In Brief: Aspen Words residencies; Community School musical; Aspen Public Radio awards |

In Brief: Aspen Words residencies; Community School musical; Aspen Public Radio awards

Aspen Words writers in residence beginning in May

As part of its Writers in Residence program, Aspen Words, in partnership with the Catto Shaw Foundation, will host five writers in Woody Creek starting in May.

The resident authors will read and discuss their work at free community events in May through October at venues throughout the Roaring Fork Valley.

This year’s residents are Jean Chen Ho, author of ”Fiona and Jane,” named a Best Book of the Year by NPR and one of TIME’s 100 Must-Read Books of 2022; Gina Balibrera, author of the forthcoming novel, “The Volcano Daughters,” from Pantheon Books; Brittany Penner, an indigenous Métis writer and family physician working on her first memoir; Nadia Davids, author of “An Imperfect Blessing,” named one of This is Africa’s best African novels and featured on Lonely Planet’s 2020 reading list; and Miles W. Griffis, an award-winning independent journalist based in Los Angeles. The residents’ bios are available here:

Since its inception in 2013, the Writers in Residence program has enabled authors to work on a project-in-progress for three weeks “in a beautiful, rural setting. Free from obligations and surrounded by the inspiration that abounds in the Roaring Fork Valley, residents are able to focus on their work,” according to the organization.

“Our family believes hospitality is  a verb, and that the exchange of diverse views is essential to human evolution and potential,” said Isa Catto Shaw, who hosts and sponsors the Woody Creek residency with her husband Daniel Shaw. “Aspen Words brings countless perspectives to this valley and keeps us all listening in an increasingly polarized world. To stories. To excellent journalism. To sublime poetry. Hosting this residency with Aspen Words is a classic example of how giving ultimately rewards the giver. Monocultures are lethal to the human spirit, so sharing our small farm to a broad range of writers not only enriches our family, but also the community at large with each free authors’ talk.” 

The schedule:

  • Jean Chen Ho, in conversation with Mitzi Rapkin on Wednesday, May 24, at 6:30 p.m. at TACAW in Basalt.
  • Gina Balibrera, author talk details to be announced.
  • Brittany Penner on Thursday, Aug. 17, at 6:30 p.m. at Village Smithy in Carbondale.
  • Nadia Davids, author talk at a Roaring Fork Valley school.
  • Miles W. Griffis on Tuesday, Oct. 10, at 6:30 p.m. at TACAW in Basalt

For more information, visit

Community School musical at Wheeler this week

The Aspen Community School will be performing their annual spring musical Hop on the Magic School Bus on Thursday and Friday at the Wheeler Opera House. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the show begins at 7 each night. 

The play is based on the 1990s animated television series. Follow Miss Frizzle and her class as they adventure through historical scientific discoveries. Explore Leonardo da Vinci’s artistic and observational curiosity, Galileo’s and Robert Hooke’s discoveries through lenses, Jennifer Doudna’s recent discoveries of CRISPR technology, paleontology discoveries at Ziegler Reservoir in Snowmass, the progression of fossil fuels, and the Wright Brothers’ first flight.

This annual production returns in its 36th production on the Wheeler stage. The original stage production is the culmination of a month’s work combining the creative process of teachers, parents, and students.

Tickets are $18 adult, $12 children 13 + under.