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Kirsten Dobroth

Edlis Neeson Arts & Culture Reporter

"I have six years of professional experience as a journalist in Vail, Colorado—both as a freelance writer, and as the Digital Editor for Vail-Beaver Creek Magazine where I oversaw overall digital strategy and vastly increased site traffic."

"During my two years with the magazine, I contributed all digital content to the site, and served in an assistant editor capacity within our small office; I've been a fact-checker, assisted with issue development, pitched ideas for different departments, developed photography assignment lists, and have attended events on behalf of the magazine."

The Arts & Culture Desk is generously supported by the Edlis Neeson Foundation.

Courtesy Teton Gravity Research

Drive-in movies have seen a comeback this summer thanks to COVID-19 public health protocols, but the most recent films playing at Buttermilk’s drive-in theatre as part of The Meeting FilmFest have audiences dreaming of winter. 

Creative Commons


Shanti Gruber’s varsity choir class was in the midst of rehearsals for their recital season when COVID-19 shut down everything—classrooms included—last spring. 

“Our spring semester is where we do a lot of travel, we have big concerts, we have competitions,” said Gruber. 

Gruber is also the district lead music teacher, and the choir director for both the high school, and Glenwood Springs Middle School. She’s taught her varsity choir group since they were in 6th grade. The ensemble ultimately had to scrap their in-person performance due to public health protocols, and record one song virtually together instead.

Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club

This is Week In The Arts—a curation of virtual events, exhibits and reopenings around the Roaring Fork Valley. 

Daniel Bayer Photography


Have you ever fallen in love with a place, and seen it change before your eyes? That’s the question local writers were asked for the Community Office for Resource Efficiency, or CORE’s, month-long storytelling workshop in August, in partnership with the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) and Lead with Love. Local storyteller Alya Howe worked with writers to develop their own tales for the workshop’s theme, “Climate of Love,” which explores climate change in the Roaring Fork Valley. 

Kirsten Dobroth/Aspen Public Radio

Governor Jared Polis Extends Colorado Mask Mandate

Monday, Sept. 14 - Governor Jared Polis extended Colorado's statewide mask mandate for another 30 days over the weekend. The extension is set to expire on Oct. 12, but could be extended again, as it has been twice since it was originally adopted in July.

Courtesy The Art Base

This is Week In The Arts—a curation of virtual events, exhibits and reopenings around the Roaring Fork Valley.

Alex Hager/Aspen Public Radio

Garfield County Encouraging People To Get Tested After Labor Day Weekend

Wednesday, September 9 - Garfield County Public Health is emphasizing the need for people with one or more COVID-19 symptoms to seek testing as soon as possible. In a release, the county said many people traveled or were exposed to visitors over the long holiday weekend.  

Courtesy Tamara Susa

This is Week In The Arts — a curation of virtual events, exhibits and reopenings around the Roaring Fork Valley.

Hannah Berman & Caroline Tory

Four new Little Free Libraries have popped up in Aspen that will be stocked with books by Black authors and anti-racist literature. Aspen Words partnered with Aspen Skiing Company and local advocacy group Roaring Fork Show Up to build and stock the new bookshelves. 

Courtesy Carbondale Arts

Two new exhibitions are coming to Carbondale Arts’ R2 Gallery as part of the local art organization’s First Friday celebration on Friday, Sept. 4. The event kicks off with an outdoor talk featuring exhibiting artists Brian Colley, Wewer Keohane and Andrew Roberts-Gray at 5:30 p.m., and the gallery will open to up to 10 visitors at a time at 7 p.m.

Courtesy Aspen Center for Environmental Studies

This is Week In The Arts—a curation of virtual events, exhibits and reopenings around the Roaring Fork Valley.

Katalin Domoszlay

COVID-19 Case Numbers Remain Low, But Fall And Winter Bring Uncertainty

Friday, September 4 - New cases of COVID-19 in Pitkin, Eagle and Garfield counties are among the lowest they have been since the beginning of the pandemic, according to local health officials. Online COVID-19 status trackers for both Aspen Valley Hospital and Valley View Hospital said they are at "comfortable" levels of virus activity.

Courtesy Aspen Film

Aspen Film begins streaming the documentary “They Ain’t Ready For Me” on Sunday, Aug. 30. The film follows Tamar Manasseh, a Black rabbinical student organizing against gun violence on Chicago’s South Side.

Creative Commons

When COVID-19 shut down schools, businesses and ski resorts back in March, Aspen Skiing Company employees also found themselves sitting at home. They decided to use the time to write and produce an original song called “See You,” which will be available for download on Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music this week.

Alex Hager/Aspen Public Radio

Colorado Rolls Out Enhanced COVID-19 Data Website  

Monday, August 24 - Last week, the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) rolled out a new COVID-19 website. The site features an enhanced data dashboard, which includes information about hospital bed availability, demographic breakdowns of COVID-19 cases in the state and percentages  of patients needing hospitalization, ventilation or ICU treatment. The new website can be found here.

Kirsten Dobroth/Aspen Public Radio

This is Week In The Arts—a curation of virtual events, exhibits and reopenings around the Roaring Fork Valley.

Aspen Historical Society


August 18, 2020 marks 100 years since the 19th Amendment was ratified, which guaranteed voting rights for women in the United States. Aspen Historical Society and Aspen Snowmass are commemorating the occasion with educational programming at Gondola Plaza in Snowmass Base Village (August 18, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), and the historical society’s vice president Nina Gabianelli spoke to Aspen Public Radio about the significance of the anniversary.


Alex Hager/Aspen Public Radio

Friday, August 21 - Governor Jared Polis announced updates to the state's online COVID-19 data dashboard, including simplified navigation and the addition of datapoints involving hospital bed availability. Polis also announced Friday that the statewide "last call" for serving alcohol at bars would be extended to 11 p.m. starting Saturday night. Previously, Polis had set a statewide last call at 10 p.m. in an effort to limit late-night coronavirus transmission at bars.

Jeremy Swanson

This is Week In The Arts—a curation of virtual exhibits, events and reopenings around the Roaring Fork Valley.

Grizzly Creek Fire

The Aspen Public Radio news team spoke with Grizzly Creek Fire Public Information Officer Jennifer Russell and Renelle Lott of Garfield County, and compiled a list of resources and answers to listeners' questions regarding the Grizzly Creek Fire, which sparked in Glenwood Canyon on Monday, August 10. A time-stamped updates page regarding the fire can be found here.

Courtesy Lindsay Jones

Restaurants around the Roaring Fork Valley have expanded outdoor seating due to the pandemic. In Old Town Basalt and along a strip in Willits, those new makeshift patios are enclosed by concrete barriers to keep diners from spilling into the street and surrounding parking lot.

The Basalt Public Arts Commission (BPAC) saw those blank canvases as an opportunity for a new public arts project, and a way to put artists back to work that have been hit economically by COVID-19. BPAC put out a call to Roaring Fork Valley artists to create a line of colorful murals along the makeshift fencing as part of its Concrete Barriers Art Project.

Strange Dirt/Courtesy Skye Gallery

Denver artist Marsha Robinson goes by Strange Dirt, and her first solo exhibition just opened at Skye Gallery in downtown Aspen. The collection is called "Sanctuary," and features an array of flora, fauna and bugs drawn by the self-taught artist. 

Grizzly Creek Fire Facebook Page

Wednesday, September 9 3 P.M. Moisture has helped further moderate the fire. Personnel are mostly away from fire lines until conditions on the ground dry to allow better access. Suppression and suppression repair activities will resume as conditions dry. Managers anticipate those conditions to happen over the weekend.

Wolfgang Volz © 2020 Christo

On August 10, 1972, the artist Christo unfurled his work “Valley Curtain” across Rifle Gap in Rifle, Colo. The piece involved over 200,000 square feet of sunset-hued nylon fabric that was slung across a quarter mile span between the valley walls. It took more than two years for Christo to realize his work, and the piece was torn down by the wind in less than two days. 

Christo’s official Facebook page announced on May 31, 2020 that the artist had died at the age of 84. Despite the fleeting nature of his work, according to those who saw “Valley Curtain” and other installations, his impact on the art world will be hard to forget.

Courtesy Aspen Historical Society/Ross Daniels

This is Week In The Arts—a curation of virtual events, exhibits and reopenings around the Roaring Fork Valley.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

No New Cases In PitCo In Last Six Days, But Epidemiologists Warn Against Complacency

Friday, August 14 - There hasn’t been a new coronavirus case reported among Pitkin County residents for the past six days. New case numbers in Eagle and Garfield counties are also down. In Thursday’s Pitkin County community meeting, epidemiologist Josh Vance said those decreases are in line with national and statewide trends, but no reason to get complacent. 

Daniel Bayer Photography

Have you ever fallen in love with a place, and seen it change before your eyes? That's the question at the root of the Community Office for Resource Efficiency's (CORE) storytelling workshop, which runs throughout the month of August (August 6-27).

Courtesy The Art Base

This is Week In The Arts—a curation of virtual events, exhibits and reopenings around the Roaring Fork Valley.

Kirsten Dobroth/Aspen Public Radio

Governor Polis, Treasurer Young Urge For Additional State Funding In Stimulus Package

Tuesday, August 4 - Governor Jared Polis and Colorado Treasurer Dave Young today sent a letter to the state's congessional delegation advocating for additional funding for Coloradans in the next stimulus package. Governor Polis and Treasurer Young stressed the importance of additional federal funding for essential services in the state as Colorado continues to mitigate the public health and economic effects of the pandemic. Areas highlighted by Governor Polis and Treasurer Young in need of financial assistance include food programs for children and families, support for child care and early childhood education, families experiencing homelessness because of the pandemic and assistance for ranchers and farmers.  The letter comes as leaders in Washington D.C. continue to debate what will be included in the next federal stimulus package.

Courtesy Julieta Cervantes/Theatre Aspen



Carolee Carmello is a Broadway star and a three-time Tony Award nominee. Monday evening (August 3), she headlines Theatre Aspen’s Celebrity Concert Series. It’s her first time back in front of a live audience since COVID-19 shut down performances around the country, including her tour of “Hello, Dolly!” She spoke to Aspen Public Radio about Monday's show.