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Ten Things to Do for Free in Denver This Week

Hear weird and wonderful tales on Saturday. (The event has been canceled, but you can still buy the book!)
Hear weird and wonderful tales on Saturday. (The event has been canceled, but you can still buy the book!)
National Ice Core Lab

Denver Arts Week(end) is coming November 6-8, but even before that, there's plenty of free fun in and around Denver. For starters, this afternoon you can watch the ceremony that will cut down the official White House Christmas tree, complete with an online concert. Keep reading for ten of the best events on the calendar:

Night Lights Denver
Through November 6, 5:15 to 11 p.m.
16th and Arapahoe streets

In observation of Día de los Muertos, Night Lights Denver will be running memorial projections of passed loved ones on the Clocktower as part of its scheduled program for November. The memorial was curated by Katie Kalkstein; find out more about Night Lights Denver here.

A special presentation through November 6.EXPAND
A special presentation through November 6.
Denver Night Lights

Day of the Dead Altar at Stanley Marketplace
Through November 21
Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas Street, Aurora

Aurora’s Village Exchange Center, which serves immigrants and refugees with a host of programs and services, has dedicated its Day of the Dead altar to those who died in pursuit of a better life; since 2014, over 2,400 people have died attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. The altar, created by Denver artist Beto Mojardín, will be on display through November 21 at Stanley Marketplace.

Día de los Muertos 2020: Our Past and Present
Through Sunday, November 8, noon to 5 p.m. (by appointment only)
Firehouse Art Center, 667 Fourth Avenue, Longmont

Every year, Firehouse observes Día de los Muertos with an art show, but for this year’s exhibition, curator Grace Gutierrez tasked Colorado artists Cal Duran, Javier Flores, Adrian Raya and Ramon Trujillo with creating a trio of altars honoring political Latinx heroes and activists in Colorado who stood up for Chicano rights, fought the Ku Klux Klan and lost their lives to police brutality and profiling. Find out more here.

Founding Our Future: An Arts Declaration of What’s Possible
Friday, November 6, 6 p.m.

Through the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ Arts Across America series, Youth on Record and other members of Colorado’s creative community will present a free viewing of Founding Our Future: An Arts Declaration of What’s Possible. This collaborative performance shares the voices of the nation’s youth while amplifying the untold and unseen histories of the Colorado West through poetry, dance, music, video, sound art and storytelling. Sign up for the free digital program here.

Graphic Novel Book Release: Anguish Garden, by R. Alan Brooks
Friday, November 6, 7 to 8:30 p.m.

You might wonder how R. Alan Brooks, a thoughtful and articulate thinker, ended up writing comics, but that wouldn’t be fair to the genre: What once sold for a dime at the drugstore in the ’50s is now a legitimate form of fiction. For instance, the Denver story spinner’s latest work, a local graphic novel called Anguish Garden, is a sci-fi adventure about people infected with an incurable virus and forced into quarantine, which couldn’t be more topical in 2020. Join Brooks and his comic-artist team for a talk moderated by screenwriter Liza Bevams, a live art session, and music by Carl Carrell (CRL CRRLL), who wrote a score for the book. Email lkargol@redline.org to receive the event link, and find info here.

Super Science Saturday
Saturday, November 7, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research offers a family-friendly, virtual Super Science Saturday with online demos and experiments for kids of all ages, including rocket propulsion, augmented reality and extreme cloud formation. Participants will have the opportunity to submit questions at the presentations. Join the free fun here.

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A Day of Evening for the Arts
Saturday, November 7, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Center for the Arts Evergreen, 31880 Rocky Village Drive, Evergreen

The annual Evening for the Arts fundraiser moves to the day, when the Center for the Arts Evergreen will be offering a free day of live performances and hands-on arts, as well as food trucks and activities for kids, in the parking lot. CAE Arts People of the Year Drucie French and Steve Cumbie will be honored, and the new exhibit Word: Art Meets Advertising will be open in the main gallery. Before you go, check the CAE website to make sure COVID restrictions have not changed plans.

Secret Denver: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful and Obscure
Saturday, November 7, 1 to 3 p.m.
Covered Treasures Bookstore, 105 2nd Street, Monument
THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED

Author Eric Peterson will sign copies of the book he co-wrote with David Lewis, Secret Denver: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful and Obscure, at Covered Treasures Bookstore. Admission is free; read excerpts here.

Denver-Takayama Sister City Culture Day
Saturday, November 7, 7 to 9 p.m.

Chances are you’ve passed the City of Takayama Park, a pretty spot of green along South Cherry Creek Drive, many times. But it’s less likely that you’ve given much thought to its story as one of Denver’s sister-city parks, or what that even means. Now you can get the full story, courtesy of the Denver Takayama Sister City Committee, which will take you on a tour of the Edo-period Old Town in Takayama, Japan, and introduce you to Rajio Taiso, a form of radio calisthenics practiced in the region. The armchair travel session is free; RSVP in advance for the Zoom link here.

Women in Horror
Sunday, November 8, 4 p.m.

BookBar hosts a conversation with female horror writers Alma Katsu, Jo Kaplan, Kathleen Kaufman and Lisa Morton. The roundtable discussion with the authors will include a Q&A. RSVP to events@bookbardenver.com to receive the Zoom link.

Know of a great free event in Denver? Send information to editorial@westword.com.

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