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Final Bow

For 32 years, the Rocky Mountain Women’s Institute offered opportunities unique to the region: It provided female literary, performing and visual artists a breather from the real world to pursue creative ends, by offering one-year stipends and, in earlier times, studio space, to a handful of lucky applicants annually. Each year’s crop of associates topped off the stipend period by participating in showcases, which have included everything from play readings and dance performances to video presentations and art exhibitions. And while the money and work space meant a lot to the more than 200 women who became associates, the RMWI also provided them with another benefit that’s harder to measure: validation.

You know times are hard when such a program goes belly-up. But the RMWI, which is calling it quits, is at least going out with a bang. A Celebration, a culminating retrospective of works by associates from over the years curated by Sally Perisho and Inez Pharo, opens today at RedLine Gallery, 2350 Arapahoe Street; included in the exhibition are works by many luminaries with local roots, such as fine artists Carolyn Braaksma, Susan Cooper, Sally Elliott, Virginia Folkestad and Carley Warren, and architect Maria Cole. And on April 11, from 2 to 5 p.m., choreographer Kim Robards, author Kristen Iverson and author/photographer Teresa Jordan will offer free live performances and readings.

The visual art side of A Celebration will remain on view through April 15; for gallery information visit or call 303-296-4448. Or log to to learn more about the RMWI.
April 6-15, 2009


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