From The Publisher


I am always amazed at the power people have and how quickly they forget they have it. Every single one of us has the ability to have an impact on our surroundings. Think about it, when you are in a good mood doesn’t everything around you seem to be better? Likewise, when you are feeling down and out the world seems to feel the same way.

Several years ago I decided to try a scientic experiment on the power we all posses. Well, it was a “somewhat” scientific experiement but none-the-less it was an eye opening venture. I decided to keep track of my mood and see what thinks would have a demonstrable effect on changing my mood.

I recall one day in particular. I was having a very hard day. I simply didn’t seem to be “clicking” with my family, my work had lots of tough situations going on, my public life seemed to be filled with negativity (mainly through social media) and I was just in a foul mood. This was a perfect time for me to test my experiment.

I decided to seek out positivity and, specifically, how I could be a positive force in someone elses life. I’ve always done some sort of volunteer work so I was no stranger to “giving back” but in this case I went out of my way to find someone who needed help and decided to give them assistance…anonymously.

What a rush it was! Almost instantly the world seemed to be a little brighter…people seemed to be a little nicer…my mood became quite a bit better. I speculated that perhaps I lucked into things being better and that my act of kindness had nothing to do with it, but as I tested this theory on other occasions I realized that it is each of us that has the ability to make a day awesome.

This spring is a perfect time for you to help me test my theory so I’m challenging each of you to “Spring Into Awesome” by helping others during the month of April. It’s easy to do and I want to see if you notice a change in you. Pay attention to see if your days are brighter and you hear more laughs. See if the world smells fresher and you see more smiles. Spend time feeling your heart and see if it is warmer.

If during your quest for awesomeness you find yourself looking for a new way to help, consider joining me on April 29th for my annual “Shave the Mayor” event to raise money for pediatric cancer research. I will be shaving my head and beard along with over 100 others who are “Springing Into Awesome” with me. Go online to for details.

No matter what, make sure this Spring that you not only find your “awesome” but help at least one other person find theirs. That’s one thing we can all do…help others to make their world awesome while embrasing ours.

Stay awesome my friends!

Experience Parker


Spring Fling Arts & Crafts Show

Ponderosa High School is proud to be hosting its 4th Annual Spring Fling Arts and Crafts Show on Saturday, April 15th, from 9:00am to 4:00pm at Ponderosa High School (located at 7007 E. Bayou Gulch Road.)

Weave your way through the incredible selection of unique items and gifts from over 100 local Colorado artists and vendors. Find home décor, textile crafts, ceramics, hand-crafted jewelry, skin care and even gourmet foods to take home.

Admission to the Spring Fling Arts and Crafts Show is free and all sales benefit the incredible Ponderosa High School Music Department.
For more information on the crafts show, email or call 303.250.7374.


The Owl’s Nest

Under a canopy of elm and cottonwood trees sits a fairy tale white cottage that quietly whispers “come in.” Sit outside and enjoy the view of the Front Range while sipping on their coffees and teas while indulging in one of their fresh baked goods. Outside, take in the features of local Colorado Artists that display their creative treasurers including horseshoe flowers and American Flags painted on fencing materials. Inside is a boutique filled with clothing, jewelry, paintings, photography, candles and special hand crafted gifts. The Owl’s Nest also offers a variety of craft and art classes that allow even the most creatively tentative person to create beautiful, personalized items for their home. Classes include up-cycled and repurposed art, wooden sign painting, watercolor classes, mono-printing classes, jewelry classes and seasonal decor. Classes change monthly, so check in often to see what they have going on! The Owl’s Nest also offers private classes and craft parties for groups of 5 or more, so consider the Owl’s Nest for your next birthday party, mom’s group meeting or the perfectly creative Ladies Night Out!

Go to or find them on Facebook for information on classes, Ladies Night shopping nights & all things Owl’s Nest!

where in town?

A Monthly Scavenger Hunt

Would you like a $100 gift certificate to Trappers Chop House? Look through the magnifying glass and simply guess correctly where in Parker this is. We will randomly draw a winner from all correct entries! CLICK HERE to enter online – GOOD LUCK!

No chance you struck out with last month’s clue. The diamonds many start to dream about come springtime are those at home plate of the baseball fields. Last month’s photo was that of the freshly chalked Double Angel Ballpark. Double Angel Ballpark, now managed by GameDay Baseball, originally opened in 2006 to honor the memory of Logan and Dillon Dixey. The Double Angel Foundation continues to raise awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide in the marine environment as well as provides scholarships for local students to help continue their education beyond high school. For more information on the foundation, visit

Local Artists



Jay Moore

I had been drawing and working with clay since I was a five or six years old. I sold my drawings to classmates in elementary school for 25 cents. Then in High School my teachers would purchase my assignments from Art class. Straight out of High School, I attended the Art Institute of Colorado. To answer your question, I’ve been painting about 40 years.

My style is probably somewhere between Impressionism and Realism. The biggest influence on my style is from painting for five years exclusively, outdoors from life. Since the light changes you have to paint very directly and quickly.

My work has been displayed in a few art museums including the Autry Museum of the American West in Los Angeles, and the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis. My paintings are in the permanent collection of the Denver Art Museum and Pioneer Museum in Colorado Springs and the U.S. Capital in the office of a past Senator and Cabinet Member. Walmart Chairman Rob Walton and past rock and roll legend Joe Cocker also collected my work.

My favorite part about being an artist is to put everything you have into a painting that is very personal to you, and then have someone who you have never met, respond to it on that same deep personal level. Meeting the collectors is critical for me.

My advice for young artists is paint every day, seek out the masters of your genre, and visit as many museums as you can to see the work in person. Set goals that stretch yourself and one day you might be hanging next to them.

My favorite artists are a small group of artists from Russia from 100 years ago called the “Itinerants.” They were well trained, stressed painting from life and painted like they didn’t need the money although most were very poor. Artists like Isaac Levitan, Ivan Shishkin and Ilya Repin are at the top of the list.

Many of my peers have no other interests or hobbies, their whole life is their art. For me, Art is only a part of my life. I have a wife and two teenage boys and love to climb fourteeners, catch trophy trout on a fly rod, scuba dive, play golf, tennis and many other sports with them.

Tadashi Hayakawa

I had been painting for 50 years.

My work is best described as abstract painting, not analytical, critical or conceptual, but emotional and spiritual.

International Art Festival, “Five Elements/One World,” at Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, L.A., California in 2011.
I was one of the 6 featured artists in the exhibition.

Painting is just like breathing, without it, I would choke to death. Art also teaches me the importance of sincerity, humility, and imagination.

1. Enjoy the process of creating without worrying about the outcome.
2. Imagination is more important than knowledge of techniques.
3. Always be sincere to yourself and express your feelings in your work, either in abstract or representational art.

Ms. Chiyomi Longo, Santa Rosa, CA
Ms. Carlene Francis, Denver, CO

I came the U.S.A. in 1961 as a foreign student in order to study “acting.” The only reason I became a painter was that my English was not good enough for acting.

Lorenzo Chavez

I have been painting as a professional artist since 1984. The first art gallery that represented my work was DeColores Art Gallery in the Cherry Creek Shopping district in Denver.

My style of painting leans towards impressionism/Naturalism.

My works have been exhibited in France and Spain. I also had some paintings that were on display at the Governor’s office in the State Capitol building in Denver, Colorado…and of course, my current art studio in the old School House on Mainstreet in Parker is pretty unique and interesting.

It is an ever evolving process of working and learning and being inspired.

Start now…the sooner the better. Study art from professional artists of note whose works inspires you. Drawing capability is very important to one’s success and plan on a ten year time commitment before an art career can start having traction.

I was raised in New Mexico and was first inspired by the Taos Society of Artists. Later, it was the French and American Impressionists that really got me fired up. Now I am influenced by all types of art forms.

I love reading about, studying and visiting sites of the historical American West.

A Family of Shops Makes its Home in Parker

A Family of Shops Makes its Home in Parker

Ten years ago, Mile High Net Stores LLC got its start in a small in-home office with nothing more than a computer and “entrepreneurial zeal.” Many (many) late nights and long weekends later and Mile High Net Stores has grown into a family of online shops providing unique tools that sometimes seem from a time long ago… paper and pen.

Mulberry Paper and More ( is the destination for artists, crafters, and paper lovers alike. Carrying both hand-made papers and machine made mulberry papers, including some which are laser or ink jet printer compatible. Take a peek at their other specialty papers including Banana Paper, Mexican Amate Paper, Hand Made Marbled Momi Paper, Mango Paper, Nepalese Lokta Paper, Japanese Washi Paper, and Chiyogami (Yuzen Washi.) Find over 1000 different papers made in places like Italy, France and India. Perfect for wedding invitations or other special projects.

The Writing Pen Store ( takes the task of finding the perfect writing instrument to the next level. Find unique dip pens made from glass, pens small enough to fit in your wallet to giant, ergonomic pens for those having a hard time with their grip or to help alleviate writer’s cramp, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or arthritis. For those lucky left-handers, there are specialty pens designed just for you! For little ones learning to write, check out The Pencil Grip, Writing Claw and Triangle Grip as well as all things creative such as crayons, colored pencils, highlighters, chalk markers and more!

If you’re one that treasures the “perfect” pen, find your next one from their collection of ACME, Batle Studios, Jac Zagoory, and Troika contemporary designers. Or, for an authentic touch of history, pick from their variety of Glass Dip and Calligraphy Pens.

The Origami Paper Shop ( will be a virtual wonderland for artisans and amateurs alike looking for the perfect origami papers. Imported from Japan, Nepal, and Thailand, their origami papers provide an enchanting origami experience. Select luxurious and durable Nepalese Lokta Papers for natural hues and highlights or lightweight Thai Unryu (Kozo) paper for projects requiring a soft feel and fine details. For those into Le Crimp, Hand-Marbled Momi Papers provide uneven and heavy textures without the need to crumple the paper. They even carry Japanese Chiyogami Origami Paper providing intricate, hand-silk screened prints for ornate projects and paper doll folding. What’s the difference between these origami papers and others on the market? The fibers. Lokta, Kozo, and Momi papers contain long, plant fibers instead of wood pulp. The longer fibers provide greater strength, less tearing and less feathering than papers made from wood pulp. The fibers provide depth and textures that are not found in copy paper or other machine made papers.

However, if you enjoy traditional solid colors and prints in a rainbow of colors, they also carry a large variety of Japanese Origami Paper Kits. Many of these kits contain basic origami patterns and instructions. Browse the selection and choose the paper that is right for you.

All three of these online stores are operated by Parker residents Jennifer and Rick Vaughn and orders are filled out of their warehouse here in Parker. Next time you’re feeling crafty, needing some invitations or just want to sit down and script a good ol’ fashioned, handwritten letter, check out the gorgeous paper and pen products from their family of online stores and see where your craftiness takes you!

Get Creative on Mainstreet

Get Creative on Mainstreet

In what was once an auto body shop is now one of the most exciting things to happen to downtown Parker in some time. Right down the street from the PACE Center and the Schoolhouse Theater, home to wonderful performances throughout the year, is Music@Mainstreet, where musicians, performers, actors, and dancers can fine tune their craft in an effort to possibly headline one of those fantastic shows.

This wonderful performing arts studio in the heart of Downtown offers students of all ages and skill levels the chance to receive instruction from nationally recognized teachers and performers.

Private instruction for ALL skills levels is offered for:

Piano, voice, dance, guitar, bass, ukulele, violin, viola, cello, trumpet, tuba, French horn, trombone, euphonium, woodwinds/reeds (saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet, oboe, flute), drum kit and percussion, acting and monologue, audition/all-state/college prep, electronic music and technology (Garage Band, Logic, Digital Performer)

Music@Mainstreet offers both monthly and quarterly plans, with 30, 45 or 60 minute lessons in all offerings. Their normal business hours are 3pm-8pm during the week and 10am-6pm on Saturday, Sundays by appointment. However, if instruction times are needed outside regular business hours, lessons can be requested for instructors who can provide time earlier in the day or even come to your home for your lesson. You may bump into the Mayor at your next lesson. He decided to try something he’s always wanted to and began voice lessons with instructors at Music@Mainstreet!

We could not be happier with the experience we’ve had thus far at Music@Mainstreet. My son has been taking electric guitar since the beginning of January. Without prompting or pleading, he plays his guitar (on his own!) and is always enthused for the following week’s lesson! To watch and hear our son strum with bravado and confidence is success in our book! Thank you, Music@Mainstreet!” – Leslie

If you have an audition or talent show coming up, Music@Mainstreet has professional recording equipment and can send you MP3 files of your recording session. They can adjust keys, tempos and cuts. Recording requests can be filled out online at Studio space is also available to rent should you want to get in some extra practice time or just need a quiet space to play or work on a new piece. Studios are equipped with pianos and Bluetooth speakers.

Music@Mainstreet is the perfect place for a child to cultivate their love of music by taking lessons or even for someone more young at heart to get back to playing an instrument they haven’t picked up in some time. Dance, theater, music – the arts are alive at Music@Mainstreet!



At Douglas County Libraries

Explore different facets of the arts and immerse yourself in cultural experiences all month long at Douglas County Libraries. Learn to create masterpieces through spinning and weaving, or through an abstract expressionist workshop.
Find your perfect hobby match, experience theater play — and more!

Here is what’s happening at DCL in Parker in April:

CreativeU: The Art of Spinning & Weaving
A hands-on program for kids 6-12 to explore the art of spinning and weaving, and all things yarn!
Monday, April 3rd, 4:30-5:30 p.m.

CreativeU: Hobby Speed Dating
Not sure if you want to invest in a new hobby? Why not speed date them to see if you’re compatible? Explore knitting, candy making, and other interesting hobbies.
Wednesday, April 5th, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

CreativeU: Art Works With Clyfford Still
Learn about the artist behind Denver’s Clyfford Still Museum, and create your own masterpiece in a professionally guided workshop. Adults.
Tuesday, April 18th, 6-7:30 p.m.

CreativeU: Fairy Garden
Kids ages 8-12 express their creativity and imagination by creating fairy gardens.
Thursday, April 20th, 4:30-5:30 p.m.

CreativeU: Masters of Disguise
Immerse yourself in the culture of cosplay by learning costume-making tips and tricks from local experts. Great for teens and adults!
Saturday, April 29th, 1-2 p.m.

To register for any of these events, call 303-791-7323 or go to

CLICK HERE to see the full list of CreativeU programs and events.

Parker’s Creative District

Parker’s Creative District

You’d be hard pressed to not find something to do in Parker. Throughout the year, Parker is host to festivals and events such as Parker Days, Movies and Art in the Park, Historic Walking Tours, the Honey Festival, PACE Patio Parties, the Farmers Market, Wine Walks from May through September, Barker Days, Trick or Treat on Mainstreet and the Mayor’s Tree Lighting and Christmas Carriage Parade during the holidays. All these festivals and events, the rich history of the surrounding historic properties and the amazing cultural facilities that call Parker home are all a part of Parker’s Creative District – one of the many reasons Parker is such an amazing place to call home.

The Creative District at Old Town includes the PACE Center and Schoolhouse Theater performing arts facilities, historic destinations including O’Brien Park, The Ruth Memorial Chapel, the Rhode Island Hotel building and the Frink Creamery (which is now the Parker Garage.) In addition to the arts and culture in Downtown Parker there is the vibrant downtown shopping and dining district with numerous restaurants and unique shops. The Creative District’s programming encompasses programming at the Schoolhouse Theater and PACE Center as well as the Parker Library, and other participating partners including Fika Coffeehouse and Deep Space Events Center.

The Creative District’s Art in Parker, both temporary and permanent, are on full display up and down Mainstreet, some part of the Douglas County Art Encounters. These pieces stay in town for a year before moving on to Lone Tree, Castle Rock or Highlands Ranch. Pieces such as the oversized Adirondack chair in O’Brien Park and Ball and Jacks sculpture at the new library are included in the public displays of Art in Parker.

More feathers in the Creative District’s cap are the new street banners now hung in town, created jointly with the Parker Artist Guild. These beautiful banners all feature a painting or photograph by an artist who is a member of the Parker Artist Guild.

To make the Creative District an even more vibrant arts and entertainment destination, the District is looking for temporary exhibits and public performances or cultural events that could include sculptures, art installations, murals, performances, festivals, streetscapes and more. Options for these Random Acts of Art are limited only by your imagination. Funds up to $750 are available for community groups and businesses with a creative idea and the energy to make it happen. Criteria to be recommended include artistic quality and uniqueness – previously funded projects include colorfully painted tires, sidewalk chalk art, Saturday afternoon roaming musicians and Tuesday night Gazebo Gatherings.

Applications can be sent to the Creative District Executive Committee, c/o Parker Arts, 20000 Pikes Peak Ave., Parker, CO 80138. Emailed applications can be sent to For details on submission requirements, go to

The District is managed by the Town of Parker and the Creative District Executive Committee, a citizen’s advisory board that provides advocacy and leadership in developing the District’s arts, culture and entertainment and their mission is a simple but important one, “The Creative District at Old Town will embrace and foster our unique historic, cultural and creative assets by supporting and promoting a broad range of entertainment and educational experiences for all ages, making Parker a highly sought after place to live and visit.”

For more information, email or visit

What’s Old is New Again

What’s Old is New Again

Parker is full of history and it’s on full display in the heart of downtown on Mainstreet. Next to the historic Ruth Memorial Chapel, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2014, is what was originally known as the Parker Consolidated School. The school opened its doors for students in grades K-12 in 1915 to allow for more room for the expanding Pine Grove school population. William O’Brien was one of the principal contractors for the school, which sat on 1.15 acres.

Over the course of its colorful life, the schoolhouse building has served not only as a school, but also as a theater, a gym, a dance studio, a church and a cultural center. Many residents of Parker may have known the school by its former name, Mainstreet Center. It was renamed The Schoolhouse Theater to honor the history of the building. The history is not being preserved in name only. Thanks to generous grants from the State Historical Fund and the support of Town Council and Parker residents, the Schoolhouse Theater has been going through several phases of rehabilitation, restoration and refurbishing to return the building to its original historical integrity of a century ago.

Restoration phases have included restoring fourteen Mainstreet facing windows as well as installing replica doors at the front entryway to the building. The main stairwell and garden level will be fully restored as well, including removing carpet throughout the lower level to reveal gorgeous hardwood floors. With plans to relocate the dance studio from the upper level to the garden level, students will dance across the same hardwood planks that children who attended the school walked over all those years ago. Another change that was made was removing the principal’s office that had been added on the second floor. The office obstructed natural light meant to stream in from the original arched entry windows and with the office removed, the light in the building is once again streaming through those windows, just as it was originally designed to.

Plans also include removing non-original walls, which sometimes reveal little historical artifacts from past students. Items such as candy wrappers have been found in between the walls, including a “3 Sticks for a Penny” wrapper dating back to the 1930s!

The first phase of restoration cost $213,975, with $100,275 coming from a grant from the State Historical Fund. That same fund committed an additional $198,045 towards the second phase of rehabilitation. Doing the work in several phases allows for the use of these invaluable grants, which are capped at $200,000 per cycle. Without these grants, the cost of restoration would have been out of reach and the building could very well have fallen into a state of decline and lost.

Juggling the ongoing restoration projects with events at the Schoolhouse Theater can be a bit challenging, but visitors are just as excited to see what’s happening to the building as they are to attend the fantastic programming offered at the theater. The Schoolhouse Theater hosts Comedy and Cocktails, Family Discovery Series events, local school productions, intimate concerts and musical performances and more. With the restoration of the building to its original, historic grandeur, visitors will take a little piece of Parker history with them from every visit.

The Gallery at Vehicle Vault

The Gallery at Vehicle Vault

Douglas County’s premier museum
…and it’s all about cars!

By Mike Waid

I love museums. It is as simple as that. My family and I have visited many different museums over the years. From aviation, to science, to arts & culture, to history we’ve spent many hours taking in the interesting details of a time long gone. You can imagine how excited I was when I walked through the doors at Vehicle Vault for the first time and found an incredible CAR MUSEUM!

Admittedly I am not a car guy…well, to be accurate I was not a car guy. Sure, I have fond memories of my first car – a 1968 Volkswagen Beetle. I learned to turn a wrench on its 1600cc air cooled engine. I performed my first body work on it, learning to secretly love the smell of Bond-o and the feel of sandpaper. But as I got older I fell away from the day to day love of the beauty and history which the automobile represents. Now that I’ve had the pleasure of visiting the Gallery at Vehicle Vault I feel that I’m starting to become a car guy.

Located in Parker, the Gallery is a massive car museum at the Vehicle Vault campus. This museum houses a vast collection of vehicles sure to satisfy every historic and creative bone in your body. From the mild enthusiast to the hard-core collector, the variety of amazing cars will both stun and excited you. What I found most intriguing about the collection is that each and every vehicle has some sort of story behind it. From the 1954 Mercedes 300SL “Gullwing,” one of the rarest and most valuable cars in the collection, to the Ferrari Scuderia you will surely fall in love with at least one of the many historic and exotic cars in the gallery.

One of my favorites is the 1906 Success. Originally a horse drawn buggy, owners of the Success could purchase a one cylinder engine modification so the buggy was no longer horse drawn. The side mounted engine and its large chain speak of ingenuity and creativity at the dawn of the automobile. My wife had several favorites. From the pink Cadillac to the 1954 Jaguar that looked like it could be the star of a secret agent movie, she wanted to take several home.

In addition to the museum, Vehicle Vault has event space available for small parties to large fundraisers. I have attended many events there and was blown away by the “party” that can be thrown there. No matter if you are looking for a cool place take the family or are looking for a venue to host a party for 300 of your closest friends you will want to stop by Vehicle Vault real soon.

For more information on the Gallery at Vehicle Vault, event facilities or their ownership car condos that are going to be built soon you can visit them online at

A Celebration of Extraordinary Women

A Celebration of Extraordinary Women

The 2nd Annual Women of Achievement Awards

By Tiffany Grizzle

What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” – Jane Goodall

Last spring, I found myself at a large table, having wonderful conversations over a beautiful lunch with several people I had the pleasure of meeting just that afternoon. Ours was one of many tables in a much larger banquet room and throughout the afternoon, we had the honor of being introduced to neighbors in our community who were doing absolutely amazing things; things that we may never had learned of if it weren’t for the reason we were all gathered there – the Light ‘n’ Heart Awards and Women of Achievement Luncheon presented by the Rotary Club of Parker Cherry Creek Valley. Like most people, I believe, I try and do what I can for others. I volunteer at my children’s schools; I participate in fundraisers and charitable events and donate my time or money when and where I can when I am moved to do so. I realize I can always do more but I was completely awestruck by just how much more is possible. The women recognized at last year’s awards, especially the young women in our community, and the work they are doing within the community is absolutely astonishing.

This year’s 2nd Annual Women of Achievement Luncheon also serves as a 30 year celebration for all Rotary International Women. The Light ‘n’ Heart Awards were created to recognize the achievements of women in Douglas County for their leadership and service. Meeting in the Rotarian spirit of “Service Above Self,” this very special afternoon is sure to be another unforgettable event, and one that you will not want to miss. Tickets are available now ( and this event is open to all community members and businesses. This year’s incredible nominees, none of whom asked to be put in the spotlight, will be most humbly accepting the recognition they so genuinely deserve.

Light ‘n’ Heart Awards will be presented to deserving nominees in the following categories: Achievement in Innovation, Achievement in Leadership, Achievement in Organizational Enhancement, Achievement in Service to Others, Mentoring Women, Young Women of Achievement & Unsung Heroine

The afternoon will include a Proclamation given by Rotary District 5450 Governor Bill Downes, and keynote addresses by Former 5450 Governor Mary Kay Hasz, Rotary President Mike Dunkel, Rotary Women Past, Present and Future and former Rotary President and Parker Mayor Mike Waid.

As someone who thoroughly enjoyed last year’s luncheon and ceremony, I would highly encourage attending – you’ll meet some remarkable people and leave incredibly inspired, perhaps wanting to lend your talents and time to one of the recipient’s causes or be motivated to pursue your own passion.

The Women of Achievement Awards take place
Wednesday, May 3rd 11am-1pm at the
Denver Marriott South in Lone Tree
For Tickets, go to