Things to Do

Five Cool Things: September 29, 2009

Once a week, Susan Froyd muses on five things about Denver worth celebrating. Don't let them slip through the cracks. is on a roll. The nonprofit started by the Flobots, Denver's own activist band, to promote the community and cultural engagement of youth is beginning to roll out the events in October covering a number of cultural bases with creative programming for all ages. It kicks off at 6 p.m. on October 2 at the Community Center, 2705 Larimer Street, with a reception for 56 Days: I'm Still Here, an art exhibit featuring DU MFA candidate Sarah Soriano's interactive, sound-activated gown, as well as a series of large-scale photographs documenting her ongoing performance involving a business suit that became increasingly restrictive over time. But in the coming weeks, the organization will host a literary reading, a sidewalk art festival showcasing works by youth ages 12 to 21 and a bi-weekly all-ages poetry slam/workshop. Visit the website for a schedule and details.

Four more to go:

Every time I walk into Dianne Denholm's amazing TACtile Textile Arts Center in Tamarac Square, it gets harder and harder to make myself leave. The place, with its darned-good workshop schedule and gallery space, is just brimming with hand-wrought possibilities -- the promise of fabric about to be dyed, the chance encounter of a bare filament with a needle and some glass seed beads -- as well as the finished products of such material encounters. Whether you're a serious fiber artist, novice DIYer or just a lover of wearable art, TACtile is a welcoming place to spend an hour or two. Right now, Green with Envy: ReCycle, ReInvent, RePurpose, a show up through November 7, offers a new slant on unusual materials by featuring everything from a purse made out of a saucy red-plaid kilt to a trio of translucent hanging room dividers made of paper and fabric embedded with leaves or photographs. Coming up at the end of October, Vogue Pattern designer Sandra Betzina will be at TACtile for a three-day series of special sewing workshops -- and this weekend, the center will be hosting the annual Bizarre Textile Bazaar fiber flea market, where you can pick up all manner of scraps, yarns and notions for excellent prices. Get all the dates, times and other info on TACtile at the website or call 720-524-8886.

Yet another nonprofit offering services for inner-city youth, the drop-in recreation and arts program Youth Connection mixes up street culture and practical support to provide counseling, tutoring, workshops and more to its young clients. To help accomplish these goals, the organization will host a family-friendly fundraiser on from 2 to 5 p.m. October 3 at the Pacifica Union Warehouse, 1835 West Union Avenue in Englewood. The afternoon will include skating demos, live graffiti art, break dancing and live music; admission is $5 to $10, or free for kids ages 3 and under. Go to

Few people on or off this earth can claim to have made repairs on the Hubble Telescope, but astronaut/adventurer John Grunsfeld is one of them. And here's a sweet local angle: Grunsfeld took with him, out into the universe, a 1929 Zeiss Maximar B 4x5 camera that belonged to the late Bradford Washburn, the mountaineering photographer for whom the American Mountaineering Center's in-house museum in Golden is named. Back on terra firma, Grunsfeld will stop in at the center on September 30 to not only return the camera to its rightful place in a museum display case, but to deliver what can only be a fascinating account of his mission and show off the pictures he took in space. It's too late to RSVP for a pre-talk reception, but seats for the presentation are $5 to $10, on a first-come, first-served basis. What a blast! Get details online.

Not quite in Denver, but certainly near its border tucked away on Englewood's northern edges, lies the mid-century Valhalla, Arapahoe Acres, where some of the region's finest specimens of post-WWII Modernist homes flourish. They're a pleasure to look at any time of the year, but when the rare opportunity for a peek inside them comes up, it's a must for anyone enamored of the sleek, horizontal styling of these Fifties-era domiciles. Here's one: Ten or more Arapahoe Acres homes and gardens will be open for viewing from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. October 3, to benefit Charles Hay Elementary's school garden fund. Good houses, good cause: Pick up tix and a map for $20 in advance at Mod Livin,' 5327 E. Colfax Avenue, or at 1430 E. Bates Avenue on the day of the event. For more about Arapahoe Acres visit

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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