at the Grand River Café at Grand River Health. The fundraiser – which provides a handcrafted bowl to keep, soup to fill it, bread and beverages in exchange for a $20 donation – raises money for the Grand River Meals on Wheels program. It’s being coordinated by staff from Grand River Health, and faculty and students from Colorado Mountain College in Rifle (see breakout box).

The idea for the collaboration started with Michelle McCurdy, an adjunct ceramics instructor at Colorado Mountain College in Rifle. Now, she and fellow ceramics faculty and students are busy making 100 ceramic bowls that will soon be filled with hot soup.

“I mentioned it, and it has taken on a life of its own,” said McCurdy. “Now, we’re busy creating beautiful bowls for the event.”

The hot soup will be made in Grand River Health’s kitchen by nine local students from Rifle and Coal Ridge high schools. The students are in CMC’s concurrent enrollment culinary arts program. As part of their internships at Grand River Hospital’s kitchen, on March 11 they’ll work in teams with two of Grand River’s chefs and CMC chef instructor for the dual enrollment class. The students receive both high school and college credit for their culinary arts studies and internships at Grand River Health.

“I love how CMC ceramics students are making the bowls and CMC culinary arts students are making the soups,” said Kaaren Peck, the director of volunteer services and Meals on Wheels at Grand River Health. “It seems to perfectly bring together many seemingly disconnected pieces.”

Although the fundraiser is a locally focused effort, it’s based on national and international models. Across the country and around the world, Meals on Wheels and the Empty Bowls Project conduct ongoing events to raise money and bring awareness about hunger issues and provide funds to food distribution efforts.

What: March for Meals “Empty Bowls” Luncheon

A fundraising partnership with Colorado Mountain College-Rifle’s ceramics and culinary students for Grand River Meals on Wheels

When: 11:11 a.m. to 1:11 p.m. on March 11

Where: Grand River Café, 501 Airport Road, Rifle

How much: $20 includes a student-crafted ceramic bowl and soup lunch prepared by

Colorado Mountain College culinary arts students

Why: To raise money for Grand River Meals on Wheels, and to bring public awareness to those confronting hunger

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New CMC Exhibit at Glenwood Springs Library

Photojournalist, CMC instructor’s photo exhibit at Glenwood Springs Branch Library

"Pamela" by Colorado Mountain College instructor Klaus Kocher.

Photographs by noted photojournalist Klaus Kocher are on exhibit at the Glenwood Springs Branch Library beginning Feb. 24. An opening reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Feb. 26 at the library.

Kocher, who is on the faculty of the Isaacson School for New Media at Colorado Mountain College, teaches photo history, composition, wet darkroom and photojournalism. His photos reflect his international upbringing. Born in Santiago, Chile, to his Swiss father and Dominican mother, he has lived in the United States, Costa Rica, Honduras, Germany and Mexico.

The Glenwood Springs Branch Library is at 815 Cooper Ave. and is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call the library at 945-5958 or go to for more information.

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