Free things to do in Denver this week, October 18-24, 2021
The big cultural event this week is the unveiling of the renovated and expanded Denver Art Museum, which will reopen to the public on October 24, with an open house from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Advance tickets for this free event are completely sold out, although a limited number will be available on-site; find out more here.
How to be an anti-racist organization
Monday, October 18, 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., online
As part of Denver’s cultural plan and our work on justice, equity, diversity and inclusion, the city hosted a series of virtual discussions. This eighth segment will focus on what organizations can do about race and social justice. The discussion will be moderated by Tariana Navas-Nieves, Director, Cultural Affairs, Denver Arts & Venues, and Dwinita Mosby-Tyler, Chief Catalyst, The Equity Project LLC. Find out more here.
Tenth Annual John Paul Stevens Lecture: Jude Bernice Donald
Tuesday October 19 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Wolf Law’s Wittemyer Courtroom, 2450 Kittredge Loop Road, Boulder, and Online
The University of Colorado Law School Welcomes Judge Bernice Donald, Member of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, as a guest speaker for this annual event; she will speak about her career, judicial philosophy and the rule of law in the context of the Memphis massacre of 1866. The fifteen-minute lecture will be followed by a fireside chat and a question-and-answer session for students. Find out more here.
Nothing but blackened teeth
Tuesday October 19, 6 p.m.
Old Firehouse Books, 232 Walnut Street, Fort Collins
At Cassandra Khaw Nothing but blackened teeth, a night of wedding festivities takes a spooky turn when a lonely ghost bride joins the party. This aspiring horror writer will take a virtual tour of Old Firehouse Books, in conversation with Danny Lore. Find out more here.
Ofrendas Community Celebration: Breckenridge
From Tuesday October 19 to Sunday October 24
Calaveras in Mi Ciudad Art Exhibition: October 22 to November 7, Old Masonic Hall, 136 South Main Street, Breckenridge
Calaveras in Mi Ciudad Art Talk and vernissage: Friday, October 22, 6 to 8 p.m., Old Masonic Hall
Free Craft Workshops: Saturday October 23 and Sunday October 24, various locations in Breckenridge
Grupo Huitzilopochtli Performances, Saturday 23 October, 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., Blue River Plaza, 137 South Main Street, Breckenridge
Ofrenda installation / Mexican Cultural Center Market: Sunday October 24, 10:30 a.m., Old Masonic Hall
Breckenridge isn’t quite ready for skiing, but the resort is more than ready to celebrate El Día de los Muertos with anyone looking for a weekend of immersion in the sacred feast of ancestral Mexican remembrance. Breck’s Businesses will be ready by mid-week for a self-guided walk around town to see community ofrenda (or memorial altar) exhibits honoring the dead (these remain standing from October 19 to November 2), but things are really starting to gain momentum with an art exhibition opening on October 22 and talk, with craft workshops, dance performances, storytelling, an ofrenda demonstration and a local Mexican cultural center market. October 23 and 24. The events are free; Learn more here and find a community map ofrenda here.
Ballots and infusions (cold)
Wednesday, October 20, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., online
The November elections are fast approaching and metropolitan communities face critical moments in public policy. Take part in this free virtual discussion (BYO beer) on the Denver and Colorado November 21 poll hosted by Downtown Denver, and listen to speakers discuss two key issues: the RISE Denver Bond package (Measures 2A to 2E) and Measure 2F , Safe & Sound Denver. Register now here.
Full moon evening at the open market
Wednesday, October 20, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Milk block, 1800 Wazee Street
Embrace the magic of the full moon as you have your aura photographed and interpreted by Ignite Your Aura of Denver (appointments recommended). Bring your yoga mat for a special thirty minute Yoga Flow class and Intention Setting Meditation led by Samantha Moves Yoga from 6pm and enjoy a Make Your Own Bath Salts Bar by the Conscious Merchant (donations appreciated). Find out more here.
Destination Freedom Black Radio Days: “The Lesson” and “Conk”
Thursday October 21, 7 p.m.
KGNU Radio: 88.5 FM, 1390 AM or online here
Donnie l. betts is back this month with a double header on its Destination Freedom Black Radio Days podcast inspired by Richard Durham’s 1940s biographical radio dramas about prominent figures in black history. In its twentieth season of live performances, the series hands the playwright’s pen to Kenya Fashaw, who directs Aurora’s 5280 Artist Co-op theater group, for the two dramas in this episode: “The Lesson”, on a black student attending a school named after a Klansman and “Conk,” a piece on black men’s hairstyle. Catch up on returning podcast episodes here.
DAVA Youth Film Premiere
Friday October 22 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Aurora Fox Theater, 9900 East Colfax Avenue, Aurora
DAVA has partnered with Colorado Film School for an exclusive evening of award-winning youth film premieres. Snap a photo on the red carpet, then enjoy a collection of shorts on the big screen, all created by young directors. There are only forty free tickets available, and they will not be available at the door; send an email to [email protected]
Edgar L. Page, Easy with these songs
Saturday October 23 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Léon Gallery, 1112 East 17th Avenue
Award-winning Denver dancer / choreographer and RedLine resident Edgar L. Page will kick off – quite literally – Leon’s Momentum 2021 performance art series with an evening of dancing from his intergenerational company Edgar L. Page: Feel the Movement. The performance is free and open to the public, thanks to a grant from the Bonfils Stanton Foundation awarded to the gallery, but donations for the artist will be accepted. Space is limited; learn more and RSVP here.
In Lak’ech Denver Arts, Viva la Vida a Westwood
Saturday October 23 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Hecho and Westwood Collective, 3742 Morrison Road
The slogan “Viva la Vida” (“Live the life”) may seem contrary to a celebration of the Day of the Dead, but it illuminates the true purpose of the annual event with ancient roots: to celebrate and honor the dead by leaving the offerings of food and keepsakes on altars celebrating their lives. This traditional Día de los Muertos neighborhood will serve this spirit with live dance and music, and a community altar; Cultura Chocolate will warm your heart with snacks and refreshments during an intermission. It’s free to participate; find the details here.
Fletcher Plaza Fall Festival
Saturday October 23 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Fletcher Plaza, 9800 East Colfax Avenue, Aurora
Everyone is welcome to the Fletcher Plaza Fall Festival, a celebration of the seasonal harvest with a Día de los Muertos twist, right in the heart of downtown Aurora. Pick up a fresh pumpkin on the doorstep, let the kids put on makeup, then climb onto an Aurora fire truck, shop for food, goods and stalls from craft vendors, and go for the swirling dancers of the Ballet Folklórico Baile Caliente. Except for shopping, it’s free; Learn more here.
Do you know of a great free event around Denver? We will update this list throughout the week; send information to [email protected]