Spring 2017

We’re a Colorado company with a local touch and a global reach, and we’d like to welcome you into our home.

The Fastest Growing Real Estate Agency in Colorado

{ Spring 2017 }



A modern stunner on Mountain Avenue offers a fresh take on neighborhood living.

By christy lejeune


Noco’s struggle to bridge the gap between physical and mental well-being.

By Andrew Kensley


My best memories (and secret strategies) from mountain adventures shooting wildflowers.

by john fielder

Fort Collins Magazine / Spring 2017


{ Winter 2016 }




Faces of NoCo / what to plant now / bison baby boom/ more
By Cara McDonald, Allison LeCain and Chryss cada


Active lifestyle-wear to help you fly.
By lisa blake


Now’s the time for our favorite Colorado waterfall hikes.
by Julie dugdale


The top new cars of 2017.
By jeff rundles


My midlife crisis taught me to hit like a girl.
By Michelle theall


Wellington teen Madi Thompson harnesses the power of possibility to start a nonprofit empowering chronically and terminally ill youth.
By Carrie Visantainer


By michelle theall


Music City Hot Chicken / Quinn Snacks gets healthy / Old Elk Distillery / more.
By michelle theall


NoCo’s effervescent banjo master Saja Butler.
by corey radman

Fort Collins Magazine / Spring 2017

Lakes at Centerra

{ Spring 2017 }

Letter from the editor

A few weeks ago, I was sitting down at my computer with a reheated coffee and found myself faced with a tweet about the “very dishonest media.” One of many I’d read lately.

Like: “The most dishonest people on earth.” That’s fairly broad—or at least requires a conspiracy of absolutely epic proportions. Or, reporters are “crooked.” Publications are “disgusting” and “going to hell.” And the drumbeat message of the media, media media as enemy, media as liars and crooks and charlatans and some of the “worst people on the planet.”

I read, thinking, that’s also me and this magazine we’re talking about.

So I had to talk to you about it.

Does bias exist? Yes. Media outlets are complicated things—egos, corporate agendas, personalities, network bias—it’s all there, coloring what we hear and see. But there is a difference between bias and factual accuracy. Bias is in what you play up, cater to and unfairly emphasize.

Lies are lies.

By all means, hold media outlets accountable for journalistic integrity. But don’t let the current discourse turn me and my colleagues into the “other,” a faceless, lying obstacle to some preferred narrative. We are not the enemy, and we are not “them.”

We are you.

Amy and I started this magazine from nothing, during a recession—just our laptops, some 401k money and a dose of what-were-we-thinking. I did it between freelance jobs while a baby napped and Amy wore about 16 hats and worried about paying the printer bills. We did it because we are committed to giving voice to communities, and because there’s nothing else we’d rather do—and nothing else we know how to do as well.

We take this work seriously, following the guidelines for editorial integrity laid out by the American Society of Magazine Editors. Our contributors are professionals who live and breathe Colorado, and publish novels and nonfiction books and memoirs and articles in national publications and some of the finest newspapers in our country.

This magazine is not a vehicle for breaking news or investigative take-downs. But it has a point of view. And regardless of what that is, we are accountable to you. We deal in real facts; we are legally and professionally liable when we screw them up. And while lifestyle journalism doesn’t exactly put our writers on the front lines, we are still fighting a battle—the one of substance over the superficial.

In this issue, Andrew Kensley has written a powerful piece about the mental health crisis our community is facing—about what our friends, loved ones and neighbors battle every day, and why it’s getting worse. Contributing to the crisis is the denial, hiding and stigma, the idea that people with mental illness are “other.” But our stories help us drop the false narratives we use as shields, and in our unguarded truthfulness we become stronger, and we use our stories to lift people up and say, “Me too. I know this. I see you.” That is how we unite and become more human—and humane.

This is what I do. If it moves you, keep reading. Let me know how I can do better. Read the opposing viewpoint. Question motives and sources. Learn how to fact check, not just gut check.

But don’t other-ize me and my entire profession, and don’t let anyone else do it, either. Don’t sit back and let the drumbeat drown out our stories. They are our truth.

Cara McDonald, Editor / Fort Collins Magazine /[email protected]

Spring 2017
volume 6 • issue 1

Amy McCraken

Cara McDonald

Contributing Writers
Dana Butler, Lisa Blake, Andrew Kensley, Christy Lejeune, Corey Radman, Shawna Van, Carrie Visintainer

Shelley Lai

Contributing Photographers
Katie Jenkins, John LaGuardia

Advertising Sales
Amy McCraken, Tim Matthews, Melanie Mitchell, Saundra Skrove

Advertising Design
Anne Marie Martinez

Ad Sales Coordination
Allison LeCain

Social Media
Lisa Blake

Andrew McCraken

Printing & Pre-Press
Publication Printers

For advertising or editorial inquiries
[email protected]

For subscriptions call 970-797-9200 or visit ftcollinsmag.com

Fort Collins Magazine is published quarterly by Evergreen Custom Media

Evergreen Custom Media
Fort Collins Magazine
1001-A E. Harmony Rd.
Fort Collins, 80525

Copyright© Evergreen Custom Media.

All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part with express written consent is strictly prohibited. Evergreen Custom Media does not assume responsibility for the advertisements, nor any representation made therein, nor the quality or deliverability of the products themselves. Fort Collins Magazine is printed on 20 percent recycled (10 percent post-consumer waste) paper using only soy-based inks. Our printer meets or exceeds all Federal Resource Recovery Act (RCRA) standards.

Fort Collins Magazine / Spring 2017

Orthopaedic & Spine Center of the Rockies
Screamin Peach
Fort Collins Magazine
Fort Collins Museum of Discovery

{ Tips, Trends, Stuff We Love }


our own backyard

Bison calves arrive home on the range

Last spring, for the first time in 150 years, wild native bison were born under the wide-open sky of the Northern Colorado prairie.

“We were incredibly happy to see the herd welcome six new calves last year,” said Jennifer Barfield, the CSU reproductive physiologist who worked to bring the 10-member “seed herd” of bison home to public lands 25 miles north of Fort Collins. “We didn’t know if all of the bison would remain pregnant with all of the changes that were occurring for them, but they adjusted well.”

Since its release in November 2015, the herd has been spotted thundering across its 1,000-acre home in Soapstone Prairie Natural Area and Red Mountain Open Space.
The odds of seeing a young bison will be even greater this spring—the herd is expected to add seven fuzzy new members.

The best place to view the new babies is from Rawhide Flats Road. Though catching a glimpse of the tan calves among the darker adults often requires binoculars (their habitat is huge), sometimes the animals are so close to the fence visitors can see their soft undercoats.

Get there: From Rawhide Flats Road/CR 15 junction, go about 4.5 miles north on Rawhide Flats Road and look to the west.

Chryss Cada

{ News & Notes }

kids & family
Happier Campers
Lanyard, tie-dye, hike, repeat—day camp can get old for all-summer campers. Keep camp fun and full of learning by mixing it up with these off-the-beaten-path day camp programs.
At the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, children change their perspective during Digital Dome 101: 360 Degree Storytelling. At the end of the week, 11 to 15 year olds will be able to tell a story through immersive panoramic photography in FCMoD’s OtterBox Digital Dome Theater. fcmod.org

The name says it all when it comes to the Kids Do It All youth music-theatre program at Colorado State University. During this creation-intensive day camp, CSU theatre faculty and upperclass students will guide different age groups (7 to 9, 10 to 11, 12 to 13) through the entire process of theatre—from playwriting to performance. theatre.colostate.edu/about/summer-camp

{ News & Notes }

Park Perfection
They asked, you answered—now a diverse, 
amazing community park is in the works.
With an edible forest, hops garden, farmhouse picnic shelter, dog park and out-of-this world playground, Fort Collins’ next community park proves you really CAN be all things to all people. The 54-acre Twin Silo Park, to be built along Ziegler and Kechter roads, will have something for everyone—in direct response to community input. With support from local Ripley Design, Denver landscape architecture firm Civitas, Inc., known for its focus on urban health and nature-in-the-city public engagement in major projects across the country, has knit together an elaborate quilt of native open space and trails for runners, joggers and dog-walkers along with a mix of gardens, orchards and playing fields.

{ News & Notes }

Faces of NoCo
Age: 29

Where he’s from: North Dakota

What he’s doing: Taking a break from work as a dishwasher at Jaws Sushi

Where we came across him: The Atzlan Center gym, shooting hoops

What he likes best about FoCo: The slow pace

What keeps him up at night: “Well, I cried twice today, when I heard the news about the Dakota Pipeline. It means my people are going to struggle more. There will be more teargas, more mace. All because we want clear water. I also care about equality.”

What his goals are: “I’m going try like hell to help—I want to help my people. I’m in school now with the hope of becoming a drug and alcohol counselor. I’m full-blooded Lakota Sioux. I want my sons to come up in a world where they’re not looked down upon. I was homeless for most of my 20s. Now I’ve found a place, and I’m in a good place.”

What makes him happy: “Being here, at the gym! I listen to my native music, I shoot hoops, I think.” —Laura Pritchett

{ News & Notes }

Tried and Tested
These blooms are guaranteed to thrive in NoCo gardens.
As the ground thaws, check your favorite nursery for these three winners from the Colorado State University Trial Gardens to plant now.

1. Judges awarded “Best in Show” to the Argyranthemum “Pure White Butterfly” (pictured, right) for the brilliant blooms that covered the plant continuously through the season, even when most flowers withered in the summer heat. This continuous growth means gardeners don’t need to deadhead to keep the blooms coming.

2. “Summerific Cherry Cheesecake” hibiscus was a winner in the perennial category—these plate-sized flowers bring a pop of exotic color to Colorado.

3. The “Cool Wave Frost Pansy” nailed “Best in Show” for cold-weather blooms in 2016. It’s ability to spread makes it perfect for hanging baskets. More winners? Visit flowertrials. colostate.edu — C. C.

{ News & Notes }

Casting for Inspiration
The FT3—the self-described “pre-eminent exhibition of fly-fishing cinema”—hits town on March 25.
What Sundance is to indie geeks and the Banff Mountain film fest is adrenaline junkies, so is the Fly Fishing Film Tour (F3T) to the rod-and-reel crowd. The fest features eight films set in far-flung locations (this year’s lineup includes Siberia, Mexico, Kamchatka), with each focusing on the quest for a particular species of fish—chasing tarpon, trout, salmon and more.
Spokesperson for The F3T Doug Powell says each tour stop is a gathering of the fly fishing tribe in each city. “It’s a way to celebrate the sport, talk about upcoming trips and dream about bucket list locations in the future,” said Powell. The Northern Colorado stop is a highlight on the film tour because it home to a vibrant large community of fly fishers, and, according to Powell, one of the greatest fly shops in the entire country, St. Peter’s Fly Shop. “[St. Peter’s is] the reason we started coming to Fort Collins—and also why Fort Collins is one of our favorite stops on the tour.”

The 11th Annual Fly Fishing Film Tour comes to the Lincoln Center on March 25 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $17 at lctix.com.
—Allison LeCain

Fort Collins Magazine / Spring 2017

Fort Collins Magazine
Barefoot Lakes

{ Style & Shopping }

Made in Noco
Fort Collins fitness fashion to help you find your wings.
The Akinz lifestyle brand was born in Suzanne Akin’s tiny Houston, Texas, studio apartment, her first sales sold from the trunk of her purple Mini Cooper at wakeboarding events and bars.

The 35-year-old founder and designer had been a retail manager, restaurant manager, a ski school ticket office manager. But Akin remembers the moment her brand launched. She was on the water wakeboarding four days a week and her laptop screensaver was of professional wakeboarder Dallas Friday soaring through the air. Akin added a photo of herself and a note that said, “Someday I’ll fly.”

“Wakeboarding is what inspired me to start a casual lifestyle brand,” Akin says. “The company’s ‘Find Your Wings’ motto is about motivating yourself to reach for the extraordinary and find your own dream and motivation.”

Fort Collins Magazine / Spring 2017

Act Film Fest
Infinite Wellness Center

{ Adventure & Travel }

Chasing Waterfalls
As the snow melts, here’s an inspired way to get your hike on this spring.
By Julie Dugdale
Springtime is about renewal. It’s about stretching your legs, seeing what’s around the bend, gathering momentum and ushering in change. Perhaps that’s why we’re so drawn to waterfalls. As the days get longer and Colorado’s snowcaps thaw, trickles become torrents and streams become raging rapids that spill over ledges, cascade between jagged cliffs, and glisten over rock faces en route to some unknown destination further down the trail or mountain. That rushing water is the driving force that propels the earth to do all the things it does during the spring; it represents a sense of order and an awesome power that’s reassuring, in a way—like nature is doing its part to keep the lifeblood of our mountains flowing.

Fort Collins Magazine / Spring 2017

Fort Collins Magazine
Elevations Credit Union

{ Auto }

Test Drive
Best of 2017
What makes an automotive journalist swoon? These three cars stand out as the year’s top contenders.
By Jeff Rundles
There is no other possession in a person’s life that expresses their desires more than a car, and vehicles have been the driving force behind everything from novels, movies and favorite songs, to marriages, midlife crises and even life itself. It is said that any red-blooded American man can tell you more about his first car than his first kiss, which pretty much sums up the American romance with the car.

There are 66 car shows in North American that showcase the dream each year from September through April, and here’s where we put our finger on the pulse of the industry. To show you how the buzz at the shows went, the national automotive journalists at the Detroit Auto Show named the new Chevy Bolt North American Car of the Year, going with this all-electric, 200-mile range, under $40,000 technology wonder over such competitor stalwarts as the Audi A8, Mercedes-Benz S550 Maybach and the venerable Toyota Prius Prime. Taking the heavy-metal awards at the show were the Honda Ridgeline, Truck of the Year, and the Chrysler Pacifica, name 2017’s Best Utility Vehicle.

{ Health & Wellness }

Hit me
Women are turning to boxing for fitness—and something more.
By Michelle Theall
Riley won’t punch me, no matter how much I beg him to. It might be because I’m a girl, but more likely, he doesn’t want to encourage me, the woman he met moments ago who appears to be in the throes of some weird, misdirected midlife crisis. He lifts his boxing gloves, and I hit him in his abs. My fist bounces off. He shakes his head.

I turn fifty this month. It’s a time for self-reflection or perhaps for socking the crap out of something. Riley, a 26-year old with kind eyes, auburn flecks of hair in his brown beard and tattoos of trees up his left forearm, moves like a lynx around the ring. My new quest has nothing to do with self-defense or fitness. At this point in my life, I’ve experienced more than my share of bruising and maybe I just want to know for once when the punch is coming—I want to have signed up for it, instead of it being a surprise. More than that, I want to fight back, without apologizing or being swallowed by guilt. But Riley won’t punch me. When we finish sparring, I ask him about the trees tattooed on his arm, which appear to be from different seasons, or perhaps the same tree inked in spring, summer, and fall, with a few sparce leaves clinging to the third and last tree. He tells me they remind him of where he comes from. “You come from trees?” I ask. He takes off his gloves and leaves me to come to my own conclusions.

Fort Collins Magazine / Spring 2017

Traditional Chinese Medical Clinic
Advanced Hearing
Rocky Mountain Family Physicians
Fort Collins Magazine
Great Western Bank
ACE Hardware

{ How We Live and Grow in NoCo }

On Trend
Prints Charming
According to textile thought-leader Patternbank—England’s edgy self-proclaimed “world’s largest online collection of textile designers”—mills from all over the world are turning out bold large-scale floral prints for 2017, from brilliant-colored prints to pale garden botanicals (think of an English Garden’s younger, hipper little sister).

How to use in your home? The key to using large scale prints is to not overcomplicate the rest of the design. Only one piece should be large scale—it could be the sofa, a chair or even the wallcovering. The remaining pieces can be smaller scale patterns, including stripes, checks, even other florals in a similar or complimentary colorway, along with solids to anchor the patterns and give the eye a resting place.
—Joyce Clegg, Allied ASID, CAPS, Daydream Inc.

{ Home & Garden }

Finely Crafted Wood
As more homeowners begin the design process with very specific ideas about what they want, the need for craftspeople gifted in the art of custom woodworking is growing. Here are some of NoCo’s best.
If you’ve spent some time in any of Fort Collins’ local brewers (be they beer or coffee), you’ve come across Zach Yendra’s work. Of custom work, he says, “Working with a local designer and builder on your dream piece will change the way you buy furniture.” Yendra Built, yendrabuilt.com

Fort Collins Magazine / Spring 2017

8Z Real Estate
The Gardens on Spring Creek

{ Home Trend }

Design-it-yourself furniture for the buyer with a vision.
Ever find yourself in a high-end furniture store, staring at a selection of bistro tables, thinking “if only they had that top with that base in that color…” Well, Design It Yourself Custom Furniture—in particular the newest outpost in Denver—has the solution. You choose your tabletop finish, color, size, shape, and edge and complete the look with legs or a base in a wide variety of styles and hues—works for chairs, too. You can even preview your combo options with the DesignBy app. Owner and founder Donnie Criswell says, “We provide customers with the unique ability to customize furniture designs that they might not have previously known where to get.” About the app, he adds, “We offer a unique online experience to customization through technology and also have a showroom and shop open to the public.” The room of your dreams is only a click away.

Design It Yourself Custom Furniture 303-922-2319 diyfurniturestore.com

Fort Collins Magazine / Spring 2017

Light Center
Bath Garden Center
A New Vision in Old Town
A modern stunner offers a new take on neighborhood living.
By Christine Lejeune / Photography Katie Jenkins; John LaGuardia
When Rucker Hill, owner/builder of Rucker Design Build, builds a home, he throws himself so fully into every detail that leaving the place behind once the project is complete is often bittersweet. “Honestly, there’s not been a project I’ve done where I haven’t cried at the end,” he says with a laugh. But the trade-off for Hill and his wife and RDB partner, Rebecca, is some future homeowner’s happiness. “I feel really blessed to be doing a job where I’m impacting people’s lives in a positive way,” Hill says.

Since moving to Fort Collins from Dallas in 2014, the Hills have gained serious momentum with their business, upgrading and reimagining the old and spiritless into modern, homey retreats that incorporate the natural beauty of their surroundings. Rucker is the creative spirit and the labor; Rebecca manages the business, the budget and project timelines. The couple’s latest project—a 3,862-square-foot, four-bedroom, rustic-modern stunner on Mountain Avenue in Old Town Fort Collins—has been their biggest undertaking to date, a home a year in the making, which Hill designed and built from the ground up.

Fort Collins Magazine / Spring 2017

Inside NoCo’s struggle to bridge the gap between physical and mental well-being.
By Andrew Kensley
ou walk into the office on Thursday morning and can’t quite figure out what to say to your coworkers. You’re uncomfortable and irritable, your brain is blurry, and you don’t know why. Making basic decisions like responding to emails or picking out options in the cafeteria are painstaking. When your boss talks, it’s hard to pay attention.

One of the voices in your head says, “Call the doctor.” You are told to come in Monday at 9:00. You know that if you complained of heart palpitations or couldn’t feel your legs they’d get you in ASAP. You hope you can make it through the weekend without doing something dangerous. Can’t you just be normal?

Fort Collins Magazine / Spring 2017

I know the feeling! I have spent most of my life freely roaming the wild places of Colorado and beyond, while witnessing very special moments of light. One of my photographer heroes, Ansel Adams, used black and white to best manifest his passion: nature’s form and texture. I am a color guy, stimulated by all things chromatic. I seek magenta twilight skies, pink sunrises and sunsets, yellow aspen leaves and wildflower meadows with all the colors in a rainbow.

I remember a sunrise on the edge of Kite Lake, 12,000 feet above sea level at the edge of Colorado’s largest wilderness, the Weminuche. I had arrived by 4×4 the night before, unaware of what lay around me. Before first light, the gray outlines of masses of plants morphed into one of the most colorful fields of alpine wildflowers I’d ever seen. The thick yellow light of the sun barely above the horizon turned orange sneezeweed yellow, purple larkspur into lilac, rosy Indian paintbrush red, and blue-green tundra grass olive, topped by a cobalt blue sky. One hour after sunrise and one hour before sunset are magical hours with rich light and broad shadows to create depth in the scene. No one else was there. I remained alone for two hours, enjoying the solitude and pinching myself in disbelief of what lay around me.

{ Essay }

The higher power is you
How life lessons from a swamiji nudged me to lasting peace.
RECENTLY, I SAW AN ARTICLE via Facebook about how adult coloring books are the latest form of meditation. I’m pretty sure I let out a disdainful snort. Don’t get me wrong; I love these made-for-grownups coloring books, but to suggest people will find inner peace from meticulously coloring in intricate fairytale forests could be a stretch. However, had I seen this article a year and a half ago, I might have bought into it, thinking I could achieve enlightenment while letting my artistic side geek out. I had after all, been seeking ways to deepen my understanding of meditation and I love to color.

Fort Collins Magazine / Spring 2017

The Group Inc
The Group Inc
The Group Inc
Freestone llc
Tribal Rites
{ News, Brews, Delicious Discoveries }
IN MY HEART I am a Colorado girl, but I spent many years of my childhood growing up in the South—and Southern cooking is still my go-to comfort food. I like bacon fat in my green beans, mac and cheese as a “vegetable” option and I definitely love some fried chicken done right. Enter Music City Hot Chicken, the place to enjoy a real Southern chicken dinner—with a Colorado twist. The chicken is sourced locally, but the crisp and heat is pure Nashville. Try the “Breast Quarter”—a breast and wing, and then choose your heat. I like the “Bigger Burn” personally, but milder (and hotter) options are plentiful. Counter the spice with a side of cole slaw, a cool crunch to balance. 111 W. Prospect Road, Unit C, 970-286-2309, mchcco.com —SHAWNA JACKSON VAN

{ Food & Drink }

Amid the chain restaurants and six-lane roads, an independent neighborhood gem emerges.
THREE YEARS AGO, I was delighted to discover Jim and Jennie Edwards’ Door 222 in Loveland, which I happened upon by happy accident. Door 222 and some other creative eateries, distilleries and breweries helped Loveland up its food game in recent years, and now Fort Collins fans of Executive Chef Matt Smith’s creations can find his touch at Locality Kitchen and Bar, the Edwardses’ latest restaurant located on Harmony, just west of Front Range Village.

Locality is a more three-course dinner concept than tapas and small plates, though there are some delightful appetizers from which to choose. “The offerings are creative and seasonal,” Jim Edwards says, “but the experience is more traditional than what we offer at Door 222. We wanted a neighborhood feel, and southeast Fort Collins dining was primarily chains. We knew we could fill a void.”

Fort Collins Magazine / Spring 2017

Bean Trees
Fort Collins enews letter

{ Food & Drink }

Australian hand pies land in the Fort.
STEVE AND AIMÉE PHILLIPS didn’t realize the coincidence when they opened their Fort Collins artisan pie eatery on Pi Day (3.14159, get it?), March 14, 2016.

The Australian transplants celebrate their one-year anniversary with a parade of loyal locals and glowing reviews: “Can’t beat the flavor, convenience or price.” “Healthy and made with love.” “The BEST pastry I have ever tasted. Hands down.” All of Northern Colorado is raving.

{ Food & Drink }



Colorado-based Quinn Snacks hopes consumers devour their trust and transparency.


MOMS ONCE served their families glasses of frozen orange juice, platters of fish sticks and bowls of buttery microwave popcorn without any concern.

But times—and moms—have changed. The recipients of those processed feasts are now parents themselves, and just the thought of serving Squeezeits or margarine to their organic-fed children would probably make many of them cringe.

Kristy Lewis, the founder of natural food maker Quinn Snacks, doesn’t blame the parents of the past. They did their best, she says.

“Our moms didn’t have that much available to them. When my mom was raising me in the ’80s, the natural foods category didn’t exist,” Lewis says. “You fast forward to today, you have social media and bloggers talking about Paleo and gluten-free and natural foods. There is just more information at our fingertips.”

{ Food & Drink }


How Old Elk Distillery found new life in Fort Collins.


Dry Town Martini

Nooku Coffee

THERE’S NO QUAINT mom-and-pop story behind Old Elk Distillery, Fort Collins’ six-month-old maker of gin, vodka, and bourbon. But there is quality: In October, just two weeks after releasing its Dry Town gin (named for Fort Collins’ 73-year dry spell), the spirit won double gold at the New York International Spirits Competition. As a bonus, Old Elk was named the Colorado distillery of the year at the same festival.The new enterprise is backed by plenty of business acumen: Owners Curt and Nancy Richardson are the husband-and-wife team behind Otterbox, the homegrown company best known for making water-tight, indestructible Smartphone cases.

Fort Collins Magazine / Spring 2017

The Cupboard
Royal Vista

{ 5 Minutes With… }



Urban Monk Studio’s founder infuses the NoCo music scene with a little light and laughter.


BY DAY SAJA BUTLER TEACHES banjo, guitar and ukulele lessons at her Urban Monk Studio. By night, she sings and plays with the band Lois and the Lantern. With both, she lives her truth: that music is elemental to the human experience.

Her popularity as a teacher attracted the attention of Bohemian Foundation, which hired her as a utility staff member for the Music District. In that role, Butler will expand what she’s already been doing: connecting students with teachers who think outside the box. “We’ve forgotten how much music is fun,” she says. “It’s energy and light. We need that now more than ever.”

Fort Collins Magazine / Spring 2017

University of Colorado

Spring 2017

Share this issue