World party: Visitors to Denver's sprawling Auraria campus are greeted by the picture of multiculturalism, as students from all walks of life crisscross its urban quads. Apropos to the wonderfully motley quality of the higher-education complex, a World Friendship Festival, held today from 10 to 2 at the Tivoli Student Center, celebrates diversity by offering the public a global palette of entertainment, edibles and arts, including performances by various dance groups, an Eastern European women's choir, storytellers and a reggae band. A job fair and workshop series lend a serious air to the event, but the general intent of the free fest is to have a good time. The Tivoli is on the campus, at 900 Auraria Pkwy.; call 556-8354, 556-6330 or 556-6329 for information.
Roll over, Beethoven: Fans of contemporary classical composers can finally stop grumbling about the trend toward conservative orchestral programming, at least for a weekend. The Colorado Symphony Orchestra, under the saucy direction of fourth-year veteran conductor Marin Alsop, dives into its new season by presenting a varied trio of modern works tonight at 8 as part of CU-Boulder's Artist Series at Macky Auditorium, and again at 7:30 Friday and Saturday and 2:30 Sunday at the usual CSO venue, Boettcher Concert Hall, 14th and Curtis in the Plex. Christopher Rouse's The Infernal Machine, a short 1981 composition, opens the program, followed by Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3, a difficult work performed with a guest soloist, CU faculty member Angela Cheng. Henryk Gorecki's Symphony of Sorrowful Songs should prove a haunting finale, enhanced by the voice of Ukrainian soprano Oksana Krovytska. Macky tickets range from $10 to $30 (call 492-8008), while admission at Boettcher Hall is $5 to $38 (830-TIXS).
Your order, please: A pinch of this and a dash of that--put it all together and you've got a Naropa Institute InterArts Studies Faculty Concert, a charming bowl of kitchen-sink stew steaming with music, dance, film, video and vaudeville. Presented tonight and tomorrow at 8, the program features collaborations spanning those realms, with artists such as pianist Art Lande, choreographer Tandy Beal, Balinese musician I Made Lasmawan and Naropa theater maven Lee Worley providing the creative sparks. See the program at Naropa's Performing Arts Center, 2130 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder; for tickets, $4 to $8, call 444-0202.
Artists for art's sake: Big-name artists contributed limited-edition prints for Freedom of Expression, a show held jointly at galleries across the nation in support of political candidates and organizations that endorse federal funding for the arts. Arts entrepreneur Joshua Hassell and Open Press, Denver's own little fine-art print factory, at 40 W. Bayaud Ave. near Broadway, sponsor our local piece of the fundraising pie with a display of all-star works by Chuck Close, Jenny Holzer, Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist, Susan Rothenberg, William Wegman and others, opening today and continuing through October 13. A reception will be held tonight from 5 to 9; donations of $500 or more net patrons the print of their choice. Call 778-1116 or 860-1478 for details. Also on display this week is a different animal of a benefit show at CORE New Art Space--this one equally earnest in intent, if not as star-studded. Seventeen artists, most of them members of CORE and other local arts cooperatives, each began a three-dimensional piece and then passed it around among the group for Collaborative Assemblage, a show featuring the reconstructed, deconstructed results. A silent auction of the unique works, benefiting the Alternative Arts Alliance, began at last Friday night's reception, but final bidding is still to come--it takes place this Sunday at 3:30 p.m. CORE is located at 1412 Wazee; call 571-4831.
New World charm: Some simply call it Jewish jazz, but the music made by the Klezmatics is just the beginning of an eclectic journey traversing not only the language of jazz, but touching on dozens of other musical references as well. Though they are proud purveyors of traditional klezmer strains--commonly based on a Yiddish-inflected combination of fiddle, clarinet, accordion, bass and drums heard at weddings, bar mitzvahs and other celebrations--the Klezmatics also take listeners on a wild ride through modern times, throwing in bits of anything and everything from Dixieland to hip-hop. They'll be playing it all with a carousing sense of abandon tonight at 8 at the Bluebird Theater, 3317 E. Colfax Ave., where they appear as guests of the Swallow Hill Music Association. Admission is $15 ($13 Swallow Hill members); call 1-800-444-SEAT for tickets. For more information call 777-1003.
Culture shock: This is the last time you'll ever accuse Denver of having no culture: Over the weekend, downtown will be inundated with literary readings, theater performances, ongoing hands-on art-installation projects, displays of gigantic puppet heads, dancers hanging from ropes and a world of live music, all of it free and open to the public. How does this happen? The Rocky Mountain Book Festival, a grand powwow of renowned authors and exhibitors taking place at Currigan Exhibition Hall, 1327 Champa St., and the Denver Performing Arts Festival, a spread of cultural events held in and around the vicinity of the Plex, 14th and Curtis streets, and Larimer Square, simultaneously get under way this morning at 10 for two full days of everything under the city sun. Come on down for an urban picnic: For book festival information, call 273-5933; for information on the arts festival, call 640-2758.
Peak performance: The Tibetan monks of the Peme Ewam Chogar Monastery now reside in Bir, India, after their original abbey was destroyed by the Chinese in 1959. In an effort to raise funds to rebuild their original home in Tibet, a fifteen-monk troupe is in the area for Rituals From the Rooftop of the World: Lama Dances From Tibet, featuring a rare performance of the Eight Manifestations of Padmasambhava. Attendance at the dance--which recounts the varied history of the envoy of Buddhism in Tibet, incorporating exotic, larger-than-life masks, eye-catching costumes and music played on traditional instruments--is said to expose participants to great personal blessings, which is a great deal, considering the tickets are only $12. The monks appear at 7 tonight at the Ogden Theatre, 935 E. Colfax Ave., and tomorrow at the Boulder High School Auditorium, 1604 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder; purchase tickets at the door.
Grave circumstances: It's getting to be that creepy, crawly time of year when our thoughts turn to ghastly, ghostly matters associated with Halloween. What better time to Meet the Spirits? Boulder ghosts--some of historical note, others as plain as you and me, and all played by costumed local celebrities, including Mayor Leslie Durgin--will turn out to tell their sad stories today during a tour of Columbia Cemetery, 9th and Pleasant streets, sponsored by the preservation group Historic Boulder Inc. Hear Civil War veterans, Boulder's first dogcatcher, a murdered miner and others today from 10 to 2; tickets, available at the cemetery's Pioneer Gateway entrance, are $4 to $8. For details call 444-5102.
Less is more: The Foothills Art Center, known for its blockbuster juried watermedia and sculpture shows, takes a respite from the sprawl by presenting a trio of intriguing little shows, on display through October 27. The works in Images of India, created by Manick Sorcar, appear at first sight to be simple portraits, painted in traditional Indian style, of famous figures from Gandhi to John and Jackie Kennedy. But a closer gander reveals the unusual materials used, including rice grains, colored spices and crumpled newspapers, to arrange collages as detailed as a Native American sand painting. Quiet Pride, a touring photography exhibit by Robert Clayton, takes a totally different tack, depicting elders of the American West, while Landscapes West features regional paintings by instructor Ray Knaub and other artist-teachers of the Art Students League in Denver. The three exhibits can be seen from 9 to 4 Monday through Saturday and 1 to 4 Sunday at the center, 809 15th St., Golden; call 279-3922.
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In the beginning: The gentle, soft-spoken mannerisms of PBS television journalist Bill Moyers will soon hit the small screen again in Genesis: A Living Conversation, a ten-part series that explores, with help from a lively stable of modern-day thinkers, the ongoing relevance of the Bible's first book to society throughout the ages. Interested? Moyers drops by Central Presbyterian Church, 1660 Sherman St., tonight at 7:30 to discuss the upcoming program, which premieres October 16 on KRMA-TV/Channel 6. Tickets are $12 ($10 KRMA members); call 620-5625 or 892-6666. A pre-lecture patron reception will be held at 5:30 p.m.; tickets, which include special reserved seating at the lecture and a hardbound series companion volume, are $75 ($130 couple) and must be reserved by October 3.
Just the facts: As presidential-election-year frenzy begins to hit the fan, are you getting a trifle weary of the whole mudslinging festival of big smiles, handshakes, promises, threats and lies? PBS's Frontline helps set things straight tonight with its season opener, The Choice '96, an avowedly nonpartisan double biography of Bill Clinton and Bob Dole that tries to shed a clear, unwavering light on each candidate's individual record and character. You might just be able to make a sane decision come November 5. Tune in from 9 to 11 tonight on KRMA-TV/Channel 6.
Think about it: More election-year issues should be stirred up when a panel of locals--Rick Ashton of the Denver Public Library, the Tattered Cover's Joyce Meskis, Dusty Saunders of the Rocky Mountain News, Joanne Ostrow of The Denver Post and the Reverend John Thomas of Parkview Congregational Church--get together tonight at 7 at the Tattered Cover's LoDo store, 1628 16th St., for a Freedom of Conscience Public Forum. Personal rights and independent life views will be the subjects at hand; for more information call 436-1070.