Jordan Wieleba on stealing a copy of War of the Worlds and coming out transgender

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Crystal Allen Photography
Reading is about more than following a narrative or learning facts; it can also be a profound shared experience that culminates in a better understanding of ourselves and each other. In that spirit, welcome to the Westword Book Club, a bi-weekly feature celebrating the books that inspire Denver artists.

Jordan Wieleba is a comedian, musician, illustrator, GLBTQ advocate, cornerstone of Denver's comedy community and Best of Denver winner. Recently seen gracing the cover of Out Front Colorado, she also provided the illustrations for the book Sharing the Good News: A Positive Model for Coming Out as Transgender. Westword recently caught up with Wieleba to discuss helpful books for people struggling with gender identity, prescient sci-fi authors and her beloved stolen copy of War of the Worlds.

See also: Andy Thomas on Hell is in New Jersey, Etgar Keret and Shel Silverstein

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Civic Center MOVES wants you to move your workout to the park -- for free

Categories: Outdoors

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Courtesy of Civic Center Conservancy

Starting next week, the center of Denver could be the center of your workout. Civic Center Moves is just the latest project promoted by the Civic Center Conservancy to turn Civic Center Park into a more positive Denver space. "People make parks, so starting April 2a, when you work out for free at Civic Center MOVES, both you and Civic Center Park will get healthier," says Lindy Eichenbaum Lent, executive director of the Civic Center Conservancy.

See also: One Day in Denver invites filmmakers to document the city for a collective film


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Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Jean Smith

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Jean Smith joining clay slabs.
#89: Jean Smith

Clay artist Jean Smith Is a familiar face in the co-op community, where she's been building and exhibiting works both joyful and challenging for many years. Her creations range from colorful wall pieces and fanciful shrines to major ceramic installations, often referencing plant forms, flowers and sea life; on the side, she also makes jewelry using old beads. We invited Smith to share her thoughts about the artist's life from her very experienced vantage point; read on for her 100CC questionnaire.

See also: Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Rebecca Peebles

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Dune: David Lynch's glorious mess of a movie screens Friday

Categories: Geek Speak

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One of the best things in Dune.
At the tail end of 1984, a film from one of the medium's undisputed masters, adapting one of the great science fiction novels of all time-- hell, one of the great American novels of all time -- was released. David Lynch, adapting Frank Herbert's masterpiece, Dune! What could go wrong?

Fucking everything.

See also: The ten best geek events in Denver in April

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Mistaken For Strangers: The rock documentary that became Tom Berninger's personal journey

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The National's Matt Berninger and his brother, roadie Tom Berninger, in Mistaken For Strangers.
The Berningers are a talented family: Tom Berninger is a filmmaker, and when his brother Matt, a member of the Brooklyn-based band The National, asked him to go on tour as a roadie, he obliged. Tom needed a job and some direction, and his brother's request inadvertently offered both. Tom was fired eight months in, but he'd been filming the band and crew the whole time. The result was 2013's Mistaken For Strangers, a documentary about The National -- but also a look at Tom's own personal struggle for success.

In advance of the film's opening this Friday, April 18 at the Sie FilmCenter -- where Tom Berninger will be a guest for both evening showings -- Westword spoke with him about his relationship with his brother and the things that make a good rock documentary.

See also: Album sales are in the Crapper, but The National is doing just fine

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Kevin Pharris remembers and laments the loss of the Denver streetcar

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Long before RTD's light rail system, Denver had another effective and extensive mode of public transit: the streetcar. With rails running all over the city, the system was a large part of everyday life until it was removed in 1950 due to the popularity of the car and changing trends in transportation. While giving bus tours to senior citizens, Kevin Pharris often heard tales of riding streetcars, which inspired him to compile the experiences into a book that traces the history of Denver's transit system: Riding Denver's Rails: A Mile High Streetcar History. He'll discuss his book Saturday afternoon in a lecture at the Forney Museum of Transportation at 1 p.m. surrounded by the museum's collection of railway relics. In advance of the talk, we spoke with Pharris about the loss of this system and anecdotes of the streetcar's past.

See also: Denver's streetcar routes are retraced by the Rail~Volutionaries

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Super Dungeon Explore creators Soda Pop Miniatures see a future for gaming in Denver

Categories: Games

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Courtesy of Soda Pop Miniatures
Super Dungeon Explore: Forgotten King doesn't look like your standard, blood-and-chainmail tabletop wargame. The monsters are rotund and cartoony, and the heroes, with their anime eyes and giant heads balanced on tiny bodies, look like children's toys. It's a remarkably gentle entry in a genre that takes violence as its primary theme, more Super Mario than Warhammer.

"[Miniatures games] have always addressed a very core audience of game players which are usually male; they're into the spikes and the blood and and the chainmail and all the gore, and that has its place" says John Cadice, founder of Soda Pop Miniatures, which designed the game. "But it felt distinctly vacant of a lot of the types of gaming that felt more inclusive -- being able to bring in kids, or sit down at the table with your girlfriend."

See also: How to get my job: board game designer

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Valkarie Gallery's "Community, Create, Converse" is an open house for art-making

Categories: Art, Events

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Valkarie Gallery.
When veteran artists Frank Farrar, Valerie Savarie and Karrie York opened Valkarie Fine Art Gallery and Studio last fall, they wanted to create a place not just where they could show and make art, but make connections with other local creatives. This Thursday evening, April 17, the space will host "Community, Create, Converse," the first in what the trio hopes will become a weekly meet-up for artists to get together and work.

See also: Valkarie Gallery opens tomorrow -- just in time for Denver Arts Week

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Photos: Tracks on wax at the Denver Record Collectors Spring Expo 2014

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Big K Productions, which celebrated its twenty years of putting on record shows last year, kicked off the Denver Record Collectors Expo's next twenty as fans stampeded into the ballroom at the Northglenn Ramada Sunday in search of musical holy grail. The platter-covered vendor tables served up everything from rare vinyl classics to hard-to-find bargains: Here are a few of them, as captured by photographer Ken Hamblin.

See also: The Denver Record Collectors Spring Expo is a music fan's paradise


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Walking West: Conor McGarrigle draws the line at Colfax Avenue -- all 26.2 miles

Categories: Colfax, Events

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Photo by Jenny Filipetti.
Artist Conor McGarrigle drawing the line as he walks.
Last Friday, Conor McGarrigle walked Colfax Avenue -- the longest continuous commercial street in the U.S. -- and drew a 26.2 mile line captured in a satellite photograph. The walking art performance, named Walking West, was conceived as a catalyst for a discussion of the role of Colfax Avenue in the cultural, social, economic and political life of Denver. But McGarrigle also had a more personal mission.

See also: Digital artist Conor McGarrigle on BitTorrent, Vine and the ubiquity of data mining

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