September 22, 2011

Tune In, Turn On, and Engage

The Rise of Creativity and Community in the Roaring Fork Valley

Lately, all I’ve been hearing about is the importance of building community, being a community, maintaining a strong community. Political leaders, social activists, my parents, my teachers, everyone is concerned with our apparent lack of community. To these concerned voices, I’d like to introduce Josh Paigen, curator and ring leader of the upcoming VibeSquaD and Community ProJeckt event at Carbondale, Colorado’s PAC3 Performing Arts Center, this Friday, September 23rd.  Josh, a Colorado native, attended high school at Colorado Rocky Mountain School in Carbondale and received his degree from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR.  After traveling extensively and living abroad, he has since returned to Colorado, founded RockSwell LLC, an independent adventure-film distribution company, and started small-scale farming with his longtime partner Elyssa Edgerly, who is also helping create and support the upcoming event.  “The mountains brought me back to Colorado, but it’s the vibrant community of friends that keeps me here [or close by]…” says Josh.  “This is only the beginning… our tribe [the Elk Mountain Tribe] is unified by a collective vision: the evolution of consciousness through gatherings, art, music, food, communal ownership and shared responsibilities.  We’re excited to grow the high-vibe conscious culture in the valley, which we can share with others around the world.”

The entire event is dedicated to collective creation and community engagement. It is hosted in Carbondale’s new Third Street Performing Arts Center, a physical manifestation of community engagement and participation. PAC3 was established earlier this year in Carbondale’s Third Street Center. It is a a multi-use theatre which hosts special events, non-profit functions and concerts (Sam Bush played the venue last Friday).

Josh was handed the reins to create PAC3’s first-ever electronic music event, a genre which has, like in most of Colorado and United States, gained enormous popularity in the past few years in the Roaring Fork Valley. Headlining the event is Colorado-based musical artist VibeSquaD (aka Aaron Holstein, bassist and keyboardist of Zilla and Sporque). VibeSquad’s heavy bass and bouncy beats are a favorite of Colorado electronic music fans, as are his creative remixes of funk classics (like his recent take on Sly and the Family Stone’s classic, “Family Affair”). Community ProJeckt is composed of two Roaring Fork Valley locals, Addam Pratt and Colin Tucker, who both grew up in the Valley and later moved away to pursue their music careers in California. Both have played sold out shows in California and major festivals this year, including Coachella, Bounce Festival and Burning Man. The upcoming performance at PAC3 represents more than just a homecoming for the artists, but also a way to connect their roots to the blossoms of their hard work and creativity.

When I talked to Josh about Friday’s event, he emphasized the importance that the evening was more than just a musical performance; he sees it as an opportunity for all attendees to participate in creating art- whether that is designing their own costume (from racks of clothing provided by local Julia Pratt and the Basalt Thrift Store), painting (local artist Chris Ford will be painting on site during the shows), creating a new installation of wood, water and light (as will be crafted by local artist Brock) or maybe just tearing up the dance floor (like local “artist”/ dancing queen, me). In addition to creativity, participants are invited to join in a free pre-boogie feast, also organized by Julia Pratt, with donated food from local farms.  Food will be served from 7-8pm, with the music starting at 8pm.

The product of all this hard work is a benevolent paradox. It seems as if the entire community has come together to support Josh’s idea of supporting the community. We are coming together to become together.


If you are interested in joining the festivities this Friday, you can purchase tickets at www.pac3carbondale.com, and if you’d like to get involved with the event please contact Josh Paigen at (970)275-2730.

I would like to say thank you to my dear friend Rachel Steele for the title of this piece. Without her wise words and presence in my life, I surely would not be the woman I am today.

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