There's plenty to do around town this week, with Denver Arts Week running through November 12, and the Denver Film Festival wrapping up on November 13. But other events are crowding the calendar, including panels, dance parties and a Star Wars costume exhibit storming into the Denver Art Museum. And wouldn't a free pulled pork sandwich taste good right now? Keep reading for our 21 top events around Denver, November 9-15.
Wednesday, November 9
GQue Championship Barbecue invites you to celebrate a year of smokin' good food at 5160 West 120th Avenue in Westminster. The barbecue joint will be giving away 250 pork sandwiches and tasty free samples like sausage bites, wings, kettle chips, cookies and more to folks dining in on Wednesday, November 9, starting at 11 a.m. To find out more, call 303-379-9205 or go to gquebbq.com.
What just happened? Former Rocky Mountain News, Denver Post columnist Mike Littwin, who now writes for the Colorado Independent, will host an election post-mortem at 7 p.m. Wednesday, November 9, at the Denver Press Club, 1330 Glenarm Place. Admission is free, but contributions to the non-profit newsroom are encouraged —and yes, there will be a bar (cash). Find out more at coloradoindependent.com.
Thursday, November 10
Contemporary dance company Wonderbound will be on its toes at the ninth annual JAAMM Festival (Jewish Arts, Authors, Movies and Music), now under way at the Mizel Arts and Cultural Center, 350 South Dahlia Street. In collaboration with new-music group Playground Ensemble, on Thursday, November 10, Wonderbound will perform two world-premiere ballets featuring music by composers Ernest Bloch and Kurt Weill, with choreography by artistic director Garrett Ammon and dancer Sarah Tallman. Wonderbound has been a staple of the JAAMM Festival for four consecutive years. “I feel so privileged to be working with Wonderbound again,” says Playground Ensemble’s Richard vonFoerster. “Their daringly creative productions and their commitment to artistic excellence are unsurpassed. This collaboration between Wonderbound and the Playground Ensemble is a dream come true.” Tickets range from $30 to $60; find the full schedule at maccjcc.org.
Denver has long been known for its natural scenery, but now it’s gaining national renown as a place that prizes urban preservation, entrepreneurial vitality and a vibrant arts scene. New York Times Rocky Mountain correspondent Jack Healy will moderate "Denver Rising," the latest installment in the Times’s Look West series, with panelists Governor John Hickenlooper, legendary developer Dana Crawford, Denver Film Festival director Britta Erickson and Iobatta founder Brian Leach, at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, November 10, at Artwork Network, 878 Santa Fe Drive. “We’ve built a unique identity here in Denver,” says Hickenlooper. “We have a strong job market that’s comprised of some of the nation’s largest and most innovative companies, alongside a vibrant startup ecosystem where someone can make that ‘Hmm, what if...’ idea a reality. Combine that with just the right mix of unique restaurants and breweries, fantastic outdoor recreation opportunities, while topping it off with a thriving arts scene, and it’s easy to see why people love calling Denver home. We’re excited to share this story.” Listen and learn. The $30 ticket includes a post-panel reception; register at nytlookwest.com.
Cybernetics, nanotechnology, genetic engineering: “Cyberpunk is more than fiction; it’s a mirror for what’s happening today,” says Josh Viola, award-winning author of The Bane of Yoto . Viola’s Erie-based Hex Publishers — an indie press specializing in genre fiction — will release its latest anthology at 7 p.m. Thursday, November 10, at the Tattered Cover LoDo, 1628 16th Street. Co-edited by Viola and writer Jason Heller, Cyber World: Tales of Humanity’s Tomorrow is a diverse collection of cyberpunk tales told by some seriously gripping storytellers. Local contributors — including Stephen Graham Jones, Mario Acevedo, Warren Hammond and Angie Hodapp — will be joined at the free launch party by Colorado artist Aaron Lovett, the mastermind behind Cyber World’s cover and interior art, and Klayton Celldweller, the cult-status multi-instrumentalist who scored the book’s accompanying soundtrack. For more information, go to hexpublishers.com.
The unseasonably warm weather has caused several ski resorts to push back their openings. Although Arapahoe Basin managed to start the season on October 21, other mountains have delayed...and delayed again. But now A-Basin is about to get some company. Loveland, which usually competes with A Basin for first-run honors, is opening on Thursday, November 10, come hell or high water (or high temperatures). “The waiting game is finally over,” said Rob Goodell, director of business operations, in announcing the date. “While we are opening later than we had hoped, our Opening Day will provide our guests with the exceptional early-season snow they have come to expect at Loveland. We look forward to another long and snowy winter at Loveland and invite everyone to join us on Thursday to kick off the season.” Lift 1 will operate from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., offering skiers one top-to-bottom run — and more terrain will open soon. Early-season Loveland lift tickets are $59; find out more at skiloveland.com.
Friday, November 11
Twenty years ago, Ivan Suvanjieff and Dawn Engle decided to give peace a chance. Pulling every connection and scraping any penny they could, they met with Nobel Peace Prize winners and persuaded them to serve on the board of PeaceJam, a brand-new Colorado-based organization that called on the Nobels to work with youth, showing it was possible to push for peace. “PeaceJam has been more successful than we ever imagined it could be,” says Engle. “We have reached over 1.2 million youth in forty different countries; we have inspired 12 million acts of peace; we have been honored for excellence in youth programming and peace education worldwide. We have also created the award-winning Nobel Legacy Film Series, and we have just been nominated for the sixteenth time for the Nobel Peace Prize. It is truly unbelievable!” Become a believer on Friday, November 11, when PeaceJam celebrates its twentieth anniversary starting at 6 p.m. An awards ceremony will be followed by the Colorado premiere of Rigoberta Menchu: Daughter of the Maya and then a dance party, all at the Seawell Grand Ballroom at the Denver Performing Arts Complex. For tickets, $20 to $150, go to peacejam.org.
Do Artnauts go where no artist has gone before? In multiple cases, yes: Exhibits spearheaded by University of Colorado Boulder art professor George Rivera’s art-activism movement have traveled along the Amazon, raised the consciousness of Beijingers, spoken out on global issues in the Middle East and networked in every corner of the Americas for twenty years, all with the goal of shaking things up through the transformative power of art. The collective will celebrate its twentieth anniversary with two big exhibits — Rally ’Round the Flag of Justice, juried by Linda Weintraub, and Globalocation: Celebrating 20 Years of Artnauts!, curated by Rivera — at RedLine, 2350 Arapahoe Street, beginning with a dual reception from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, November 11. From 9:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. November 12, RedLine will host a symposium that starts with a curatorial tour by Weintraub and ends with a performance by Dr. Sonic. For complete information, visit redlineart.org.
Bobbi Walker, owner of Walker Fine Art, has put together a wide-ranging group show aptly titled Juxtaposed, as it includes pieces in a variety of styles carried out in an array of mediums. Much of the work on view is abstract — or at least abstracted — including paintings by Angela Beloian, Heather Patterson and Brigan Gresh; sculptures by Jonathan Hils; and installation work by Sabin Aell. But Walker has also unexpectedly included striking representational paintings in the form of hyper-realist depictions of people, mythological and otherwise, by Mark Penner-Howell, who references not just photo-realism, but surrealism and pop art as well. The exhibit opens with a reception from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, November 11, at Walker Fine Art, 300 West 11th Avenue, #A. For more details, call 303-355-8955 or go to walkerfineart.com.
Denver Restaurant Week just announced its dates and prices for 2017, but you don’t need to wait until February to get good deals on a prix fixe meal at multiple restaurants for a full week. Boulder has its own version of Restaurant Week, called First Bite, which is now in its eleventh year. From November 11 to 19, more than forty Boulder-area eateries will offer three-course dinners for $29 per person. Participating restaurants cover all of Boulder County as well as Westminster this year, so you can set your sights on everything from Farmer Girl or Lyons Fork up north to Kachina Southwestern Grill in Westminster to 740 Front and Zucca in Louisville. Visit firstbiteboulder.com for a complete list of participating restaurants and their prix fixe menus.
This spring, artist Ashley Eliza Williams was awarded a month-long residency at the renowned Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass. She took the opportunity to contemplate the natural phenomena around her, and observed that spherical shapes — as seen in seeds, dust, hail and other things — were common. She also noticed that in everything from atoms to clouds, increasing organization was a natural process. The results of these musings were small studies of aggregated spheres done during her residency, as well as a body of impressive and meticulous paintings based on those studies done in her studio. All of these revelations will be unveiled Friday, November 11, in the solo Convergence, with a reception slated for 5 to 8 p.m. at Goodwin Fine Art, 1255 Delaware Street. For more information, call 303-573-1255 or go to goodwinfineart.com.
Saturday, November 12
Denver comedy hustle-hound Zac Maas has a new project — and local creatives should take note. Winner of a prestigious Imagine 2020 grant, the inaugural Denver edition of the Phone It In Film Festival presents not only the opportunity to watch local comedians and filmmakers collaborate for your amusement, but also a chance to encourage our fledgling film community as members explore the possibilities of short films shot entirely on smartphones. None of the films will have been screened before, and anyone can submit as long they follow a few simple guidelines imported from Philadelphia’s $5 Comedy Week; the festival rules remove the obstacle of obtaining equipment and make participation as novice-friendly as possible. Submissions are due by November 10, and the results will be shown at 7 p.m. Saturday, November 12, at LFX Film Works, 1701 31st Street. Admission is free, but a $5 donation is strongly encouraged; find out more at facebook.com/lfxinc.
Denver DJ Erin Stereo likes to see the club packed with booty-shakers willing to strut their stuff and dance like no one is watching. The Everybody’s Free dance party, at 9 p.m. Saturday, November 12, at Grandma’s House, 1710 South Broadway, is all about getting down and feeling good to the best break beats, house music, disco and more. The mixmaster and producer of Everybody’s Free will be joined behind the decks by DJ DogBoy of Mile High Soul Club fame and recent Denver transplant DJ Soulrane. Whether you’re the shy guy or the life of the party, Everybody’s Free is the place to be (as long as you’re at least 21); admission is $5. For more information, visit erinstereo.com or find the Everybody’s Free Dance Party on Facebook.
CANCELLED: A small organization with a big impact, Mission Supports connects Denver-area adults with intellectual disabilities to much-needed social services, medical care and aid with everyday needs. Musician and performer Arnie Swenson is the sole source of Mission Supports’ human power, tapping friends from the creative community to donate their time and talent to help out with an annual fundraiser to support these efforts. This year’s Gobble Give will run from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, November 12, at Mighty Fine Productions, a recording studio at 5235 East 38th Avenue. Pianists Rekha Ohal and Greg Painter are among the performers who’ll provide music for the family-friendly holiday party. Dancing, snacks and drinks are also on the agenda, and there will be local art for sale. Mission Supports is requesting a $5-to-$50 sliding-scale donation at the door; for more on Gobble Give and the nonprofit’s work, visit missionsupports.org.
When a group of local artisans found themselves priced out of the holiday-market scene, they went their own way. The result was the Witch Collective, and from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, November 12, the group will welcome shoppers to the Aries Moon Autumnal Market, a small-scale, friendly alternative to the big guys and a great place to find handmade tinctures, tonics, jewelry and one-of-a-kind prints and paintings. Each themed Witch Collective market donates 10 percent of its proceeds to an organization or nonprofit; this time around, the money will go to the defenders of the Standing Rock Sacred Stone Camp and the Four Winds American Indian Council. Since the market is at the Washstand at the Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield Farms, 8500 West Deer Canyon Road in Littleton, this is also a good time to take in some fall scenery. For more on the market and a list of participating vendors, find the Witch Collective on Facebook. For more on Chatfield Farms, go to botanicgardens.org.
Sunday, November 13
And just like that, this year’s wildly successful Denver Film Festival will come to a close on Sunday, November 13. But it’s not too late to grab some cinematic gold, including Growing Up Coy, the story of a boy from Fountain whose parents realized he identified as a girl. Also showing on the festival’s final day is the critically acclaimed American Epic: The Big Bang — with executive producers T Bone Burnett, Robert Redford and Jack White — which showcases sound recordings captured around America in the ’20s. Both films are at the Sie FilmCenter, 2510 East Colfax Avenue; watch for other fest favorites that might be added to the lineup at denverfilm.org.
Star Wars fans will be out in force at the Denver Art Museum over the next few months, after the exhibit Star Wars and the Power of Costume opens on Sunday, November 13. The show examines the creation of more than seventy handcrafted costumes from the first seven Star Wars films — everything from Darth Vader’s iconic black uniform to Queen Amidala’s Throne Room Gown. The collection also includes a hundred additional pieces sourced from George Lucas’s Skywalker Ranch. Visit Denver has joined with the DAM to produce this exhibit, and hotels and restaurants around town — including Palettes, Kevin Taylor’s restaurant in the DAM — will be offering exhibit-related deals. The show runs through April 2 and will be open during standard museum hours; for more information and tickets, go to powerofcostumedenver.com.
Denver Fashion Week caps off three days of events with the tenth anniversary of the Hair Show, displaying the handiwork of over twenty salons, at 7 p.m. Sunday, November 13, at City Hall, 1144 Broadway. “DFW sets the standard for fashion shows in Denver,” says producer and stylist Charlie Price. “From local designers to the best boutiques, salons and national brands, you will see it all here.” You can see it starting at the first style event on November 10 (followed by an after-party), as well as a local/national fashion show November 12, both at City Hall. Tickets range from $15 to $225; find out more at 303magazine.com.
Monday, November 14
Pussy Riot is a feminist punk band that has continued to make international headlines since its members’ activist efforts in Russia — namely, protesting against Putin in a church — sent them to prison. The case was watched closely by global media and human-rights groups, and after 21 months, Maria (Masha) Alyokhina was released. The time in prison only seemed to energize the actions of the collective, and it recently released the single “Straight Outta Vagina,” which is as catchy and provocative as ever, co-written by TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek and rapper Leikeli47. Alyokhina is currently on a speaking tour with Pussy Riot “Mediazona collaborator and reporter” Alexandra (Sasha) Bogino. They’ll join in a conversation with Westword contributor Bree Davies and Ru Johnson at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, November 14, at the Oriental Theater, 4335 West 44th Avenue. This event is all-ages, and tickets run $20 to $25; get more information at theorientaltheater.com or 720-420-0030.
Tuesday, November 15
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Does Denver get the credit it deserves as a music city? In celebration of a permanent location opening next fall, DIME Denver (the Mile High outlet of the Detroit Institute of Music Education) will launch a pop-up space from 1 to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, November 15, when prospective students for the fall 2017 session can learn more about the DIME program through special presentations (food and drink will be served). And from 6 to 8:30 p.m., the space will host performances by Eric “Rain Man” Gaston (DIME Detroit Head of Drums), Adventures With Vultures, Wildflowers, Jill Sobule and a surprise headline act. Both sessions are free at the DIME pop-up space in room 140 of the Tivoli Student Union, 900 Parkway; RSVP (required) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is Denver still the City Beautiful? Or has it gone Fugly? Find out at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, November 15, when Historic Denver hosts the latest in the re:Denver forum series, The Right Mix, which will tackle the issue of how new and old buildings can fit together to create authentic character and appropriate redevelopment. The evening will look at three case studies from the perspective of a trio of architects: Virginia DuBrucq, Matt Davis and Collin Kemberlin. Get in the mix at the Highland Event Center, 2945 Julian Street; admission is free. Find out more at historicdenver.org.
To find out about more events around town, go to the Westword calendar.