Denver's D.C. Barns wins Star Wars: Force for Change contest -- and a role in Episode VII

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Director JJ Abrams announces the Star Wars: Force for Change contest.
A long time ago in a galaxy not so far away, Star Wars fan D.C. Barns decided to enter a contest that had as its grand prize a chance to be in the next installment of the Star Wars saga, Episode VII. And this week, Barns learned that in the longest of long shots, he'd won the grand prize: He'll be flown from Denver to London to perform a minor role in the film that JJ Abrams is directing.

See also: The Ten Best Geek Events in Denver in August

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Stories On Stage Writing Contest Seeking Upbeat Tales

Categories: Contests, Theater

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Stories On Stage
Ain't Life Grand? could tell your story.
Ain't life grand? That's what Stories On Stage artistic director Anthony Powell thinks, and his group has just announced a new writing contest with that theme. Stories on Stage is looking for upbeat tales of quiet satisfactions and small -- or not so small -- triumphs; stories can be up to 2,250 words, and the submission deadline is 5 p.m. Monday, August 18. The winning story will be read by professional actors alongside works by Carol Anshaw, Donald Barthelme, Charles Baxter and Gary Schanbacher during the two performances of Ain't Life Grand? at Su Teatro on September 13.

See also: Three Book and Poetry Events for the Week of August 11-17

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Poets explore love, Denver style, at the Denver County Fair

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The Denver County Fair, now in its fourth year, was conceived as a big, fat blue-ribbon love letter to everything that's cool about Denver, from local artists and a healthy geek culture to, yes, legalized pot. So it's only fair that this year's poetry contest has an I Heart Denver theme.

This year's entries -- all unpublished and judged by a panel of literary pros -- explored love in the Mile High City from just about every angle. Following are the judges' five final picks; hear all of them read live at noon Sunday, August 3, on the fair's Arts Pavilion Stage, where the top three poets will also be awarded with prizes and ribbons.

See also: Pot pavilion ready for lift-off at Denver County Fair


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Pot pavilion ready for lift-off at Denver County Fair

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Denver County Fair
The Denver County Fair embraces everything that makes Denver an extraordinary city.
Typical county fairs hand out blue ribbons for livestock, quilts and homemade pies. The 2014 Denver County Fair, which starts next Friday, August 1, will hold competitions for all of those, too. Only some of the pies might get you stoned.

See also: "Denver County Fair's planned Beer Pavilion goes up in smoke; Pot Pavilion doubles in size"

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Think you're the best at air hockey? Prove it at the Denver County Fair.

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Justin Lee
There's no crying in air hockey.
There's no crying in air hockey.Do you consider yourself a gladiator in the arcade?

When the Denver County Fair hosts the 2014 Air Hockey World Championships next weekend, all of Colorado's rec-room warriors are free to join -- but the competition sounds stiff.

See also: "Beer pavilion out, super-sized pot pavilion in at Denver County Fair"

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The Red Bull Canvas Cooler Project will send Mario Zoots and Jaime Molina to SCOPE Miami

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Courtesy of Red Bull.
Red Bull's national cooler challenge stopped in Denver this week with a mission for twenty handpicked Denver artists: Each was presented with a Red Bull cooler covered in canvas and asked to turn it into a work of art.

The resulting works were reviewed by a panel of local gallerists, artists and celebrities, including Bobbi Walker of Walker Fine Art, Tom Horne of Black Book Gallery, Denver Nuggets shooting guard Randy Foye and photographer Mark Sink at a public reception at the McNichols Building on Wednesday night.

See also: Twenty Denver artists vie for a spot at SCOPE Miami at the Red Bull Canvas Cooler Project

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CU Denver students zoom to the winner's circle with a vehicle that gets 1,254 miles to a gallon

Categories: Contests

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Photo courtesy of CU Denver
CU Denver team at the Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2014.
On April 26, eight University of Colorado Denver mechanical engineering seniors won first place in the hydrogen fuel cell category at the Shell Eco-marathon Americas competition in Houston, after designing and building a vehicle -- named Archetype -- that could go 1254 miles per gallon powered just by a hydrogen fuel cell and made out of carbon fiber. "We picked the hydrogen fuel cell category because the school has competed on that competition three years now," says team captain and CU Denver senior Ben Johnson. "Last year we won, too, so it's been a successful project and it has been something that we wanted to continue."

See also: What has the National Renewable Energy Lab done for the public good?

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Come to #Artopia14 this Saturday

Categories: Artopia, Contests

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Aaron Thackeray
Every year, Westword gathers our favorite painters, sculptors, performers, musicians and more from around Denver for Artopia, a celebration of all that's good in Denver's art world. This year, the celebration is taking over five venues along Broadway.

See also: Artopia 2013

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MCA Denver selects finalists for Twelve & a Half Days of Xmas LIVE!

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Atomic Gracie
The results are in, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver's Twelve and a Half Days of Xmas LIVE! has selected the dozen performers who will rock the museum's modernist atrium throughout the holiday season. The performers each earn a $50 honorarium as they compete for the winning prize of $500, and with acts ranging from the holiday-inspired burlesque of Gigi D'Lovely to the self-explanatory Crazy Gorilla Drummer, the dozen days of Christmas should be filled with all sorts of appealing weirdness. We spoke with MCA director of programming Sarah Kate Baie to hear about how the museum found the acts in Denver's very diverse arts scene.

See also: MCA Denver seeking entries for holiday performance contest (no explosives, please)


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Help decide who wins the 2013 Denver Web Awards!

Categories: Contests

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Last month we asked readers to send us suggestions for the Denver arts scene's best representatives on social media for our 2013 Denver Web Awards. We compiled our list of finalists from those suggestions, and now it's your turn to pick who wins top honors.

Here's how it works.

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