Four Things to Do for Free in Denver (and Online) Today

Explore Five Points through Living Denver.
Explore Five Points through Living Denver.
Evan Semón Photography
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Today, Denver; tomorrow, the world!

History Colorado is launching a major new project, Building Denver, at the same time that the Conference on World Affairs has again come to Boulder...virtually, at least. That annual confab has moved online because of the pandemic, and is more packed than ever with programs dealing with local and international issues.

That's just the start of the action today...and you won't pay a penny to participate. Keep reading for the four best free events in and around town (and online).

73rd Conference on World Affairs
Through Sunday, April 11, online

Since 1948, speakers and performers from around the globe have been invited to confer and commune at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Conference on World Affairs. And despite the pandemic, this world will keep turning — if entirely online this year. There will be lectures on tech, economics, race and social justice, ecology, politics, the arts, health care and psychology, as well as a slate of films, art actions and performances ranging from storytelling to comedy. Even the Ebert Interruptus screening is back, led by film critic Josh Larsen, who will deconstruct the "Lovers Rock" segment of Steve McQueen’s Small Axe series for Amazon. (That particular event is full, but you can try the waiting list.) There is no charge to participate; RSVP here for a complete schedule.

XicanIndie XXIII Filmmakers Festival
Through April 17, online

Su Teatro’s XicanIndie, now in its 23rd year, makes a big deal out of being small, and this year it’s all going down online with a largely open schedule, allowing viewers to choose when to watch most of the films and accompanying filmmaker and panel discussions. The exceptions — foodie film Truly Texas Mexican (as well as a cooking lesson with its star, chef Adan Medrano) and the immigration documentary Missing in Brooks County — each screen only once. Learn more and register for the free fest here.

Building Denver: Living Denver
Now available

How will Denver come back from the pandemic? That's just one of the questions that will be explored by History Colorado's Building Denver, which kicks off with a podcast on April 5 and builds to a major exhibition opening on May 29: Building Denver: Visions of the Capital City. The four-part podcast series, Living Denver, was produced in collaboration with House of Pod and illuminates stories of four different Denver neighborhoods through the lens of the city’s residents, including four poets: Ramon del Castillo (north Denver), Kenya “Mahogany” Fashaw (Five Points), Josiah Lee Lopez (west side/Lincoln Park) and Jonathon Stalls (City Park/North Park Hill). First up: Five Points, on which Fashaw reads her poem “Change Gon’ Come,” inspired by Sam Cooke and the neighborhood. Find out more at historycolorado.org/building-denver.

Nations United: Bringing Communities Together
Through June 25
OZ Gallery, 9209 Dorothy Boulevard, Thornton

The Thornton Arts & Culture Center is presenting its first in-person exhibit since the start of the pandemic: Nations United: Bringing Communities Together, with American Indian and Latinx artwork. “This is the first art show of its kind presented at the center,” says Thornton Arts & Culture Manager Alisa Zimmerman. “We’re partnering with the Denver American Indian Festival, the Chicano Humanities & Arts Council, and the Metropolitan State University of Denver Chicana/o Studies Department to provide Thornton residents the opportunity to see a rich range of multicultural artwork normally shown in Denver.” But you don't need to live in Thornton to see the show. The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; find out more here.

Know of a great free event in Denver? We'll be updating this list through the week; send information to editorial@westword.com.

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