Colorado Arts Spotlight: Things to know and do around the state Dec. 15-17

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(Courtesy of Colorado Symphony)
The Colorado Symphony performs a holiday special.

This week, Denver’s RiNo Art District announced the recipients of $75,000 in Social Impact Grants. Seven community groups are splitting the money, including Birdseed Collective Arts, which aims to “transform the lives of artists, youths, individuals, and communities” through a wide range of projects and programs. 

All of the organizations serve the five historic neighborhoods that make up the RiNo district (Five Points, Elyria, Swansea, Cole, and Globeville), with missions that range from ending homelessness and improving access to food to supporting arts education for adolescents. This is the largest amount awarded by the grant program to date.

Friday, Dec. 15

The Parish of St. Francis of Assisi in Castle Rock is celebrating its 135th anniversary with the Festival of Lessons and Carols. This celebration dates back to the late 19th century and involves presenting nine Scripture readings, known as "lessons," along with carols that narrate the story of Christmas.

The Festival of Lessons and Carols, Friday, Dec. 15th, 7pm at St. Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church, 2746 Fifth Street, Castle Rock, CO.

The Paonia Library’s current art exhibit, Wild Imaginings, displays works by Jane R. Schultz in oil, acrylic, watercolor, and pen and ink. The show is on view now through January 2024 during library hours.

Wild Imaginings art exhibit is on display through the end of Jan. at the Paonia Public Library, 80 Samuel Wade Rd., Paonia, CO.

The Thingamajig Theatre Company of Pagosa Springs presents "All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914," a theatrical interpretation based on a true testament of World War I. 

“All is Calm” at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts, 2313 Eagle Dr, Pagosa Springs, CO, from Dec. 15 to 29.

Saturday, Dec. 16

"Making Merry" is the holiday production by Stories on Stage, which they promise will offer a delightful blend of music and mirth. The event features a special musical guest: Off Kilter, an 18-member a cappella troupe made up of singers from the Denver Gay Men's Chorus.

“Making Merry” Saturday, Dec. 16 at 2 p.m. at the Nomad Playhouse in Boulder and Sunday, Dec. 17 at 2 p.m. at the King Center in Denver.

Students of all ages from the Front Range Classical Ballet Academy are bringing a Greek myth to life in a new original ballet. “Persephone and the Pomegranate” explores the relationship between nature's seasons, as well as the journey of growing up, leaving home, and finding one's place in the universe. Presented in a program with additional short pieces.

“Persephone & the Pomegranate (& more)” shows Saturday, Dec. 16 at 7:30 p.m. the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins.

MacKinnon Royal Dance Institute will put on its annual holiday recital, ‘A Season of Dance’, at the Rialto Theater Center in Loveland.

“A Season of Dance,” Saturday, Dec. 16 at 5:30 p.m. at the Rialto Theater Center, 228 E. Fourth St, Loveland.

The Orphanage — an “automotive themed gallery space” located on Main Street in Yuma — will showcase the creations of puppeteer Sarah Beth (S.B.) Parks. The exhibit, titled "A Fantasy On Strings," opens on Saturday with two performances of an original puppet show called "Three Tales of Three." The exhibition is on view through January 14th. 

Performances of “Three Tales of Three” are Saturday, December 16, at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The exhibit, “A Fantasy on Strings,” is on display from Dec. 16 to Jan. 14, 2024.

The Okee Dokee Brothers band.

Sunday, Dec. 17

The Loveland Concert Band presents a “Winter Fun” concert this weekend.

The Loveland Concert Band, 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 17, at  Mountain View ​High School, 3500 Mountain Lion Drive, Loveland in the Sue E. Wall Auditorium.

The Grammy Award-winning Okee Dokee Brothers, who were born and raised in Denver, are coming back home for a special family concert at the Oriental Theater this weekend. Joe Mailander and Justin Lansing create and perform family music with the aim of inspiring children and their parents to step outside and unleash their creativity.

The Okee Dokee Brothers, 11 a.m. Saturday Dec. 17 at the Oriental Theater, 4335 W. 44th Ave, Denver.

Home for the Holidays at the Lonetree Arts Center.

All weekend

On Saturday and Sunday, the Colorado Symphony and Chorus bring the full majesty of Handel’s Messiah to Boettcher Concert Hall in Denver.

Handel's Messiah”, performed by the Colorado Symphony Chorus, Saturday Dec. 16 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday Dec. 17 at 2:30 p.m. at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, 1101 13th St, Denver.

“Home for the Holidays”, an annual variety show at Lone Tree Arts Center, showcases dancers, singers, and holiday songs, with special appearances by Santa and Mrs. Claus. The lineup has been updated for 2023.

Home for the Holidays” runs Thursday, Dec. 14 through Saturday, Dec. 23 at Lone Tree Arts Center, 10075 Commons St, Lone Tree, CO

Early next week

You can join the Colorado Symphony for the “Elvis Christmas Spectacular” on Tuesday, featuring a symphonic take on the King's many holiday classics, including "White Christmas," "Silver Bells," and "Silent Night."

“Elvis Christmas Spectacular”, performed by the Colorado Symphony, Tuesday, Dec. 19, at 7:30 at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts’ Boettcher Concert Hall, 1101 13th St, Denver.

Other arts and culture events around Colorado

How we pick our events: Colorado Arts Spotlight highlights events around the state to give readers a sense of the breadth of Colorado’s arts and cultural happenings, it is not — and can not possibly be — a comprehensive list of all weekly events. Entries are not endorsements or reviews. Each week’s list is published on Thursday and is not updated. Some groups that appear on the list may also be financial sponsors of CPR, but have no input into our editorial choices.