If you enjoyed the Dear Hunter show last week at the Black Sheep (2106 E. Platte Ave., blacksheeprocks.com), you may be interested in returning tonight. For one thing, you'll see As Tall As Lions, a Triple Crown Records labelmate of the Dear Hunter. For another: Headlining is Minus the Bear, whose music last.fm says bears a "HIGH SIMILARITY" to the experimental rock of the Dear Hunter. They're joined by another group named Meese. These bands must travel in packs. Or prides. Or herds. Tickets to this all-ages 8 p.m. show cost $15 and can be had at ticketweb.com. — KW
Every two years, the Shivers Fund at Pikes Peak Library District stages the Shedding Light Celebration, a four-day festival of events and activities promoting awareness in local African-American arts and culture. Celebration IX begins at 2 today with a Thanksgiving gala at the Antlers Hilton (4 S. Cascade Ave., shiversfund.com) that includes dinner, an art show and dancing to the jazz vocals of Denise Young Smith. Tickets for the gala are $60, but the weekend's activities include cheaper options, including a Friday night classical concert, an authors' tea on Saturday, and a church service and concluding brunch on Sunday. — RR
Before photography, cameos and miniature portraits served a purpose similar to today's wallet photos or cell phone pictures. However, the origin of miniature painting is rooted in style, not size: Even a large painting can be done in "miniature," the word derived from Latin meaning "painted with red lead." Indian miniatures, however, align more with our current usage of the term (size versus style), and with that in mind, head to Cottonwood Center for the Arts (427 E. Colorado Ave., cottonwoodcenterforthearts.com) for its Holiday Miniature Show and Sale, which opens from 5:30 to 8:30 tonight and runs through Jan. 14. Each of the original miniatures by local artists spans no more than 12 inches in one direction, perfect for gifting to that person on your cell phone's screen saver. — EA
Around the age of 12, I began dancing in ballet pointe shoes. For a girl of that age, the role of Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker is the role to aspire to. Unfortunately, you first have to get past all the years of blisters and bleeding toes. I never made it. Today, the San Diego Ballet and the Colorado Springs Philharmonic present the holiday classic at 2:30 and 8 p.m. at the Pikes Peak Center (190 S. Cascade Ave.). Can't make it? There are $24 to $46 shows Friday and Sunday as well. Look for me there — reliving my dreams, pain-free. — KA
They've been portrayed as puppets (the Shoestring Theater), mimes (Marcel Marceau) and even humans (your seventh-grade English class), but you haven't truly experienced Scrooge, Marley and their ilk until you've seen them portrayed as Gold Rush historical figures. Happily, the Thin Air Theatre Company will — wait for it — go for the gold this year with the return of A Cripple Creek Christmas Carol to the Butte Theater (139 E. Bennett Ave., butteoperahouse.com). The show, which opened on Friday and runs through New Year's Eve, is set in the 1890s, with real-life gold-diggers Bob Womack and Winfield Scott Stratton (well, actually, company members portraying them, since dead people generally make poor actors) working overtime to save the soul of a Scrooged-out Zachariah Gooch. Why, it's a miner miracle! Tickets for today's 1 p.m. show range from $7.75 to $12.75. — BF
According to Woodland Park-based Yobel Market founder Sarah Ray, ending the global water crisis would cost about $10 billion, 1/45 of what Americans will spend on Christmas presents this year.
Ray, who travels to Northern Uganda to purchase fair-trade items like jewelry and chocolate, will host the second annual Adam's Mountain Holiday Bazaar at Adam's Mountain Café (934 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, yobelmarket.com) from 3 to 8 p.m. today in an attempt to promote conscious consuming. Several other sustainability-minded local vendors will be on hand alongside wine tastings, live music and more. — MS
Another chance to spend your holiday dollars in a way that positively impacts others will come today from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at Stargazers Theatre (10 S. Parkside Drive, 209-8888), with a Holiday Craft and Decoration Fundraising Sale. The Indy Give! event benefits the Club of Arts, a local nonprofit that provides visual and performance art education opportunities for people with disabilities. Club of Arts students handcrafted all decorations for sale. Visit cstcoa.org to learn more about how your purchase proceeds will be used. — MS
World AIDS Day may not highlight the cheeriest subject these holiday months will see, but it's certainly an important one. Programming begins with free HIV testing from 10 to 3 today in the Public Safety Room at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (1420 Austin Bluffs Pkwy., s-cap.org/eventsactivities.html). Next, discussions and public-awareness events will begin at 5:30 in Room 303 in the campus University Center. Simultaneously, at Pine Creek High School (10750 Thunder Mountain Ave., 234-2600), blocks of the original AIDS Memorial Quilt (said to be the largest community art project in the world) will be on display from 5 to 9 p.m. An hour-long remembrance service presented by the Southern Colorado AIDS Project will start at 6:30. — BC
They say farming is for everyone, and of course it is, but tonight you can listen to a talk titled "Women in Sustainable Agriculture in the Southwest." Having worked for businesses ranging from Colorado College food provider Bon Appetit to Two Creek Ranch and Heritage Belle Farm, six women will discuss sustainable agriculture and the challenges facing farmers, ranchers and food-service providers. The discussion is free and begins at 7:30 in Gaylord Hall of CC's Worner Student Center (902 N. Cascade Ave., coloradocollege.edu). — JK
Contributors: Edie Adelstein, Bryce Crawford, Bill Forman, John Knight, Ralph Routon, Matthew Schniper and Kirk Woundy.