Eden Lane focuses on keeping In Focus with Eden Lane on the air
Eden Lane has hosted In Focus with Eden Lane, a weekly arts program on Colorado Public Television, since 2009, but unless she can raise $10,000 in the next six days, that program may go dark. "We're only 25 percent of the way there," Lane says.
Media coverage of the arts has never been more vital -- and never more endangered -- and over the years Lane has interviewed dozens of musicians, theater people, visual artists, dancers, filmmakers and choreographers, giving these artists a forum to discuss and explain their work in unusual depth, and giving audiences a sense of Colorado's rich cultural community.
She remembers an interview with Cleo Parker Robinson, founder of Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, who "talked not just about being an artist in Colorado, but being a dancer and a woman of color, and maintaining her creative vision" through the forty years of the company's existence.
George Hamilton, in town to star in the touring production of La Cage Aux Folles, shared with Lane memories of his deceased brother Bill Potter -- a gay man who had endured many closeted years -- and explained how his brother had inspired his work. "The actor's work can go so deep," Lane muses. "Even in a frothy musical."
She followed the two-year effort of director Jack Gastelbondo and producer Mark Diestler to put together a film called The Inner Room and attended the premiere at the Vail Film Festival last year.
She learned from Ellie Caulkins herself "how she felt about having that beautiful opera house bear her name," and watched as Ballet Nouveau Colorado hired Garrett Ammon as artistic director, and then as Ammon was named one of "25 To Watch" by Dance Magazine two years later. "We were ahead of that," she says. "We were able to watch a Colorado arts organization blossom and grow and change over a body of interviews."
"I adore Eden," says Melanie Mayner, publicist for the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities. "She covers just about everything that we do here. Not only theater but galleries, some of our education programs. And she is so prepared when she shows up. She has her questions lined up; when they come to set up, she already sees in her mind's eye what the shot's going to look like. She really does the research."
Lane and her husband, Don, do all the set-up on this self-produced show, which is shot on location and costs around $750 an episode.
"Every year I've found my own funding," says Lane, "but this year, that was much more challenging. Based on what we've received now we'll be able to continue through January, but we're very uncertain past that."
Raising the full $10,000 would take In Focus through to the beginning of next summer, she says, and "the best scenario would be to continue through into the fall for season six. That's our dream."
Several local artists and arts aficionados have contributed towards this goal so far (you can make a donation here, and Ignite Theatre has turned tonight's dress rehearsal for its upcoming production of Next to Normal at Aurora Fox. (The show starts at 7:30 p.m. December 20; find more information at www.lucentperformingarts.org )
Lane has a background in television and reported from the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, interviewing local candidates for PBS. But as a former artist and trained dancer herself, she wanted to "find a way to do something more, something that wasn't being done," she explains. "he commercial stations touch on culture, but they don't have time to give local artists the attention celebrities may receive. I wanted to show local artists who they are, what they're doing and how they fit into the community. After five seasons we haven't even scratched the surface of what there is to cover."
Mayner particularly remembers an interview Lane conducted with acclaimed Denver sculptor Robert Mangold when the Arvada Center exhibited a retrospective of his work earlier this year: "They talked for an hour. He told her interesting stories about teaching and the Denver arts scene, and she interjected really intelligent questions. It was one of those great moments in time. She aired a terrific piece on him -- but to have that raw footage of an artist like him ... that's gold. She just intuitively knows when to let it play out, when to wrap it up," she says.
"She just knows."