Colorado Arts Spotlight: Things to know and do around the state Feb. 15 – 18

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(Courtesy of Dance Aspen)
Performers in DanceAspen’s new production, “Limitless.”

The 2024 Fort Collins Book Fest wraps up this weekend, with a final burst of literary events at various locations throughout the city. This year’s festival features more than 20 local and regional authors and storytellers under the theme "One Community, Many Stories" / "Una Comunidad, Muchas Historias".

This year's Book Fest features novelist Oscar Hokeah, whose work “Calling for a Blanket Dance” won the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Novel and was longlisted for the 2023 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and the Aspen Words Literary Prize.

Hokeah is a Native American writer of literary fiction who captures the intertribal, transnational, and multicultural aspects within his two tribal communities, the Cherokee Nation and the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma. In addition to reading from his debut novel, "Calling for a Blanket Dance," he said he looks forward to all aspects of the Fort Collins’ festival.

“I love… just being in a community of readers and writers and just being able to talk about characters in a depth way,” said Hokeah. “And I think that just being able to celebrate books.”

Hokeah reads and discusses his work Friday night at the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins

Other Book Fest events run through Monday. The festival is free and open to all ages.

DanceAspen, the contemporary dance company of the Roaring Fork Valley, presents new works in its show Limitless, this weekend. Laurel Winton, the company’s founder and executive director, describes the production as an opportunity to witness the future of contemporary dance.

“One piece is very classically structured. There's point work, there's a live classical violinist,” explained Winton. “Another piece has AI-generated CGI in it, very futuristic. And Cloud Line is very cinematic. The movement is very, very contemporary and very unique in its language. So it really is limitless in terms of the artistry that is produced in this program.”

Limitless, by DanceAspen, has performances at the Wheeler Opera House Feb. 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 16

Colorado Black Roundtable presents an evening screening of the documentary “Punch 9 for Harold Washington,” about the legendary political career of Chicago’s first Black mayor, at the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Theatre in Denver. The event also includes a community panel discussion on voter education and engagement. 

“Punch 9 for Harold Washington” screening and discussion starts at 4 p.m. Friday Feb. 16 at the CPRD Theater. The event is free but organizers request people email an RSVP. Free parking across the street in the Safeway parking lot.

The Boulder Symphony & Music Academy opens its 2024 series of masterworks concerts this weekend. The evening kicks off with the renowned contemporary Mexican composer Arturo Márquez's "Conga del Fuego Nuevo." The concerts also feature Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony and Jialin Yao, the 2023 winner of the International Keyboard Odyssiad & Festival Competition, performing Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3.

Boulder Symphony Masterworks Concerts  Feb. 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m. at Dairy Arts Center.

Par.a.dox —a combination art gallery/art bar/art venue in Loveland — opens its inaugural art show Friday, with an homage to a bit of local history.

The show honors Loveland's history as the home to one of the first LEGO manufacturing factories in the United States. The facility opened in 1965 with a design resembling LEGO bricks along its exterior (it closed in the early 70s and the quirky look was lost to remodeling a decade ago). 

The Par.a.dox Fine Art gallery’s LEGO show opening reception is 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 16th. The show runs through March 10th.

(Courtesy of Jeff Jenson)
Magician Jeff Jenson appears in “Spellbound Magic” at The Hub at 40 Arts West in Lakewood.

Saturday, Feb. 17

Magicians Jeff Jenson and Wonder perform Spellbound Magic Saturday evening at The Hub at 40 Arts West in Lakewood. The all ages show is billed as a unique presentation that combines different genres of magic in unexpected ways, from classic tricks to inventive new illusions. Each vignette is designed to astound and entertain, with humor and audience engagement.

Spellbound Magic – Jenson & Wonder 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17 at The Hub at 40 Arts West on Colfax in Lakewood.

Sunday, Feb. 18

The Colorado Collection, a longstanding partnership between the Lighthouse Writers Workshop and Stories on Stage, presents its latest edition at Su Teatro Theater in Denver’s Santa Fe Arts District. The event will showcase short stories written by Lighthouse teachers Nick Arvin, William Henry ("Hank") Lewis, and Amanda Rea, performed by local actors Kate Gleason, Lavour Addison, and Marco Robinson. 

After the performance, there will be a free cookies and milk reception where the audience can meet the authors and actors.

Lighthouse Presents: Colorado Collection Sunday, Feb. 18, 2:00 pm at Denver's Su Teatro Theater.

Denver Children's Theatre, in collaboration with the JCC Mizel Arts and Culture Center, presents Pat Mora's “Tomás and the Library Lady,” based on the children's book of the same name. Sunday’s show is part of the Mizel Center’s SCFD Free Day and is also an Accessibility Day, with American Sign Language interpretation, audio description, and a sensory-friendly performance.

The Denver JCC Mizel Arts and Culture Center presents “Tomás and the Library Lady” in the Elaine Wolf Theatre, 10 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 18.. The show has a final accessible performance Sunday, Feb. 25.

Jamie Kraus Photography
Caption Zuleyma Guevara, Jamie Ann Romero, and Xochitl Romero in world premier of Cebollas! at the DCPA.

All Weekend

Cebollas!, a surreal comedy by Leonard Madrid, centers on New Mexican culture and the unbreakable bond of sisterhood, through the story of three sisters driving a dead body up I-25 to Denver. Cebollas! premiered at the 2022 Colorado New Play Summit at the Denver Center Theater Company, is now making its world premiere at the DCPA.  

Colorado native Jamie Ann Romero returned home for the production, after making her Broadway debut last July in a leading role in The Cottage. She praised Leonard Madrid’s writing. 

“He has written this incredible play for three Latinx actors,” said Romero. “We get to be funny and over the top, but there is also this deep thread of sisterly love and honesty and truth, and that underlies this whole story. And I think it makes the comedy that much funnier and it makes the impactful moments that much more heartbreaking.”

The Denver Center Theater Company’s Cebollas! plays through March 17 at DCPA’s Singleton Theatre.

This year's Midwinter Bluegrass Festival in Northglenn showcases over 20 headliners and bands. Additionally, festival-goers can join beginner jamming workshops on Friday and Saturday nights, as well as Saturday afternoon. There will also be a band scramble and bluegrass karaoke on Saturday.

The Midwnter Bluegrass Festival begins at 5 p.m. Friday, Feb 16th and runs through 9 p.m. Sunday night at the Delta by Marriott in Northglenn. 

Other arts and culture events around Colorado

How we pick our events: CO 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.

Some groups mentioned in the Spotlight may be financial supporters of CPR News. Financial supporters have no editorial influence.