Visually, glass doesn't mean much without light. Glass is stained to color light, cut to curve and refract it, blown to bottle it. So maybe that ugly glass poodle sitting on a doily is a little cooler than you thought. But you won't have to try so hard to appreciate it at the Glass Magic Exhibition, which opened earlier this week at the Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts (304 State Hwy. 105, Palmer Lake, trilakesarts.org). Regional artists who specialize in glass arts contributed to this juried show all about the links between glass and light. It's up through Jan. 23 (Tuesdays through Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m.), with an opening reception Jan. 9 from 5 to 8 p.m. — EA
To celebrate its 25th anniversary, the Pikes Peak Jazz & Swing Society is pulling out all the riffs with a three-day jazz party. Festivities take place today and tomorrow at Cheyenne Mountain Resort (3225 Broadmoor Valley Road) and continue with Sunday's closing set at the Olympian Plaza Reception & Event Center (975 S. Union Blvd.). During that time, some 60 musicians will be kicking out the jams, including Otis Bump & the Riptides, the Ricky Sweum Quartet, Lila Mori, Mistura Bela and the PPJASS All-Star Big Band. You can hear them all for $65, about $1 per musician, or check out individual sessions for $15 to $25. Find more information at ppjass.org. And yes, there will be door prizes. I love door prizes. — BF
Tonight's 8 o'clock Colorado Springs Philharmonic performance is billed as Cirque du Swing, which is translated from the French (according to my computer) "Circus of the Swing." Those of you sophisticated enough to be following the Philharmonic probably already know this. I did not. You probably also understand that there will be no tiny clowns packed into cars, or elephants on swings at the Pikes Peak Center (190 S. Cascade Ave., csphilharmonic.org). And though the concert will feature the music of American composer George Gershwin, you can expect to hear '40s-era swing classics and Gershwin's An American in Paris. (Ah, that's in France! It's becoming clearer ...) And the Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance Theatre joins in with choreography on bungies, stilts, tippy hoops, aerial fabric and swinging trapeze. Je comprends! Tickets run $14 to $58. Bravo! — JT
You need not be a conspiracist to enjoy today's 2 o'clock production of The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe at the Damon Runyon Theater (611 N. Main St., Pueblo, runyontheater.org). Though the show does center around a bag lady who tunes in ETs through an antenna in her umbrella hat, it's more of a comedic satire of American culture circa the 1980s. Actress Judith Cook will play all 15 of the show's characters, a feat that earned Lily Tomlin the 1986 Tony Award for Actress in a Drama. (There's also a movie version of the play.) The show also runs Jan. 9 and 15 through 17, with 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday performances; tickets range from $4 to $29 with a dinner and show option ($45 total) also available. — MS
My wish for the new year: that everyone who hasn't yet read Community: The Structure of Belonging, by author Peter Block, will. (I think the Pikes Peak Library District would agree with me, since it selected the book for All Pikes Peak Reads 2009.) If you haven't had a chance to pick up one of the gazillion copies available at the library, make sure you put it on your to-do list after getting a taste of its message at a free lunchtime talk by Block from 11 to 12:30 today at CC's Cornerstone Arts Center (825 N. Cascade Ave.). Block's said his book is meant to "support those who care for the well being of their community." So, c'mon neighbor, bring your bleeding heart out of the closet. RSVP by Jan. 8 to email@example.com or 531-6333 ext. 1234. — KA
Those who live in Manitou Springs are more likely to know about this annual event, and some might not even like the idea of letting the masses in on the secret. But everyone deserves a chance at the Commonwheel Artists Co-op's yearly Pots by the Pound sale, which began on Friday and continues through Jan. 25, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day at the gallery (102 Cañon Ave., 685-1008, commonwheel.com). The deal is simple: Commonwheel's members and other guest artists supply the seconds and other pottery/art inventory, but instead of charging by the item, customers pay for most purchases by the pound. Aside from finding treasures you really can use, we've taken care of many birthday and other gifts at this sale, and trust me, nobody ever knows the difference. — RR
By now you're probably snuggly settled into this here new year and you're starting to feel a little guilty about the resolutions you've been sort-of keeping through the first two weeks. Well, if recycling was anywhere on your list, at 6 tonight head to the Lon Chaney Theater (221 E. Kiowa St., 502-7057) for a free motivational showing of Garbage Dreams. The documentary follows the fate of three Zabaleen boys — "Egypt's garbage people," who recycle 80 percent of the garbage they collect — forced to adapt when a multinational corporation is brought in to take over the process. Afterwards, go home and sort that recycling. — BC
Contributors: Edie Adelstein, Kirsten Akens, Bryce Crawford, Bill Forman, Ralph Routon, Matthew Schniper and Jill Thomas.