Things to Do

The 21 Best Events in Denver, January 15 Through January 21

The Women's March returns to Denver with a new name and renewed focus.
The Women's March returns to Denver with a new name and renewed focus. Ken Hamblin
Activism, film, music and a little rodeo: The days ahead are full of Denver-ish things to do. Don't miss free grounds-admission day at the National Western Stock Show today, January 15; the MLK tribute performed by the Colorado Symphony is tonight, too. Then ignite your inner activist at this weekend's Womxn's March or at Punk Against Trump, a dance-floor release of all your presidential anxiety. Find all that and more in this week's 21 best events calendar.

Tuesday, January 15

In case your New Year’s resolutions have faded less than two weeks into 2019, GoodCinema wants to jump-start your sense of purpose. This group of big-hearted movie buffs is screening Tom Shadyac’s autobiographical film I Am, which tells the story of a bicycle accident that almost killed the filmmaker and how it sent him on a mission to understand what’s wrong with the world and how we can fix it. After the screening, Good Cinema’s Bill Byrnes will lead a conversation between Sarah Jackson of Casa de Paz, Danny Mazur of Soul Stories, Carlyn Shaw of Strangers to Friends and Rett Kearbey of Gaia, who will explore the movie’s themes. The film rolls out at 6 p.m. Tuesday, January 15, at the Alamo Drafthouse Sloan’s Lake, 4255 West Colfax Avenue. Tickets are $15 in advance at eventbrite.com and $20 the day of the show.

The Visiting Artist, Scholar and Designer program at Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design fires back up in 2019, continuing this academic year’s ongoing “Fictions”-themed lecture series with Cécile B. Evans: Feeling for You, an often-updated talk on the artist’s multi-disciplinary practice that's inspired by society’s delicate relationship with technology and machines. Evans speaks at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, January 15, in RMCAD’s Mary Harris Auditorium, 1600 Pierce Street in Lakewood; admission is free. Advance registration at eventbrite.com is recommended; learn more about the VASD series at rmcad.edu.


In a political climate where the unifying dream of Martin Luther King Jr. seems to recede further out of reach with each new hateful tweet, it's perhaps more important than ever to honor the civil-rights leader's commitment to peaceable resistance. Pay homage along with conductor Bertie Baigent at the Colorado Symphony's MLK Tribute, a community concert and ceremony for recipients of the 2019 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award. The performance enlists a large roster of musicians working through an evocative program that conveys the spiritual foundations of King's quest for social justice. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, January 15, at Boettcher Concert Hall in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Admission is free, but interested guests must register for a ticket, and seating is allocated on a first-come, first-served basis for ticket holders. Visit coloradosymphony.org for more details.

Wednesday, January 16

Think, drink, debauch and debate when Nerd Nite Denver returns on Wednesday, January 16, with "Debt, Comedy, and Coffee," another boozy and brainy evening of TED Talk-style lectures from a wide array of experts. This latest edition consists of a trio of unrelated presentations, including "Debt and You: The Most Boring Nerd Nite Talk of 2019" from Ian Kimsey; "Serious Lessons From the Masters of Comedy" from Dr. Peter McGraw, University of Colorado professor and co-author of The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny; and "Death Before Decaf" from Ethan Menendez. Doors open at 6:30 for the 7 p.m. show in its new home at the Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo Street. Tickets are $10; visit nerdnitedenver.com to find out more.

Megan Nyce’s long-running Denver series My Teenage Angst focuses on adults revisiting and reflecting on their tender and funny teen diaries and writings in front of a supportive audience. This time around, she’s bringing it to the Denver Public Library's Park Hill branch, 4705 Montview Boulevard, for a PG-13 version on Wednesday, January 16, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. If you care to share your own deepest secrets, there might be a space or two left on the docket; inquire by email at tbannon@denverlibrary.org. Admission to this almost-all-ages performance is free; learn more at the My Teenage Angst Facebook page.
click to enlarge Find Mark Penner-Howell's “Excelsior" at Art of the State. - ARVADA CENTER
Find Mark Penner-Howell's “Excelsior" at Art of the State.
Arvada Center
Thursday, January 17

Collin Parson’s crowning glory as gallery director and curator at the Arvada Center is surely Art of the State, a massive triennial survey of work by Colorado artists. In its third iteration, opening with a reception and award ceremony on Thursday, January 17, from 6 to 9 p.m., Art of the State comprises 154 works by 135 artists, chosen from a pool of 1,555 entries by Parson and fellow jurors Joy Armstrong and Daisy McGowan. A tribute to homegrown talent in every medium under the sun, the exhibition will fill the venue’s three gallery spaces through March 31 at 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard in Arvada. Admission is free; find information and a schedule of linked events at arvadacenter.org.

Do you ever find yourself standing slack-jawed in front of a painting, plagued by the question “What does this mean?” Before you decide that art — particularly in its contemporary forms — is too baffling (or downright pointless), consider that you may need to give your art-appreciation muscles a workout. That’s where MCA Denver’s Art Fitness Training comes in. This participatory workshop is billed as a chance to build the skills it takes to look at and appreciate any work of art, even the most challenging pieces. This month’s edition starts at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, January 17, at the MCA, 1485 Delgany Street; tickets are $10 to $15 at eventbrite.com.

If you're a tech wizard looking for a new industry to bless with your talents, consider pot. Learn how to apply your coding skills — or harness some new ones — for the benefit of tokers everywhere at the Coffee Joint's Canna-Coding Session on Thursday, January 17. Industry professionals from Flowerhub and Vangst recruiting will be there to answer your questions, network and maybe even take a few dabs. The session takes place at Denver's only licensed pot lounge, at 1130 Yuma Court, from 7 to 8 p.m.; entrance (21+) is $5, or free with a purchase from the 1136 Yuma dispensary next door. Learn more at thecoffeejointco.com.


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