Denver is all about both the new and the old right now. Celebrate time-honored artists like Rembrandt and Bach, or help Denver usher in a brand-new music festival at Grandoozy. All that and more are included on our list of this week's 21 best events!
Tuesday, September 11
It's been nearly twenty years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, but wounds from that day still feel fresh, especially for immigrants, who have become even more demonized under the Trump administration. To mark the anniversary of the attacks and launch a dialogue in Denver about immigration policies, GoodCinema, a brand-new programming effort that "shows thought-provoking films as a vehicle for discussion around social issues with a clear call to action towards social change," and the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition will co-host Immigrant Detention Short Films on Tuesday, September 11, starting at 6:45 p.m. at the Sie FilmCenter, 2510 East Colfax Avenue. The program will include four short films that explore the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policy at the U.S./Mexico border and the practice of detaining undocumented immigrants; after the screening, a panel of experts will lead the audience in a discussion about immigration policy. Tickets are $15 at eventbrite.com (search "GoodCinema"); find out more on GoodCinema's Facebook page.
Wednesday, September 12
The excellent and incisive series The Wire, which ran for five seasons beginning in 2002 on HBO, could be a primer for Americans navigating racial politics and the criminal justice system in the here and now. Looking back at the show, the folks at Denver civic health club Warm Cookies of the Revolution are kicking off a weekly event, Watch The Wire on Wednesdays, at the Sie FilmCenter as an educational opportunity to get people in the community talking about tough issues. The screenings start with episode one at 7 p.m. Wednesday, September 12, at the Sie, 2510 East Colfax Avenue; each week, different community media voices and leaders will facilitate nitty-gritty discussions. Admission is $5; find more info on the event's Facebook page.
Friends of Chamber Music are soaring to new sonic heights with a season-opening concert that includes the Juno Award-winning St. Lawrence String Quartet, one of Canada's premier ensembles, on Wednesday, September 12, at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts, 2344 East Iliff Avenue. The program begins at 7:30 p.m. with a stirring interpretation of Franz Joseph Haydn's "The Bird" — a highlight of the "Russian Quartets" series that the composer dedicated to Grand Duke of Russia Paul Alexandrovich and a staple of the St. Lawrence repertoire. Then pianist Inon Barnatan will join the quartet on stage for Dmitri Shostakovich's Piano Quintet in G Minor, Op. 57, performed in its entirety for the first time in the group's 64-year history. In order to encourage younger listeners to experience the joy of live chamber music, the cover charge is $10 for guests under the age of thirty and $40 for everyone else. Visit friendsofchambermusic.com for tickets and details.
Thursday, September 13
Political and personal undercurrents flow in the traveling exhibit Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A., which just arrived at the University of Denver's Vicki Myhren Gallery. Beginning with the work of Latinx artist Edmundo “Mundo” Meza, who mixed painting, installation and performance into a potent blend of activism and aesthetics, the show goes on to examine, with archival precision, a hidden cultural movement and the dozens of artists it supported over more than two decades. Axis Mundo opens on Thursday, September 13, with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. at the gallery, 2121 East Asbury Avenue, and runs through December 2. Learn more at vicki-myhren-gallery.du.edu.
The Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities takes a break from big Colorado-centric group shows to zoom in on individual artists in three new fall shows anchored in the main gallery by Virginia Maitland Retrospective 1965-Present, which looks back on more than fifty years of gorgeous abstract work by the Boulder color-field painter. Nausy, Nausy, a massive, touchable soft-sculpture installation by Laura Merage, will take over the theater gallery, while Connected by Color compares and contrasts the colorful abstract work of Patricia Aaron, Jennifer Ivanovic, Sue Oehme and Jodi Stuart in the upper gallery. Catch them all on Thursday, September 13, at an opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. at the center, 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard in Arvada, or anytime through November 11 (Nausy, Nausy remains on view through December 23). Find more information at arvadacenter.org.
Museo de las Americas is looking to the heavens with El Infinito, an exhibit inspired by modern space imagery from Lockheed Martin, NASA, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and the ancient Aztec astronomical symbols and divinations of the centuries-old Codex Borgia manuscript. El Infinito opens with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, September 13, and runs through February 23 at the Museo, 861 Santa Fe Drive; Dr. Peter Burns and Carlos Gonzalez of Lockheed Martin will offer insights on Friday, September 14, from 6 to 8 p.m. Admission is $5 to $8 and free for children ages twelve and under. Find details at museo.org.
For the Denver half of an art exchange between curators Cortney Lane Stell of Black Cube Nomadic Museum and Michal Novotný of the Centre for Contemporary Art FUTURA in Prague, All the Birds of North America will bring Czech performance artist and interventionist Jirí Kovanda to our city to create a new site-specific work. The twist? Kovanda will have no previous knowledge of where in Denver he’ll land to work, not unlike migrating birds touching down in a new place. Whatever he creates from scratch at the site will go on display to the public at an opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, September 13, at 1422 Grant Street, and will remain on view from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays to Saturdays through October 6. Learn more at blackcube.art.
What began in 1986 as the slow food movement has since split into a larger constellation of “slow” initiatives. That includes a slow flowers movement, which encourages the art of raising your own, or at least buying local. The slow flower concept will be explored inside and outside on Thursday, September 13, and Friday, September 14, during a trio of field trips and a lecture with slow flowers advocate Debra Prinzing, all hosted by the Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York Street. Trips to Colorado’s Fresh Herb Co., CityGal Farms and Red Daisy Farm will be spread over both days, bookending Prinzing’s book signing and lecture, "American Beauty: The Slow Flowers Story,” on Thursday evening, which begins with a social hour and tasting at 6 p.m. at the DBG. Lecture admission is $15 to $20; farm tour admission prices vary. Learn more and register for any or all of the events at botanicgardens.org.
Swoon to the sounds of Johann Sebastian Bach, one of music's most influential composers, when the Boulder Bach Festival commences its 2018-’19 season with a grand gala concert on Thursday, September 13, at the Longmont Museum and Cultural Center, 400 Quail Road in Longmont. The program celebrates the Old Wig's compositions for duos and soloists, enduring works lovingly interpreted on period-appropriate instruments such as the harpsichord (played by Robert Hill) and the cello da spalla (played by festival musical director Zachary Carrettin), bringing the sounds of the Baroque era to glorious life. Wine, tapas and an intimate lobby performance starting at 6:30 p.m. will provide the perfect aperitif for the 7:30 p.m. concert; tickets for the evening are $75. The festival continues throughout the year, popping up at various venues (full-season subscriptions are available for $225); visit boulderbachfestival.org for tickets and details.
Auraria's LGBTQ Student Resource Center began in 1992 as the first on-campus support organization of its kind, offering students at Metropolitan State University of Denver, Community College of Denver and University of Colorado Denver an accepting, understanding place to gather. To celebrate its 25th anniversary, the center is throwing Silver Soiree: 25 Years of Impact from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, September 13, at the Tivoli Turnhalle, 900 Auraria Parkway. The evening will include cocktails, food, games and dancing; be sure to wear silver and purple to celebrate! Register in advance for the free event at eventbrite.com.
Friday, September 14
Superfly, the promoter behind mega music festivals Bonnaroo and Outside Lands, is bringing Grandoozy, a music, arts, outdoors and food festival, to Denver’s Overland Park Golf Course, 1801 South Huron Street, from Friday, September 14, to Sunday, September 16. A star-studded lineup of bands, artists and DJs will play multiple stages throughout the day, and each night will be headlined by a musical giant: Kendrick Lamar on Friday, Florence + the Machine on Saturday, and Stevie Wonder on Sunday. Culinary delights from the likes of Snooze, Comal, Biju’s Little Curry Shop, Sugarfire Smoke House and many more will be available for purchase, twenty of the state's best breweries will be pouring, and artists including Detour, Anthony Garcia and Extra Vitamin will paint live on site, while experts discuss conservationism, activism in the outdoors industry and outdoor living. You can also shop the marketplace of adventure gear or take a yoga class. Tickets start at $99 for one-day passes and go up to $674.50 for the three-day VIP experience. Find a schedule and buy tickets at grandoozy.com.
Is your plane to Paris delayed? Aunt Sadie stuck in Omaha? Drown your sorrows at Beer Flights. This is the fifth time that Denver International Airport is creating a pop-up beer garden to coincide with Colorado’s very beery season, full of Oktoberfest celebrations and the Great American Beer Festival. From Friday, September 14, through Monday, September 24, the DEN Plaza at the south end of Jeppesen Terminal will host some of Colorado’s top craft brewers, who will serve their creations from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; from 4 to 6 p.m., live music will make happy hour even happier. Admission is free (but you’ll have to pay for your pours). Find out more at flydenver.com.
While fans of television's lustiest and bloodthirstiest fantasy saga may have to wait until 2019 to learn the fate of the Starks, Lannisters and Targaryens, they can enjoy a dose of Westeros at the Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience on Friday, September 14. HBO's blockbuster adaptation of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire books is celebrated for its strong performances, lavish costumes and shockingly grim twists of fate, but Ramin Djawadi's musical score is what gives the outlandish tales their emotional resonance. Join Djawadi as he leads the GOT orchestra and choir through some of the show's most definitive compositions, along with new(ish) works and big-screen footage from season seven. Valar dohaeris, indeed. The orchestra strikes up at 8 p.m. at the Pepsi Center; get tickets, $39.50 to $99.50, at altitudetickets.com, and learn more at gameofthronesconcert.com.
Saturday, September 15
Arguably Colorado's favorite automaker, Subaru produces the favored vehicles of gearheads and soccer moms alike. The Rocky Mountain Subaru Festival, a celebration of the sturdy Japanese cars and their devoted owners, returns to Mile High Stadium on Saturday, September 15, from 9 a.m to 4 p.m. Guests can admire sparkling new rides, well-maintained classics and speed-boosting customizations; enter their four-wheeled friend in a car show for a chance to win a custom-made trophy by Billetworkz; or test their mettle behind the wheel at Schomp's All-Subaru Autocross, which sends drivers through a pylon-peppered race course. Festivities also include a kids' tent and a video-game truck. General admission is $15 in advance and $20 (cash only) at the door, with premium passes available for $30. Get tickets and more information at rockymountainsubarufestival.com.
Get ready to shop ’til you drop at the Outlets at Castle Rock’s 13th Annual Shopping Extravaganza. From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, September 15, the complex will host a shopping bonanza with live entertainment, a catered lunch (complete with a dessert bar and wine tasting), a photo booth and free massages, deals galore and more than $80,000 in prize drawings — all while raising money for good causes. “Shopping Extravaganza is not only a wonderful day of exclusive discounts, it's a fun and practical way to support your favorite local charity,” notes Jen Simpson, marketing director for the Outlets. Tickets are $30 (with $20 going directly to charity) and are available at eventbrite.com through noon on September 14, with a limited number of cash-only tickets available at the door of the complex, just off I-25 at exit 184 or 185. For more information, go to outletsatcastlerock.com.
In the ultramarathon running universe, there are few races more grueling than the legendary Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race, a 52-day monster run on a half-mile track in Queens, New York. Filmmaker Sanjay Rawal’s documentary 3100: Run & Become is more than a chronicle of the 3100; initially focusing on Finnish 3100 race champion Ashprihanal Aalto, the film diverges from his story to follow those of a Navajo ultramarathoner, a Bushman of the Kalahari Desert and a Japanese monk, slowly unveiling the spiritual side of marathon running in the process. For insight, join the Colfax Marathon for a screening on Saturday, September 15, at the Sie FilmCenter; prior to the film, director Rawal and local ultrarunners Chavet Breslin, Caolan MacMahon and Justin Mitchell will discuss the whys and wherefores of long-distance running. The evening begins with socializing at 6 p.m. at the Sie, 2510 East Colfax Avenue; get tickets, $7 to $11.50, at denverfilm.org and more information at runcolfax.org.
Sunday, September 16
It’s safe to say that Old Master Rembrandt van Rijn helped write the book on drawing a few centuries back. Rembrandt’s skills as a draftsman and a printmaker formed the bones of the great paintings he’s remembered for, underpinning their chiaroscuro shadows with lively stories from another era. To commemorate the 350th anniversary of the artist’s death, the Denver Art Museum brings his most basic works to life for Rembrandt: Painter as Printmaker, a selection of 100 of Rembrandt’s etchings, drawings and paintings jointly curated in-house by the DAM’s Timothy J. Standring and leading scholar of Rembrandt prints Jaco Rutgers. The exhibition opens on Sunday, September 16, and runs through January 6 at the DAM. Admission is included in the regular museum admission of $8 to $13 (those ages eighteen and under admitted free). Learn more at denverartmuseum.org.
You can always count on the International Film Series at the University of Colorado Boulder to revisit the treasures of cinema with loving care, as is the case with Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky’s censored 1966 masterwork, Andrei Rublev, which shows on Sunday, September 16, on campus in Muenzinger Auditorium. Based roughly on the life of medieval icon painter Rublev, the marathon masterpiece takes on the social and political themes of a turbulent fifteenth-century Russia in segments of transcendent imagery and, at its center, the fascinating story of the casting of a giant church bell. Andrei Rublev screens at 2 p.m.; admission is $7 to $8. Learn more at internationalfilmseries.com.
Monday, September 17
Forget the big-box music stores: Head to Syntax Physic Opera, 554 South Broadway, on Monday, September 17, for Texas Toast Days, when Denver’s own Texas Toast Custom Guitars will showcase an array of the company’s new handcrafted instruments. Without a brick-and-mortar store, Texas Toast guitars are typically available for browsing by appointment only, but at this event, company reps will be on hand from 6 to 10 p.m. to show off their stuff and let guitarists take a turn on the newest wares. In between trial runs, you can mosey over to the bar for a drink, nerd out with fellow handcrafted-guitar enthusiasts, and enter a raffle for a homemade double-necked electric guitar. For more information about this free event, go to facebook.com/texastoastguitars.
As the Trump-driven American social turmoil of 2017 continues into another year, the exhibit Resist!, a collection of photographs by local shutterbugs Dave Russell and Kevin Beaty, casts a lens on our own little corner of activism in Denver with imagery from a year of protest marches and actions. Take a look back and plan for the future with the photographers at a reception on Monday, September 17, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on the fifth floor of the Denver Central Library; Resist! remains on view through October. Search “Reception for the Resistance photo exhibit” on Facebook for more details.
Singer-songwriter Angel Olsen just embarked on her Tiny Dreams Solo Tour, which will touch down at Denver's Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Place, on Monday, September 17. Touring in support of Phases, a compilation of covers and B-sides she released as a followup to her critically adored albums Burn Your Fire for No Witness and My Woman, Olsen gives even grand theaters the intimacy of a packed-out honky-tonk with her spare but captivating performances. Doors open at 7 p.m. for the 8 p.m. concert; get tickets, $31 to $36, at altitudetickets.com.
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