Spend summer at the center

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Summer at the Center means that the Arvada Center is in the swing of the season, bringing with it some of the best artistic performers in the state and country.

Part of the Summer at the Center is the fifth annual CenterFest, which runs through Aug. 29 and the fourth annual Summer Stage Concert Series, both of which bring something new for the music lover.

Shows in both series are at the Arvada Center’s outdoor amphitheater, 6901 Wadsworth Blvd.

“CenterFest is a great collaboration between Scientific & Cultural Facilities District organizations that really allows us to show so much diverse work,” said René M. Atchison, Summer at the Center coordinator. “We provide the venue for these cultural groups to perform, and it helps them to reach a broader audience.”

The performers in this year’s CenterFest are extremely diverse, and offer up a wide range of styles for patrons to select from. The Colorado Symphony will be performing, as will the Colorado Ballet, Hazel Miller, Ballet Nouveau and the Colorado Wind Ensemble.

“To have an opportunity to see some of these performers outside in our amphitheater makes for a whole different experience,” said Melanie Mayner, publicist for the center. “We wanted to make sure to give patrons a different season, and a bit of a departure from what we’ve done before.”

Some of the performers, like Colorado Symphony and Colorado Ballet, are repeat performers that have become audience favorites, while events like JazzFest and DanceFest are new. These festivals provide a chance for performers who wouldn’t be able to do a show on their own to work together.

Mayner said that many of these groups wouldn’t normally play in Jefferson County but grants are offered for these opportunities.

“These shows are a also a chance for small groups to get some exposure with a larger crowd,” Atchison said. “We know jazz is something that the city really loves, and so we’re able to get more people interested when we have artists performing together. Especially with someone as popular as Hazel Miller, we knows it’s going to be a big, really, really fun night.”

While not specifically programmed for children, Atchison said that all the performances are family friendly, and children are encouraged to attend.

The Summer Stage Concert Series is hosted by Nobody in Particular Presents, with sponsorship from radio station 97.3 KBCO.

The season kicked off with a classic performance — an evening with Joan Baez on June 2 — and will feature some legends in different genres — John Hiatt (rock and roll), Robert Cray (blues) and Asleep at the Wheel (country).

National groups who have become local favorites like Pink Martini, Toad the Wet Sprocket and Los Lonely Boys will also be performing.

“Our amphitheater is fantastic, we’re very accessible and a short drive,” Mayner said. “These performances are just amazing in this venue.”

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