After a rough three months — ranging from mandatory closure because of the coronavirus pandemic to vandalism during protests in late May — the History Colorado Center will reopen on June 22, when it will unveil the John Denver Experience. Two more Colorado-centric displays will debut soon after: Forty Years on the ’Fax: Colfax Avenue, 1926-1966 and Hecho en Colorado.
New safety protocols will be in effect, including mandatory timed tickets; those go on sale starting today, June 15. Beginning June 22, and all Mondays through this summer, admission will be limited to History Colorado members at the History Colorado Center, at 1200 Broadway, and also the nearby Center for Colorado Women’s History at the Byers-Evans House, which reopens Friday, June 19. The rest of the week, admission will be open to everyone...but by ticket.
In addition to Byers-Evans satellite, History Colorado’s seven other museums and attractions throughout the state are reopening: the Fort Garland Museum & Cultural Center opens today, June 15; Fort Vasquez in Platteville opens Wednesday, June 17; El Pueblo History Museum in Pueblo and the Trinidad History Museum both open Friday, June 19; and the Ute Indian Museum in Montrose also opens Monday, June 22. An opening date for the Healy House Museum & Dexter Cabin in Leadville has yet to be determined; the Georgetown Loop Railroad is already back in business.
“We are always eager to serve our fellow Coloradans, but especially in times like these where we have all pulled together with care for our community and state,” said Dawn DiPrince, chief operating officer of History Colorado, in an announcement of the reopening. “This has been our commitment since the onset of this crisis. In that same spirit, we have thoughtfully planned safe and careful ways to re-welcome our guests this summer at all of our museums. And, for those who prefer to remain safer-at-home, we are rich with digital events and resources."
But if you do want to go out, you can catch the John Denver Experience, which runs through August 16, and comes complete with a sunshine room, nature photographs taken by Denver, concert footage and photo ops with life-size John Denver cutouts. On Thursday evenings starting July 2, the History Colorado Center will present performances by local musicians ranging from Venus Cruz to DJ Slave1, the Mile High Soul Club, Barry Osborne from Swallow Hill Music, and Molina Speaks.
Forty Years on the ’Fax: Colfax Avenue, 1926–1966 will open June 29. It's been guest-curated by Jonny Barber, founder of the Colfax Museum, and includes some of the greatest pieces from his collection, including neon signs from Across the Street Cafe and Sid King’s Crazy Horse Bar, matchbooks from hundreds of famous businesses, and menus, glasses and dishes from restaurants where Denverites dined in past decades.
Coming July 6 is Hecho en Colorado, with paintings, sculptures, textiles and writings from Colorado’s Chicano/Mexican American community, both established and up-and-coming.
Still up at the History Colorado Center are Beer Here! Brewing the New West and Game Changers: 100 Years of Negro League Baseball.
History Colorado is also continuing much of the virtual programming it's created during the coronavirus pandemic; find out more about all programs at HistoryColorado.org.
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