If the heat is getting to you, slow things down. Enjoy the Slow Food Nations festival, an international event celebrating the local-food movement, or the comedian-led tour at MCA called Shit Talk Tours. There's plenty to enjoy outside, too, including the Colorado Black Arts Festival, Artsweek Golden and a giant outdoor party for the end of the FIFA World Cup. They're all in our 21 best events of the week!
Tuesday, July 10
Tanaya Winder, an educator and major poetic voice of the West who is descended from Shoshone, Southern Ute, Pyramid Lake Paiute, Navajo and black heritages, will drop in at community-minded retailer Erika Righter’s Hope Tank boutique to share her own words and those of students from Denver’s Mardale Jay Writing Center for middle- and high-schoolers. Student anthologies will be available for purchase at the event, which runs from 7 to 10 p.m. on Tuesday, July 10, at Hope Tank, 64 Broadway. While you’re there, browse the merchandise at the model small-business-boosting shop, where a portion of every sale becomes a charitable donation. The event is free; learn more at the Hope Tank Facebook page.
Wednesday, July 11
Marijuana Deals Near You
Learning something new is a random process at MCA Denver’s long-lived Mixed Taste Tag Team Lectures, which return to the Seawell Ballroom in the Denver Performing Arts Complex this week for a Wednesday-night summertime series. As fans of Mixed Taste already know, each session teams up pairs of local personalities and experts, who offer twenty-minute talks on completely unrelated subjects. As an example, consider the opening session, which has Neyla Pekarek of the Lumineers dishing about historic snake-killer Rattlesnake Kate, and wine connoisseur Ken Theobald expounding on rosé. You get the picture. Catch Mixed Taste at 7 p.m. weekly through August 22; for information and tickets, $20 per event or $80.50 for a seven-pack bundle, visit denvercenter.org's calendar page.
Did the Russians really steal the election? Is Kim Kardashian entering politics? How do you spot real fake news? Colorado Press Women will host Fighting Fake News With News Literacy, a free workshop at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 11, at the Denver Press Club, 1330 Glenarm Street. The guest speaker is Damaso Reyes, director of partnerships for the News Literacy Project, an education nonprofit offering programs that teach students how to sort fact from fiction in the digital age. Find out more about the project at newslit.org and more on this workshop at the New Literacy Project Facebook page. We guarantee this event is real, not fake.
Films about minority communities are all too rare. To spotlight movies about the American Indian community, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science has partnered with the International Institute for Indigenous Resource Management and the Denver American Indian Commission for a monthly film series called Indigenous Film. The first film in the series, 100 Years: One Woman's Fight for Justice, introduces audiences to Elouise Cobell, who fought for the rights of Native Americans whose land had been mismanaged by the U.S. government — a struggle that culminated in 1996 when Cobell filed the largest class action lawsuit ever against the federal government, which resulted in a $3.4 billion settlement. The screening begins at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 11, in the museum's Phipps Theater, 2001 Colorado Boulevard. Admission is free, and the program will wrap up with an audience discussion. Find more information at dmns.org/learn/adults/indigenous-film/.
Thursday, July 12
Denver painter Daisy Patton, who blows up found photographs and repurposes them into embellished works of art, is on a roll in 2018, with one show after another through the end of the year and beyond. The next, Would You Be Lonely Without Me?, is a bit of a departure for Patton: It will showcase a series of oil portraits with embroidery that depict women who sought illegal abortions and died as a result. In a time when Roe v. Wade sits precariously in the crosshairs, the exhibit is a reminder — and a warning — that abolishing abortion again could return us to the dark ages of women’s reproductive rights. Would You Be Lonely Without Me? opens on Thursday, July 12, with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. and runs through August 3 at the Art Gym, 1460 Leyden Street. Patton's paintings will be for sale, with proceeds going to reproductive-justice organizations. Learn more at artgymdenver.com.
The thing about Daily Show correspondent Roy Wood Jr. is that he actually has journalistic cred: The Comedy Central comedian graduated with a degree in broadcast journalism from Florida A&M University and was originally drawn to comedy while working in radio. A straightforwardly gifted comic with a knack for sizing up the divide between black and white Americans without being mean about it, Wood wields his satire lightly, even when the punchlines are dead-on. See him live when he hits Denver this weekend for five standup shows over a three-night run at the downtown Comedy Works, 1226 15th Street. Wood’s stage time starts Thursday, July 12, at 8 p.m. and runs through July 14, with performances at 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. For information and tickets, $17 to $25, visit comedyworks.com.
For over a decade, Senior Housing Options, which provides residential communities and services for elderly Coloradans, has hosted one of the city's most innovative fundraisers: a theatrical run presented inside the Barth Hotel Assisted Living. This year, SHO will work with Vintage Theatre Company to present Neil Simon's The Sunshine Boys at the Barth, 1514 17th Street. The show opens on Thursday, July 12, with performances through July 29 (the play will then reopen at Vintage Theatre in Aurora). And for a second act, SHO will work with Phamaly Theatre Company to present Harvey, the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Denverite Mary Chase, at the Olin Hotel this fall. For information and tickets, go to seniorhousingoptions.org.
Friday, July 13
The Colorado Black Arts Festival brings the culture, music, art and social structure of an African village to City Park this weekend for another go, complete with all the features that have made it a success for more than three decades. This year, in addition to such traditions as the Saturday morning Boogaloo Celebration Parade, the Afro-centric marketplace, an artists’ row, storytelling and live music from hip-hop to gospel, the fest will dress up the park with an Art Garden, bedecked with sculptures and bottle trees. And the food court, a pan-African smorgasbord of soul food, Caribbean and African dishes, will fuel you for a full day of fun. The fest begins on Friday, July 13, from noon to 8 p.m., and continues Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the west end of City Park, 1700 York Street. Admission is free. Find a complete schedule of events at colbaf.org.
MCA Denver always seems to do the opposite of what’s expected of an art museum, and now the same thing goes for its tours. Forget the artspeak of curators and the memorized contexts spouted by docents when MCA dishes up a round of tongue-in-cheek Shit Talk Tours, led in turns by seasoned Denver standups Christie Buchele, Janae Burris and Rachel Weeks of the Pussy Bros. comedy troupe. Tours are offered at 5 p.m. every other Friday from July 13 through August 24 at the MCA, 1485 Delgany Street. You can leave your fat wallet at home: Admission is free with museum admission, which translates to $5 after 5 p.m. for adults and free for members and youth ages eighteen and under. No reservations necessary! Learn more at mcadenver.org/shit-talk-tours.
More than a year in the making, The Brady Tarot, by Denver printmaker and artist Emi Brady, is almost in hand. It’s the long-awaited final product of a wildly successful crowdfunding venture that netted nearly six times Brady's original goal, plus months of hard work, during which she painstakingly hand-carved, printed and hand-colored the 79 master linocuts that make up the deck, which depicts North American flora and fauna. Although production of the packaged sets is taking longer than expected, Brady is celebrating anyway, with an opening party and live music on Friday, July 13, from 7 p.m. to close at Syntax Physic Opera, 554 South Broadway. In place of the physical deck, Brady will display and sell the original prints along with Brady Tarot merchandise, while Tyto Alba, Bluebook and members of the Raven and the Writing Desk perform on stage. A suggested donation of $7 will be collected at the door. Learn more at Brady's Facebook page.
Go back to camp with the Denver chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws and CannaVenture, a pot-infused hiking group, when the groups join forces for NORML Summer Camp 2018, which goes from Friday, July 13, through Sunday, July 15. Much more than a weekend-long smoke session, the gathering will offer classic summer-camp activities and mix in cannabis-policy education. Campers will also get to enjoy arts and crafts, cornhole, bocce ball, yoga, a campfire, hikes and much more — all of which are consumption-friendly. The gathering (21+) will take place in a private campsite in Guffey, a small town in Park County; the exact location will be shared upon registration. To request a ticket, email email@example.com. Find out more info on the event's Facebook page.
Saturday, July 14
Slow Food Nations is more than just a festival; it's a multi-day deluge of tastings, classes, lectures and demos focused on Slow Food USA's mission of recognizing and supporting local food cultures and traditions. The biggest events are the free and family-friendly Edible Beats Street and Taste Marketplace from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 14, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, July 15, when you can sample from multiple food producers set up on Larimer Street between 14th and 15th streets. Visit slowfoodnations.org for a complete rundown and tickets for more than 25 other happenings, from Aw, Shucks! An Oyster Tasting to the Zero Waste Family Meal. Slow down and smell what's cooking.
There are many charms to enjoy at the annual Denver County Fair. But for feline fanciers, the only place to be is on the third floor of the National Western Expo Hall, where The International Cat Association (TICA) World of Cats will set up for cat browsers to explore and cat owners to show off their pets, plain or pedigreed, in the TICA Purebred and Household Pet Cat Show competition, hosted by Colorado’s Yellow Rose Cat Club. Enjoy the cat show, agility demos, adoption-a-thon, vendor booths and other kitty surprises on Saturday, July 14, and Sunday, July 15, beginning at 10 a.m. daily at the National Western Complex, 4655 Humboldt Street. The cat show is included in the DCF grounds admission of $3 to $10. Get information and tickets in advance at denvercountyfair.org.
Batons will be twirling, snares will be rat-a-tat-tatting and brass will be blasting when Drums Along the Rockies brings some of the nation’s best marching bands to Broncos Stadium at Mile High, 1701 Bryant Street, on Saturday, July 14. Denver’s own Blue Knights will be going horn to horn against Salt Lake City’s Battalion; Tempe, Arizona's Academy; and Portland’s Oregon Crusaders, among many others. Festivities start with a warm-up at 4 p.m., and the Broncos Stampede, the official drumline of the Broncos, and its subsidiary group, the Broncos Brass, will offer a jam session at 5. The opening ceremony is at 6:30 p.m., followed by the battle of the bands; scores will be announced at 10:30 p.m. For more information and tickets, $20 to $40, go to ascendperformingarts.org/events/datr.
County fairs are best known for barnyard animals, fried twinkies and quilts galore, but the Denver County Fair does things differently. In addition to a cat show, this year the fair will host the Miss Denver County Fair Drag Queen Contest, where local queens will strut their stuff, vying to win three awards: Best Denver County Fair Look, Best Performance and Best Evening Wear + Impromptu Question. The pageant, which takes place from 7 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 14, at the National Western Complex, 4655 Humboldt Street, is included in the DCF grounds admission of $3 to $10. For more information about the fair, go to denvercountyfair.org; for more on the pageant, go to the event's Facebook page.
Don’t Tell Comedy, a Los Angeles-based traveling showcase with a twist, is looking for audiences willing to take a chance by ponying up for tickets to shows with secret headliners at secret locations. Are you up for the gamble? Don’t Tell Denver will go down somewhere in the Berkeley neighborhood on Saturday, July 14, at 7:30 p.m., promising “some of the best and the brightest comedians in the United States,” but the location will only be revealed by email at noon on the day of the show. Cross your fingers! Tickets are $20 to $30 at donttellcomedy.com, and be forewarned: Don’t Tell Comedy is a BYOB event.
Sunday, July 15
Because World Cup devotees tend to like cheering on their favorites in the company of others, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, home of the Colorado Rapids, will host a free World Cup Finals Watch Party for thousands, airing the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia’s biggest showdown on the big screen. Wear your colors and be in line at Dick’s, 6000 Victory Way in Commerce City, when the gate opens on Sunday, July 15, at 8:45 a.m. for the first kick at 9 a.m.; after the game, win or lose, fans can hang around and test their skills in the Fan Fest’s Skill Zone. Early birds with energy to spare can also opt to start their morning with the World Soccer Celebration 5K at 8 a.m. for a $50 entry fee; for watch party information and race registration, visit dickssportinggoodspark.com.
Fairmount Cemetery, best known as the peaceful final resting place of many highly regarded figures from Denver's history book, puts on a modern face when it hosts movie nights and themed tours among the tombstones. That group includes the annual Fairmount Cemetery Annual Car Show, a free event that draws up to 250-plus classic and collector cars from every era to the cemetery's shady lanes. Ogle the autos and sample the fare from various food trucks on Sunday, July 15, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Fairmount, 430 South Quebec Street; sign up and make a donation for an optional 11 a.m. mini-history tour in advance at eventbrite.com. Learn more about the cemetery and other events at fairmountheritagefoundation.org.
Honey, photographer Kristen Hatgi Sink’s current installation at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, includes a series of videos in which the sticky-sweet substance drips over people and objects. The exhibit also has a glass display full of 115 gallons of honey that will serve as the site for “Consuming Nature/Nature Consuming,” during which Sink will perform inside the vitrine. The performance, which is free for members and covered by the modest admission price of $8, will take place from 3 to 3:15 p.m. on Sunday, July 15, so be on time. The MCA is at 1485 Delgany Street; for more information about the installation, go to mcadenver.org. For more on the performance, go to the event’s Facebook page.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Westword's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Denver's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Get your swing on at the Summer Soiree, a patio party from 4:45 to 8:45 p.m. on Sunday, July 15, that will benefit Youth on Record. Hosted by event organizer Speakeasy Soiree LLC (the name alone sounds fun!), the party will include performances by some of Denver's best swing bands, including La Pompe Jazz and Banshee Tree, as well as food and drinks. But the organizers wouldn't send you onto the dance floor without a little tutelage: On top of a complimentary cocktail, catered food and access to the musical performances, a $50 general admission ticket gets you a swing-dance lesson (an extra $50 for a donor ticket will benefit Youth on Record, with a promise from Tito's Handmade Vodka to match those contributions.) Get down and swing around at Room & Board, 222 Detroit Street. Find more information and tickets at speakeasysoiree.com.
Monday, July 16
The charming little city of Golden might come off as a tourist town at first glance, but Foothills Art Center, Miners Alley Playhouse, Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum and other local arts organizations polish up that designation. To draw attention to the town’s cultural legacy, Artsweek Golden will explore them all from Monday, July 16, through Sunday, July 22, beginning with FAC, 809 15th Street in Golden, which kicks off the week with a free day and then hosts Aerialists and Art in the Garden on July 19. Other events, including a Miners Alley Playhouse Medley and food demos with plein-air painting on site at GoFarm on July 18, lead up to next weekend’s Artsweek Golden Festival, a juried art fair held at the Colorado School of Mines, 500 Illinois Street, on July 21 and 22. Find a complete list of events at artsweekgolden.org.
In order for an event to be considered for 21 Best, we need information at least three weeks in advance. Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or 969 Broadway, Denver, CO 80203.