Arts and Culture

Five Colorado arts nonprofits to donate to on Colorado Gives Day

Update: Due to technical difficulties at the Giving First website, Colorado Gives Day has been extended until noon tomorrow. Go ahead. Knock yourself out giving! Read on:

It's Colorado Gives Day, and since the stroke of midnight, nearly 1,000 Colorado nonprofits have been collecting donations in just about any charitable category you might think of. After a rousing kickoff last year, the fundraising marathon is not only back, but notably bigger: Pick and choose from your favorite causes at the Colorado Gives Day or Giving First websites. There are no processing fees to donate online, and for each dollar you give, an incentive fund from FirstBank kicks in a percentage.

Not sure where to send your dollars? Here's just a few of our favorites, picked from an arts-and-culture perspective.

TACtile Textile Arts Center, 720-524-8886.

TACtile stands out as one in a thousand just by its very existence: A combined fiber-arts gallery, workspace and meeting space, its goal is to further the cause of stitchery, weaving, knitting, tatting and every artful fiber-related craft in between by offering classes, informal sewing circles and exhibition opportunities under one roof. And today, director Dianne Denholm and her staff are going out of their way to make giving worth your while. In conjunction with Colorado Gives Day and the season in general, they've launched a free Ugly Sweater Repurposing Contest and will accept entries of ugly sweaters -- reimagined as slippers, tapestries, scarves, even sweaters, but reconstructed ones -- through December 16.

Winners will be announced on December 17, when TACtile will also offer an Elf Gift-Making Class from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. for any folks who kindly donate today. And speaking of today, you can do so at TACtile by on-site computer during a Colorado Gives Day party, where Denholm will give free pin-weaving demos from 1 to 5 p.m. and shoppers can take advantage of one-day-only discounts on items in the center's current holiday show. Finally, here's the full-circle denouement of all these machinations: If their Colorado Gives donation goal is reached, the entire TACtile board of directors will don Ugly Sweater creations on Christmas Day and at work in the week thereafter. Can't make it in during that busy in-between time? They'll post pictures on the website for all to see.

KUVO/KVJZ, 303-480-9272.

Jazz-based public radio station KUVO Jazz89 is also remarkable just for being there; after more than 25 years, it rates as one of the nation's quality jazz and eclectic music purveyors, sending beautiful strains of everything from Saturday blues to Sunday sambas into the airwaves. That's sublime enough for folks to notice, but KUVO also fills even smaller niches in the Denver music community. For instance, on the first Tuesday of every month, the station turns over the mike to its High School/Collegiate Series, which features student ensembles playing standards and original compositions live in KUVO's own Phyllis A. Greer Performance Studio. How awesome is that?

To drive in the point, KUVO is hosting a full day of live music by students from the Adams 12 School District (9:30 a.m.) and the Quincy Avenue Rhythm Band from Denver Kent School (5 p.m.); in between, the Fort Collins pro Adam Bodine Trio will also be heard (noon). Best of all, you're invited to drop in for any of the shows; if you can't listen live, the music will also be broadcast.

Downtown Aurora Visual Arts.

DAVA is an after-school home away from home for Aurora's inner-city kids, who cross the gallery/workshop's jamb each day to work with local professional artists on self-transforming projects. The results are nothing short of amazing, and can be seen in ongoing exhibitions all year 'round. This is what alumnus Alberto Veronica, who went on to earn his BFA at the Kansas City Art Institute and now works for DAVA, says about his experience: "DAVA changed my life. When other kids were getting into trouble, I was making art. Now I have my own studio, I work at DAVA, and I'm giving back to my community." In a nutshell, that's what it's all about.

Art From Ashes, 303-837-1550.

Westword MasterMind Catherine O'Neill Thorn pretty much made Art Form Ashes happen all on her own in 2003, spurred by cuts to funding for the Colorado Council on the Arts after years of working with the most challenging of at-risk youths in detention and treatment centers through writing and poetry programs. As the organization's name implies, these kids were the ones who have been forgotten and seemingly have no hope; the bone O'Neill Thorn threw to them was formed from their own inner wills -- positive splinters lodged deep in their hearts, waiting to be unsheathed by one woman who was willing to look them in the eyes and listen. Art From Ashes is all about exposing the good in people who've been labeled incorrigibly bad by the establishment.

Join Thorn tonight at the Denver Press Club from 5 to 7 p.m. tonight, where she'll be pouring drinks at the bar while facilitating online donations. Drink and give!

Buntport Theater, 720-946-1388.

Do they really need any introduction? The marvelous Gestalt that is Buntport, a member of Westword's original MasterMind class of 2005 is totally self-motivated and -funded; literally on a dime, the tight-knit crew of actor/collaborators grind out quirky performances, sometimes based on literary classics, sometimes funny, sometimes serious, but always original beyond the benefit of a doubt. And that's not all. The Buntporters also keep us busy with rotating monthly participatory games and presentations, serial theater for both kids and adults, and a million and one other one-of-a-kind entertainments.

It's too late to take part in last night's giving party at the Black Crown on South Broadway, but because Buntport's crew is so community-minded, you can shmooze with them, enter a raffle and donate from 7 to 10 a.m. this morning at Novo Coffee or join the troupe for a 4-6 p.m. happy hour at Interstate Kitchen. Stay for dinner tonight (or every third Tuesday, beginning in January) and Interstate will donate 15 percent of your ticket to Buntport.

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd