Ten Things to Do in Denver for $10, May 4-7 (Seven for Free!)
MCA Denver's Wall Writers exhibit closes this weekend.
Photograph by Jon Naar, 1973
Now that the clouds are lifting and the mercury's rising, Denverites can look forward to a fun-filled and sun-dappled weekend. The warmer climes are a boon for outdoor parties like the Cinco de Mayo Festival or TheBigWonderful, but the city is blooming with art exhibits, film screenings and lively children's theater, too. With adventurous bargain-hunting opportunities and good times galore, we are spoiled by choices – and we don't even need a lot of money. Admission to the following ten events is available for $10 and under, including seven free options.
Jessica Haye and Clark Hsiao
Despite its outlaw origins, traced back to New York and Philadelphia as long ago as 1967, graffiti has blossomed into a commodified high-art movement that's influenced music and fashion while becoming an integral part of the cityscape. MCA Denver's Wall Writers: Graffiti in Its Innocence celebrates the form's early pioneers with an extensive exhibit of murals and photographs curated by Roger Gastman, who directed a documentary and compiled a book with the same name. Artsy types who've slept on this fascinating exhibit until now have one final chance this weekend, when Wall Writers concludes its run with a celebratory send-off reception. Join Gastman along with Mike Giant, a fixture of skateboarding and graffiti's early years, for an exhibition talk on Thursday, May 4, at 7 p.m. The festivities continue all weekend long, but tickets for a Friday night Egyptian Lover Dance Party and a Saturday screening of Wall Writers at the Sie FilmCenter will each cost more than $10 for non-MCA or Denver Film Society members. Visit mcadenver.org to learn more and buy tickets.
Friday, May 5, 7 p.m.
"Unrequited," a new exhibit from Denver-based artist Joseph Findeiss, showcases his eye-catching and brain-melting visual compositions. Findeiss has more on his mind than striking images, however. Sourcing collage materials from vintage publications, including everything from old Playboys to Audubon prints, "Unrequited" examines the stormy randomness of the adolescent mind through the wiser eyes of a self-aware adult. Nosh, sip and mingle with Sputnik's well-dressed locals while pondering the art. Admission is free, and 50 percent of all sales will be donated to SafeHouse Denver.
3. The Silent Princess: A Turkish Tale
Friday, May 5, 7:30 p.m.
Adapted from a Turkish folk tale — collected by Andrew Lang in The Olive Fairy Book, an international compendium of stories similar to The Arabian Nights — The Silent Princess tells the tale of a rowdy young prince cursed to seek the love of a princess who refuses to speak. Enlisting the help of a talking nightingale, the prince endures a series of challenges to win her hand, ultimately learning an important lesson about self-love and responsibility by the time the curtain falls. Continuing the Bitsy Stage tradition of fine children's theater, The Silent Princess contextualizes this story from the cradle of civilization. The play premieres on Friday, May 5, at 7:30 p.m., and continues through June 11 with the kid-friendly showtimes of 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is free, but registration is required. Visit bitsystage.com to learn more, reserve tickets and make a donation.
4. Lafayette Electronic Arts Festival
Center for Musical Arts
If you're looking for a dip into DIY culture and miss venues like Rhinoceropolis and Glob, which the City of Denver shut down late last year, head to Lafayette for the Lafayette Electronic Arts Festival for a weekend of experimental, electronic music and media sure to blow your mind. This free event showcases Bios+a+ic, Page 27, Sister Grotto, Antenes and Ariadne, and includes workshops on how to make audio equipment out of telephones. Go to the festival Facebook page for more information.
4400 Fox Street
Spring is here, and that means TheBigWonderful is back and spilling over with its trademark something-for-everyone trifecta, including a huge shopping bazaar and food-truck congregation, a big beer-and-spirits fest and lots of live music, all at one large, open location at 4400 Fox Street. It kicks off with a Cinco de Mayo happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m. on Friday, May 5, with music on the main stage at night; cruise the bazaar and enjoy more beer and music from noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, May 6 and 7. Tickets run from $5 to $59, with various packages offered. Learn more at thebigwonderful.com.
Read on for more cheap things to do in Denver this weekend.
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