Has it already been more than a month that we've been self-quarantining? One thing's for sure—Roaring Fork Valley arts organizations, nonprofits, and businesses have sprung into action, presenting many of their planned exhibits and events online and coming up with novel ways to keep us entertained and engaged.
1. Aspen Words Literary Prize Ceremony, Thursday, April 16. Every year, Aspen Words awards a $35,000 prize to an author who addresses a contemporary issue with social impact. Five finalists are announced in February, with an awards ceremony in April. Before, you’d have had to book a ticket to New York to attend a reception at the Morgan Library. Now you just need to tune in via your browser or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Bonus: the awards celebration is now a day-long event. From 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Mountain time), some of the prize judges will interview each of the five finalists. At 2 p.m., Aspen Words Executive Director Adrienne Brodeur and Aspen Institute President Dan Porterfield will discuss the important of literature right now. And at 4 p.m., the winner will be announced. After that, it’ll be high time to break out a book.
2. Anderson Ranch Arts Center’s Virtual Thinker Thursday, April 16, 4 p.m. This winter the Ranch launched a fast-paced public program featuring local creatives on the third Thursday of each month: Eight participants present 15 images that they've selected, then speak to each image for 15 seconds. For April, the session moves online via Zoom (register in advance to receive the meeting invite), as artists Wendy Babcox, Ed Kashi, Joshua McFadden, Esther Nooner, Zakriya Rabani, Meg Reilly, John Seybold, and Benjamin Timpson—all connected to the Ranch whether through teaching or studying—share their stories.
3. Aspen Art Museum Young Curators virtual reception, Saturday, April 18, 3 p.m. As the Young Curators of the Roaring Fork present its 15th annual exhibition of art from local high school students, the show has required some additional creativity. Titled What We Are Made Of, the exhibit features 24 works selected from almost 90 submissions and will be displayed online through May 3, with the opening reception taking place on Zoom (RSVP beforehand for the meeting invite). Seven high-schoolers from Aspen to Rifle participated in the Young Curator six-month internship program, learning about the museum’s operations while developing critical-thinking skills and leadership traits. The resultant show that they curated explores themes of perseverance and growth. Learn more about their experience and process during AAM’s new weekly Slow.Look.Live program on Instagram Live, Friday, April 17, at 4 p.m.
4. Jimmy’s Virtual Tasting Room, Saturday, April 18, 4 p.m. Jimmy’s restaurant has started offering virtual tastings on Saturdays. Last week it was mezcal, this week it’s tequila. Jimmy himself will lead you through the characteristics and nuances of four different types of the favorite spirit. Listen in for $20 (register beforehand). Or play along with your own tasting kit from Jimmy’s, which includes a 2-ounce pour of each tequila, as well as a sample-size margarita ($55; order online for local pickup or delivery). Plus, your sipping will help staffers—all sales and tips go to the restaurant’s employee relief fund.
5. The Farm Collaborative’s Earth Day 2020 Adventures in Place. Leading up to April 22, Aspen’s Farm Collaborative presents a week of daily family-oriented activities to celebrate our natural world and Earth Day’s 50th anniversary. The first day, for example, include a backyard scavenger hunt and starting a week-long “Sit Spot” challenge. Check the website (or sign up for the newsletter) to receive each day’s activities, which will range from movement to cooking to planting and more.