Weekend calendar: Artisans and eyeglasses, magic shows and back yard chickens

Give local artisans your attention at one of two artisan fairs with a different look. Or drop by both: Today from 1 to 8:30 p.m., the Elati Garden Arts and Crafts Fair (the second of two hosted this year in the sunny confines of the Elati Community Garden, 840 Elati Street) will offer up vendor wares, face painting, chair massages and - yum! - street tacos prepared by Chef Daniel Young using produce from the very garden where it all takes place.

Chef Young, by the way, is best known as Carmelo Anthony's personal chef and recently helped train Denver Public Schools lunch ladies to create more healthy options in the kitchen. This delightful event, well worth the short walk, coincides with the First Friday hoopla happening just west of the garden on Santa Fe Drive. Visit

Meanwhile, on South Pearl Street, the perennially wonderful boutique 5 Green Boxes, 1570 S. Pearl Street, is throwing an Artisans in the Garden party in the back yard, with hors d'oeuvres, cool mojitos and a selection of merchandise from some of 5 Green Boxes' favorite artisans. And - jackpot! - the store is also offering a concurrent summer shoe sale, and will be selling summer togs at 50 percent off. Drop by between 4 and 8 p.m.; get information at or call 303-777-2331.

And on South Broadway (please note that all three of these locations are not all that far apart), Fancy Tiger Clothing hosts its First Friday Denver Made event, this month featuring eyeLAB, a local nonprofit that provides affordable - and fashionable - prescription eyewear to folks who can't usually afford the luxury of looking good in their glasses. Dish with eyeLAB from 7 to 10 p.m., over snacks, Great Divide brews and Fancy Tiger owner Matthew Brown's well-picked DJ spins. Go to or

Tonight marks the debut of The Power of Magic with sophisticated sorceress Erica Sodos, which opens at 7:30 p.m. for a three-week run on Friday nights at the Mercury Cafe, 2199 California Street. Her elegant woman-centric show includes magic and fanciful characters, as well as a popular segment where she'll make your dreams come true. Admission is $10; get details at or call 303-294-9258 for reservations.

Tomorrow at Denver Urban Homesteading, the local-minded urban farming center and indoor farmers' market at 370 Kalamath Street, is providing space for a community Bird/Small Critter Swap for folks who are raising chickens and other creatures in the city, which will serve doubly as a networking opportunity. James Bertini of DUH says they'll consider continuing the event every month if it's successful; bring your stock and barter and schmooze from 7:30 to 10 a.m. Call 303-572-3122.

Homegrown musician gone big Bill Frisell will pay a visit to Unity Church of Boulder, 2855 Folsom Street, Boulder, tomorrow night at 8 p.m. for a solo benefit concert presented by KGNU Community Radio. Frisell made his name by being adventurous: His sonic forays trip across genres, blending jazz, country and experimental sounds; he's also famous for working with a changing roster of amazing and sometimes disparate musicians, from Denver's own Ron Miles to jazz drummers Paul Motian and Joey Baron to pedal steel wizard Greg Leisz (the list goes on and on). Local avant garde phenom Janet Feder will also perform; for tickets, $20 to $23, call 303-449-4885.

On Sunday, the annual 48 Hour Film Project - Denver wraps up with a three-part gala premiere showcase of films made over a period of 48 hours by 39 participating local teams. Segments are scheduled at 1 p.m., 3:45 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. at the Gothic Theatre, 3263 S. Broadway, Englewood; admission is $8 to $10 for individual screening modules or $18 to $22 for a festival pass. Go to for information and tickets.

For more recommended events happening today and through the weekend, visit the Night & Day calendar page,

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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