In Brief: State of the Arts symposium; Carbondale all in with zero emissions; more bright lights for Ideas Festival |

In Brief: State of the Arts symposium; Carbondale all in with zero emissions; more bright lights for Ideas Festival

Roaring Fork Valley State of the Arts, May 2

Carbondale Arts will host a one-day symposium on May 2 at TACAW covering the role and impact of the arts in the Roaring Fork Valley.

This gathering will feature workshops, networking, and engagement opportunities with state-level and local partners about shared and potential opportunities and challenges we’re all facing.

Discussion topics will be focused on how the arts shape the social, economic, and physical well-being of the community.

During the event, participants will be able to hear from state-level partners, including Colorado Creative Industries, Colorado Business Committee for the Arts, as well as local experts in funding for non-profits, Latino engagement, and arts education.

Workshops and breakout sessions will give participants the opportunity to connect with peers on these topics. And it wouldn’t be a creative symposium without performances and a happy hour to close out the day.

Event organizer Amy Kimberly said, “The creative industries are the fifth-largest economy in
Colorado. In our valley, it is a major player in our economy from arts non-profits to festivals, galleries,
music venues, newspapers, marble mines, and more. It is time we gather and really begin some
deeper conversations on how we can support each other, where we need to advocate for the arts
and how to strengthen our presence as an economic force and vibrant denominator in this region.”

For more details and ticketing, visit

Carbondale becomes Colorado’s latest GoEV City

Carbondale adopted a GoEV City resolution this week, setting a public goal of achieving 100% zero-emission transportation by 2050. With transportation as a leading source of greenhouse-gas emissions in the state, the urgency of switching to electric vehicles has extended well beyond the Front Range. 

The city is the 13th in the state to pass such a resolution, joining other GoEV participants  Boulder County, Denver, city of Boulder, Summit County, city of Golden, city of Fort Collins, city of Longmont, town of Vail, town of Avon, and the town of Erie. The GoEV resolution includes all forms of transportation including school buses, municipal fleets, taxis/Ubers/Lyfts, as well as private vehicles. In total, about a quarter of the Colorado population lives in a GoEV locality. 

“Clean air is critical for our quality of life in Colorado, so we applaud leadership in Carbondale for recognizing the importance of zeroing out emissions from our vehicles, which is a leading source of air pollution and climate change,” said Alex Simon, public health advocate with CoPIRG. “Through the GoEV commitment, local governments are sending a powerful message to both business and residents that electric transportation is the future.” 

The GoEV City and County campaign is a statewide coalition effort by the Colorado Public Interest Research Group, Conservation Colorado, Clean Energy Economy for the Region, Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, and Sierra Club. For more information, visit

More luminaries joining the Aspen Ideas Festival

The Aspen Ideas Festival has announced another set of speakers for the event June 24-30:

  • Award-winning journalist Katie Couric in conversation with former world No. 1 tennis player Chris Evert.
  • Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University Eddie Glaude Jr. engaging with the country’s past and examining our collective American conscience.
  • Qian Julie Wang, civil-rights lawyer and bestselling author of Beautiful Country, on revisiting the terrain of our childhoods and finding salvation in reading.
  • Former journalist and founder of Ten Percent Happier Dan Harris leading a hands-on meditation workshop.
  • Kate Bowler, Duke Divinity School professor and bestselling author of Everything Happens for a Reason (and Other Lies I’ve Loved), on modern-day teachings of religious traditions and how we make spiritual meaning from life’s ups and downs.
  • Ravi Agrawal, editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy, unpacking the biggest questions in global affairs.
  • University of British Columbia professor Karen Bakker exploring how artificial intelligence can decode nonhuman communication.
  • Former governor of Arizona Doug Ducey assessing how to handle immigration
  • Angela Williams, CEO of United Way, on how non-profits are evolving to address pressing societal needs.

Public art project beside Wheeler

The city of Aspen and the Aspen Ideas Festival are partnering on a public art project dedicated to increasing pedestrian safety and engaging the community in public art.

The partners will work with a local artist and the community to install a temporary pavement mural next to the Wheeler Opera House on the opening weekend of the Aspen Ideas Festival on June 25, weather permitting. 

The city of Aspen’s Red Brick Center for the Arts is developing a Public Art Plan, which includes community engagement to invite residents to shape the new program, city officials said. This temporary street mural will serve as a pilot project and invite conversation around how art can be facilitated in public spaces.

Roaring Fork artist Chris Erickson will design the mural and advise on the installation.

This installation will take place across June 24-26. When the mural is being worked on, there will be traffic diversions. On June 25, community members are invited to come to the project site at the intersection of Sout Mill Street and Hyman Avenue and help paint the mural. 

City officials said this main day of installation will be a community celebration, offering ways to engage beyond the painting of the mural and will prioritize the involvement of the public in the installation of the piece. That week, there will also be a discussion open to the public on the role of public arts in community engagement as part of the Aspen Ideas Festival. For more information, visit

“The Aspen Ideas Festival is keen to integrate arts throughout our programming, and what appeals to us so much about this project is that it combines the remarkable expressiveness of art with a very real public need: safety on our streets.” said Kitty Boone, executive director of Aspen Ideas Festival. “This is a proven strategy in other communities: pairing artists’ work with issues of public safety on the ground. We thought it a great idea to try it here!”

“Creating Aspen’s first ever public art plan is an exciting opportunity for the community to join in shaping something visionary and expressive of Aspen.” said Sarah Roy, executive director of Red Brick Center for the Arts. “This project serves as an example of how public art can bring people together, offer new experiences, and add uniqueness to our shared spaces. We invite all to help create this street mural, learn about public art, and share their ideas for Aspen’s public art program.”

This project was inspired by Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Asphalt Arts Initiative, whose studies have shown an improvement in pedestrian safety from public art projects. A low-toxicity exterior paint will be used for this mural, and a non-slip aggregate will be applied to enhance pedestrian safety, officials said.

Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers boosted with grant

Local stewardship nonprofit Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers (RFOV) was recently awarded a portion of the Colorado State Outdoor Recreation Grant Program’s $1 million second review cycle. The Colorado State Outdoor Recreation Grant program is funded through the Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation Program from the Economic Development Administration using American Rescue Plan Act dollars.

Since launching the RFOV professional trail crew program in 2022, public land manager
partners have expressed increased interest in RFOV services, citing their own limited capacity
to address the backlog of maintenance and stewardship work driven by our growing population
and increased outdoor recreation usage, RFOV officials said.

This grant enables RFOV to expand the professional trail crew to five people and work with additional land manager partners. The potential economic impact of this work includes supporting tourism beyond snow sports, workforce development in the outdoor industry, and creating a pipeline for future employment, officials said.

The second recent grant comes from the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission State Trails
Grant specifically for wilderness stewardship on parts of the 25.7-mile Four-Pass Loop, one of
Colorado’s most visited backpacking routes in the striking Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness.
The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission is part of the Department of Natural Resources.
About RFOV

Founded in 1995, Carbondale-based Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers is a non-profit
organization whose mission is to create stewardship of public lands by engaging community in
education, restoration, and conservation projects.

Aspen to begin EV charging fee

Beginning May 1, the city of Aspen will begin charging a fee for the use of their Level 2 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. Users of Level 2 charging stations will be subject to a $0.25/ kWh charge. 

According to data from the Department of Motor Vehicles, the average number of EV registrations in Pitkin County has risen almost 30% each year since 2010. The costs associated with owning and installing EV charging infrastructure to accommodate these EVs are increasing. Cities and towns across the country are introducing policies to offset these costs, including increased electricity usage involved with EV charging. 

The update to the city of Aspen charging policy requires EV drivers to pay for a resource that they have previously received for free and is still a more inexpensive option compared to gasoline prices, according to city officials.   

Currently, there are three DCFC fast-charging stations in Aspen and six Level 2 charging stations. The DCFC fast-charging stations are currently subject to a $0.45/ kWh demand charge. The fast-charging stations are located near Aspen City Hall, in the Rio Grande Parking Garage, and across from the Rubey Park Transit Center. The Level 2 charging stations are currently located in the Rio Grande Parking Garage, Spring Street, and on Main and First Streets with more being added every year. Those charging stations operate on city of Aspen Electric, which is 100%-renewable energy.

The city of Aspen set targets for community greenhouse gas emissions reduction of 63% by 2030 and 100% (zero carbon) by 2050. As part of the plan to reach these goals, the city plans to install approximately 40 EV charging station plugs by 2026.

There are currently 450 EVs on the road in Pitkin County, which represents 2.37% of the market share and the numbers are increasing, officials said. Drivers will use the ChargePoint app or the kiosk near the charging station to pay for charging. 

For more information, visit

Poll shows Frisch, Boebert in a tie

A new Rocky Mountaineer poll released today and conducted by Global Strategy Group shows U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Silt, tied with Western Slope businessman Adam Frisch. Frisch launched his campaign in February following a narrow defeat of 546 votes in 2022 in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District. 

“While my campaign is pleased to see this new poll showing a tie with Boebert, we’re not surprised,” Frisch said. “In 2022, a coalition of Republicans, Democrats, and unaffiliated voters rejected Boebert’s extremism with their vote, putting country over party, and made this race the closest congressional contest in the country. We know we can defeat Rep. Boebert in 2024 because voters in this district are ready for Boebert’s circus to stop and to have a representative who focuses on the issues that matter to their families, their businesses, and their communities.”  

The poll found that she is tied with him 45%-45%, even though the district tilts toward Republicans on the generic ballot by 11 points. The poll also found that voters in the district believe Boebert isn’t focused on the issues that are important to them, like inflation and the economy, and is too focused on promoting herself and getting attention on social media. According to the poll, she’s viewed unfavorably by 50% of the district’s constituents.

Since launching his 2024 campaign in mid-February, Frisch has raised $1.7 million in the first 45 days of the campaign.