Aerialists perform at The Golden Mill for annual festival


Just as ARTSWEEK GOLDEN was wrapping up and winding down, so too were some of its artists — quite literally.

As part of Foothills Art Center’s annual weeklong festival, a group of aerialists, acrobats and jugglers performed July 13 at The Golden Mill. The event coincided with a give-back night as the restaurant donated 10% of proceeds to FAC.

ARTSWEEK GOLDEN, which ran from July 7-15, brought in more than 100 artists from across the Denver area and beyond for a variety of showcases and activities. FAC Executive Director Hassan Najjar described the festival as a “low-barrier environment” to experience local art and artists, as most of the events are free.

This is the event’s fourth year, and Najjar said it “keeps getting bigger and better every year.”

The first one in 2018 was only five days long, but now it’s expanded to a week-plus.

Additionally, this year’s plein air event was the biggest one yet, and he was looking forward to unveiling FAC’s new mission statement — which has been in the works for a year — at the July 15 fundraising gala.

Among the featured artists and disciplines, Denver’s Circus Foundry has performed at ARTSWEEK GOLDEN before, but at the Foothills Art Center campus.

This year, though, organizers decided to move the performance to The Golden Mill, partly to draw more people in for the give-back night and partly to “have the event out in the community,” as Najjar described.

Danielle Quigley, The Golden Mill’s manager/event coordinator, was excited to host Circus Foundry’s performance this year. She saw it as an opportunity to bring the community together and support a local nonprofit.

For the July 13 event, 10 teenage and adult performers showcased their skills with aerial silks, juggling and more. Some were doing their first-ever solo acts.

The performers climbed, twisted and spun as hundreds of patrons watched from the upper and lower patio areas. Young onlookers — some with ice cream smeared on their faces — were transfixed and dazzled by the high-flying acrobatics. One even tried to join in on the fun, making a mad-dash for the juggling balls between acts.

Circus Foundry co-owner Bethel Lindsley said ARTSWEEK GOLDEN is a great time to work on solo acts and perform for a very friendly crowd.

Circus Foundry incorporates performers of all ages and skill levels, and developing and completing a solo act is a crucial part of performing, Lindsley said.

She added how she and her colleagues always enjoy being a part of ARTSWEEK GOLDEN, saying it’s “fun to have events focused on making art in local communities.”

Local couple Mario and Bev Moranetz believed the performance at The Golden Mill was a win-win situation for everyone. Those attending enjoyed dinner and drinks with a show; they supported the arts and a local business; and The Golden Mill made for a great space, the two described.

Their daughter, who used to train with Lindsley and Circus Foundry, is now a professional aerialist in Europe. So, the couple understand how important it is to support the arts and artists, with Bev saying, “We know how difficult it is.”

She loved the idea of having an aerialist performance at a restaurant, and Mario added, “It’s a great excuse to come out.”


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