The Queen City of the Plains is constantly abuzz with entertainments to suit every sort of budget — even the most nonexistent kind. If you're the type of Denverite who fancies free concerts, storytelling shows, unicorn-riddled art exhibits or a daylong celebration of Mexican beer — and what a joyless scold you must be if you don't! — the next few days have plenty of exciting opportunities in store, and this weekend is a real bonanza, with Doors Open Denver, an architectural extravaganza. Keep reading for the five best free events in Denver this week.
Jonathan Monaghan's Synthetic Mythologies: Opening Reception
Tuesday, September 18, 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design (RMCAD)
Refracting tech-age anxieties through a baroque, fantastical prism — pearlescent unicorns are a recurrent motif, for example — the artwork of multimedia artist Jonathan Monaghan seeks foreboding truths hidden in eye-pleasing imagery. Rendered on prints and animated digital videos, Monaghan's latest exhibit, Synthetic Mythologies, alights upon the Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design's Philip J. Steele Gallery, kicking off with an opening reception on Tuesday, September 18, and closing on Friday, November 16. In addition to displaying his work, Monaghan will be appearing at the reception to present "Fear, Myth, and Decadence in the Digital Age," the first outing of RMCAD's Fictions lecture series of the fall. And should the gallery whet your appetite for more of Monaghan's inspired weirdness, he'll be screening shorts at the SUPERNOVA Outdoor Digital Animation Festival on Thursday, September 20. Visit RMCAD's events calendar to learn more about Synthetic Mythologies.
CU Faculty Tuesdays: From Hungary to Czechoslovakia
Tuesday, September 18, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Grusin Music Hall
Take a musical tour through Central Europe with members of the University of Colorado Boulder's individually esteemed and collectively synergistic piano faculty at yet another free concert. Join professors and pianists Margaret McDonald, Suyeon Kim, Hsiao-Ling Lin, Mutsumi Moteki and Jeremy Reger for a round-robin performance of one of the liveliest compositions ever written for the keys, Johannes Brahms's "Hungarian Dances," followed by Antonín Dvorják's "Piano Quintet No. 2," interpreted by McDonald along with cellist David Requiro, violist Erika Eckert and violinists Charles Wetherbee and Károly Schranz. Visit the CU Presents events calendar for a live stream of the performance, as well as more details.
The Narrators Denver: Close Call
Wednesday, September 19, 8 to 9:30 p.m.
Since 2010, Denver's best storytellers have converged at The Narrators, an evening of true tales that run the emotional gamut from heartbreaking to hilarious. The Best of Denver Award-winning event, which has spawned a sister show in San Diego and a podcast to document the proceedings, returns to its welcoming home at Buntport Theater for another evening of personal stories that somehow coalesce into a greater appreciation for our shared humanity. Working from the protean theme of "close call," September's roster of raconteurs includes Erica Grossman, Mitch Jones, Malkah Duprix, Nolawee Mengist, Marcia Ward, Woodzick and host Ron Doyle. Admission is free; learn more on The Narrators' Facebook events page.
United States Air Force Academy Band Falconaires
Thursday, September 20, 7:30 p.m.
Augustana Lutheran Church
An incomparable ensemble of cadets, the Falconaires have traveled the world, offering stirring concerts in honor of soldiers and their sacrifices. In addition to the rigors of regular duty at the Colorado Springs-based Air Force Academy, the Falconaires maintain a bustling performance schedule, and their ethos of service is reflected in the band's insistence that the shows remain free and open to the public. Let your patriotism soar at a program packed with classics from the great American songbook while discovering the high musical talents of our men and women in uniform. Register for a seat and find out more on the Augustana Arts events calendar.
Cervecería Colorado's Great Mexican Beer Fiesta
Friday, September 21, 3 to 9 p.m.
Can't afford tickets to the GABF but still eager to get together with your nearest and beer-est? See what's on tap from south of the border at Cervecería Colorado's Great Mexican Beer Fiesta. Sample wonderful craft concoctions like Maracuya Sun Passion Fruit IPA, Churro Stout, Horchata Blonde and many more tasty draughts sourced from authentic Mexican ingredients while mingling with the skilled brewers who created them. The festivities also include a live art demonstration by Armando Silva, lucha libre wrestling and both a race and fashion show where all the contestants are chihuahuas. Visit Cervecería Colorado's Facebook events page to learn more.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.