Open your art: A whopping eighty local artists invite the rest of us into their studios during the annual Alternative Arts Alliance Open Studio Tour, taking place from noon to 6 today (studios south of Colfax) and tomorrow (studios north of Colfax). You'll not only see an astonishing variety of media, styles and environments along the way, but you'll also get to meet the makers where they are most comfortable. Free guidebooks are available at several locations, including the Wynkoop Brewing Company, Coffee on the Z, Denver Art Supply, Guiry's stores and others; for more information call 433-9359.
Artists also team up in a different capacity by donating artworks to be auctioned off from 6 to 9 this evening at the annual Art Against AIDS event, a fundraiser for the Colorado AIDS Project. Bid on the varied array of prints, sculptures, art glass, pottery and jewelry at Stapleton 2000, 3090 Syracuse St.; tickets are $20 in advance ($25 at the door). For details call 837-0166, ext. 502.
Big man in town: We had the pope. We had the president. Now we have the Dalai Lama. The human-rights activist, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and exiled Tibetan Buddhist leader makes a public appearance tonight from 5:30 to 7 during an interfaith celebration at McNichols Arena. A program featuring musical groups from Nepal and Tibet, Native American dancers, the Colorado Children's Chorale and sacred prayer chanting completes the evening; for tickets, ranging from $10 to $40, call 1-800-444-SEAT. For more information about Tibet or the Dalai Lama's Denver visit, call Colorado Friends of Tibet, 499-4168.
Built to scale: In May 1996, on the downside of an Everest climb, adventurous journalist Jon Krakauer barely escaped catastrophe when a rogue storm, pushed by seventy-knot winds, whistled over the massive pinnacle. Exhausted, frozen and oxygen-starved, Krakauer made it to camp before the worst of the blizzard descended upon the treacherous mountain walls. Some of his companions weren't so lucky: Of the six left dangling on Everest's rock faces, five died and one lost a hand to frostbite. Now Krakauer chronicles the story with an eyewitness's precision and a friend's concern in Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster. He'll appear tonight at 7:30 at the Tattered Cover LoDo, 1628 16th St.; tickets for a seat and place in line will be given out beginning at 6:30. Call 436-1070 for details.
Neatness counts: Even great world powers need to straighten their ties once in a while, and nobody knows this better than Barbara Kinney, who's captured several of them in the act. In fact, her photo showing President Clinton and other leaders tightening their knots was voted a World Press Photo of the Year in 1995. One of four official White House shutterbugs under the Clinton administration, Kinney displays a keen eye and a liberal sense of humor in her candid shots of the country's political inner sanctum. You can enjoy a number of those shots when a fascinating Kinney exhibit, A View From the Other Side, opens today at the Colorado Institute of Art, 200 E. 9th Ave. The show remains on display through June 30; call 837-0825.
Not just idle talk: Do not adjust your set--some films were actually made to be seen and not heard. Before there were talkies, there were non-talkies, some of which stand among the most creative works ever committed to celluloid. These days, the opportunities to see them are few and far between--just one little reason to celebrate the annual return of the Colorado Chautauqua Silent Film Series. A sweetly comic Buster Keaton parodies the whodunit in Sherlock, Jr. when the series gets off the ground tonight at 7:30; Hank Troy accompanies on piano. Admission is $4 ($3 children).
On the other hand, good listeners can still take heart: Also starting up today is Chautauqua's summer Forum Series, a free weekly discussion covering a variety of issues. The season-opening talk, Public Lands in the Front Range: Playgrounds or Preserves?, begins at 4:30 in the Community House on Morning Glory Drive. Chautauqua is at 900 Baseline Road in Boulder; call 440-7666.