Creative Solutions

Art Against AIDS shows strength in its quest

By Susan Froyd AIDS is far from being beat. That's the message the Colorado AIDS Project, celebrating its twentieth year, hopes to put out there, and it's the prevailing reason the local nonprofit throws its Art Against AIDS Fine and Decorative Art Auction year after year. The event, which CAP has put on for the past fifteen years, is one of the organization's largest annual fundraisers, second only to its massive pledge walk. Last year, notes spokeswoman Jackie Long, over 1,000 people attended; she expects a similar, if not larger, turnout when tonight's auction moves to its glitzy new location at Invesco Field at Mile High.

Over 500 items, from paintings and pottery to textiles and even vacation getaways, will be on the block; Long points out special bidding areas designed to make the mix even more interesting, including the popular, returning Let's Dish section, featuring one-of-a-kind handpainted plates earmarked specifically to benefit CAP's food bank, and an emerging-artists section of works donated by local art students. Longtime CAP supporters Steve and Carter Case have donated a limited quantity of Ithemba butterfly pins created by HIV/AIDS-infected South African beadworkers. The pins, which sell for $25 each, are meant to increase awareness as they raise funds to help fight the AIDS epidemic in South Africa, an outbreak comprising almost 70 percent of the world's entire HIV/AIDS population.

Mostly, Long promises, Art Against AIDS is both fun and meaningful, with a classic something-for-everyone milieu. And this year's promotional piece, Denver sculptor DeDe LaRue's freewheeling "Sheepdog in a Red VW," exemplifies that spirit: "It's just the kind of image we wanted this year to pique people's interest and remind them that AIDS is not over," Long says.

The auction begins tonight at 6; for tickets, $30 to $35, call 303-837-0166, log on to or simply pay at the gate. Select items will be available for viewing online in advance.

Crystal Palace

Anyone looking for some natural healing and enlightenment can follow the bubbling sounds of running water and the musky scent of incense to Peace of Mind, Body & Soul's recently expanded crystal section. "Minerals are full of raw earth energy that is naturally healing," says Patty Greer-Roche, Peace of Mind's new resident crystal expert. "A lot of people are skeptical, but crystals can soothe your heart or ground your energy center -- they're transformative."

Peace of Mind, a haven at 249 Clayton Street in Cherry Creek North, is currently celebrating its second anniversary. Greer-Roche doles out gem advice every Thursday through Saturday at the self-improvement boutique, which is stocked with bamboo fountains, healing wands, astrology books and more. "The mineral kingdom is very powerful," she says. "Put the right crystal in your hand and you can feel it."

For information, visit or call 303-329-8900. -- Julie Dunn

Spot's Spa

To help keep Fifi fluffy and Bruno buff, leash up your four-legged friends for today's free Beneful Smart Spa for Dogs. Canine experts will be in Washington Park from noon to 4 p.m. instructing pet parents on everything from how to give therapeutic massages to the proper way to brush doggie teeth. "Massages are very relaxing for dogs, and it's a great way for you two to bond," says Beneful spokeswoman Pam Dickens. "We want to give owners the background they need to feel comfortable performing these general grooming habits."

If your pooch doesn't get enough exercise, have her test out a doggie treadmill. And to promote nutrition (and the company's bottom line), Beneful brand dog food representatives will be dispensing food advice and samples. Visit to learn more.

"It's easy to spoil your dogs at home 365 days a year," says Dickens. "And they'll absolutely love it." -- Julie Dunn

Cinema Jam

Film on the Rocks rocks

By Kity Ironton

There is nothing quite like the pristine view from the picturesque Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Now add a little Jim Carrey, first-class tunes and the chicks from Hemi Cuda, and you have the recipe for one of the hottest events this summer. The Denver Division of Theatres and Arenas, in conjunction with the Denver Film Society, have whipped up a special treat just for you. Well, you and about 9,450 of your friends. Film on the Rocks launches its 2003 summer series at 7 tonight with Westword Music Showcase nominee Love.45; the aforementioned Hemi Cuda will heat up a second stage in the brand-spankin'-new Visitor Center atop the outdoor venue. At dusk, Dumb and Dumber hits the big screen.

"We've expanded our ability to showcase local music this year by adding a second stage," says marketing manager Ann Williams. "People want to see the new Visitor Center, and Film on the Rocks is affordable, fun, and the best entertainment deal of the summer."

Every Monday through August 4 will bring a new movie and band lineup. In addition to Dumb and Dumber, the 2003 bill includes Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, The Matrix, and Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, along with top local musicians such as the Fabulous Boogienauts, Matthew Moon, and the Denver Brass and Bagpipes.

"It's a guaranteed good time, rain or shine," promises Williams.

Bands start rocking at 7 p.m.; movies start rolling at dusk. Tickets, $7 to $10, are available at all King Soopers stores. For a complete summer schedule, go to or call 1-866-464-2626.

Big Kids

Children's Museum blows out thirty candles

By Susan Froyd

Once a kid, always a kid. That's why it's perpetually Never-Never Land at the Children's Museum of Denver, which for thirty years has catered to kids, diapered and beyond, as they climb up the ladder rungs of human development. Still, thirty years is longer than the typical childhood, so grown-up concerns will be addressed tonight at the Children's Museum 30th Birthday Bash. The event is a fundraiser that recalls the era of the museum's debut: a disco inferno of a '70s-themed party where you can dance the night away or catch your breath at the adjunct Chairs That Care Auction, featuring celeb-decorated child-sized armchairs. Afterward, the museum should conceivably be ready for thirty more years as a multi-generational resource. "Children who played here thirty years ago are now bringing their children to the museum," says spokeswoman Alaina Green.

Let's help keep 'em in the fold: The Birthday Bash starts at 6:30 at the museum, 2121 Children's Museum Drive; tickets range from $100 to $250. Call 303-433-7444, ext. 122, or log on to

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.