The Aurora Arts Festival, an interactive, kid-friendly artistic adventure, returns to Fletcher Park on Saturday, June 27, with entertainment ranging from an array of dance, musical and poetry performances to the chance to watch an ambitious, eight-story work in progress by local artists Jonathan Lamb and Michael Ortiz, also known as Like Minded Productions.
Michael Ortiz working on the Starchild mural.
Aurora Cultural Arts District Managing Director Tracy Weil helped curate the Mile High street art on the north-facing wall of Fletcher Gardens, an apartment complex right next to the community gardens and the MLK Library. Weil is working with an Aurora public arts committee to commission a series of murals for the city. "Our goal is to bring the inside outside, show the city the arts and culture of Aurora," he says.
The group wants to add more than fifty murals to various walls throughout Aurora over the next several summers, including the giant Like Minded creation that the artists began painting this week. "We started the mural program and we already had a few murals that the downtown Aurora visual arts committee has completed, but nothing quite like this," Weil says. "It'll be eight stories high."
Mock-up of the finished Starchild.
Photo courtesy of Like Minded Productions
The mural references the aurora borealis and has an epic feel. "Eight stories — it was a mutual, collective process getting this approved," Lamb explains. "But it’s our concept. It’s still a work in progress, called Starchild. We’ll be painting during the festival. Live music, artists; it'll be a good time.”
The internationally acclaimed artists call Denver home, and incorporate their vast worldview in each mural they create. “Our ideas and inspiration are coming from the West Coast, from the East Coast, from the South," Ortiz says. "We travel to see what we can bring back to the table here." Starchild should be finished by August 1.
Some interactive fun at the Aurora Arts Fest.
Photo courtesy of ACAD
“We’re thrilled to have them working in A-Town,” says Weil. “Their work is stellar and is a proven catalyst in transforming creative communities.”
Many of those creative musicians and artists will perform at the Aurora Arts Festival on Saturday, June 27. The fun runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; here's the entertainment schedule:
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FLETCHER STAGE PERFORMANCE
10:30 - 11:00 a.m.: Dance Scene Studios
11 a.m. - noon: Banyan Tree Drum Circle
Noon - 12:30 p.m.: Colorado Mestizo Dancers
1 - 3 p.m.: Buckner Funken Jazz
3 - 3:30 p.m.: KAT Demo Team
4 - 5 p.m.: Limit 3 (Nepali Band)
5 - 6 p.m.: Stephanie Hancock Music & Poetry
6 - 7 p.m.: Ignite Theatre, La Cage Aux Folles
ACAD STAGE PERFORMANCE
11:30 a.m. - noon: Dance with Deepali
12:15 - 12:45 p.m.: Eco Folklorico Cuscatlan
1 - 2 p.m.: Chance Trio with Kim Stone
2 - 3 p.m.: Doug Roche Quartet
3 p.m.: Ginga
4 p.m.: Pernell Stein and Jazz Machine
5:30 - 7 p.m.: Groove Nation Orchestra