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.

The multiplexes keep multiplying, but they're all showing the same Adam Sandler and Lindsay Lohan atrocities. True cineastes know that Denver's central library can be counted on for filmfests that mix the traditional and the edgy, the classic and the avant-garde. Past offerings have included the films of Billy Wilder, horror flicks, gay cinema, notable adaptations of great novels and a selection of top-drawer items from the "golden year of film," 1939. They're all free, often hosted by online film critic Walter Chaw -- and there's even popcorn for sale.

Michael Moore has proven that it's possible for left-leaning documentaries to find a home in the multiplexes. But for most makers of progressive films, widespread distribution -- or any distribution -- is as distant as the expression on George Bush's face. Fortunately, since 2003, ArgusFest's Jason Bosch has presented free screenings of documentaries that focus on human rights, social justice, environmentalism, globalization and the media. Each week, the ever-increasing slate rotates between local lefty bastions the Mercury Cafe, Oh My Goddess Coffee House and Boulder's Penny Lane Coffeehouse. Bosch is also working to expand into cities like Austin and San Francisco. The lively discussions that follow each film are a great model of how citizens can watch globally and talk locally.

The LGBT community is an active producer of independent film. But not many titles make it to the major theaters. Fortunately Denver has a viable outlet for queer cinema. Now in its sixth year, the Cinema Q festival (formerly Seeing Queerly: The Denver International GLBT Film Festival) creates a local outlet for cutting-edge celluloid dyke dramas, queer comedies, sexy shorts and everything in between. Presented over a three-day weekend, Cinema Q screens local entries as well as films from around the globe. In addition to opening- and closing-night parties, symposiums and discussions are scheduled between film blocks. Come wine, dine and shmooze with directors and actors while discussing the flicks that changed your life.

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