Off the Hook Arts’ SummerFest 2018 examines climate change June 24 to July 20

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Off the Hook Arts, now in its seventh season, will take a deep and thoughtful look at climate change and its impact on the planet over the next month by bringing together music, visual arts and science in the form of concerts, lectures, films, art exhibitions and STEAM-based educational events for all ages.

With more than 30 events across four weeks, Off the Hook Arts (OtHA) SummerFest 2018 will host a wide variety of performances, lectures and classes. Every season OtHA presents music and visual arts in combination with issues of science or social conscience. Partnering with Colorado State University, this summer’s festival opens at the Lory Student Center Theatre with world premieres by acclaimed composer and Artistic Director Bruce Adolphe and Artist-in-Residence Kate Doyle’s art installation at the Curfman Gallery (running until Sept 7).

The centerpiece of SummerFest 2018 is Ouroboros, a multimedia project that features video, animation, music and sounds from space and planet Earth created by Doyle and Adolphe. Adolphe’s “I saw how fragile and infinitely precious the world is,” based on words spoken by the late astronaut and climate scientist Piers Sellers, will also have its world premiere performance during the festival. SummerFest 2018 Mission Earth is dedicated to the life and work of Sellers, a former Goddard Space Flight Center colleague of CSU Atmospheric Science Professor David Randall.


SummerFest 2018’s theme, climate change and its impact on the planet, will be highlighted through several key presentations, including many by CSU professors.

• The seven-part Dynamics series uniquely blends performances of works by such diverse composers as Bach, Davidovsky and Piazzolla with discussions on the impact of climate change, biodiversity, sustainable energy solutions, and imagining a green future features CSU Atmospheric Sciences Professor Scott Denning (July 17) and Economics Professor Edward Barbier (July 10).

• There will be 15 performances by some of today’s leading artists, including cellists Sophie Shao, Colin Carr, Mike Block and Nicholas Canellakis; tabla player Sandeep Das; clarinetist Deborah Marshall; vocalist Cordelia Tapping; pianist Michael Brown; and ensembles including the Miami String Quartet, the Apollo Trio and Triptych Jazz.

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• The world premiere of Adolphe’s “I saw how fragile and infinitely precious the world is,” scored for mezzo-soprano and cello, is based on the text by festival honoree Sellers, as he looked at the earth from space. Mezzosoprano Kady Evanyshyn and cellist Sophie Shao are the soloists.

Other musical selections

• A wide range of repertoire, including jazz and original works, will be presented as part of the festival’s seven-part concert series, including John Luther Adams’ “Inuksuit,” Michael Brown’s “Chords for Bernstein,” Lukas Foss’ “Capriccio,” Matt Ulery’s “Become Giant,” Pēteris Vask’s “String Quartet No. 3,” Bruch’s “String Quartet No. 1 in C minor,” and Haydn’s “String Quartet Op. 76” (“Quinten”).

SummerFest logo• Discussion topics will range from Environmental Music to the building of the International Space Station to the melting of the polar ice caps to a celebration of Fort Collins’ newest climate change recognition, the International Bloomberg Award for Cities4Action. These are part of the festival’s 10-part Viewpoints series. CSU faculty involved in this series include Michele Betsill of Political Sciences, Sue Ellen Campbell of English, Erika Osborne of Art and Art History, Scott Denning of Atmospheric Sciences and John Pippen of Music, Theatre and Dance.

• The remarkable lineup of guest speakers includes Joseph Berry of Stanford’s Carnegie Institute; Juergen Drescher, Washington D.C. office director for the German Aerospace Center; Bob Henson, meteorologist with The Weather Underground; Inez Fung, professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of California, Berkeley; and CSU faculty from economics, music, art, film, English, political science and environmental studies. Members of Sellers’ climate science team from the Goddard Space Center, including Randall and Compton Tucker of NASA, discuss a wide range of topics associated with the devastating impact of climate change on the planet and positive things to be done as society moves forward.

• There will be several art exhibits inspired by the festival’s theme of climate change and the diverse offerings of repertoire. “Conversion” is curated by local artist Haley Hasler and CSU Associate Professor Cyane Tornatzky of Art and Art History, and includes works by Osborne.

• Off the Hook Academy features education, music and arts workshops as well as STEAM events for K-12 students led by CSU physics Professor Brian Jones’ Little Shop of Physics.

Complete details and tickets can be found at or by calling 907-305-2261.

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