The time has come to pack away your summer clothes and dust off all your sweaters and coats. But while the days may be growing shorter and the air chillier, that doesn't mean you should stay home. Celebrate Día de los Muertos early at an exhibit at the Longmont Museum and Cultural Center that highlights the beautiful Mexican holiday. Pick a festive gourd at the Pumpkin Festival, or indulge in adult-friendly Halloween treats at Choctoberfest. All that and more is in our calendar of the best events in Denver this week!
Monday, October 7
Artist Suchitra Mattai has had a triumphant year, venturing as far from home as the Sharjah Biennial in the United Arab Emirates — where she contributed “Imperfect Isometry,” a massive canopy installation of woven vintage saris and netting — and as close as the 2019 Biennial of the Americas, where she recently exhibited the same piece in a new configuration at the McNichols Building. One of the region’s most notable artists, Mattai will discuss the installation as well as her mixed-media processes for the Denver Art Museum’s Logan Lecture series at 6 p.m. Monday, October 7, at the DAM, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway, followed by a reception at the nearby Art Hotel. Admission ranges from free to $20 at denverartmuseum.org.
Tuesday, October 8
Fat jokes have long sullied comedies, so a director who takes on the story of an overweight teenager and treats her experience with respect is something to celebrate. That’s what the coming-of-age comedy Empire Waist — which tells the story of two teenagers who learn to love their bodies through fashion — is all about. Writer and director Claire Ayoub is on tour with her film script, raising money for production through a series of readings. Her Denver appearance, which includes a post-reading Q&A, will take place from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 8, at House of Pod, 2565 Curtis Street. For tickets, $10 to $20, and more information, go to eventbrite.com.
Wednesday, October 9
Groundbreaking jazz pianist Chick Corea is still kicking — and still bringing down the house — at 78, sometimes with the Chick Corea Trilogy. The powerhouse acoustic trio, made up of Corea, bassist Christian McBride and drummer Brian Blade, sizzles with chemistry on works new and old, including Corea’s own compositions and standards from the jazz canon. Jam out with the Chick Corea Trilogy at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, October 9, at Macky Auditorium on the University of Colorado Boulder campus. Find tickets, $22 to $87, and more info at cupresents.org.
Thursday, October 10
Chefs like to say that we eat first with our eyes, giving culinary creators license to turn entrees into works of art. If the adage is true, you'll leave the Flatirons Food Film Festival full before a single bite passes your lips. The flavor-packed film fest, now in its seventh year, presents eight food-themed movies from Thursday, October 10, through Sunday, October 13, at various Boulder locations, plus a range of activities intended to supplement each film. Choose from presentations by dozens of local and international food authorities, or fill up for real at a wine and oyster tasting. Movie tickets start at $12, with full film passes available for $90. Visit flatironsfoodfilmfest.org for a complete schedule of screenings, discussions and other happenings. Lights, camera...dig in!
Like jewelry? Then head for the hills, where the Mountains of Pawn will offer a huge selection of Southwest pawn and vintage jewelry during a sale that runs from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, October 10, through Sunday, October 13, at Silver Arrow, 28159 Highway 74 in Evergreen. “Just like American Pickers,” the store’s owners advise, “we have a ‘Southwest picker’ who travels throughout the Southwest all year long visiting pawn shops and gathering estates from the farthest regions of Arizona and New Mexico... They will drool over your finds in Santa Fe!” And, hey, it costs nothing to look. Find out more at 303-670-0552 or eventbrite.com.
Longmont does Day of the Dead like a pro in 2019, beginning with the Longmont Museum and Cultural Center’s annual Día de los Muertos exhibition, a traditional celebration of departed family members with community altars and larger-scale muertos art. This year, Ricardo Soltero’s calacas sculptures will loom over the display, focusing on La Catrina, a feminine skeleton famous in Mexican lore. The exhibit opens with a free reception on Thursday, October 10, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the museum, 400 Quail Road in Longmont, and runs through November 4; come back on Friday, October 11, for Day of the Dead displays at businesses around Longmont’s Main Street, with free walking tours beginning at 6 p.m. (Space is limited, so RSVP at downtownlongmont.com/calendar or call 303-651-8484.) Learn more about the exhibit and other Longmont Day of the Dead festivities at longmontcolorado.gov.
PlatteForum takes a break from its youth/mentor exhibition schedule to present the results of what happens when two monster artists unite to create something out of the ordinary. Each of Us Is Several pairs local artists Suchitra Mattai and Joshua Ware for an installation inspired by philosophers Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, with the goal of exposing the "interior lives" of everyday objects. Attend an opening-night gala with an art sale, bar and bites from 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday, October 10, at PlatteForum, 2400 Curtis Street; the evening will also include the presentation of the Judy Anderson Founders Award to filmmaker and PlatteForum veteran Scott Kinnamon. Admission is $30, or $50 for couples; reserve a seat and find more info at platteforum.org.
Absurd times call for absurd entertainment, which is what you’ll get from professional clown Nick Trotter of Circo de Nada. Trotter wraps his physical humor around Idiopathic, a one-man show derived from his personal experiences with addiction and its physical and mental side effects. Idiopathic has a silver lining, though, as it works its way through personal pain using art to find salvation. Join Trotter on his journey when the show premieres at the People’s Building, 9995 East Colfax Avenue in Aurora, over three nights: Thursday, October 10, through Saturday, October 12, at 7:30 p.m. Find tickets, $15, at circodenada.com.
Friday, October 11
The days when cartoons were painstakingly made by incrementally drawing on thousands of film cells are long gone, replaced by digital technology. But what does it really take for a trailblazing studio like Pixar to bring feature-length digital animation to the screen? The Science Behind Pixar, which opens at 9 a.m. Friday, October 11, at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, tells all, with interactive displays and some help from superstars Buzz Lightyear, Dory, Mike and Sulley, Edna Mode and WALL•E. The new exhibit runs daily through April 5 (except Christmas Day) at the museum, 2001 Colorado Boulevard; timed tickets range from $22.95 to $29.95 ($8 to $10 for members) and include regular DMNS admission. Learn more and reserve a time at dmns.org/pixar.
Sure, you can pluck a sad pumpkin from a bin outside your local supermarket, but where’s the fun in that? For three days starting Friday, October 11, Chatfield Farms will be awash with Halloween’s favorite gourd ripe for the picking at its annual Pumpkin Festival. Pack up the family (and a wagon!) and head for the farm, 8500 West Deer Creek Canyon Road in Littleton, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Sunday, October 13, to pick the perfect pumpkin to decorate your home. Tickets, $4 to $8, include access to the patch and children’s activities, and while pumpkin prices vary, the average cost is $8. Go to botanicgardens.org to purchase tickets in advance; the price goes up by $2 at the door.
ThriftCon has traditionally been an enormous vintage clothing and collectibles market that fills the National Western Expo Hall with treasures. But the con has diversified this fall with Thriftopia, a small, sweet outdoor version you can stroll through in the Dairy Block’s art-festooned pedestrian alley on Friday nights. The last of the season's three markets gets under way from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, October 11, at 1800 Wazee Street, where you can also step inside to get a bite at Denver Milk Market or marvel at the artsy lobby of the Maven Hotel. Admission to Thriftopia is free, but RSVP at eventbrite.com and you’ll receive a $10 Milk Market gift card (get there early — the cards are only available to the first 100 vintage shoppers).
O.penVAPE’s Far Out Factory blew enough minds in its one-night debut last year that the pot-inspired, perception-expanding experience is back for two nights this time around — Friday, October 11, and Saturday, October 12. Make like Alice as you wander through indoor and outdoor art installations by local artists and get down to stellar live music (each night has a different lineup), from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m at Major Studios, 3881 Steele Street. Note that Far Out Factory is a no-consumption event, so it’s best to arrive with empty pockets and a big imagination. Admission (21+) is $30, or $100 for a four-pack at faroutfactory.com.
Learn about the unsettling real-life history behind folklore and urban myths at a Lore Podcast Live. The "podcast about the frightening history behind common folklore" promises a scary live rendition, complete with tales only this beloved show could dig up. The taping begins at 7 p.m. on Friday, October 11, at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts, 2344 East Iliff Avenue. Find tickets, $45, and more info at newmancenterpresents.com.
The Collective Misnomer experimental film series revs up for the fall with a visit from longtime collaborative New York filmmakers Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby. The internationally known pair works in an array of mediums, but specializes in beautifully realized short videos — the subject of The Beauty Is Relentless, a book of critical essays issued by the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in 2012. Duke and Battersby will be in town for "The Gutter Awaits," a screening of their short films at the Alamo Drafthouse Sloan's Lake, 4255 West Colfax Avenue, on Friday, October 11. If experimental is your bag, this is not-to-miss. Check in at 7:30 p.m. for the 8 p.m. screening; admission is $10 or pay-what-you-can at the door (no one will be turned away). Learn more at the Collective Misnomer Facebook page, and keep up with the group’s fall screening schedule at collectivemisnomer.com.
Saturday, October 12
In case you didn't know it, the second Saturday in October is National Costume Swap Day — and in accordance with the designation, Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas Street in Aurora, will host a free Halloween Costume Swap on its mezzanine from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, October 12. All ages are welcome to swap, and all you need to bring is one gently used costume per person, good for a voucher allowing you to pick through the piles for a new one. Don’t have one to trade? You can still shop at minimal cost. Games, treats and a prize drawing fill out the day; learn more at stanleymarketplace.com.
The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, which got its start as the legendary Broadmoor Art Academy, is marking its hundredth anniversary with the new exhibit The Broadmoor Art Academy and Its Legacy, 1919-1970, which opens with a birthday celebration and open house from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 12, at 30 West Dale Street in Colorado Springs. Not only is admission free on opening day, but there will be a special film screening, hands-on art activities and demonstrations, and informal gallery chats, not to mention sweet treats. Find out more about the show and other anniversary events at fac.coloradocollege.edu/100-years.
The City of Denver might not observe Columbus Day, but Colorado still honors the colonial explorer and his genocidal legacy. Continuing an annual tradition of their own, activists will gather for the Four Directions All Nations March on Saturday, October 12, to demand an end to white supremacy and a repeal of Columbus Day. Anyone wishing to participate is invited to meet at 11 a.m. at various locations around Denver sporting different colors: black at Viking Park, 29th Avenue and Federal Boulevard; yellow at Cheesman Park, 12th Avenue and Franklin Street; red at Mestizo Curtis Park, 30th and Champa streets; and white at Four Winds American Indian Council, Fifth Avenue and Bannock Street. Groups will walk from each meeting point to the State Capitol and rally at 1 p.m. Learn more at colorado-aim.blogspot.com.
The treats of Halloween might traditionally be for kids, but adults needn't feel left out. Choctoberfest will offer an array of harvest-season goodies, including chocolate and beer pairings, pumpkin bowling, a chocolate cake showdown, a cooking demo with Chocolatina, Queen of the Dessert, and miles of aisles filled with chocolate vendors. Stuff your face from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, October 12, at the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds, 25690 East Quincy Avenue in Aurora; admission is $10 (free for children ages twelve and under), or $50 for VIP, and taste tickets are $10 per dozen. Find details at cochocolatefests.com.
Ron Powers, author of No One Cares About Crazy People, will offer the keynote speech at Be the Change, a fundraising gala hosted by local nonprofit Heart Mind Connect. “The transition from hospitalization and other in-patient treatment facilities is often the most difficult period,” explains founder Maree McRae, “and compounding this problem is a lack of drop-in centers and/or beds for a safe environment in which to have follow-up care and heal.” Heart Mind Connect aims to change that; find out how at this inaugural event starting at 5 p.m. Saturday, October 12, at the Molly Brown Summer House, 7595 West Yale Avenue. Find tickets, $50, and more information at heartmindconnect.org.
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Sunday, October 13
Punk is not dead. For the past half-decade, it’s been rocking out in the ’burbs, at Chain Reaction Records, a gritty record store offering “All the shit you can’t find anywhere else and some you can.” To celebrate its fifth year in business, the store will host Party Time at the Shop, a free, family-friendly festival from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, October 13, at 8799 West Colfax Avenue in Lakewood. Local vendors including Wim Wam Records, Cult Legacy and Brian D’Agosta Art will be peddling their wares, while Grimy, the Pollution, P.C.W. and the Amazing Flying Dumbasses will shred. Expect sales, bargains and barbecue. For more information, go to facebook.com/chainreaction303.
Designer Brandi Shigley first caught our eye with the handbags that gained her international acclaim, and she quickly became one of Westword's first MasterMinds, honored for her work putting this city’s style scene in the spotlight. She founded Fashion Denver in 2004, and now she’s celebrating fifteen years of making Denver look good with her 15th Anniversary Fashion Market and Party from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, October 13, at the Rackhouse/Bierstadt Beer Hall, 2875 Blake Street. It's a free day of fashion fun, complete with twenty-plus designers, two fashion shows (at noon and 3 p.m.), shopping and free haircuts for those who bring clothing to donate. While designers set up shop in the beer hall, brunch will be available in the Rackhouse. Find out more at fashiondenver.com.
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