FoCoMX Artist Spotlight – Meet Jaiel

FoCoMX is finally here! Over twenty incredible acts are taking the stage here at Fort Collins Museum of Discovery. This year, FCMoD is home to three unique stages: The Learning Labs, The Launchpad, and the Otterbox Digital Dome Theater. We had the pleasure to speak with some of artists performing at FCMoD, diving into what inspires their music and what you can expect from their performances. 

Are you looking for the perfect mix of pop and soul to add to your FoCoMX schedule? Denver artist, Jaiel, will not disappoint. Jaiel has been surrounded by music and creativity her whole life. In 2022, she decided to start pursuing music professionally and released her first project, ‘The Magical World of Black Girlhood’. Jaiel describes her music as a reflection on the space between girlhood and womanhood and hopes it serves as a tool for empowerment and inspiration. Her music explores the complexities of adolescence and the growing pains associated with becoming a woman. 

Inspired by artists like Beyonce, Tori Kelly, and Ariana Grande, Jaiel is busy creating new music that is sure to earn a spot on your “Summer 2024” Playlist. Catch Jaiel at The Launch Pad at FCMoD, tomorrow, April 20th at 7:00PM. See you there! 

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FoCoMX Artist Spotlight – Meet Zealot

FoCoMX is right around the corner and over twenty incredible acts are taking the stage here at Fort Collins Museum of Discovery. This year, FCMoD is home to three unique stages: The Learning Labs, The Launchpad, and the Otterbox Digital Dome Theater. We had the pleasure to speak with some of artists performing at FCMoD, diving into what inspires their music and what you can expect from their performances. 

From a whimsical stage presence to sci-fi inspired lyrics, Denver band, Zealot, is sure to leave the crowds at FoCoMX enchanted. Formed in 2016, Zealot is a four-piece indie/alternative band creating captivating tunes that have a much deeper meaning. Lead singer, Luke Hunter James-Erickson pulls songwriting inspiration from sci-fi and fantasy novels written by authors like Terry Pratchett. Though the inspiration for their songs come from imaginary worlds, Zealot hopes their lyrics can inspire positive change in their local community and beyond. The band pairs these complex and introspective stories with upbeat and energetic instrumentals, making for an unforgettable show. 

Zealot is currently in the process of recording their second full length album, ‘The January King,’ and plans to release it early 2025. They are making their Fort Collins debut at FoCoMX this weekend and are ready to take you on a journey into their world.  

You can find Zealot at The Launchpad at Fort Collins Museum of Discovery this Saturday, April 20th at 3:00PM. See you there!

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FoCoMX Artist Spotlight – Meet D.W. Doucet

FoCoMX is right around the corner and over twenty incredible acts are taking the stage here at Fort Collins Museum of Discovery. This year, FCMoD is home to three unique stages: The Learning Labs, The Launchpad, and the Otterbox Digital Dome Theater. We had the pleasure to speak with some of artists performing at FCMoD, diving into what inspires their music and what you can expect from their performances.  

D.W. Doucet’s unique approach to live shows is sure to make his set stand out at this year’s FoCoMX. Doucet describes his one-man band as “an individualistic blend of blues and folk,” met with “howling, growling, hooting and hollering.” He blends narrative based songwriting with nontraditional instruments like chains and rotary telephones. These unexpected elements give Doucet’s music a sound like no one else, adding a layer of depth to his honest, raw storytelling. His songwriting is inspired by a variety of life experiences, whether it be a personal reflection, or stories heard from friends and relatives. 

Doucet is a seasoned FoCoMX artist, with his first festival appearance back in 2016. He is currently in the process of recording his full-length album “American Dust” at More Door studios with engineer, Johnny Alonzo, and plans to release it later this year.  

You can find D.W. Doucet at the Fort Collins Digital Dome Theater on Friday, April 19th at 8:15PM.

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We are days away from Fort Collins’ favorite local music festival, FoCoMX! With over 350 Colorado bands performing on 30 stages, it is impossible not to wonder what goes on behind the scenes. This year, Fort Collins Museum of Discovery has the support of the youth advisory board known as the FCMoD Squad to help run three unique stages: The Launchpad, The Learning Labs, and The Otterbox Digital Dome Theater.

The MoD Squad consists of individuals ages 15-19 from across the Front Range. Squad members meet twice a month at the museum for a one-year period. During that time, they actively engage the community in a variety of ways, including reviewing applications for the Sonic Spotlight Showcase, participating in college level presentations and discussions, emceeing concerts, and much more. This year, MoD Squad members will also be helping out behind the scenes of FoCoMX at the museum.

Months ago, Squad members got a sneak peek into the FoCoMX application process. After intently looking over applications from a variety of different bands, MoD Squad had the opportunity to weigh in on which bands would thrive on FCMoD stages. Now, after becoming these bands’ newest fans, Squad members will help ensure the success of the festival by supporting backstage.

Want to see the MoD Squad in action? We’ve got you covered. Thanks to Visit Fort Collins, admission to the museum is FREE on Saturday, April 20th. Add Fort Collins Museum of Discovery to your 2024 FoCoMX schedule and don’t forget to say hello to the Squad!

Poster Design by: Elijah Brady

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Cafecito con Vlad Episode One (feat. Ben Griswold)

Welcome to Cafecito con Vlad, with your host, Vlad Lora Pardo. Vlad is a former ModSquad member and current ¡Alebrijes! fellow. Working closely alongside the iAlebrijes! artists, staff, and volunteers, Vlad provides a unique perspective into the exhibit and its impact on the local community. Come along as Vlad interviews the people behind our new iAlebrijes! Exhibit. 

In this episode, Vlad has a conversation with Ben Griswold, FCMoD’s Senior Manager of Content, Engagement, and Experience. This week, we’re diving into the team’s vision behind the ¡Alebrijes! exhibit, as well as some of the challenges faced along the way. Join us this Thursday, April 4th to check out the giant Alebrije installment created by our artists in residency, Óscar Becerra Mora and Rubén Miguel. 

Listen to the Podcast:

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4 Tips To Boost Your Field Trip Experience at FCMoD

Field trips at Fort Collins Museum of Discovery are special and memorable for all ages, and a great way to positively impact students and their learning experiences. Here are some things we thought of to help boost your field trip experience at FCMoD:

  • Find the best time to visit. Finding the best time to visit can make all the difference. If you’re visiting to support your curriculum, consider booking your visit 1-2 weeks before or after your unit to help students feel most connected. If you’re hoping to have lunch outside, experience nearby trails and parks, or visit nearby museums and restaurants in Downtown Fort Collins, you might want to keep seasonal weather in mind. FCMoD asks for reservation requests at least two weeks in advance and works with educators and group leaders to explore availability and itinerary options. Booking your field trip well in advance can help give you more peace of mind and time to plan a more memorable experience for your group.
  • Embrace the exploration expectations. FCMoD field trips give groups the experience of limitless discovery and help promote a stronger, accessible connection to history, science, culture, and community. To help ensure that this experience is the most fun, engaging, educational and safe for all, we encourage groups to review a few expectations before their visit. By embracing these exploration expectations before and during their field trip, students can take pride in being respectful of each other and their surroundings, while helping us preserve history, science, and culture in Colorado.
  • Access the Archive, Special Exhibits, and more. Before making your field trip request, check out the Dome Show schedule, Special Exhibits, the Archive & Collections and more. All of these can be included in the group rate to boost your field trip experience at FCMoD – whether your group is studying space, wildlife, music and sound, or local and regional history, including an immersive, hands-on, or behind-the-scenes experience can really help keep students excited and engaged. Did you know we have 4 new exhibits coming in 2024 and 2025? Ask about shows, tours and floor program availability when submitting your field trip request.
  • Plan some activities and learning tools. Field trips at FCMoD are intentionally self-guided to encourage limitless discovery, exploration, and reflection. That said, the Gallery offers a fresh canvas for educators and group leaders to get creative with how to best engage their students with curricular and extra-curricular goals in mind. Maybe a scavenger hunt connecting what you’re learning in the classroom to artifacts on display? How about museum bingo, to help ensure maximum engagement during visitation? Maybe a field note worksheet, asking students to reflect on their experiences? Options are endless, and we love ideas! To help plan and prepare any activities, educators and group leads are invited to request a complimentary guest pass when booking their field trip so they can tour the gallery floor before visiting.

Don’t delay! FCMoD’s spring field trip season is filling fast, and we’re now booking field trips and camps for the summer. To learn more about group visits and field trips at FCMoD, visit our Group Visits page. When you’re ready to request a visit, please submit this online reservation form. For questions about Group Visits, please contact Carlos Barata, Events Liaison, at

img credit: City of Fort Collins Flickr

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What’s Going On @ FCMoD: February

Whether you’re a member or first-time visitor, every month at FCMoD is jam-packed with limitless discovery! Here’s some fun you can look forward to at FCMoD in February: 

2/1: Membership Relaunch – in case you missed it, we rolled out all new membership levels to help simplify your experience and better connect you to all the benefits of being a member! To learn more about pricing, benefits and new programs, please visit explore membership preview. 

2/9, 7-9:30am: 17th Annual Winter Bike To Work (or Wherever) Day Fort Collins’ 17th Annual Winter Bike to Work (or Wherever) Day is almost here! Join 48 stations, hosted by over 100 local businesses and organizations (including FCMoD!), all around Fort Collins for free breakfast, comradery, and two-wheeled fun before and after work. Swing by FCMoD at the corner of Cherry & Mason Streets for some healthy snacks and a chance to win free passes and an Explore 5 Membership! 

2/16, 5-8pm: Monthly Member Nightone of our newest Member perks, FCMoD is extending operating hours to host “Monthly Member Nights” on the third Friday of every month! Join us from 5 – 8 PM and enjoy all that the museum has to offer, exclusively for members, after hours. Not a member yet? Become a member today! 

2/21, 6-9pm: Music Industry Nightcalling all musicians, promoters, music lovers and more, Music Industry Night is a regular peer-to-peer evening hosted by FCMoD and Fort Collins Musicians Association for the music community of Northern Colorado to safely connect, find resources, and have fun. Enjoy free dinner by provided by Music City Hot Chicken and join Jamaal “Boss Eagle” Curry for a hands-on workshop on leveling-up your online merch store in time for FoCoMX.  

Every 2nd & 4th Saturday, 10am-12pm: Meet the Animals – join us in our Animal Encounters exhibit and discover some amazing creatures we share this planet with. Animals of all kinds from creepy crawlies, wet and slimy, to soft and furry. Don’t miss out on making a new animal friend! 

Every 1st & 3rd Saturday, 10am-12pm: Ferret Feeding – join us in our Natural Areas Exhibit to learn about the conservation work being done to return black-footed ferrets to the wild, from the national captive breeding program to new advances in cloning. Meet our black-footed ferrets, Dude and Churro, and watch as our furry friends tear into their weekend meal.  

We hope to see you at FCMoD this February – and don’t forget to check our calendar regularly for Dome Shows, Floor Programs, and new events!  

Image Credit: City of Fort Collins

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Hey There New and Renewing FCMoD Members

We’ve got exciting news! Starting on February 1, 2024, we’ll be rolling out all new membership levels to help simplify your experience and better connect you to all the benefits of being a member. Our new Explore 2, Explore 5 and Explore 8 levels of membership will get you:

  • a year’s worth of unlimited gallery access
  • admission to three free special touring exhibitions in 2024
  • discounted admission to the Otterbox Digital Dome Theater
  • discounts in the Museum Café, Store and on birthday rentals
  • access to hundreds of ASTC museums worldwide
  • access to 11 History Colorado Sites and Museums
  • subscription to newsletters and member updates

For those looking for the deepest connection to YOUR museum you can level up with an Explore More Add On which gets you all of the above plus:

  •  access to hundreds of North American Reciprocal Museums (NARM)
  • early Registration for programs and workshops
  • free Admission to Daily Dome shows and Weekend Music Shows
  • Meet & Greet Behind the Scenes tour with Executive Directors

It’s a brave new era for Members here at FCMoD – come explore more!!

To learn more about pricing, benefits and new programs please see our membership page

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Sonic Spotlight 2023: Meet The Bands!

Sonic Spotlight Finalist Showcase is coming up on December 13th at Washington’s at 7pm!

Tickets are on sale now

Come check out these young rippers on the rise and cheer on your hometown heroes!

 Learn all about this year’s finalist in the bios below. See you there!


autumnal is a fuzz folk band from Fort Collins and Denver, Colorado. They combine the
storytelling of folk songwriting with the tones and pedals of shoegaze to create a unique
sound they’ve dubbed ‘fuzz folk’. autumnal is fronted by childhood best friends Annalee
Knies on guitar and vocals and Geneva Hein on synth and vocals. They are rounded
out by Justice Murray on bass and Nina Dorighi on drums. Their lyrics detail the lives of
twenty-somethings navigating the world; writing about everything from queerness to
climate change. They strive to make the music scene a move inclusive space for
anyone who wants to get involved, starting with their own shows.


This quintet, freshly squeezed out of Fort Collins, CO, consists of bright guitar riffs
juxtaposed with heavy-hitting drums and lyrics. With an alternative rock, punk, and
soulful grip on the music they write and perform, clementine offers something unique
and diverse. Their energy is over-the-top intense, and their sharp, in-your-face
presentation is something you just have to see.

Stone Jackals

Stone Jackals is a Colorado rock band formed by high school friends in 2018. We play
many types of music from indie rock to heavier garage rock. We have recently played
shows with acts like The Orwells and Zella Day and want to continue to increase our
presence in Colorado and elsewhere.
“Chemical Canopy holds the fort down as part of the new wave of indie
rock-inspired, neo-psychedelic style. It’s steady bouncing bass with simple but
effective guitar riffs and low, smooth vocals that pleasantly reverberate in your head. It’s
funkadelic rock with a dash of dopamine to ease a tired mind after a long week.”
– Andrew Venegas, 303 Magazine


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Sonic Spotlight Applications Now Open (Closed August 31st, 2023)

Sonic Spotlight is back! Now in its fourth year, this musical showcase highlights emerging music and young artists living in Northern Colorado. Musicians 22 and under are encouraged to apply. Sonic Spotlight provides opportunities for musicians looking to level up their craft while making new friends and connections.Selected artists and bands will get a chance to work with industry experts, connect with creative peers, receive radio airplay, create a professional music videos, book live shows, and reach new creative heights. You and/or your friends should apply! 

Applications are open now through August 31st!

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