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Words Beyond Bars Presents: First Degree, December 1
Jermaine Archer’s mother dreamed her son would go to college—until he was sentenced to 22 years to life at New York’s Sing Sing Correctional Facility for second-degree murder. This compelling documentary follows Archer and his fellow inmates in their quests to earn college educations while behind bars. Ticket prices includes a cocktail and appetizer reception before the film plus a post-screening panel discussion with Words Beyond Bars, a nonprofit that works to transform the lives of Colorado prison inmates through education. Thu 7 p.m. Sie Film Center 2510 E. Colfax Ave. 303-595-3465. $30.
Give One Year of 5280 for just $16.
The Sea, December 2
The ocean—endlessly powerful, constantly moving, and inextricably tied to human migration and history—is the inspiration for this evocative show. Provocative contemporary dance group 3rd Law and artistic co-directors Jim LaVita and Katie Elliott bring together aspects of theater, music, and literature to create a multi-sensory dance performance that explores all the ways the sea has influenced humanity. Split into three parts, the show will touch upon nature, migration, and perseverance as major themes, with a unifying original score by Boulder’s Paul Fowler. Fri-Sat 7:30 p.m., Sun 4 p.m. The Dairy Arts Center 2590 Walnut St., Boulder. 303-440-7826. $17-$30.
Emerging Vision, December 2-January 7
At this open-themed show, visitors can acquaint themselves with the works of 28 promising young photographers—talented artists, including Emma Sobel, Justin Alber, and Yong Chen, who have been tapped as standard-bearers and innovators of the photographic world. Chosen from a national pool of hundreds of submissions, the undergraduate and MFA students included in the show represent a wide array of backgrounds and artistic inspirations. Expect the photographs to address the personal, the intimate, and the meditative through urban scenes, rural landscapes, portraits, and still lifes. Tue–Fri 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat noon-4 p.m. Colorado Photographic Arts Center 3636 Chestnut Pl. 303-837-1341. Free.
Oxford Hotels Doll’s Tea, December 4
This fanciful family tea is made for you and your tykes—and their favorite dolls are invited, too. Your kiddos will snack on hot cocoa, finger sandwiches, and sweet treats as they enjoy a special ballet performance, which tells the story of a young girl who wishes for her dolls to come alive and play with her, from the Arvada Center Dance Theatre. After the show, the whole family is invited for a complimentary holiday photo-op in the Oxford Hotel’s lobby. Sun 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 3 p.m. The Oxford Hotel 1600 17th St. 303-628-5400. $44-$59.
Rocky Mountain Ukulele Orchestra, December 6
Shelve the overplayed holiday radio tunes in favor of the Centennial State’s most interesting wintertime concert. Dozens of expert ukulele artists take to the stage for an unforgettable setlist of pop favorites, including Lady Gaga hits, as well as unique renditions of festive classics. Guests can refuel during intermission with Village Roaster sweets, coffee, and booze, and the musically talented are welcome to bring their own ukuleles to strum along with the orchestra (just make sure your uke is tuned beforehand). Tue 7:30 p.m. Lakewood Cultural Center 470 S. Allison Pkwy., Lakewood. 303-984-0777. Ticket prices vary.