The first of its kind in the United States, The Shoot Out Boulder celebrated the art of quick and cheap movie production. Filmmakers were given 24 hours to complete a seven-minute short. Only in-camera editing was allowed -- meaning everything had to be shot in sequence -- and the footage had to incorporate specific locations or props from within the Boulder area. Several dozen crews of both novice and seasoned filmmakers participated in the quick-paced contest, resulting in an amazing variety of subjects and styles that ranged from the hilarious to the reflective. Plans for another festival are under way, which is great news: The Shoot Out is a can't-miss opportunity for area filmheads.

Good food and Cherry Creek North? Two of the most obvious bedfellows in town. It took little stretch of the imagination to combine them into a fail-safe annual festival. The glitzy al fresco celebration spreads over several Saturdays and features a gourmet market and cooking demonstrations by hot chefs from the region and the world, working in a state-of-the-art outdoor kitchen on Fillmore Plaza. The event, which culminates in a Grand Tasting soiree, is bling for your belly. So rev up your tastebuds: The series returns in July.

September's inaugural Yell Fest was a wild, chaotic mess. Put on by Comedy Works house comedian Chuck Roy, the night was advertised as a search for "Denver's biggest asshole." What the night actually determined was that given limited rules and ample booze, everyone's an asshole. Roy has since fine-tuned the format, and the resulting Stand-Up Comedy Battles, which take place on the last Wednesday of the month, have become a hilarious match of wits between the city's finest comics. Featherweight, Middleweight and Heavyweight contestants receive subjects about a week in advance, then square off on each topic in front of an audience to see who wrote the funnier jokes. Simple enough formula; the results, however, are anything but.

The only thing wrong with Mayor Hickenlooper's declaration last September naming Abelardo "Lalo" Delgado Denver's first poet laureate was that it came too late for Delgado to savor it -- just two months after he died, at age 73. During his lifetime, Delgado -- whose politically charged epic "Stupid America" is considered a classic of Chicano literature -- battled the literary aristocracy for acknow-ledgment. But the thought was there, and Delgado, a community-minded teacher and activist who was much more than a poet, must be smiling down on the barrio in his honorary capacity. We miss you, Lalo.

It makes sense that Regis University, a Catholic Jesuit institution, should end up with a statue of the great Irish author James Joyce on one of its campuses. After all, Joyce's stand-in, Stephen Dedalus, is referred to as a fearful Jesuit in the epic Ulysses. Sculptor Rowan Gillespie forged this life-sized bronze in Ireland in 2001; encircling the figure in a sundial pattern are carved entries from the novel. Located just a short stroll from parking lot 2, the statue provides inspiration for those who want to contemplate a writer whose work was once banned in the United States but is taught -- for now -- at virtually every place of higher education.

Stan Kroenke's Altitude Network took a blow right along with the National Hockey League: Pro hockey's strike-riddled lost season translates into lost revenue for the new station, which was conceived primarily to broadcast Avalanche hockey, along with play by other Kroenke-owned sports teams. But the Altitude team made a small comeback by creating On Stage, a concert series featuring live performances by such local music sensations as Wendy Woo and Big Head Todd and the Monsters, all videotaped in local clubs. Nice save.

Adam Lerner directs The Lab at Belmar, one of several exciting new spaces that have distinguished the urban shopping center as a creative hub as well as a shopping destination; in its first year, Belmar has hosted everything from filmmaking workshops to gallery exhibitions and cutting-edge public art. The Lab's "Appreciating Contemporary Art & Things You Learn From Aunt Miriam" program has been the center's runaway hit: The lecture series -- held from October through May on the first Thursday of every month -- considers art from cultural, political and spiritual perspectives, exploring its power to shape and change societies as well as the human psyche. Photographers, video artists, writers and historians are among the speakers who christened the series' inaugural run. The talks are so popular that reservations are recommended. Capacity crowds turning up to talk art in the middle of the suburbs? There's something happening here.

By day, Maria Cole heads up the expansion of the Denver Art Museum for Davis Partnership Architects. By night, she heads up Architectural Laboratory - Denver, a non-profit group that brings together architects and artists to discuss theories of design, free from the constructs and constraints of day-to-day reality. But Cole doesn't limit the discussion to stuffed-shirt academics or think-tank snobs; instead, Architectural Laboratory offers a public lecture series so the community can come together to riff on such topics as "The Code of a Great City" or "Decoding Diplomatic Architecture." (Can you tell the lab took a cue from the Da Vinci Code for this year's theme?) That's a progressive twist on the concept of community-building.

The Museum of Contemporary Art/Denver's effort to build a new home began last year, when Mark Falcone and Ellen Bruss donated a tract of land at 15th and Delgany streets. A

series of presentations by six architectural firms from around the world -- all vying to build a new structure on the site -- drew standing-room-only crowds. The MCA's selection panel eventually chose African-born, London-based architect David Adjaye of Adjaye/Associates. Last summer, Adjaye unveiled a model of the proposed building: a glowing lighted box of glass and translucent white plastic. If all goes according to plan, the MCA is bound to be one of Denver's greatest 21st-century buildings.

You never know what progressive cause you'll find on www.denverevolution.org. Sometimes it's a notice for a biodiesel meeting; sometimes it's a radical-film night. Tony Shawcross and the rest of the [denverevolution] collective ensure that the good people of Denver are never without something to do -- and that the city's underground activists and change agents have an audience for their efforts. Also interested in film, [denverevolution] began developing their digital skills and opened a free film-editing studio for members of the public to create their own documentaries. Last year, Shawcross took the revolution one step further, moving the group's production arm, Deproduction, to the P.S.1 charter school, where they're building a film-production studio for students. The revolution just may be televised after all.

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