Metro professor offers free course on psychedelics and liberalism at Deer Pile

Categories: Books, Classes, DIY

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Richard Peterson
Denver musician and Metro professor Roger Green.
Known in the Denver music scene as a former guitarist of The Czars and record producer for Joe Sampson and Esme Patterson, Metro State University of Denver professor Roger Green will be teaching "Psychedelic Aesthetics, Literature, and the Crisis in Liberalism," a donation-based, seven-week course at Deer Pile beginning Sunday, June 8. The class is derived from Green's doctoral dissertation, "Beware of Mad John: Psychedelic Aesthetics, Political Theology and Literature," which inspired his 2013 presentation at Oxford University titled "Pacifism as Practical Mysticism in Aldous Huxley's Eyeless in Gaza"; the sessions will offer an eclectic mix of religion, economics, politics, mythology, literature and psychedelic drugs united by a common theme. Westword recently spoke with Green about the long, strange trip of this high-brow adventure.

See also:
Metropolitan State University of Denver lives up to its name

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Rhinoceropolis becomes a life-size diorama to house art and music for Fantasia 2014

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A look at Rhinoceropolis as it transforms into an aquarium world for Fantasia 2014.
For this year's edition of Fantasia 2014, Colin Ward says he was moved to action by the urban environment he experiences every day.

"For years I've been diehard passionate about the world kind of waking up -- I believe that there are so many bad decisions being made with the design of cities," says the artist, musician and one of many collaborators behind this art and music gathering. "Urban environments are boring; whoever is in charge of these shared physical spaces -- it's like we're walking around in someone else's program."

See also: Over the weekend: Fantasia 2012 at Rhinoceropolis

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Dave Ross on tour mishaps, Drunk History, Deer Pile and his sketch group, Women

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Sharon Alagna
Dave Ross has accomplished a great deal in his comparatively short career. He's a member of Women, an all-male sketch comedy group that also includes Jake Weisman, Allen Strickland-Williams and Pat Bishop. On his Nerdist network podcast Terrified, Ross and his guests delve into their fears and insecurities. And he's in the middle of a month-long, cross-country tour that will roll through Denver next Wednesday, when Ross will headline the Fine Gentleman's Too Much Fun showcase at Deer Pile. Westword recently caught up with Ross to discuss booking his own tour, storytelling and appearing on the next season of Comedy Central's Drunk History.

See also: A guide to DIY comedy tours with the Fine Gentleman's Club

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Upcycle Events now raising funds for PalletFest, Denver's first major upcycling fest

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What started as a pile of wooden pallets is now in the process of becoming Colorado's first major upcycling festival, set for October in Denver. With founder Kenny Fischer leading the way, Upcycle Events is currently raising funds for PalletFest, a festival showcasing the versatility of materials usually considered waste. The Kickstarter campaign for the project ends next week, and Fischer reports that the group has already raised 84 percent of its goal amount.

See also: Spacecraft, the creative-reuse store, holding a Photo Ball fundraiser Saturday

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DIY gallery space Inca House closes up shop

Categories: Art, DIY

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Molly Bounds
American Culture playing at the Inca House last winter.
When artists Taylor Boylston and Chelsea Bashford recently decided to officially "close" Inca House, their home gallery and show space, it was for reasons all too common to a DIY spot: the rent got to be too much and people weren't respecting the venue. "We felt like people were taking advantage of our space and things were getting stolen and broken and mistreated," says Boylston, who acknowledges that these issues are perils inherent to opening your home to the public and insists they won't stop her from trying again in the future. But for now, Inca House is no more.

See also: Alley Cats: An All Women Art Show opens Friday at new DIY gallery The Inca House

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Spacecraft, the creative-reuse store, holding a Photo Ball fundraiser Saturday

Categories: Crafts, DIY

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Photos courtesy of Leanne Alaman
Spacecraft creates art out of donated, reused materials.
Spacecraft opened in February as a place where companies and individuals could donate used materials to be repurposed into art. "The mission is about providing easy access to sustainability, giving people a way to make a difference that's fun and doesn't require that they change their entire lifestyle," says founder Leanne Alaman. As part of the fun, Spacecraft is holding a Photo Ball fundraiser for the shop on Saturday, March 15, where guests can have professional pictures taken against backdrops made out of reused materials.

See also: Best Place to Recycle Everything Including the Kitchen Sink -- RAFT


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Ten best comedy events in Denver in February

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poster design by Michael King
February is winter's death rattle. The roads are sludgy, the calendar is wonky, and there's nothing to look forward to except Valentine's Day --which can often seem more of a solemn obligation than a holiday, anyway. Fortunately, a diverse range of comedy events should light up the otherwise bleak February entertainment landscape: comedian-produced shows with gross names like Tongue Stuff and Tits & Giggles; veteran acts like Paul Mooney, Norm MacDonald and Jeff Ross; and even the spectator sport of Olympics for Weirdos. In short, plenty of ways to keep you laughing until the sun comes back.

See also: Beth Stelling on Sexpot Comedy, writing plays and tiny failures


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Festivus Film and Laugh Track festivals call it quits

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Tim Sorensen
Two bastions of Denver's DIY scene won't be back in 2014. The Festivus Film Festival, which was founded in 2007, and the Laugh Track Comedy Festival, which spun off the FFF, both ceased operation at the end of last year. Beyond providing many local comedians and filmmakers with a valuable opportunity to network and hone their craft for a hip audience, the festivals also helped grow that audience, paving the way for other ambitious events, such as last August's High Plains Comedy Festival. We reached out to the founders and organizers of both festivals for their thoughts on the end of their brainchild; read on for their quotes and clips of highlights throughout the years.

See also: Eleven memorable lines from the Laugh Track Comedy Festival

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Celebrate legalization with the Tokeasy DVD release party

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Wally Wallace
Chaz Grundy as Tyrell in Tokeasy.
While the impact that legalizing cannabis will have on Colorado life has been analyzed from economic, political and demographic standpoints, its influence on our creative community has received much less attention. With films like Tokeasy, however, that may be starting to change. Heretofore discreet stoners have been coming out of the woodwork and ganjapreneurs are emerging as the area's most significant patrons of the arts. While as little as ten years ago, an event like this Saturday's Tokeasy DVD release party would seem like a literal pipe dream, now it just seems like the most appropriate way to honor a film with a unique perspective on a transformative time in our history.
See also: Keith Garcia and Theresa Mercado join forces for new film series Channel Z

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Cast your 2014 intentions in clay on First Friday at an EvB Studios mini-shop

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As far as First Fridays go, tonight's 2014 kickoff is a little slow, but there are certain things you can count on -- and Marie EvB Gibbons's monthly First Friday hands-on clay mini-shop is one of those. There's nothing quite like it: It's a chance to squeeze your hands into some clay and make something to take home, all in the inviting and cozy confines of the EvB Studio at 44th Avenue and Tennyson Street.

See also: 100 Colorado Creatives: Marie EvB Gibbons


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