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College Ave Mag


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Performing Arts On a Dime

Attached to the University Center of the Arts (UCA) is the Edna Rizley Griffin Concert Hall. Photo credit: Jacob Stewart

People often believe that the arts are something only to be enjoyed by someone of “elite” status. Someone who lives a life of luxurious, faux fur as they parade out of their Porsche and in through the doors of the Sydney Opera House. Many believe that only the elitists get to enjoy shows produced on Broadway ranging from Rent the Musical to Guys and Dolls.

This misconception often leads to local arts programs losing funds and eventually closing.

“It differs based on the community,” Grace Pomeleo said, a Colorado State University music education graduate student. “A lot of people don’t [see local theatre] because they don’t think local shows are good enough. Comparing Broadway and local shows is unrealistic, it doesn’t mean what we are doing is not worth it. They are just different.”

Pomeleo continued to emphasize the many fine art programs located around Fort Collins. “Midtown Arts Center is Broadway focused dinner theater performing musicals year round. There’s also Arias@Avo which utilizes the Avogadro’s number for opera singers to perform arias.”

In 2016, the Lincoln Center, located off Mulberry, brought the Broadway show Rent by Jonathan Larson to their stage. Tickets were as low as $20 for the show’s 20th anniversary.

Midtown Arts Center is located south on College on the corner of South Mason St. and Creger Drive. This venue is going to cost you a little more than the $20 performance of Rent at the Lincoln Center. However, you are not just paying for a high-class performance, you are also served an amazing dinner. Their menu ranges from surf and turf to butternut squash pasta with an array of appetizers and specialty drinks for patrons over 21 years old.

Pomeleo commented on Arias@Avo as a place to “grab a slice of pizza and listen to some opera.” A strange, but cheap mix that does not leave people too out of their comfort zone. Arias@Avo’s Facebook page describes the event as a “monthly casual classical vocal showcase featuring professional singers and emerging artists performing a variety of opera, art song, and musical theater selections.” There is no entrance fee, but they do ask for donations to help support the arts during the event which is held on the last Sunday of every month.

CSU students also have free access to all University Center of the Arts shows and performances. “I love the environment and the performances, and since it’s free for all CSU students it’s a really easy way to show your support,” Rena Matsuura said, a second-year health and exercise science major at CSU.

Performances such as Little Shop of Horrors and Noises Off have been featured on the black box stage with wondrous reviews. All for the easy, cheap price of $0 as a student.

Fine arts are not outrageously expensive as many believe. In fact, inexpensive, quality shows are can be found regardless of location. Keep your eyes peeled for local shows and upcoming events, because these are just a few cheap options.

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