It's finally June, the skies are blue and the city is blooming with great events. This week, you can celebrate the anniversary of the Bboy Factory, see Shakespeare under the stars, or buy books...a lot of books. Keep reading for the 21 best events this week.
Monday, June 3
It’s no secret that Chef or Death podcaster Eric Chiapetta admired Anthony Bourdain and, like many weathered cohorts in the restaurant business, mourned his suicide a year ago. In the wake of Bourdain's death, Chiapetta hosted a show on mental health and addiction in the food-and-travel journalist’s memory, but now, with a full year of podcasts under his chef’s apron, he’s paying tribute by revisiting Bourdain’s tour-de-force memoir, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly. Watch in person on Monday, June 3, from noon to 1 p.m. at FTM Studios, 1111 South Pierce Street in Lakewood, or tune in to the podcast later at chefordeath.com. Find out more about the event on the Chef or Death Facebook page.
Tuesday, June 4
It's swingtime in the Rockies! LAPOMPE, a Denver-based gypsy swing band that writes its own material in addition to playing American jazz standards, classic gypsy-jazz songs and French tunes, will celebrate the national release of its new album, Passages, with a thank-you bash for fans at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 4, in the Grand Hall of Union Station, 1701 Wynkoop Street. Not only will the band perform live, but the evening will include a free swing-dance lesson by Swingin' Denver. Admission is free; find out more at LAPOMPE's Facebook page.
Wednesday, June 5
Grab your shopping bags: The Denver Public Library's annual Summer Used Book Sale starts Wednesday, June 5, and runs through Saturday, June 8, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Conference Center at the Denver Central Library, 10 West 14th Avenue Parkway. Over 60,000 items — including children's books, adult fiction and nonfiction books, as well as CDs, DVDs and audiobooks, some from the library's collection and some from private donations — will be available, with prices starting under $1. New items are added daily, so you'll want to keep coming back. Hosted by the DPL Friends Foundation, this sale is a major fundraiser for the library. Admission is free; find out more at denverlibrary.org.
Thursday, June 6
Proving that old and new can blend seamlessly, the dark, rich tones of the trendy new Ramble Hotel will make the perfect backdrop for the Denver Chamber Music Festival. Starting at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 6, the DCMF will present a showcase of its artists — a program that should go down smoothly accompanied by curated cocktails from Death and Company, the New York City transplant bar inside the Ramble, 2450 Larimer Street. Find tickets, $10 to $30, and more information at denverchambermusicfestival.org.
Painter Clark Richert earned his place as a Colorado legend not just as a trailblazing founder of Drop City in the ’60s and the Criss-Cross cooperative in Boulder in the ’70s, but also as an instructor/mentor to dozens of up-and-coming young artists on the Front Range. And that’s not to downgrade the importance of the work that made him famous: Richert’s mathematically precise yet surprising pattern paintings are icing on the cake. This summer, Richert will deservedly find himself in the regional spotlight, with two big retrospective showcases. Clark Richert: Pattern and Dimensions opens with a 6:30 p.m. reception on Thursday, June 6, at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, 1750 13th Street, and runs through September 15; Clark Richert in Hyperspace follows with a ticketed opening celebration at 5 p.m. Friday, June 7, at MCA Denver, 1485 Delgany Street, where it will stay through September 1. Learn more at bmoca.org and mcadenver.org.
Talib Kweli, the socially conscious MC, impresario and activist, is the quintessential rapper’s rapper. Rising to fame on the strength of classic collaborations with Mos Def and DJ Hi-Tek — Blackstar and Reflection Eternal, respectively — Kweli forged a formidable solo career, releasing a string of successful albums and founding his own independent label, Javotti Media. Since dropping Radio Silence in 2017, Kweli has maintained a steady grind of international tours, rocking the house at shows all over the globe. He’ll be rolling through the Front Range for a pair of performances — on Thursday, June 6, at the Fox Theatre, 1135 13th Street in Boulder, and on Friday, June 7, at the Aggie Theatre, 204 South College Avenue in Fort Collins. Both shows begin at 9 p.m. with openings sets from Bad Neighbors and DJ Channell; visit ticketfly.com for tickets, $20 to $25, and more information.
Friday, June 7
After sixty years on the University of Colorado Boulder campus, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival has developed into far more than a well-played regurgitation of the bard’s canon; it’s become a tradition and a spectacle, hosting a constellation of plays, most of them in the scenic Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre. Picnicking, tours and entertaining Green Shows in the Shakespeare Garden fill out the welcoming CSF experience. In 2019 the CSF is presenting Twelfth Night, As You Like It, Romeo and Juliet, the rarely performed King John and Mike Bartlett’s King Charles III: A Future History Play in repertory, Friday, June 7, through August 11, at the Mary Rippon and the University Theatre (King John will play on August 4 only). Regular individual performance tickets start at $17 and full-season tickets at $55; visit cupresents.org for more information.
The Italian film director Pier Paolo Pasolini, a gay intellectual, poet and political activist who developed his own uncensored, proletarian version of neorealism, was murdered in 1975, leaving behind a legacy of films drawn from gritty, raunchy reality and inspired by both Marxist thought and scriptural themes. Director Abel Ferrara reconstructs Pasolini’s life and the 1970s Roman milieu during his last days in the biopic Pasolini, which stars Willem Dafoe as the iconoclastic artist. The film opens on Friday, June 7, at the Sie FilmCenter, 2510 East Colfax Avenue, for a weeklong run. Find showtimes and advance tickets, $7 to $11.50, at denverfilm.org.
Out in Arvada near the shores of Standley Lake, Star Acre Farms is a community-share garden that grows produce, especially heirloom varieties, the old-fashioned, sustainable way: organic and chemical-free, by hand with loving care. In addition to its CSA program, Star Acre runs a seasonal farm stand and, from May until October, hosts First Friday on the Farm, an event designed to attract folks who’d like to learn more about the place. Make your way to the farm's next free monthly gathering, from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, June 7, at 8412 Alkire Street in Arvada, where you can peruse and purchase vegetables, herbs, mushrooms, fruit, cut flowers and fresh eggs while enjoying live bluegrass, Mexican food, local vendor booths and everyday heroes from Arvada Fire Station #7. Learn more at staracrefarms.com.
Colfax Avenue has always been a bit of a circus, but the big top is coming to the longest street in the U.S. in a more literal way during the Colfax Art Crawl Circus Street Party. Presented by Lakewood's 40 West Arts District, the party will celebrate human ingenuity expressed via sculpture and bodies in motion. The arty party includes aerial acrobatics courtesy of the Rainbow Militia, a metallic menagerie from sculptor Greg Wazil, and a parade of pierced and tattooed nonconformists. Nosh on traditional carnival fare while marveling at feats of human dexterity and creativity when the circus tumbles into being from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, June 7; the crawl takes off from 40 West's headquarters, 1560 Teller Street. Admission is free; visit the 40 West Facebook page for further details.
As artists pioneer new retail strategies that eliminate middlemen and gallery commissions in favor of more supportive platforms, pop-ups — where makers pull together to direct-market their work — are becoming more common. The Conception Art Show, founded in New York City in 2011 and now touring to other cities, is a large-scale example with a built-in support system. Conception will alight in the Denver area for one night only, bringing work by 35 artists, live music and food and drink to Stanley Marketplace, 2501 North Dallas Street in Aurora, from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, June 7; admission is $20 in advance at eventbrite.com. Learn more about participating artists at conceptionarts.com.
Open Media Foundation has been running a low-power FM station, 104.7, with a small footprint but a big goal: showcasing local musicians and artists. The nonprofit has traded that channel for 92.9 FM and signed a twenty-year agreement with KUVO to operate an HD station at 89.3 HD3 that will now be heard from Colorado Springs to Fort Collins. To celebrate, KUVO and Denver Open Media are co-hosting a party from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, June 7, with music from Wellington Bullings in Studio A at 700 Kalamath Street. For more information, go to facebook.com/denveropenmedia.
Saturday, June 8
It wouldn’t be summer in Denver without the Art Students League of Denver’s Summer Art Market, which might just be the friendliest, most neighborly and non-uppity art festival you’ll find in the region. Browsing the booths, peopled by 240 local artist-vendors selling affordable art in all mediums, is a boon for fledgling collectors and the shop-local movement. Find a bargain and make friends with the artists at the free fest, which runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 8, and Sunday, June 9, outdoors at the ASLD, 200 Grant Street; hands-on art-making activities, live music and food and drink vendors augment the shopping experience. Find details and an artist roster at asld.org.
Another year, another anniversary: At the Bboy Factory, Denver’s hip-hoppin’-est dance center, it’s time for some major throwing down at the Bboy Factory’s Seventh Anniversary main event. Doors open at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 8, at the Highlands Event Center, 2945 Julian Street, for a battery of all-ages, all-skill-level competitions, ending with the crowning of this year’s cypher queen and king sometime around 6 p.m. And if you get all fired up about learning to make some of your own moves, Bboy legends and competition judges Born and Roxrite will each lead workshops on Sunday, June 9, at the Bboy Factory, 6401 Broadway. Saturday-night admission is $20 for competitors ($15 presale at evenbrite.com) and $10 for spectators, and workshop registration is $20 per, or $35 for both. Learn more at the Bboy Factory Facebook page.
The resident artist-studio enclave at the Globeville Riverfront Art Center (GRACe) might sound like it's off the beaten path, but in reality it’s only a hop, skip and jump away from the bright lights of RiNo. Now the Out-There Art-Fest is here to show you what’s happening at GRACe, where more than seventy artists and creative businesses thrive. An open-studio event, gallery show and art market with a general party vibe, the fest invites you to come inside for an all-new experience on the city’s art frontier. Drop by GRACe, 888 East 50th Avenue, on Saturday, June 8, from 3 to 9 p.m.; admission is free. Find details at studiosatgrace.com.
Haunting the Colorado music scene with its acclaimed brand of heartfelt indie folk since 2015, Ghost Revue specializes in anthems designed to make you shed tears into your beer. Formerly known as Tyler Imbrey and the Ghost Review, the band weaves intricate narratives into its lyrics and has toured throughout the United States and the U.K. Catch Imbrey, along with bandmates Caleb Koch, Jason Kaczynski and Zane Russell, when they perform closer to home at the venerable Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom, 2637 Welton Street, on Saturday, June 8. The concert commences at 9 p.m. with raucous sets from opening acts Evil Dave (with Shawn Eckels of Andy Frasco and the UN), Todd Smallie and Shaun Gilmour, Groovement and Last Humans. Find tickets, $10 to $12, and more information at ticketfly.com.
Sunday, June 9
What’s the cheapest shopping spree you’ll ever experience and still go home with an armload of (almost) new clothing, shoes and accessories? The Sip & Swap Clothing Exchange, hosted by the Diamond Dolls vintage dance troupe and Stanley Marketplace, is all that and a little more, including complimentary coffee from Logan House to fuel your spree. Bring a bag of your clean cast-offs and leave with the same bag, only filled with someone else’s erstwhile treasures, on Sunday, June 9, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Stanley, 2501 Dallas Street in Aurora; a $5 donation is requested at the door, and all unclaimed goods will make their way to local women’s shelters and charities. Learn more on the event Facebook page.
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The old stereotype of tattoo lovers being vagrants and criminals is so over. As evidence, look no further than Rising Tide Tattoo, a shop in Boulder that will participate in Still Not Asking for It on Sunday, June 9. The event will see some 55 tattoo shops around the world donate their proceeds from that day to groups dedicated to prevention and justice for sexual assault and rape recovery; Rising Tide's proceeds will go to Moving to End Sexual Assault, or MESA. Get inked up for a good cause from noon to 8 p.m. at the shop, 3193 Walnut Street; price points for tattoos are $100, $150 and $200. Learn more by calling Rising Tide at 303-500-5046.
Immersive theater is all the rage, and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts’ Off-Center troupe has been one of the leaders in the genre. The company will team up with Denver Central Library for an afternoon of immersive productions, when more than fifty artists will create ten experiences about issues facing the library, with a focus on customers and staff. The event runs from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Sunday, June 9, at the library, 10 West 14th Avenue Parkway, and customers will have the chance to self-select in and out of the performances. Find more information on the Events calendar at denverlibrary.org.
Now that the city election runoffs are behind us, it’s time for all good grassroots politicos to turn their attention to 2020. You can never start too early, so Indivisible Denver and partner organizations will get you started with a Senate 2020 Kickoff kindly disguised as a BYO community picnic with silly games to break the ice. As of press time, candidates Dan Baer, Diana Bray, Ellen Burnes, Lorena Garcia, Mike Johnston, Alice Madden, Andrew Romanoff, Stephany Rose Spaulding and John Walsh had confirmed for the event, during which the candidates will pick questions and talking points out of a hat. Join in on Sunday, June 9, from 4:30 to 8 p.m. at Barnum Park, 360 West Hooker Street. Find details at the Indivisible Denver Facebook page.
You, your cell phone and the cast of Pandemic Collective’s new interactive game-cum-play will all be a part of the action in Blue Whale, a new work from the horror-focused local theater company. The story of Mel, a social-media-addicted high school girl who gets hooked into a mysterious game with violent results by a cyber-figure known as “The Curator,” Blue Whale moves forward with outcomes determined by the audience. The site-specific program begins at 7 p.m. on June 9, 16 and 23 at Fort Greene, 321 East 45th Avenue; learn more and purchase tickets, $25, at eventbrite.com.
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