Pikes Peak Suicide Prevention Art Show and Fundraiser
June 20, 6:30-9 p.m., Pikes Peak Market, 315 E. Pikes Peak Ave., $10-$15, pikespeaksuicideprevention.org
Kaihosha, a member of the teen advisory board of Pikes Peak Suicide Prevention (PPSP), says that teens like her and her peers often reach out for help, but adults seldom see it. “Usually what most adults believe is if you need help, you’ll ask for it,” she says. “And I think that’s what’s typical, is most people don’t ask with words.”
PPSP’s annual art show originated from this viewpoint years ago, when the teen board — many of whom were artistically inclined themselves — felt that sharing the artwork of struggling teens with the community might help people, especially adults, understand what they were going through on a visceral level. They found that art could speak for them when they couldn’t find the words to express their deeper emotions.
The art show has done double duty over the years, also drawing awareness to PPSP and the valuable work they do in a county with one of the highest suicide rates in the state. “I think it’s really just given us an opportunity to kind of bring the community together,” says executive director Marie McQuillan, “and kind of break down some of those barriers. ... People can talk about suicide, or they can come and kind of see what services are available.”
Having grown significantly from its roots, the art show showcases and sells not only the artwork of teens participating in PPSP’s programs, but also that of professional regional artists. McQuillan says painters, photographers, paper artists and more have been inspired by the teens’ stories, and have offered their art to support the cause. Plus, because art takes many forms, some teens will be performing songs or poetry at the fundraising event, sharing their experiences and their stories.
Proceeds from the art auction and any donations will benefit the organization’s ongoing child-, teen- and adult-focused programs, and help PPSP get to the point where they can expand services beyond their downtown location.
The teen board, composed of teens who have experiences with suicide either personally or within their family and friend groups, chose a theme for this year’s art show: “L;ve Your Story.”
Kaihosha explains the intention behind the title: “We want people to feel comfortable in their own skin, and to be able to just be like, strong with who they are. … There is an outcry for help from teens about suicide, and just like their mental health stance. And what we do is we really try to, you know, not only advocate, but create options and help.”
The World Series of Comedy Festival
June 19-22, 7-8:30 p.m. and June 21-22, 9:30-11 p.m., Loonees Comedy Corner, 1305 N. Academy Blvd., $15-$45, theworldseriesofcomedy.com
For 10 years, a search for the country’s greatest comedians has consistently attracted and promoted some fine talent from far-flung corners. The World Series of Comedy includes weeklong qualifying events throughout the year at tons of satellite locations, including our very own Loonees Comedy Corner, which will be hosting its qualifying events starting tonight. Go cheer for your favorite regional comic in hopes that they will be among the lucky 101 to make it to the prestigious Main Event in September.
Queer Movie Series
June 20, 6-8 p.m., The Gallery Below, 718B N. Weber St., free, facebook.com/thegallerybelow
We love Pride Month, not only because of the main event, PrideFest, in July, but because throughout the month of June we get to enjoy tons of local LGBTQ-focused events — many of which are hosted by The Gallery Below. This proud gallery will not only showcase an exhibit of queer art throughout the month, but will also screen queer films nearly every Thursday through July 25. Tonight, enjoy lesbian comedy classic But I’m a Cheerleader, about a teenage girl who realizes she’s gay and gets sent to conversion camp. (It sounds bleak, but trust us, it’s gold.) See the gallery’s facebook page for a full list of films and dates.
Concrete Couch Learning Laboratory Launch
June 22, 5-9 p.m., Concrete Couch, 1100 S. Royer St., free, concretecouch.org
In addition to its tireless work around the city — creating murals and public art, and fixing up public spaces — local community-building organization Concrete Couch has been nose-to-the-grindstone preparing its new property to house all of the organization’s extensive operations. Now, the Learning Laboratory is ready to launch, inviting folks to help celebrate with tours of the 5.67-acre property, live music, activities for families and much more. The event will culminate with Concrete Couch’s annual Lantern Parade, so you definitely don’t want to miss it.
OCC West Fest
June 23, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Bancroft Park, 2408 W. Colorado Ave., free, OCCWestFest.com
Every neighborhood in Colorado Springs is proud of itself and its community, and rightfully so, and we love seeing these regions celebrate their unique cultures and identities. Take Old Colorado City, the epicenter of the Westside, where art galleries, restaurants and boutiques give the neighborhood a reputation for artistry and class. But with OCC West Fest, the neighborhood proves it can have some silly fun, too. Enjoy art and vendors, food and drink, a kids zone, magic show and live music today, all celebrating the Westside’s quirky and eccentric self.