It's February, and Black History Month events are starting all over town, with a virtual awards ceremony in honor of Denver Public Library legend Juanita Gray on Saturday. February 6 is also Penny Saturday at MCA Denver, when you can catch Citizenship: A Practice of Society before it leaves on February 14.
Here are more free things to do in and around Denver this week:
Bald Eagle Festival
Saturday, February 6, 9 a.m.
Barr Lake State Park, 13401 Picadilly Road, Brighton
The majestic baldies are gathering again at Barr Lake State Park to court, build nests, and raise and fledge young later this spring and summer; you can learn all about them at the park’s ninth annual Bald Eagle Festival. Although reservations for guided hikes fill up fast, you’ll find a sign-up page here; other events, such as kids' make-and-take eagle crafts and live half-hour eagle shows by Nature’s Educators at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m. are first come, first served. RSVP at 303-659-6005 before you visit; programs are free, but a park pass is required. Learn more here.
Citizenship: A Practice of Society
Saturday, February 6, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
MCA Denver, 1485 Delgany Street
Citizenship: A Practice of Society is a survey of politically engaged art made since 2016. In response to political events and the current climate, as well as recent art-world trends, the exhibition posits art-making as a critical civic act, showing how artists act as citizens. This is the last penny Saturday before the show ends on February 14...and the MCA will even supply the penny. Make timed reservations online.
Juanita Gray Community Service Awards
Saturday, February 6, 1 p.m.
The Denver Public Library is celebrating Black History Month throughout February with a variety of virtual programs and events. The roster kicks off with the library’s annual Juanita Gray Community Service Awards, remembering the longtime DPL staff member and community advocate, and honoring her legacy by honoring current leaders in the community who embody Gray's trailblazing spirit. This year's honorees will be announced during the virtual ceremony; register here. Find out more about other Black History Month events at denverpubliclibrary.org
a plan-ahead bonus:
Festive and Fun Challahs with Mandylicious
Monday, February 8, 6 p.m.
As the upbeat Jewish holiday of Purim this year crosses paths with the Sabbath on February 26, celebrating families might want to try something fun and different for the Friday-night meal. Challah maven Mandy Silverman of Mandylicious, who boasts 30,000 Instagram followers of her recipes, suggests shaping the evening’s traditional braided egg bread into something completely different, like a unicorn or a piñata. Silverman will show you how to make both during a virtual interactive demonstration, in cooperation with the Boulder JCC. The program is free; register in advance here to receive the Zoom link.
and available anytime for free:
Five Points Historic Cultural District Walking Tour — With a Puzzle!
In celebration of Black History Month, Puzzah! has created a puzzle activity to accompany the Five Points Historic Cultural District walking tour. This self-guided tour uses markers to tell the story of the artists, educators, business owners, activists and spiritual leaders who helped build this culturally rich community. The full tour is just under a mile in length and takes one to one and a half hours to complete — now with puzzles to solve at various stops. Download the maps here; find out more from the Five Points Cultural District here.
Through February, 6 to 10 p.m.
The History Colorado Center, 1200 Broadway
In collaboration with the Denver Theatre District, SideStories has moved from RiNo this year and will be lighting up the History Colorado building through February with its greatest hits! Find out more here.
Happy Birthday, Dr. Justina Ford
The Black American West Museum celebrated Dr. Justina Ford's contribution to the state with a two-hour livestreamed tribute on January 22, officially Dr. Justina Ford Day in Colorado, complete with interviews of some of her remaining patients, as well as a re-enactment of Ford's only known interview and the first public display of her handwritten letter to the Colorado Medical Society that documents her delivery of 7,000 babies in her fifty-year career. Sylvia Lambe created this dedication to the first female Black doctor in Denver; if you missed it, you can watch it here anytime.
In Defense of Justice in Denver
This documentary on the protest leaders charged after they demanded justice for Elijah McClain premiered in January; their next court hearing is in March. Meanwhile, you can now see the film here, along with a post-premiere Q&A panel with the filmmakers and protest leaders.
If you know of a great free event, send information to firstname.lastname@example.org; we'll be updating this list through the week.
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