● By Nora Parker
by Nora ParkerBe Still, Beating Hearts - Girls of Steamboat Calender debuts Maybe you've noticed that Steamboat Springs has more than its share of beautiful women? It's probably the combination of fresh mountain air, a play-outdoors fitness mentality and an Heather Richey (Miss July) and Hilary Spillane (Miss September) in the backyard of the Spillane Ranch barn. Photo by DreStachnik.appealing lack of fussiness responsible for that certain je ne sais quoi ladies around here have. Jill Wernig and DreStachnik took note and decided to create the "Girls of Steamboat Calendar" in celebration of this Yampa Valley beauty. The calendar is also a fundraiser for the Steamboat Springs Arts Council, with Jill and Dreplanning for it to be an annual effort. Jill and her sisters own Mountain Mama's crepe shop, and were joking one day about creating a Mountain Mama's calendar. A friend of Jill's who volunteers at the Arts Council mentioned that the organization was looking for fundraising possibilities.The two notions collided and the Girls of Steamboat idea gelled. Living in Steamboat since she was 10, Jill knelots of pretty women to serve as Corinna Cohen (Miss October) and Katie Tollar (Miss August) at the Jim Carolla Ranch in Strawberry Park. Photo by DreStachnik.subjects. They're not professional models � they include nurses, insurance agents, cooks, restaurant ownersand more. And none had previously posed for a calendar. But with several being members of the Steamboat Dance Theatre, including Jill, and the Dance Theatre a long-time affiliate of the Arts Council, a synergy quickly formed. Part of Jill's motivation is to help the Arts Council raise money for a performing arts space. As a photographer and Web designer, Dremade Jill's idea a reality. But it wasn't easy. He took about 1,200 pictures for the calendar � nearly 100 for each lady photographed. "I integrated where the girls wanted to be photographed with what they wanted to wear," he says, adding that they used numerous locations, including the Depot, Strawberry Park Hot Springs and local ranches. The calendars ($12) are available for purchase at various locations around town including the Arts Council and All That Jazz (as well as at skitowncalendar. com).
Local Lyrics - Mark Sanders inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame Aspen can have the late John Denver. We'll keep Mark Sanders. Admitting that a love for all things Western first drehim to the Yampa Valley, Mark, an active songwriter for the past 30 years, recently received the equivalent of an Olympic gold: induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. "Songwriters tend to live in anonymity," he says of the accolade. "The artist is often credited with writing the song, even if they didn't. Songwriters don't crave attention, but it was nice to get my five minutes of fame. I don't even want 15 minutes. I'll settle for five."Yampa Picker: Mark Sanders practicing in his studio. Mark and his wife, Cindy, have had property in Steamboat Springs for the last 12 years. He always envisioned going home to California - he greup in Los Angeles and Orange County. During a family reunion in Breckenridge, Mark's niece suggested he and his family stopover in Steamboat. They came for a visit and fell in love with the town's Western feel. "The river took the place of the ocean," he says. After buying a condo on the mountain, five years ago they moved into theirhome on the Yampa River, which perfectly suits Mark, an avid fly fisherman. They spend as muchtime here as they can, but with two kids in college, they're juggling a busy schedule. Country music wasn't Mark's first musical love - he was into rock'n'roll "until heavy metal." In the early '70s he got into follk music and started listen- ing to Emmylou Harris and Hank Williams. At 29 he decided he was going to try to make a go of it as a songwriter" in Nashville, and admits the first 10 years were rough. "I had friends who found other ways to make a living," he says. Luckily he hung in there. He's nowritten or cowritten 14 Number-1 hits, the most recent being ''I Hope You Dance," recorded by Lee Ann Womack in 2000. He says one of the most special moments of October's induction was when she sang that song for him. Bringing Performing Arts Back to the Depot Where locals used to catch the train at the Depot, nothey can catchshows. With Steamboat Springs short of spaces for performing arts, especially those requiring a stage, the beloved downtown Depot, which turned 100 years old last year, will soon behosting more performing arts. For 60-odd years, the Depot functioned as a train station before becoming home to the Steamboat Springs Arts Council in 1973. Over the years, it has been adapted for various uses, with performing arts events (including Steamboat Dance Theatre performances) hosted in its Baggage Room. (Back row) Eileen Jones, Jill Waldman, Rusty Delucia, Brandon Amato and Jordan Wallace. (Front row) Jen Stoddard, Shelly Bourgeois and Kay Wagner (not pictured: director Michael Brumbaugh).There's even a tiny sound booth you can access via a closet and ladder off the gallery. Leave it to We're Not Clowns co-founder and Arts Council board president Kelly Anzalone to resurrect this tradition. Kelly is currently working on improving the Depot's infrastructure so performances can again take place in the Baggage Room. 'We built a nice, nemodular stage system that's 16 feet deep and as wide as the bagage room," he says. The stage is built in four pieces, each the same height as the alcoves as a more intimate performance space. It's also portable, so it can be put away when not in use. "We partnered back up with the Steamboat Players to have all their lightning equipment in there too," Kelly adds. Whiel they could use more sounds equipment, he says they are making strides. The Players' recent success staging Kimberly Akimbo in the space illustrates hoit can be used as an intimate theater. The players plan to perform a set of one-act plays in the space in March, with a Song/Songwriter series also in the works. The Arts Council is in talks with Steamboat Springs Middle School about hosting a middle school drama program and play. And finally, a partnership with the Bud Werner Memorial Library has opened the space for the Film Movement Film Series, featuring award-winning indie and foreign films on the third Friday of each month.