June has been bustin' out all over with great events in Denver, and this week is no exception: Watch street artists at work, chat with other hip-hop artists, talk about what Meow Wolf might do for local artists. And it's not all about Denver, of course: Lakewood is turning fifty, and it's time for a party. Keep reading for the 21 best events this week.
Monday, June 24
Equal Time Poet and lit-scene booster Brice Maiurro usually puts others in the spotlight as a host at local readings and in his capacity as editor-in-chief of the South Broadway Ghost Society and poetry editor of Suspect Press, both Denver publications. But he’s not shy about taking the stage himself to promote his new Beat-inflected poetry collection, Hero Victim Villain, from Stubborn Mule Press. Maiurro will introduce and read to musical accompaniment at 7 p.m. Monday, June 24, at Mutiny Information Cafe, 2 South Broadway; Matt Clifford, Jeanette Powers, Sarah Rodriguez and Eliza Beth Whittington will also read. Admission is free, and copies of the book will be available for a special price of $15 (or online at stubbornmulepress.bigcartel.com). Keep up with Maiurro at maiurro.co.
Tuesday, June 25
The Civic Center Conservancy will unveil its second temporary art installation in Civic Center Park at 11 a.m. Tuesday, June 25, in the Greek Amphitheatre. “A Narrative Landscape,” a textile installation by Theresa Clowes, will hang in the Greek Theatre to celebrate its 100-year anniversary by visually activating the Colonnades. Come for the unveiling, and stick around for Civic Center Eats, with an array of food trucks and other entertainment.
When Sly Guevara of Crazy Town Entertainment found himself wondering how to build more connections in Denver’s hip-hop scene, he decided to take it upon himself to organize Hip-Hop Industry Night. The goals of this free event include partying hard, networking and building out the local hip-hop community. The festivities takes place at La Jaula Sports Bar & Grill, 1750 West Mississippi Avenue, from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Tuesday, June 25. DJ Deuce will spin tunes, and a host of rappers will showcase one song each. For more information, go to facebook.com/crazytownent.
Wednesday, June 26
Meow Wolf’s roar has been heard across Denver. Some say the Santa Fe-based arts and entertainment company has upended the experience and economy of art, while others gripe that Meow Wolf has taken over the Mile High City’s art scene and will disrupt much of the good work already being done. There’s plenty to talk about, and that’s what will happen when 40 West Arts hosts a free community conversation with Meow Wolf representatives at the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design, 1600 Pierce Street in Lakewood, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 26. Expect impassioned conversation about the economic impact of immersive art and how to get involved with Meow Wolf; get more information at the 40 West Arts Facebook page.
Thursday, June 27
The history of Denver is well-researched, but what about that of the Mile High City’s neighbors? One of the most interesting facts about Lakewood, our major suburb to the west, is that it’s only been a city for fifty years. Incorporated in 1969, the land once peopled by turkey ranchers and dairy farmers was first called Jefferson City and renamed Lakewood after an early subdivision built by railroad magnate William Loveland around the junction of West Colfax and Harlan Street. The fiftieth anniversary of its founding is no small event for the City of Lakewood, where a new permanent exhibit, Lakewood: a 20th Century Journey, will debut at a free reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, June 27, at the Lakewood Heritage Center, 801 South Yarrow Street in Lakewood. Arrive early so you can peruse the center’s outdoor collection of preserved historic structures and a retro-themed gift shop before moving on to a thoroughly up-to-date display; find information at lakewood.org.
Nobody loves tacos more than we do — but can you eat $75 worth of them? If you can't, it's not for lack of opportunity at this year's Top Taco. The annual competition takes place on Thursday, June 27, at Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas Street in Aurora, where more than fifty restaurants will go head-to-head to see who can serve the best iteration of the classic Mexican street food. There will be tacos for all tastes: street-style (Cilantro & Perejil, Adelitas, Las Delicias), crowd-pleasers (Uno Mas, Tacos Tequila Whiskey, Los Chingones) and WTF (Tupelo Honey, Syrup). Not only will tacos fill your tummy, but tequila and margs will also be on tap. Tickets are $75 for general admission at 7 p.m., $135 for VIP and early admission at 6 p.m.; get them and more information at eventbrite.com.
Like the rest of the country, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science is all over the fiftieth anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s historic moon walk, with a full schedule of related films, parties, lectures and planetarium shows leading up to the day of commemoration on July 20. The lineup includes screenings of the 2018 Neil Armstrong biopic First Man 2D, starring movie idol Ryan Gosling — four drool-worthy stories tall on the Phipps IMAX Theater screen. The film shows at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 27, and repeats at the same time Thursdays through Saturdays for a month at the museum, 2001 Colorado Boulevard (no show July 4). Find listings for all the Apollo 11 programs and get tickets for the film, $8 to $10 with discounts for members, at dmns.org.
Friday, June 28
When and where did you first see Do the Right Thing? The Spike Lee film, then a fresh and revolutionary Bedford-Stuyvesant drama about racial relations in the heat of the summer, came out in 1989, setting the pace for future black filmmakers. Now restored for its thirtieth anniversary, the doc presents Lee’s memorable neighborhood full of characters both black and white to a whole new generation, all to the tune of Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power.” Funny (and sad) thing: Do the Right Thing hasn’t lost any punch and remains just as relevant as it was three decades ago. The film opens Friday, June 28, and runs through Thursday, July 4, at the Sie FilmCenter, 2510 East Colfax Avenue; get tickets, $6 to $12, at denverfilm.org.
The Friday Night Bazaar returns to RiNo on Friday, June 28, kicking off a four-week residency at Ironton Distillery & Crafthouse, 3636 Chestnut Place. "When searching for locations to activate, we first consider our roots in reimagining and revitalizing urban locations," says Bazaar creator Josh Sampson. "Ironton Distillery embodies this ethos with their art gallery and studio-turned-distillery concept near Brighton Boulevard." And things will be very activated from 5 to 10 p.m., with over 35 small businesses showcasing a curated mix of locally made goods; signature craft cocktails will be available, and you can dance to local DJs under the stars. Admission is free, but you can also buy Shop & Sip packages ranging from $15 to $60. To learn more, go to eventbrite.com.
Live it up with the Museo de las Americas while adding to the museum’s coffers at Noche de Museo: Puerto Rican Rhythms, a benefit with a beat provided by Latin funksters Los Mocochetes and salseros Conjunto Colores. Dos Abuelas will offer up eats; between bouts on the dance floor, be sure to peruse the items in the auction, which include a time share in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico, among other goodies up for grabs. The party runs from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Friday, June 28, at Skylight, 833 Santa Fe Drive; get details and reserve tickets, $80 to $100 ($175 for couples), at eventbrite.com.
Businesses in the Golden Triangle Creative District got together to plan a party-like event in the neighborhood that would be their answer to RiNo’s Crush Walls...only in miniature. The result is Colorcon, a one-night alleyway overhaul with special guest muralists both local and international, and live music by Sarah Slaton, from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, June 28, in the alley behind the 11th Avenue Hostel, 1112 Broadway. Look for work by Damon Soule, KiriLeigh Jones, Koko Bayer, Nome Edonna, Anna Charney and others as you sashay down the street. Admission is free, but save your bucks for a 9 p.m. after-party with Dada Life at the nearby Temple Nightclub (tickets are $30 to $35 in advance at universe.com). RSVP and learn more about Colorcon at coloradocolorcon.com.
DIY artist Tobias Fike is tough to pin down, as his practice regularly shifts mediums and realities. But some of his work deals with light, making him a perfect choice to curate this month’s Untitled Final Friday: Light Wait at the Denver Art Museum, which plugs into the museum’s current exhibition, The Light Show. Expect a hands-on evening with shadow sculpture, light box and kaleidoscope making, as well as live music, magic and films, from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, June 28, at the DAM, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway. Entry is free with regular museum admission ($8 to $13, free for those eighteen and under); students with valid ID receive two-for-one tickets to Untitled. Learn more at denverartmuseum.org.
Take in music and mixology alike at the Denver Made: Summer Porch Party, a fundraising concert set against the magnificent backdrop of a late June sunset. Guests can sample a full array of Leopold Bros. spirits in signature cocktails plus light bites while being sweetly serenaded by a small ensemble of Colorado Symphony players. Ten percent of bar sales will be donated to the Colorado Symphony, so there's no need to feel guilty about ordering another round. The soirée starts at 6:30 p.m. Friday, June 28, at Leopold Bros. Distillery, 5285 Joliet Street; find tickets, $50 to $75, and further details at coloradosymphony.org. Looking for a booze-free and budget-friendly alternative? Head over to Parkfield Lake Park, 15555 East 53rd Avenue, at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 29, for a free performance by the Colorado Symphony Brass Quintet.
Everyone will be looking sharp at the first-ever Throw Down: Axe Festival, a tailgate-style party that combines axe-throwing, craft beer and live music at Bad Axe Throwing, 3506-3536 North Academy Boulevard in Colorado Springs. The festivities, hosted by the World Axe Throwing League, run from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday, June 28. Tournament play starts at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 29, when food trucks and vendors will be on hand; the fun continues from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 30. Tournament slots are $25 but almost sold out; otherwise, admission is free, but you should RSVP at eventbrite.com.
Saturday, June 29
Old-school dive bars are an endangered species in the development-driven ecosystem of contemporary Denver, so it's heartening to see Don's Club Tavern celebrating its 72nd anniversary this weekend. Essentially unchanged since the place opened back in 1947, Don's serves up an unbroken connection to the Queen City of yore, along with reliably cheap cocktails. The agreeably low-key festivities include a barbecue, raffle games, free drink giveaways, and the same unpretentiously inviting atmosphere that local drinkers have loved for generations. The daylong party kicks off at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 29, at Don's, 723 East Sixth Avenue; admission is free and open to the public (first 100 drinkers get a T-shirt!). Check the Don's Club Tavern Facebook page to find out more.
Bugged by what you don't know about beetles? Get the lowdown when the Denver chapter of global exploration society Atlas Obscura hosts Discover the Fascinating World of Beetles, a knowledge-laden, behind-the-scenes tour of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science’s vast beetle collection. Led by renowned expert and DMNS beetle curator Frank Krell, the tour will dig in from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 29, at the museum, 2001 Colorado Boulevard. If you can’t make that date, the program repeats at the same time Saturday, July 13. Tickets are $22 at eventbrite.com.
From its debut in 1995, the Westword Music Showcase has grown into the city's largest single-day music festival...and the 25th edition will be bigger than ever. Headliners for the two main stages include CHVRCHES, JAUZ, Jai Wolf, Bishop Briggs, Crooked Colours, The Knocks, SHAED, Lovelytheband and The Wrecks; they'll be joined by YaSi, the musician on this week's cover. More than seventy other local bands will be playing at venues around the Golden Triangle. "There are so many incredible bands in Denver right now, with much more diversity than before," says Erin Roberts of Porlolo, a frequent Showcase act, "and the quality of the music coming out is just so good." The neighborhood will ring with the sound of music starting at noon and running until 10 p.m.; find a complete schedule and more information at westwordshowcase.com.
You never know who you’re going to find buried in a cemetery, especially Fairmount Cemetery, where a good number of Denver’s historical elite lie under elaborate tombstones. As part of its Twilight Tour Series, Fairmount will bring that history to life with the “Sacred 36,” a chautauqua-style presentation by Louise Sneed Hill, aka the “Mrs. Astor of the West,” a Southern belle who thrived in the midst of Denver society around the turn of the last century. The tour includes a kickoff tea at the real Mrs. Hill’s gravesite, snacks in a mausoleum and a candlelit nosh stop at the cemetery’s iconic Ivy Chapel. Join the tour on Saturday, June 29, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Fairmount, 430 South Quebec Street; the all-inclusive fee is $36 to $40 at eventbrite.com.
As restrictions on visiting Cuba tighten, the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities will bring Cuba to you, courtesy of the hottest big band in Havana: Orquesta Akokán, a supergroup of young talent following in the retro, mambo-heavy, “banda gigante” footsteps of Pérez Prado. Led by singer José "Pepito" Gómez, the group lands at the Arvada Center, 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 29, for an open-air concert in the amphitheater with openers Baracutanga. Bring your dancing shoes! Find information and tickets, $30 to $49, at arvadacenter.org.
Sunday, June 30
Curves of Life was designed to boost confidence for individuals with scoliosis while increasing awareness about the condition, and the success of those who've overcome challenges with style will be spotlighted at the second annual Curves of Life Tea & Brunch Fashion Show, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, June 30, at Chateaux at Fox Meadows, 13600 Xavier Lane in Broomfield. Tickets are $50, and part of the proceeds benefits Curvy Girls, an international support group for girls with scoliosis and their families. Find out more at eventbrite.com.
As the human-rights cornerstone of Roe v. Wade seems headed for a tumble, support for reproductive justice grows stronger. Women writers are among the many leaders of the revived movement, and that’s who you’ll hear from at the Reproductive Justice Reading, a gathering designed to highlight issues of reproductive choice and raise funds for the Yellowhammer Fund and Planned Parenthood through services offered through Counterpath’s Reproductive Justice Catalog resource guide. Readings begin at 6 p.m. Sunday, June 30, at Counterpath, 7935 East 14th Avenue; admission is free, and copies of the catalogue will be available. Learn more at the Facebook event page.
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