To the untrained eye, it seems like Valentine's Day celebrations are poised to dominate the upcoming week Fifty Shades of Grey-style. However, a closer look reveals that the days ahead offer plenty of holiday counter-programming to enjoy, too. Adventurous locals can discuss diversity in business and media, enjoy a world-class concert and celebrate Chinese New Year — all without spending a dime. Keep reading for the five best free events in metro Denver this week. (And if you're looking for Valentine's Day fun, here's our guide.)
Powerful Women in Podcasting Panel
Tuesday, February 13, 6 p.m.
Although podcasting is still a relatively new medium, a number of prominent women have risen to the top of the nascent industry. Aspiring podcasters, longtime fans and uninitiated listeners alike are welcome to join a panel of industry leaders for a spirited discussion about both the creative and business ends of production. Panelists Cat Jaffee, from House of Pod, Girls Gone WOD‘s Joy Parrish, Podcasts in Color‘s Danielle “Berry” Sykes, and Stuff Mom Never Told You co-host Emilie Aries will spotlight their experiences, challenges and triumphs. Aries, the CEO of Bossed Up, is particularly dedicated to empowering women in the business world through education seminars. Admission is free, but pre-registration is required at Bossed Up's events page, where readers will also find more details.
Incognito With Michael Fosberg
Thursday, February 15, 2 and 6 p.m.
The People's Building
Based on his memoir of the same name, Michael Fosberg's Incognito: An American Odyssey of Race and Self Discovery, is a one-man play that uses the prism of Fosberg's unique experiences to start a challenging dialogue about race relations. Since 2001, Fosberg has appeared in a number of media outlets and honed his presentation, influencing the way that corporate structures think about diversity within their own organizations. Part of Aurora's Black History Month celebrations, Incognito is a presentation unlike any other. Visit the City of Aurora's events calendar for more information about the play, as well as a number of other ways to honor Black History Month.
Chinese New Year Celebration
Thursday, February 15, 5 to 7 p.m.
Though Chinese New Year doesn't officially begin until Friday, Coloradans can get a head start on the festivities at the Loveland Museum/Gallery. Enjoy toothsome cultural cuisine while participating in time-honored traditions like red envelopes, lantern-making, Chinese Zodiac games and more. Guests can also stick around after the ceremonies to peruse the gallery's offerings, including Transformation, an exhibit of the works of Chinese painter Hung Liu. Visit the Loveland Museum's events calendar for more details.
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Mile High Jazz Fest With Maria Schneider
Thursday, February 15, 7:30 p.m.
Macky Auditorium Concert Hall
The University of Colorado's excellent classical-music concerts are perennial favorite on these lists, but the School of Music's Thompson Jazz Studies program shouldn't be overlooked, either. Join CU's Concert Jazz Ensemble as it welcomes Grammy Award-winning composer and bandleader Maria Schneider to Macky Auditorium Concert Hall for a sonic tour through her signature works — including "Night Watchmen," "Cerulean Skies," "Wyrgly" and more. A unique talent who transcends genre, Schneider has collaborated with a number of esteemed peers, ranging from those in traditional outlets like the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra to the late great David Bowie. Admission is free; visit the CU Presents box-office page to learn more.
Third Friday Collectors' Night
Friday, February 16, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Art District on Santa Fe
In the market for a late Valentine's Day gift untainted by mass-produced consumerism? Well, look no further than the Third Friday Collector's Night in the Art District on Santa Fe. Seize the rare opportunity to chat with artists, gallery owners and curators at more than a dozen participating venues lining the artsy thoroughfare. Support local creators while filling your blank walls, or simply bring a date along to enjoy a romantic stroll. For more information, head over to the Art District on Santa Fe's events calendar.
Looking for more to do? Visit Westword's calendar online.