Although the Valentine's Day hubbub has died down, Denver's creative community hasn't lost a step as it prepares for yet another weekend filled with activity. In addition to the usual concerts, screenings and comedy shows that populate these weekly inventories, the days ahead hold numerous opportunities for readers to broaden their horizons. Knowledge seekers can wiggle their way through salsa class, enjoy boozy TED Talk-style presentations, or learn the basics of beekeeping for less than ten American dollars. That's right: Anyone with a crisp Hamilton and an open mind can enjoy any of the following ten events.
Critical Conversations: Theory of the Border
Thursday, February 15, 6:30 p.m.
Borders and the delineation thereof are a perpetually controversial subject, and the debate has only intensified in recent months. In today's globalized economy, however, the concept of borders no longer refers to mere geographical divides; borders define airspace, resource allocation, and even social lives. Explore this fraught and fascinating concept with University of Denver professor Thomas Nail, author of Theory of the Border. Presented in partnership with CRI Hub, BookBar's Critical Conversations series invites writers and experts to explore definitive issues through informed discourse. Visit BookBar's events calendar to learn more.
Free Wheelchair Mission Documentary Screening
Thursday, February 15, 7 p.m.
A global humanitarian organization, the Free Wheelchair Project is devoted to seeking mobility solutions all across the world, providing necessary equipment and education for people in need with its signature “1 Million for 1 Million” campaign. The campaign stops at Denver's Belong Church tonight for a screening of Visionaries, a Sam Waterston-narrated PBS documentary about the organization that includes heartwarming footage of a twelve-year-old girl in Peru receiving the millionth free wheelchair. Admission is free; RSVP via the Free Wheelchair Mission's classy.org page.
Nathan Lund at the Park Hill Underground Comedy Club
Thursday, February 15, 7 p.m.
Park Hill Branch Library
Libraries are temples of knowledge emanating an august studiousness that practically demands hushed whispers, a quality that makes Denver's Park Hill Branch an ideal venue for solitary reading, but an unlikely venue for standup. However, every once in a while, comedy-loving librarian Tara Bannon Williamson re-fashions the branch's basement into the Park Hill Underground Comedy Club, inviting a well-curated selection of Denver's best comics to entertain her bookish crowd. Tonight's lineup features a trio of the city's finest mirth merchants, with Caitie Hannan and Jay Gillespie opening for Denver Comedy Champion Nathan Lund. Visit the Park Hill Branch Library's events page for more details.
Meydan Film Series: Damascus With Love
Friday, February 16, 7:30 p.m.
Organized by the University of Denver's Center for Middle East Studies, the Meydan Film Series invites students and cinephiles alike to experience an often misunderstood culture through the lens of the movies. Returning for a new season at Reiman Theater (located within DU's Margery Reed Hall), the series continues on Friday, February 16, with a screening of Damascus With Love. A romance set against the tragic backdrop of Syria's civil war, Mohamed Abulaziz's 2010 film celebrates Syria's rich cultural heritage while mourning the ravages of war. Join Meydan Film Series curators Carole Woodall and Joel Gordon after the movie for a thought-provoking discussion. Visit DU's events calendar for more details.
Friday Night Weird: Space Is the Place
Friday, February 16, 8:45 p.m.
Boedecker Theater, Boulder
$6.50 to $12
A new month has arrived, and with it a new theme for the Boedecker Theater's Friday Night Weird film series. In honor of Black History Month, programmers have joined forces with the University of Colorado's Laboratory for Race and Popular Culture to bring us Space Is the Place, a three-week exploration of science fiction inspired by the African-American experience. The series concludes on Friday, February 16, with the delightfully freaky Sun Ra movie of the same name. Watch a new, digitally restored print of the film, then stick around for an insightful discussion led by University of Colorado professor and author of A Pure Solar World: Sun Ra and the Birth of Afrofuturism, Paul Youngquist. For more details and links to buy tickets, $6.50 to $12, visit the Dairy Center's box-office page.
Saturday, February 17, 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.
Murdoch's Ranch & Home Supply
Though this deeply sting-allergic author can't fathom why anyone would voluntarily commune with fearsome insects, the tradition of beekeeping has continued for as many as 10,000 years. Aspiring apiarists can learn how to start and manage their own hives at a pair of classes at Littleton's Murdoch's Ranch & Home Supply. Start off with the basics at 10 a.m. and stick around for an open discussion that starts at 11 a.m. Keepers of all experience levels are welcome, and admission is free. Visit Murdoch's Ranch & Home Supply's Facebook events page to learn more.
Token Comedy Show
Saturday, February 17, 7 p.m.
El Charrito's Comedy RoomRoom
While Denver comedy's bookers and producers have generally made a good-faith effort to level the playing field for fledgling standups, it's been difficult to shake the perception that the scene is solely populated by bearded white dudes. Conversations about representation are vitally important, but characterizing the whole comedy community in such reductive terms does a tremendous disservice to comics of color who've been crushing on local stages for decades. The Token Comedy Show punctures the image of Denver's homogenous comedy scene by giving standups from various ethnic backgrounds the opportunity to run longer sets, leaving only one spot open for a white comic —inverting the "token minority" paradigm still evident on other lineups. Hosted and curated by Nolawee Mengist, the inaugural show welcomes Michael Seyedian, Miriam Moreno, Basil Faraj, Anthony Armstrong and De Kelley to the Comedy RoomRoom stage, with the first token spot going to Mengist's As the Rhyme Goes On co-host John Davis. Admission is free, but a $5 donation for the comics is requested. Find more information on the Comedy RoomRoom's Facebook events page.
La Cuneta Son Machín
Sunday, February 18, 7 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Let the rhythm be your guide on Sunday, February 18, as DJ Nelson and La Cuneta Son Machín take over the stage at La Rumba. A tasty sonic cocktail of "hyper-cumbia" with flourishes of marimba, the songs of Grammy-nominated La Cuneta Son Machín are proudly rooted in the musical storytelling traditions of Nicaragua. Readers interested in putting a little suave in their steps can also learn from La Rumba's skilled instructors at bachata class at 7:15 p.m. followed by a salsa class at 8 p.m. The $6 admission fee covers both classes and the concert. Visit La Rumba's box-office page to learn more.
DYAO and Colorado Philharmonic: Side-by-Side in Orchestras Squared
Tuesday, February 20, 7:30 to 9 p.m.
Boettcher Concert Hall
A clash of classical titans awaits music lovers on Tuesday, February 20, as the celebrated Denver Young Artists Orchestra joins forces with the Colorado Philharmonic for a concert that bridges generational divides with top-notch musicianship. The program highlights a trio of evocative symphonic tone poems, including Richard Strauss's "Death and Transfiguration (Tod und Verklärung), Op. 24," Jean Sibelius's patriotic "Finlandia, Op. 26," and Franz Liszt's "Les Préludes." Admission is free; visit DYAO's registration page to reserve tickets.
Nerd Nite: Water, Deep Learning and Political Sounds
Wednesday, February 21, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
The Oriental Theater
$6 to $10
Over 33 informative installments, Nerd Nite Denver has delighted local wonks with a wide-ranging series of talks from experts in various fields. Catnip for those who love documentaries, TED Talks and NPR, Nerd Nite has found a home at the Oriental Theater, thanks to the joint efforts of host/producer Hanna Aucoin and Sexpot Comedy. This month's presenters include Emily Meeks discussing water quality in a segment called "Gargle the Good Stuff," and an exploration of "The Fourth Great Age of Technology" with Greg Chase, followed by "The Sound of Political Science: Microphones, Mixing and Political Manipulation" from James McElwee. Join the bespectacled crowd at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 21, for a unique event that answers the question: “What if a great professorial lecture had a full bar?” Tickets are $6 in advance at HoldMyTicket, or $10 at the door.
Looking for more to do? Visit Westword's calendar online.
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.