HEADLINING set  from the  All-Star House Band
 handpicked  Songwriters  back by the House Band
Youth musicians  from local music programs
creating one-time only musical collaborations, plus
a Live Painting  +  Silent Auction  +  Drawings   +  Merchandise  +  More
with everything based in and unique to Northern Colorado
all proceeds benefit the uplift scholarship

An annual evening celebrating local art and community


Eric Thorin

the House Band

Eric Thorin is a highly regarded Colorado bassist and can be found on stage with The Matt Flinner Trio and various touring luminaries such as Jim Hurst, Danny Barnes, Darol Anger, Bonnie Paine and more. Eric remains active in the studio as producer and performer, has written hundreds of compositions and orchestrated songs for Elephant Revival with the Colorado Symphony. Teaching is a big part of his presence in 2019 including The Montana Fiddle Camp, Kansas City Bass Workshop, Grand Targhee and Walker Creek Music Camps, as well as faculty in the Folk and Bluegrass program at the University of Northern Colorado.

Joe Lessard is a Fort Collins-based violinist, vocalist and songwriter with over 15 years of touring and recording experience. His passion and skill has developed with Head for the Hills, a five-piece bluegrass/americana outfit, as well as Whiskey Blanket, an unconventional hip-hop trio with decidedly classical influences. Joe currently spends his time between tours as an instructor at Fort Collins’ own Music District, also playing solo and duo gigs in local listening rooms. His songs are caught between genres, weaving stories of modern tragedy and triumph through a haunting and cinematic American soundtrack.

Joe Lessard
Eric Wiggs

Eric Wiggs, hailing from Northern Alabama, has been performing and teaching as a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, producer, & engineer for nearly 20 years. He holds a B.M. in Jazz Studies from the University of Alabama and a M.M. Jazz Performance from CU-Boulder. An integral part of Colorado’s music scene for the past decade, he is currently guitarist/vocalist for Masontown, instrumentalist/vocalist for Honeytree Duo, and host of jams at 12Degree and Wibby Brewing. In 2016 he was Rockygrass Flatpicking Champion, and in 2019 he opened Vermillion Road Studio as a home for his varied musical endeavors as well as up and coming local musicians.       

Dusty Rider, once a brakeman for the Alaskan Railroad, has been playing banjo for over twenty years. He has studied with Bill Keith, Noam Pikelny, and anyone willing to trade a few ideas. During the day, he masquerades as a pilot who lands with fewer people aboard than he takes off with -- it's okay, they're wearing parachutes. In the moonlight he's found playing banjo and pedal steel, primarily with The Railsplitters, and filling in with various outfits such as Meadow Mountain, Ragged Union, and Austin Wahlert Band.

Dusty Rider
Russick Smith

Russick Smith, lauded by the Governor as “uniquely Colorado”, has a formal background in cello and electric bass along with an audio engineering education from the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences. His musical foundation bridges contemporary and classical, and his recording work has led to an expanding instrumental repertoire with mandolin, banjo, concertina, double bass, guitar, and other various keyed and string instruments. Now well-known through national news coverage for his tree performances, he has also appeared alongside artists ranging in genre from goth rock to polka, hiphop to bluegrass, and is a lead instructor at The Matthews House music program.

Featured Songwriters
To Be Announced

Diana Dellos

Diana Dellos is an acrylic and mixed media artist who specializes in bright colors, patterns, and layers. She enjoys the freedom of expressive painting and letting each piece develop organically. She also paints murals and enjoys teaching others her painting process. 

Diana will create a painting specifically inspired by Uplift: FoCo. Limited edition prints

will be available and the original piece will be featured in the silent auction.

Live Painting + Event Prints

Jeff Koepke


Jeff Koepke will lead our musical journey through Uplift: FoCo. He has also been the MC at New West Fest's Library Park stage and is a volunteer broadcaster with KRFC 88.9 FM, hosting the House Rent Party every Wednesday evening 8-10 pm.

Listen to previous years



Lady Moon

Lady Moon (Eva Holbrook) is a Fort Collins-grown songwriter well known as lead singer and mandolinist for the hometown favorite sister band, SHEL. Eva is recognized for her sweeping, virtuoso mandolin arrangements and soulful folk melodies, as well as unique hand-crafted top hats. Combining thoughtful lyrics with an effortless and flowing vocal style, her songs speak volumes to any listener. As her band began a new album, Eva created an additional outlet for individual study to help keep her imagination sharp. Lady Moon is her vehicle to explore folk music from around the world.

Alysia Kraft

Alysia Kraft was born in Encampment, WY, a town 20 times smaller than Cody, but of a beauty “that most people don’t understand”. Alysia grew up riding around in her father’s truck on their cattle ranch, listening to ‘90s country on the radio, and believes this early experience infiltrates her music. She is well known as the fierce and soulful vocalist for the rock n’ roll band, The Patti Fiasco, and co-writer in the alternative folk-rock trio, Whippoorwill. Dripped of Western life, its impenetrable vastness and its surprising beauty, Alysia brings us songs from this landscape rich with intricate harmonies and deep intimacy.

Courtney Hartman is a native of Loveland, CO and was raised on acoustic music from an early age. Agile on the fiddle, guitar, mandolin, and banjo, she studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she earned a reputation for artistry as a member of Della Mae and a Grammy nomination for Best Bluegrass Album. Now based back in Loveland, Courtney has self-released her first full-length solo album, Ready Reckoner, in summer of 2019. Alternative leaning and delicately textured, it was co-produced by Shahzad Ismaily and features guests including Bill Frisell and Anaïs Mitchell.

Courtney Hartman
Bethel Steele

Bethel Steele is a Fort Collins based americana-inspired singer songwriter who’s career began in Boston, MA in 2008. Bethel has toured from Portland to Austin slinging songs and sharing stories, and has released four recording projects. Kelly Walker, host of the Sundilla Radio Hour, says this of the latest release, an EP called “Shadows and Light”: "Bethel draws the listener in with songs that are clearly intensely personal, but reveal themselves to be true for us all. You cannot help but be moved and perhaps changed a little for the better in listening to them."

Liz Barnez started her musical career in the clubs and festivals in her hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana. She moved to Fort Collins Colorado in the late 80’s. Her music is inspired by these places but more importantly...by the people she has encountered along the way. Liz has released four albums and is currently in pre production on her fifth solo album to be released in Fall of 2021! Get ready for an intimate and fun musical ride! Enjoy the rhythmic musicianship and expect playful spontaneity! Prepare to connect musically, through humor , and shared life experience....and you may be inspired to dance!

Liz Barnez
Mary Claxton

Mary Claxton has spent her professional life at the joyful intersection of music performance, teaching and advocacy. As a teacher, Claxton was pulled particularly towards the modern band movement that emphasized the songwriting and student-centered aspects that had made music so meaningful to her throughout the years. She joined the Little Kids Rock nonprofit team in 2017, and enjoys making curricular resources for students and teacher alike. She continues to perform often on drums, vocals and ukulele - working hard to further her skills and continue the conversation with her community and students about the role music plays in reflecting and changing our world.

Julia Kirkwood is bubbly and infectious yet grounded in soulful understanding and bold self-revelation, creating music that merges pop with hints of alternative, rock, and indie. Snappy rhythms and bright guitar lines combine with vocals that range from bold to lilting, while Julia’s lyrics reflect a sense of purpose beyond her years, focusing on themes of self-realization and human connection. At age 15, she already has been performing for over a decade and has released her first album. Her songs offer compelling glimpses into the inner world of youth in the thrall of discovery, conveying a signature energy that holds the promise of a bright musical future.

Julia Kirkwood
Jordan Ramsey

Jordan Ramsey is one of the premier mandolinists in the country.  A native of Tennessee, he attended the Bluegrass and Country Music Program at East Tennessee State University and performed with the school's top bluegrass ensemble. During his 15 year career, he has played all over the world and won some of the most prestigious contests, including 2016 National Mandolin Championship. Jordan has shared the stage with stars like Porter Wagoner, Alison Krauss, Ralph Stanley, and Tater Tate, and has been on staff at Swallow Hill, Regis University, University of Northern Colorado, Steve Kaufman's Acoustic Kamp, and Brian Oberlin's River of the West Camp.

Werner Schreiber has painted for over 45 years, and done murals in Europe and throughout the USA. Werner has painted 10 pianos for the City of Fort Collins, and has done many electrical transformer boxes murals for Fort Collins and Loveland. His medium of choice is acrylics / mixed media / airbrushing – and he is versatile with the subject matter – including contemporary& abstracts.

Tyler Boeyink is a local artist and muralist who uses geometric and abstract shapes with colorful high contrast patterns. Tyler has painted many transformer boxes, walls, and a park bench around Fort Collins, along with making designs for hats, pillows, socks, shoes, and more.

Chris Bates specializes in murals, commissioned art, and live painting. 

www.mightyfineart.org   or   @mightyfineartist

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