We tell you what to do, where to be, and why for each week of the year.


What: Visual Fusion: Boulder’s Philharmonic Orchestra teams up with local artist Nyla Witmore and features its own principal tuba player Michael Allen for a concert that has been described as “art-inspired music and music-inspired art.” Witmore paints live as the orchestra performs Strauss’s Tod und Verklärung, creating a real-time visual take on the music. The results are projected on a screen for the audience. Allen provides the world premiere arrangement of a colorful new version of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.
Why: The BPO is looking to push its musical boundaries as it celebrates its 50th anniversary. Join them for the test-drive.
Bonus: This weekend is also Boulder’s 13th anniversary of Open Studios, during which more than 140 visual artists (sculptors, woodworkers, photographers, potters, and painters, including Nyla Witmore) will open their private studios to the public for self-guided tours. Call 303-444-1862 or visit www.openstudios.org.
Details: Sat 7:30 p.m. Macky Auditorium, University of Colorado at Boulder, 17th Street and University Avenue, Boulder. $10–$65. Call 303-449-1343, ext. 2 or visit www.boulderphil.org.


What: Great American Beer Festival: It’s known as the Super Bowl of beer events, and attracts brew aficionados from all over the world for three days of unbridled suds appreciation. Brewing demonstrations, tasting competitions, and book signings are just a few distractions to stumble upon between samplings.
Why: 408 breweries, 1,884 beers, 1 goal: Taste every one.
Bonus: Pairing food selections with beer is one of the latest trends in the restaurant biz; GABF’s outstanding food-and-beer seminars feature demonstrations on how to cook with beer and pair different styles of brew with various dishes.
Details: Thu–Fri 5:30–10 p.m.; Sat 12:30–4:30 p.m., 5:30–10 p.m. Colorado Convention Center, 700 14th St. $45/single day; $190/all-session pass. Call 303-447-0816 or visit www.beertown.org/events/gabf.


What: The Core Action Sports’ Winter Fashion Flurry: A “who’s who” of women’s skateboarding and action sports couture in Colorado. Don’t miss the skate exhibition or the runway show, highlighting the ’07-’08 winter lines from top brands such as Nikita, Vans, and Roxy.
Why: A silent auction benefits Boarding for Breast Cancer, a youth-focused nonprofit designed to increase awareness about the importance of early detection and leading an active lifestyle. Plus, proceeds from the entire event will go to the Action Sports Alliance (promoting female participation in action sports) and Adaptive Action Sports (supporting disabled action-sports athletes, musicians, and artists).
Bonus: Denver’s influential indie-pop band, Dressy Bessy (who’s been in studio-hibernation finishing a highly anticipated new album) hits the stage immediately following the fashion show.
Details: Fri 7 p.m. Denver’s Mile High Station, 2027 W. Colfax Ave. $20–$70. Visit www.coreactionsports.com.


What: Denver Improv Comedy Festival: Local and national acts return for a second year to wow the city with performances and comical adaptations based on this year’s theme: Innovation. Catch local favorites like the Sans Script Players and 32nd Coming, or visitors like Los Angeles-based Razowsky and Clifford and Chicago’s Duckbutter.
Why: Besides being the largest collection of improv comics in Colorado, the festival is produced by the GroupMind Foundation, a nonprofit whose goal is to enrich and educate the community through the use of improvisational comedy. Laugh yourself to tears for a great cause.
Bonus: If you’re any kind of aspiring stage hound, check out one of the improv workshops to help you spruce up your unscripted funny-man skills. Top national instructors will lead you in techniques, props, characterization, and more. Days, times, and prices vary. All workshops at the Hampton Inn, 1845 Sherman St., unless otherwise noted.
Details: Thu–Sun, times vary. The Avenue Theater, 417 E. 17th Ave. $10–$20/single show; $70/all shows pass. Call 303-215-FEST (3378) or visit www.denverimprovfest.com.

Culture Calls:
National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sep. 15–Oct. 15) winds down its 2007 festivities on Monday. Keep an eye out during your travels this week for events and exhibits such as “Muñiz Remastered, Photographs from the West Collection” at Denver’s Museo de Las Americas; “Chicano Magic,” an art exhibition of contemporary Chicano work at the Hagnauer Gallery in Manitou Springs; or La Raza Appreciation Day on Friday at CSU’s Lory Student Center.