The 21 Best Events in Denver, May 15-21

Fill yourself with treats at the Whiskey Throwdown + Doughnut Showdown.
Fill yourself with treats at the Whiskey Throwdown + Doughnut Showdown. Danielle Lirette
If you don't already consider yourself a fan, this is the week to fall in love with Denver's art scene. Between lectures, pop-ups and dissections of happiness and food trucks, there is no shortage of events going on this week that will dissect, probe and enrich creatives. Of course, there's plenty of other things to do this week, which you'll find in the 21 best events list!

Tuesday, May 15

Installation artist Phillip K. Smith III works big while playing with light and perception in architecturally inspired large-scale environmental sculptures. He’s the perfect match for the Denver Art Museum’s Logan Lecture theme this spring: Artists on Art: From Any Angle. Smith will speak on Tuesday, May 15, from 6 to 7 p.m. in the DAM’s Sharp Auditorium, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway. An après-lecture reception will follow at the ART hotel, 1201 Broadway. Admission is $10 to $20; get info and tickets at

Wednesday, May 16

Got a mom with a sense of humor? Forget the flowers and take her instead to FuckUp Nights Denver: Bad Moms Edition, an evening of true-life business-oriented failure stories by Liz Romer of BC4U, Ashleigh Fredrickson of 8z Real Estate, Cassy Poole of Kaleidoscope Design and Erika Thomas of Highpoint Creamery. The local edition of a worldwide Pecha Kucha-style movement, FuckUp Night happens on Wednesday, May 16, at 7 p.m. at Ophelia's Electric Soapbox, 1215 20th Street; admission, which includes one free drink courtesy of the Family Jones Distillery, is $15 at

Thursday, May 17

The #MeToo movement has been accompanied by a broader cultural discussion about “toxic masculinity” — how seemingly patriarchal traits like dominance and self-reliance may actually hinder society. On Thursday, May 17, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the McNichols Building, 144 West Colfax Avenue, the nonprofit Warm Cookies of the Revolution will be taking a microscope to masculinity with a discussion titled “What Does It Mean to Be a Man?" But don’t expect a boring panel filled with academics: The event will begin with a drag performance, followed by a discussion among guest panelists including former Broncos lineman Ryan Harris, who will weigh in on topics such as why men commit the most violence and what healthy masculinity actually looks like. The conversation might get heavy, but the fresh-baked cookies that are always available at Warm Cookies gatherings should help ease the tension. Admission is free, though a $5 donation is suggested to help cover costs. Find more information on the Warm Cookies of the Revolution Facebook page.

The Athena Project throws a month-long festival showcasing women in the arts each spring, but its impact doesn’t stop there. Satellite events, like this week’s Artists’ Night Out at the Arts Students League of Denver, pop up throughout the year. It’s a mixer where female artists of all disciplines get to crow about their cultural accomplishments through brief show-and-tell displays and demonstrations, which makes it equally interesting for other artists, collectors and arts lovers of all kinds. Attend the free event on Thursday, May 17, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the ASLD, 200 Grant Street; find more information at
click to enlarge PlatteForum resident artist Erika Diamond's “Three Fates Floating,” hand-woven alpaca tapestry. - ERIKA DIAMOND
PlatteForum resident artist Erika Diamond's “Three Fates Floating,” hand-woven alpaca tapestry.
Erika Diamond
Born in Germany and now living and working in North Carolina, fiber artist Erika Diamond landed at PlatteForum in March for a residency working with student artists from Lakewood’s McLain High School. Diamond’s own work for the resulting exhibit, Escape/Run, Hide, Fight, consists of a series of metaphorical bulletproof vests she created in testament to queer people who’ve brought meaning to her life; in addition, her pictorial tapestries of people acting in emergency situations will flank the main installation. The exhibit's student work grew out of workshops on tapestry-weaving and fiber arts related to survival, such as net-making, and comments on the individual’s part in protecting community. The show opens with a reception on Thursday, May 17, from 6 to 8 p.m. at PlatteForum, 2400 Curtis Street inside the Temple, and runs through May 31; a second exhibit, Freedom in America, a collaborative work by ArtLab students with mentor Hannah Leathers, will also be on view, for one night only. Learn more at

Because there will always be disenfranchised entities in the world deserving of more recognition, Wikipedia editing clubs, which add scholarly information and entries to the online encyclopedia, are becoming a thing. The new Museum of Boulder is pitching into the movement with its own monthly Inclusipedia meet-ups, focusing on unrecognized women and people of color who’ve played intrinsic parts in building the city of Boulder — such as Lucile Buchanan, the University of Colorado's first black female graduate, who earned her degree in 1918 but was excluded from the graduation ceremony. Want to help set Boulder history straight? Join the next Inclusipedia session on Thursday, May 17, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the museum, 2205 Broadway in Boulder. Learn more about the program and the Museum of Boulder, which celebrates its grand opening on May 19, at

Widely regarded as some of the finest compositions of the Baroque era, Johann Sebastian Bach's Brandenburg Concertos remained unpublished for 150 years, until they were discovered in archives in the midst of a critical reappraisal of the Old Wig's influence on classical music. The Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado is presenting all six concertos (no small feat, considering each work highlights a different soloist and requires a deep bench of virtuosos) at a series of concerts throughout the weekend. The first, which begins at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 17, in the Broomfield Auditorium, 3 Community Park Road in Broomfield, offers unique demonstrations and discussions of the first five concertos, a genuine treat for music lovers. The BCO will also perform at St. Andrew Methodist Church in Highlands Ranch on Friday, May 18, at Bethany Lutheran Church on Saturday, May 19 (both performances begin at 7:30 p.m.), and at Central Presbyterian Church on Sunday, May 20, at 3 p.m. Visit for tickets, $12 to $32, and details.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.