If sunny June makes you swoon, you're certainly not alone. Denverites own their city on balmy days and spend evenings experiencing the best of what our city's creative community has to offer. Whether enjoying world-class cinema, dancing and marching at PrideFest or merely trying to beat the heat, Denver has everything you need to stay entertained all week long. Better yet, the five following events are free.
Screening of Moonlight for Pride Month
Tuesday, June 13, 7 p.m.
Sie Film Center
While Moonlight will likely go down in history for its surprising and historic Best Picture victory, the film itself is a work of such rare depth and beauty that it would be unforgettable even without its richly deserved accolades. Moonlight tells the tale of Chiron, a painfully shy young man navigating the threatening environs of Miami's impoverished Liberty City neighborhood while harboring feelings he's only just begun to comprehend. With fantastic performances and an elegant three-act structure, Moonlight is well worth watching (or watching again), but the film takes on extra resonance during Pride month. It's fitting then, that Denverites can catch a free screening at Sie Film Center, on Tuesday, June 13, at 7 p.m. In a profound rebuke to the idea that senior citizens haven't adapted to contemporary values, the screening is sponsored and hosted by AARP Colorado. While admission is free, registration is required on the AARP events calendar.
Cooler Than Capes: Mutiny Comics Podcast Recording
Wednesday, June 14, 7 p.m.
Mutiny Information Cafe
Thanks to their resurgent cinematic popularity, tales of superheroics have eclipsed every other comic-book genre, so much so that they continue to define the medium. But comics are much older and broader in scope than this mistaken impression would lead you to believe. "Cooler Than Capes: Other Stories Comics Can Tell" is both a corrective to superhero biases and an introduction into the wide world of comic books. Join R. Alan Brooks and Jordan Froelich of The MotherF**cker in a Cape podcast at Mutiny Information Cafe as they welcome multi-talented comics artists Alex Graham and Westword contributor Karl Christian Krumpholz for a freewheeling discussion about all the other kinds of stories comics can tell. Learn these artists' origin stories, discuss their work and enjoy a cup of arguably the best iced coffee in town. Admission is free.
Denver Gay Professionals' Sixth Annual Rainbow Party
Thursday, June 15, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
For six years now, Denver Gay Professionals have kicked off Pride weekend by holding a grand soiree at X Bar. Gathering on the club's massive flamingo-speckled outdoor patio, celebrants, decked out in eye-catching rainbow-colored ensembles, can mingle and dance until the sun goes down. Admission is free, and no registration is required. Visit the Rainbow Party's Facebook event page to learn more.
Art on Film: Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Thursday, June 15, 7:30 p.m.
Center for Visual Art, MSU
The Santa Fe Art District, known for its First Friday events, is adding its own outdoor film series. Beginning June 15 and occurring once a month through September, Art on Film looks to capture the spirit of Santa Fe and pair it with films that expand the definition of art along with local bands and food-truck delights. Kicking things off: Pedro Almodóvar’s seminal 1988 comedy classic, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, which brought a candy-colored feminist spin to the screwball comedy. Westword's own Keith Garcia will be introducing the film; Cielo will provide pre-show musical entertainment. Future films in the series include A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, La La Land and Network. These free events are open to everyone. Find more information on the event page on Facebook.
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Cheesman Park, Civic Center Park
Last year’s PrideFest was fueled by tears and outrage over the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, but during this year’s two-day event in Civic Center Park, “Viva la Vida” is the general call to action. The message? You have to live your life. This year’s festival also promises to be more fun than a barrel of rainbows, beginning with Family Day, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 17, and continuing on Sunday, June 18, with the annual Coors Light PrideFest Parade (starting out from Cheesman Park at 9:30 a.m.) and another day of festivities in the park from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Big Gay 5K, a Shrine to Humanity tribute to rainbow flag creator Gilbert Baker, drag queen shows, the Denver Dyke March, Dogs in Drag, live music including headliner Jennifer Holliday, a dance party with DJ Dave Audé and an ongoing melée of costumes in rainbow hues are just some of the photo ops you’ll encounter over the weekend. The festival is free; go to glbtcolorado.org/pridefest for more information.
Looking for more to do? Check the Westword calendar.