The 21 Best Events in Denver, January 31-February 6

The Nile Project represents the diverse cultures that live along the river's shores.
The Nile Project represents the diverse cultures that live along the river's shores.
Peter Stanley

Celebrate cultural diversity at the Nile Project's concert at Macky Auditorium, shop for your Valentine at Ink Lounge's Fancy Pants, or attend a lively Super Bowl party. They're all in our 21 best events list this week.

Tuesday, January 31

Violin virtuoso Yumi Hwang-Williams has performed with musical groups all over the world, including Austria’s Bruckner Orchestra and the Basel Symphony Orchestra in Switzerland. Concertmaster of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra since 2000, Hwang-Williams has dedicated her career to celebrating the works of modern composers and breathing new life into the classics; as a faculty member of the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music, she’s also helping to shape the next generation of artists. Get schooled in how contemporary classical music can sound when Hwang-Williams joins pianist Susan Grace at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 31, for a recital at DU’s Newman Center for the Performing Arts, 2344 East Iliff Avenue. Tickets, $10, include parking in the Newman Center garage; buy yours and get more information at du.edu or 303-871-7720.

Want to explore the growing marijuana industry? Join more than 2,000 cultivators, dispensary operators, extraction artists, product providers and infused-product manufacturers at the National Cannabis Industry Association’s Seed to Sale Show, which opens Tuesday, January 31, and runs through Wednesday, February 1, at the Colorado Convention Center. The show is two days of learning, listening and sharing ideas as panelists talk about everything from pot products and sales strategies to emerging technology. Register online for the early-bird price of $695, or pay $895 at the door (NCIA members pay $545 or $745). Admission isn’t cheap, but it could be your ticket to a new career. For more information, go to seedtosaleshow.com.

Wednesday, February 1

With this state’s physical history disappearing every day, the reasons for Colorado Preservation’s Saving Places Conference are more solid than ever. The twentieth annual edition runs Wednesday, February 1, through Saturday, February 4, at the Colorado Convention Center, with a full lineup of educational workshops, tours and other sessions aimed at preserving and promoting Colorado’s past. This also marks the twentieth anniversary of the Most Endangered Places Program, and before the next class of endangered spots is announced on February 2, the recipients of the Stephen H. Hart Awards for Historic Preservation will be honored at 6 p.m. Wednesday, February 1, at the History Colorado Center. For more on the conference, go to coloradopreservation.org.

The Nile Project unites the river's regional diversity.
The Nile Project unites the river's regional diversity.
Habi Girgis

Thursday, February 2

Humans do more than just pollute the ocean — apparently, we mess with the mating rituals of marine life, too. Starting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, February 2, scientist and author Marah J. Hardt will be at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science to discuss her book Sex in the Sea: Our Intimate Connection With Sex-Changing Fish, Romantic Lobsters, Kinky Squid, and Other Salty Erotica of the Deep. Hardt uses the “sex sells” theory to draw attention to the fragile state of our oceans, “where life’s been perfecting procreative creativity the longest.” If perfection means “lively threesomes” and “full-moon sex parties,” we want nothing less out of life. For tickets, $8 to $10, and more information, go to dmns.org.

The Uncondemned chronicles the struggle of global activists and attorneys in their attempt to change international law to designate rape as a crime of war in the wake of the Rwandan genocide. Billed as a courtroom thriller, the documentary takes viewers to the front lines of this legal fight and tells the stories of women who were sexually assaulted during the war. Director Michele Mitchell will present a one-night-only screening of the film in person at 7 p.m. on Thursday, February 2, at the Sie FilmCenter, 2510 East Colfax Avenue. Tickets, $7 to $11, can be purchased at denverfilm.org.

The Nile knows no borders as it flows out of Lake Victoria in Uganda to the Mediterranean Sea in Egypt. The river, which travels through eleven African nations, not only crosses cultural boundaries but also fires up environmental concerns based on the world’s most precious resource — water. Touring concert The Nile Project, an ambitious melding of the region’s diversity and a call to unify the river’s meandering ecosystem, beautifully pieces together music from the eleven rich cultures that thrive along its banks. Thirteen musicians join hands in the concert, which comes to the University of Colorado Boulder’s Macky Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, February 2, for an expression of goodwill and collaboration between nations. A lecture by CU assistant professor of ethnomusicology Austin Okigbo precedes the concert at 6:45 p.m. in CU’s Old Main Chapel. For information and tickets, which range from $15 to $75, go to cupresents.org/events/nile-project.

Upcoming Events

Friday, February 3

The Road to WrestleMania is long, hard and beset by muscled warriors, all trying to claim victory from their opponents’ brawny grasp. World Wrestling Entertainment is back with another action-packed live event, one whose roster boasts appearances from pro-wrestling superstars such as The New Day, Sasha Banks, Seth Rollins, Goldut and many more vying for WrestleMania glory in the ring. In true WWE fashion, Road to WrestleMania promises to lay the smackdown on the foothills: This event hits the mat on Friday, February 3, at 7:30 p.m. at 1STBANK Center, 11450 Broomfield Lane in Broomfield. Tickets start at $20 and can be found at altitudetickets.com.

World issues and cultural differences come into play in Presence: Reflections on the Middle East, a major Month of Photography exhibit at Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Center for Visual Art. A dozen artists and children of the diaspora from the U.S. and throughout the Middle East grapple with traditions lost and found while navigating change and modernity. “What makes Presence really interesting is that it offers a glimpse into the artists’ creative thinking and practice informed by cultural heritage more so than geography or age,” says CVA curator Cecily Cullen. “Each artist can share a story about how geopolitical issues have affected their families and customs and ultimately informed their artistic work.” The exhibit opens with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, February 3, at the CVA, 965 Santa Fe Drive, and runs through April 8. For information about related talks and events, visit msudenver.edu/cva.

Dateline gallery honors Black History Month with Witnessed, a loaded topical installation by Boulder-based artist Lionel Bumbakini, aka BUMBAKiNi. Touching on the roots of the Black Lives Matter movement, Witnessed is a participatory investigation of a shooting involving a young black man and a white police officer, where viewers can sift through clues in a life-sized papier-mâché mockup of the crime scene and make decisions about who is ultimately at fault. But Bumbakini, of Congolese descent, was also inspired by his own parents’ culturally fractured journey from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the South Side of Chicago. The healing power of art is also part of the package: “I believe that it is time that we deconstructed the walls we have built between ourselves and that art through history has always been a bridge, a highway of information for which knowledge of our very selves and the world that surrounds us is attainable,” writes Bumbakini in a statement. Enter the artist’s murder scene and face the facts at a reception from 6 to 11 p.m. Friday, February 3, at Dateline, 3004 Larimer Street. For more information, visit ddaatteelliinnee.com or Dateline’s Facebook page.

Keep reading for more of the 21 best events in Denver.



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