Denver's first direct flight to Paris left Denver International Airport on April 9; meanwhile, the world's flooding into the Mile High City. The Conference of World Affairs is under way in Boulder, with five days of heavy hitters sharing their thoughts for free. Air Canada, which is also upping its presence at DIA, is airlifting Denver some authentic poutine. And there's more, so much more this week: Here are the 21 Best Events in Denver from April 10 through April 16.
Tuesday, April 10
Erin Vilardi founded the non-partisan, nonprofit VoteRunLead, which trains women to run for office...and win. She'll be part of five programs at the University of Colorado Conference of World Affairs, a weeklong confab now in its seventieth year that the late Roger Ebert (who participated for forty years) called "the Conference on Everything Conceivable." And Vilardi believes that creating a world where women are the leaders is very conceivable. The conference just got under way on April 9; Vilardi will be part of a panel titled "The Rising Tide of Women in Politics" at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 10, in the UMC Center Ballroom, then on three more panels before VoteRunLead conducts a candidate training on Friday, April 13. For more information on the training program, go to voterunlead.org. All World Affairs programs are free; find the schedule here.
PlatteForum’s ongoing Temple Tattle artist lecture series goes in a new direction this month. For Generating Gender, artist Drew Austin created a mural (the process live-streamed on PlatteForum's Facebook feed) on April 9. Then on Tuesday, April 10, he'll speak about the gender and identity constructs alluded to in the finished artwork with trans advocate and politico Jack Teter during a lecture. Generating Gender tips off on Tuesday, April 10, at 6:30 p.m. at PlatteForum, 2400 Curtis Street in the Temple; admission is free. Learn more about Temple Tattle events at platteforum.org.
Wednesday, April 11
The Vicki Myhren Gallery’s current show, Making Art / Making Community, is all about building social bridges through art that cultivates direct interaction with an audience. Part craft and part performance, the concept plays out in a variety of ways in the exhibit, but printmaker Emmy Bright’s interpretation might be one of the most engaging and certainly the one most likely to promote guffaws. For "More Stupids: A Tarot Reading," Bright custom-made a tarot deck based on her daily practice of making three things “that are stupid and wrong.” As she pulls the cards, the results are fails, but they compel the subject to find value in them, resulting in a turnaround of unexpected self-discovery. Are you in? Bright will be reading the Stupids tarot deck on Wednesday, April 11, from noon to 5 p.m. at the Myhren Gallery, 2121 East Asbury Avenue on the University of Denver campus. Readings are free, as is the rest of the exhibit; learn more at the Facebook event page.
Thursday, April 12
Leave it to the always-polite Canadians to invent a dish with a name that sounds dirty but really isn't. In its purest form, poutine is nothing more than fries, cheese curds and gravy, an exquisite if messy combination that always loses a little in translation from the Quebec roadhouses where it originated to modern Denver restaurants. But Air Canada wants our city to experience poutine done right, so the airline is hosting a poutine pop-up eatery that opens on Thursday, April 12, at 1523 Market Street. The Poutinerie will serve a classic poutine along with several international variations influenced by Air Canada destinations, including Brisbane, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Taipei and Melbourne; they're each $5, and wine and Colorado beers will be available for $3. Stop by from 1 to 10 p.m. through April 14, or 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. April 15 through 18. Don't blame us if you miss out: There will be no poutine pouting!
Adam Bradley isn't the only hip-hop professor in the world, but he’s the only one at the University of Colorado Boulder, where he’s turned his obsession with the poetry and sociology of rap into a career teaching English, deconstructing the life and work of author Ralph Ellison, directing CU’s Laboratory for Race and Popular Culture (RAP Lab), and publishing books about musical wordplay. His latest, The Poetry of Pop, goes beyond the borders of hip-hop to encompass songs from the entire pop-music canon. Bradley will discuss little-known Colorado music history at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 12, as part of the Museum of Boulder’s Boulder Conversations series, but chances are good that his literary take on pop of all kinds will also come into play. The event is also a chance to see the new museum building at 2205 Broadway in Boulder; find information and tickets, $10 to $15, at museumofboulder.org.
Bekah Brunstetter, the writer of NBC's smash hit This Is Us, also writes plays. Curious Theatre Company will present The Cake next fall, and the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company's production of Brunstetter's Going to a Place Where You Already Are opens with a preview at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 12. Full of heart and humor, it begins with a couple cutting up in church during a funeral; unexpectedly, these aren’t teenage kids, but folks in their seventies, and having poked fun at the pompous goings-on around them, they proceed to discuss life, death, mortality, the possibility of an afterlife — in short, everything that matters. The BETC run continues through May 6 at the Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut Street in Boulder; for a schedule and tickets, $20 to $45, go to tickets.thedairy.org.
Pedestrian Shops, a family-owned retailer, got its start in Boulder 49 years ago; now it's finally opening a Denver store, at 2368 15th Street. “We’ve always been interested in opening a store in Denver. It took us over forty years to find the perfect location,” explains founder Richard Polk. Starting at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 13, Pedestrian Shops will host a ten-day grand opening with giveaways and special events; the festivities coincide with the start of Pedestrian Shops’ annual Earth Day Shoe Drive. Through April 29, bring in a pair of shoes (new or slightly used), and you'll get 10 percent off a new pair at the Denver store or either of the two Boulder shops. And then, as Pedestrian Shops urges, Enjoy Life, Take a Walk. Find out more at comfortableshoes.com.
Live it up at the 14er Film Fest 2.0, the second edition of a film festival celebrating local filmmakers and small businesses involved with the local creative and action-sports communities. This round, which takes place on Friday, April 13, also celebrates 14er Brewing, which will be closing after the fest for a few months of construction. "We’ve handpicked a lineup of the freshest, most epic action and adventure films to show us what 'sending it' really means, inspiring us to get outdoors and make a difference in the world," says organizer Halle Madeleine. Tickets, $35, are available at Eventbrite and include screenings, a raffle, beer and doughnuts, all starting at 5:30 p.m. at the brewery, 2801 Walnut Street. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Colorado 14er Initiative.
The Black Actors Guild, recipient of multiple Westword Best of Denver awards (including this year's Best Resurrection of an Improv Show), got its start nearly ten years ago, when classmates at the Denver School of the Arts decided to put on a show. The constantly morphing ensemble’s penchant for smart and hip collaborative improv comedy routines has only gotten sharper with age, like a good cheese. See for yourself when BAG’s Show Ya Teef returns to its most recent home, Voodoo Comedy Playhouse, at 1260 22nd Street, for another night of gentle but persuasive humor at 9 p.m. Friday, April 13. Audience participation is part of the game; tickets (21+) are $13 in advance at voodoocomedy.com or $15 at the door.
Saturday, April 14
Head to the hills to observe an annual rite of spring: watching a ski area get all wet. On Saturday, April 14, Steamboat will host its 38th annual Cardboard Classic, a race that sends homemade cardboard crafts careening down Stampede. Steamboat will wrap up the ski season on Sunday, April 15, with the Splashdown Pond Skimming Championships, when brave skiers and riders in costume try to cross an icy pond in pursuit of glory and prizes for best costume, distance, style, crowd response and air. The nineteenth annual Rock the Boat Concert Series will offer free concerts both days, starting at 3:30 p.m. at the Steamboat Stage in Gondola Square. For more information, visit steamboat.com.
The Spring Flea is popping up at a new location this year: Denver Rock Drill, at 1717 East 39th Avenue. And that's not all that's new: The Denver Flea, which produces Colorado's largest celebrations of craft culture four times a year, will host its first-ever Beer Garden at this edition, with special Great Divide brews and bartenders serving a variety of special cocktails. This is the largest flea to date, with over 200 vendors (forty new to this flea) selling their goods, along with fashion trucks and food trucks. The Spring Flea is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 14, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, April 15; tickets, available at denverflea.com, are just $5 for both days (children twelve and under get in free).
The Denver Independent Comics & Art Expo, better known as DINK, got its start when Charlie LaGreca, the original mastermind behind Denver Comic Con, decided to move in a different direction. Three years into DINK, the reworked expo is thriving and growing while putting indie comic, graphic novel and zine artists in the spotlight. For this year's edition, DINK will fill parts of all three floors at the McNichols Building, 144 West Colfax Avenue, with an exhibition hall, panel discussions, a cosplay contest for dogs, and close to 200 artists from around the world. DINK is also offering a Cannabis and Comics bus-tour option and an immersive comic-book experience in collaboration with Meow Wolf. Dive in from 10 a.m. to midnight Saturday, April 14, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, April 15; for weekender passes ($25 to $44.50) or single-day entry ($13 to $15) and more information, visit dinkdenver.com.
Slow Art Day, an international initiative, does for art what the slow-food movement does for dining, by asking people to take the time to understand and savor the workmanship and intent of an artwork. It began ten years ago, when Slow Art founder Phil Terry tested the concept by observing a handful of pieces on display at the Jewish Museum. Hundreds of art venues worldwide have since joined Terry’s slow-art party, which has finally made its lackadaisical way to the Denver Art Museum. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 14, you’re invited to gather at the DAM, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway, for tips from museum personnel before taking off to wander through the galleries, choosing five works to study for ten minutes each, then joining in a facilitated discussion about what you and your fellow slow-art companions saw. Slow Art Day activities are included in the DAM’s general admission of $8 to $13; find out more at denverartmuseum.org.
This year's Colorado Poetry Rodeo (aka Podeo) will round up everyone from Colorado Poet Laureate Joseph Hutchison and Slam Nuba slam-master Hakeem Furious and assorted flash-fiction writers and storytellers for a marathon day of readings, workshops and a small-press fair at the Mercury Cafe, 2199 California Street. The thirtieth-anniversary festivities will start at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, April 14, with Catherine O'Neill Thorn and Art From Ashes, then build to a poetry slam at 6:30 p.m., then continue with a late-night open mic from 10 p.m. to midnight. Come-and-go admission is $10 at the door (or get in free before noon); learn more on the Facebook event page.
The late Abayomi Meeks was a man of many talents. A martial artist, musician and Yoruba priest, he was also Colorado's first African-American acupuncturist and a founder of the Moyo Nguvu Cultural Arts Center, the first Pan-African cultural center in Denver. After he fell ill, the center closed. But as part of a Celebration of the Life of Dr. Stephen Abayomi Meeks — held from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 14, at the Summit Event Center, 411 Sable Boulevard in Aurora — a team of Moyo alumni will announce the relaunch of the center. The event will also include performances by African and Aztec dance and drum ensembles, poets and martial artists. For more information, go to dr-abayomi-meeks.forevermissed.com, where you can also read online tributes and add your own photos.
Starting in 2018, Denver-based label Motorcycle Potluck Records will be putting out tapes, digital releases and eventually records of local bands. Its founders — Ryan Heller of Lawsuit Models, Terry Maloney of Sleep Union and the Shaloms, and Wade Henderson of the Black Dots and Great American House Fire — are celebrating with a launch party starting at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 14, at the Larimer Lounge, 2721 Larimer Street. On the bill: Bud Bronson and the Good Timers, Allout Helter, Jack's Smirking Revenge and Flight Kamikaze. Get tickets, $8 to $10, and information at larimerlounge.com.
The Rocky Mountain Rollergirls will be on a roll on Saturday, April 14, at their only Fillmore home-team dogfight during the 2018 season. The competitive athletes behind Colorado's first flat-track roller derby league have been training hard for this double-header. Doors open at 5 p.m.; the first battle is between United States Pummeling Service and the Sugar Kill Gang. At 8 p.m., Dooms Daisies take on the Red Ridin' Hoods. It's $22 for one or both games; kids twelve and under get in free. The Fillmore is at 1510 Clarkson Street; find out more and get tickets here.
Sunday, April 15
Bake sales are proof that we Americans still love each other and will happily fork over cash for someone else's brownies, cookies, pies and Rice Krispies treats. Vegans know it, too, and that's why Nooch Vegan Market, at 10 East Ellsworth Avenue, is hosting its seventh Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale, an event entirely free of animal products. Denver businesses and home bakers alike will be turning out sweet and savory goodies, so come to the market between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 15, to stock up and to enjoy food from area vegan food trucks. All proceeds will be donated to the Rooster Sanctuary at Danzig’s Roost. Organizers are still looking for volunteers, sponsors and donations, so send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to help out. Find out more on the event's Facebook page.
The inaugural RiNo Cares: Cannabis Health & Wellness Fair will get your body and mind ready for 4/20 week. Hosted by RiNo Supply Company, Canna Health and Sensi magazine, the fair will offer health screenings, care-provider sign-ups, culinary demonstrations, craft-product displays and lectures by experts in the industry, as well as food, goods and creative demonstrations involving cannabis. It all takes place on Sunday, April 15, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Cultivated Synergy, 2901 Walnut Street. The event is free (21+); RSVP on Picatic.
Matt Worldly followed the trail of good things he’d heard about Denver’s art scene and settled in the Mile High City, but he was disappointed to find no ongoing weekly art market where artists without representation could sell affordable works directly to the public. Now he's filled the gap: The Denver Art Market (aka Denartket) will debut on Sunday, April 15, at 855 Inca Street, just off the Art District on Santa Fe. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Denartket will showcase the work of more than 25 local artists (some doing live painting), all of whom receive 100 percent of the proceeds from art sales. Admission is free; learn more and keep up with the new event’s progress at the Denartket Facebook page.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Monday, April 16
Educator Jennifer Harvey, the author of Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America, often raises eyebrows when she discusses how to rebuild a more equal social structure. Harvey will explain her theories and solutions at Raising White Kids: An Anti-Racism Conversation for All, the latest installment of the Denver Talks series from Denver Arts & Venues. Get woke from 8 to 10:30 a.m. Monday, April 16, at the McNichols Building, 144 West Colfax Avenue; the event begins with coffee, moves on to Harvey’s plenary and ends with a Q&A discussion. Admission is free, but an RSVP is requested at eventbrite.com. The first fifteen people to register will receive free copies of Harvey's book.
In order for an event to be considered for 21 Best, we need information at least three weeks in advance. Send it to email@example.com.