Denver Arts Week continues through November 11, adding to the already abundant number of entertaining options around town. The calendar is overflowing with opportunities to see films, catch art shows and eat cereal; here are the 21 best events this week, in chronological order.
Tuesday, November 7
Since the 1980s, writer and experimental filmmaker Abigail Child has been pushing the boundaries of cinematic representation, tackling subjects as diverse as gender politics, public space and childhood. She’ll bring her multi-screen installation MirrorWorld to Counterpath Gallery, 7935 East 14th Avenue, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, November 7, for a show that will stay up through November 28; using split screens that mirror each other, Child uses the piece to explore women’s bodies through Bollywood iconography and more. At the opening reception, Child will read from her latest book, Mouth to Mouth, and will be joined by writers Carolina Ebeid and Serena Chopra. For more information, go to counterpathpress.org.
Wednesday, November 8
Fundraisers with art perks are the best, if you prefer ending up with something to take home that you really love instead of another “fireplace date basket” or dry-cleaning gift certificate. The Colorado Photographic Arts Center’s Walk Away With Art benefit, from 6 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, November 8, is just that kind of animal. Ten professional local photographers have provided fifty original signed works for the event, and added excitement lies in how the order of art-grabbing partiers is chosen: by drawing numbers. Take your chances, meet the artists and enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres; the price of a ticket, of which there are only fifty, is $125 per individual or $150 per couple. CPAC is at 1070 Bannock Street; learn more at cpacphoto.org/wawa or call 303-837-1341.
Thursday, November 9
Whatever happened to sitting at the kitchen table, reading printed materials while you slurp up coffee and a bowl of cereal? Relive a domestic slice of the not-so-distant past at the Denver Zine Library’s Zines and Cereal, an informal zine market and cereal party at Europa Coffeehouse with comfort food so cheap that you’ll be able to add to your own zine library without wasting your wallet. Eat and read on Thursday, November 9, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Europa, 76 South Pennsylvania Street; admission is free, and coffee and cereal (gluten-free with vegan milk is an option, hipsters!) are both available for $2 each. Visit the event’s Facebook page for details.
Friday, November 10
Hip-hop dance takes flight in a rare collaboration between the aerial dancers of Frequent Flyers Productions and the breakdancers of Block 1750, two Boulder companies as different as night and day. The resulting culture clash, Aerial Street View, pairs dancers simultaneously spinning on the floor and hanging from the ceiling, all to the sounds of Denver freak-folkers Chimney Choir. “To our knowledge, this is the first mashup of aerial dance and breaking,” notes Frequent Flyers artistic director Nancy Smith. “Both art forms trace their birth to the 1970s, and Boulder is home to some of the best in the world in both art forms.” Snatch up tickets while you can for one of six performances over two weekends, beginning at 8 p.m. Friday, November 10, and running through November 18 at the Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut Street in Boulder; tickets are $24 to $28 at tickets.thedairy.org.
Colorado-based Hex Publishers, long out to prove to the world that our state is home to some of the best crime, horror and sci-fi authors around, takes that stand with its latest release, Blood Business: Crime Stories From This World and Beyond, a stellar all-Colorado crime collection in two parts, pulled together by Hex publisher Josh Viola and Denver author Mario Acevedo. Meet the editors and several of the authors, including Carter Wilson, Jeanne C. Stein, Manuel Ramos and Jason Heller, from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, November 10, at the Tattered Cover Book Store, 2526 East Colfax Avenue; admission is free, but the book will set you back $27.99. Learn more at tatteredcover.com and hexpublishers.com.
Most Americans are embarrassingly ignorant about what our kindly neighbors in the Great White North get up to, which is a shame, because cities such as Toronto are fostering a diverse coalition of creatives who’ve come together to create one of the most vibrant arts scenes in the entire world. Denverites can enjoy a sampling of artists, filmmakers and other creatives from The 6 at What a Place to Be Alive: Moving Images From Toronto, hosted by the Dikeou Pop-Up Gallery at 312 East Colfax Avenue, at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, November 10. Works include Weeda Azim’s Herat in My Head in My Heart, which explores how the realities of war complicate homesickness via a long distance call between Canada and Afghanistan; a deeply personal travelogue from Nicholas Kovats; Super 8 films documenting Toronto’s occult scene by Sue Johnson; and much more. Admission is $10 or pay what you can; no one will be turned away. Curious minds can learn more at collectivemisnomer.com.
Count on Equinox Theatre’s brash musical comedies for laughs and enthusiastic staging. The latest, Disaster!, can’t help but follow suit. Set at the grand opening of the Barracuda, a floating New Yawk casino in the disco ’70s, the show delivers a salvo of disaster-film satire and disco hits aimed at getting audience members out of their seats and dancing in the aisles. Earthquakes, tidal waves, killer rats — you’ll experience them all in Disaster!, opening at 7:30 p.m. Friday, November 10, and running through December 2 at the Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo Street; get tickets, $17 to $20, in advance at brownpapertickets.com (they’ll be $25 at the door). For more information, go to equinoxtheatredenver.com.
If you think the Junior League is old-fashioned, consider all that it’s done. It played a key role in starting the ongoing Red Rocks concert series and published every Colorado mom’s go-to culinary guide, the Colorado Cache Cookbook. One of its long-running traditions, the annual Mile High Holiday Mart, boasts over 100 vendors — everything from bangles to beef to baubles to bedclothes will be for sale — and is many a holiday shopper’s first and only destination. This year’s installment takes place over three days starting Friday, November 10, at the University of Denver’s Gates Field House, 2201 East Asbury Avenue; hours are noon to 7 p.m. on Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. For just $10, you’re sure to find the perfect gift for your great-aunt Dorothy in the warren of booths. Want a sneak peek at the goods? VIP tickets, $40, include parking and get you in the door at 10 a.m. on Friday; they’re only available in advance, at jld.org.
Forget First Friday. Who likes wandering between galleries in the cold and fighting doorway bottlenecks with nothing to sustain your weary body but a bowl of pretzel crumbs set up on a card table in the corner? Second Friday is where it’s at — specifically, the second Friday in November, when the Pancakes & Booze Art Show returns to Denver. Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom, 2637 Welton Street, is hosting the traveling underground-art soirée on Friday, November 10, from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. There will be flapjacks (carbs to keep your energy up!) and libations (for hydration, of course). There will also be tons of emerging artists selling work in all mediums, body painters employing living canvases for their art, DJs and more. Tickets to the 21+ event are just $10; get yours at ticketfly.com, and come hungry.
With storms — both literal and metaphorical — ravaging the world, it’s hard to have a good time without feeling a little guilty. Fortunately, Fort Greene’s new monthly party, The Prelude, lets you dance the night away while championing social change. Each month, DJ Neon Brown will spin a mix of hip-hop, soul and funk at the bar while raising money for and/or bringing awareness to various issues. October’s event was a fundraiser for hurricane victims; this month, Prelude attendees can sign a petition to abolish private prisons in Colorado, all while enjoying happy-hour drink specials. Party the pain away from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, November 10, at Fort Greene, 321 East 45th Avenue. Get more information on the Fort Greene Facebook page.
Saturday, November 11
Can’t wait until next April for your Denver Independent Comic and Art Expo fix? The DINK Colorado Showcase 2, a free mini-version of the real thing, might hold you until the main event in 2018. The focus is on Colorado-based comic artists with a DINK background, who are also invited to compete in an event-capping draw-off, for which teams will draw spontaneously on themes suggested by the audience. Sandwiched in between will be a Take Art, Leave Art exhibition open to public participation: Submissions of original art or craft items will be hung on the wall; bring a piece of your own art, then find something else you like and leave yours in its place (there’s a two-trade limit per person). Get your comics on at the reception from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, November 11, at GRACe, 888 East 50th Avenue; the exhibits, including TALA, run through November 30. Learn more on the event’s Facebook page.
Spend your Saturday watching the fiercest competition on wheels at the Denver Roller Derby’s Home Team Doubleheader, featuring the Shotgun Betties, the Bad Apples, the Orange Crushers and the Green Barrettes skating and slaying their way to victory. With nothing less than the Denver Roller Derby League Crown at stake, both matches should be hotly contested battles for dominance in the rink. Join the skaters and throngs of rabid fans on Saturday, November 11, at the Glitterdome, 3600 Wynkoop Street. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the respective bouts begin at 6 and 8 p.m. Admission is $12 for teens and adults, free for kids twelve and under; get tickets at denverrollerderby.org.
In case you’re still infected with the Halloween bug and are looking for one last injection of fear before the Thanksgiving season, consider trekking over to Horrorhouse Fest 2017. Attendees will walk through a haunted house with pinball games throughout; as they try to get the highest scores possible, actors in creepy costumes will try to distract them. Prizes include everything from vintage video games and Dungeon and Dragons manuals to a Schecter guitar. The tournament costs $15 to enter and takes place from 6 to 11 p.m. on Saturday, November 11, at Vision Comics & Oddities, 3958 South Federal Boulevard. For more information, call Vision Comics at 303-781-0299 or go to eventbrite.com.
The local Salvadoran community will be out in force at the Pupusa Festival, a family-friendly cultural get-together anchored by what might be the Central American nation’s most popular export: fat, delicious pupusas — pancake-like tortillas stuffed with cheese, meat or beans and served with salsa and a spicy pickled cabbage slaw called curtido. Hosted by the Eco Folklorico Cuscatlan dance group and Aurora’s multicultural Village Exchange Center, a nonprofit serving area refugee populations, the fest offers a mini-taste of pupusas and other Salvadoran dishes, dance performances and games and will take place at the Village Exchange, 1609 Havana Street in Aurora. Immerse yourself in a new culture on Saturday, November 11, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; admission is free. Learn more at visitaurora.com.
There are quite a few reasons to check out Left Hand Brewing Company’s Nitro Fest on Saturday, November 11. First and foremost, there’s the beer. The fest is only pouring nitro beers, whose creamy, smooth-as-silk texture will lure fans of the particular carbonation process like moths to a flame. Over forty breweries from around the globe (including outfits from Japan, China and South Korea) will be pouring pints ranging from classic cool-weather ales such as milk stouts and barleywines to the frankly bizarre-sounding piña colada pale ale and a nitro Berliner weisse. The event’s circus acts, fire spinners, jam band/EDM mashups and costume contest should also entice plenty of free spirits to make the trek to Longmont, where the fun happens at Roosevelt Park, 700 Longs Peak Avenue in Longmont, from 6 to 10 p.m. Tickets start at $75 ($45 for DD) at lefthandnitro.com, where you can also find inspiration for this year’s costume theme. Don’t want to get stuck in Longmont overnight? No worries — you can get round-trip transportation from Denver for an additional $40. Cheers!
Though the locally made documentary JonBenet’s Tricycle, slated for a world-premiere screening at the fortieth annual Denver Film Festival, revisits the unsolved JonBenét Ramsey case after twenty years, its real focus is on obsessive collector Andrew Novick and one of his most prized possessions: JonBenét’s actual tricycle, which allegedly disappeared from the Ramseys’ back yard sometime after the murder occurred. Most interestingly, film director Novick casts an autobiographical eye on himself — and his search for the truth, which included trike consultations with psychics — creating an intensely personal doc like no other. JonBenet’s Tricycle debuts Saturday, November 11, at 4 p.m. at the United Artists Pavilions, 500 16th Street, and repeats on Sunday, November 12, at 2 p.m.; for tickets, $12 to $15, or to add the film to your existing festival pass,
Sci-fi lovers, rejoice. Writer J.L. Forrest is launching the Science Fiction and Fantasy Reading Series at BookBar. Every two months, authors from Colorado and beyond will be paired up to read and talk about speculative fiction. The series will address why science fiction is such a crucial genre in our current political climate and why imagining futures — both bleak and utopian — has never been more important. Each free reading will include a Q&A, wine, and books for sale. The inaugural event, spotlighting authors Carrie Vaughn and Laurence MacNaughton, takes place at 7 p.m. on Saturday, November 11, at BookBar, 4280 Tennyson Street. For more information, visit the Facebook page.
Spearheaded by hardworking Denver standup comedian Zac Maas, the Phone It In Film Festival challenges local filmmakers, comedians, actors and other creatives to make films with smartphones. The rules are simple: Submissions must be no longer than three minutes, must be shot on smartphones without the aid of special lenses, and can’t be literal pornography. Beyond that, the only limits are contestants’ imaginations and their editing capabilities. Screenings of submissions start at 7 p.m. on Saturday, November 11, at LFX Film Works, 1701 31st Street. Admission is a $10 suggested donation. Find more information and submit your film (by November 9) at phoneitincomedy.com.
Sunday, November 12
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A couple of years ago, Denver’s own Coley Uriona decided to make a statement and help the homeless by bringing warm clothing, accessories and toiletry bags directly to the street in a unique way: She hung the necessities from trees in Civic Center Park. Uriona’s Take This and Keep Warm is back at it for a third year, and invites fellow citizens to gather on Sunday, November 12, from noon to 2 p.m. in the park, Colfax Avenue and Bannock Street, with scarves, hats, gloves, coats and bags of toiletries to hang in trees or directly distribute to those in need. There are few rules other than that, but Uriona does request that participants attach notes saying, “I am not lost — please take me and keep warm,” to each donated item before hanging them up. For more information and donation ideas, visit the event's Facebook page.
Morning person? Music lover? On Sunday, November 12, Syntax Physic Opera will host the Opera on Tap Bloody Maria Callas Brunch, proving that it’s never too early for an aria or two — if you’re drunk enough. The OOT singers and Drunkestra will provide the tunes, the kitchen is preparing a special brunch menu, and somewhere in between, you can browse a silent auction to benefit Colorado’s favorite informal opera series. Eat, drink, be merry and lend a helping hand from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Syntax Physic Opera, 554 South Broadway. Admission — $8 for students, $250 for season sponsors, and a donation for all others — does not include food or drinks. Tickets are available in advance at operaontap.org/colorado.
Monday, November 13
’Tis the season for overindulging! On Monday, November 13, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Alpine Dog Brewing Company, 1505 Ogden Street, will host a beer and cheese and charcuterie pairing with goodies from the Truffle Cheese Shop. Just $20 gets you four pairings (as in four beers, two with cheese and two with charcuterie), but don’t hold back on buying more when you’re done. The craft-beer-and-artisanal-cheese educational event is our kind of schooling. Find tickets at eventbrite.com.