During the dark days of the coronavirus pandemic, there's been a consistent bright spot: Night Lights Denver, which continues to illuminate the Clocktower at 16th and Lawrence streets with a series of mapping works by artists both local and national, all on display from 9 to 11 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. Among the current offerings is "LAZURUS Beacon," by Nari Ward, currently the focus of the show Nari Ward: We the People, at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver; he also has 38 digital pieces on billboards around town.
If you're out and about, there are a couple of free lectures you can actually attend in person this week, as well as several virtual events that will tackle a variety of topics.
Here are four more things to do for free in and around Denver:
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Ghost Towns of Colorado
Tuesday, July 14, 7 p.m.
Western Museum of Mining and Industry, Colorado Springs
When you leave the house these days, it sometimes feel like you're driving through a ghost town. And for this lecture on ghost towns of Colorado, you'll need to get out and head to the Western Museum of Mining and Industry in Colorado Springs, where Phil McDonald will offer a historical lesson and travelogue with a focus on mining communities. Space is very limited at this free lecture; call 719-488-0880 to reserve a spot, and find out more here.
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Holy Chaos: Creating Connections in Divisive Times
Tuesday, July 14, 7 p.m.
Amanda Henderson, executive director of the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado, has just published a book, Holy Chaos: Creating Connections in Divisive Times, that shares stories from her work at the intersection of faith and politics. Friends and local authors Reverend Dr. Jennifer Leath, Kathy Escobar, Brandan Robertson and Adrian Miller, as well as musician HeatherLynn, will join Henderson in a virtual celebration of the book and stepping into the holy and chaotic spaces of working for social change. The virtual event is free, but you should register here.
Black Male Mental Health, Trauma and Resilience
Wednesday, July 15, noon to 2 p.m.
Dazzle, 1512 Curtis Street
Halim Ali, CEO/founder of the Heart Enterprises, will moderate a panel with Dr. Wazir Ali Muhammed AL’ Haqq, Lee Hawkins, D. L. Pos Ryant and Brian Godeaux, addressing historical multi-generational trauma, social and emotional learning theory, and why Black men in particular face greater mental health challenges. This free program is part of the ongoing series of events offered by Dazzle; you can watch in person or online. Find out more about the Dazzle series here.
Mixed Taste: At Home
Wednesday, July 15, 7 p.m.
The popular, fifteen-year-old Mixed Taste series returns, with a twist: These tag team lectures are all virtual. Two speakers each get twenty minutes to enlighten you on unrelated topics; the audience then makes the connections. First up on July 15: "Polar Forests," with Kirk Johnson, and "Trendy Soul Food," with Adrian Miller; poet Suzi Q. Smith will also be on hand. Watch for equally eclectic lineups every Wednesday through August 19; all events are free with an RSVP here.
Know of a great free event in Denver, or featuring Colorado creatives? Send information to firstname.lastname@example.org.