Things to Do for Free in Denver This Week, September 13 to September 19 | Westword

Ten Things to Do for Free in Denver This Week, September 14 to 20

Crush Walls! Denver Startup Week! There's lots to do.
Sasha the Kid's "Hands Up Don’t Shoot" can be seen at East Colfax and Quince Street.
Sasha the Kid's "Hands Up Don’t Shoot" can be seen at East Colfax and Quince Street. Sasha the Kid
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Artists continue to take it to the streets. No sooner did Street Wise Boulder end its artistic extravaganza than Crush Walls 2020 kicked off in Denver. But there's more than mural art in metro Denver this week (although there's plenty of that).

This is also Denver StartUp Week...and the start of a new series in Civic Center Park: Civic Center Live. Keep reading for the ten best free events in town this week.

Denver Startup Week 2020
Through Friday, September 18
Denver Startup Week is back, but it's entirely virtual this year, with more than 250 sessions on Zoom. The annual event celebrates Denver's entrepreneurial community, providing resources and learning opportunities for the startup community as well as networking during happy hours, social events and job fairs. Programming is scheduled in eight tracks — Designer, Developer, Founder, Growth, Maker, People, Product and Spotlight — and it's all free to registered attendees. Become one and get a complete schedule here.

Crush Walls 2020
Through Sunday, September 20
Multiple metro locations, and online
More than a hundred artists will hit the streets of RiNo and neighboring areas to paint murals over the next week. But the eleventh edition of Crush Walls includes much more than that; there will also be numerous in-person and online programs. Don't miss the Spray Can Bar, behind the Ramble Hotel at 2424 Larimer Street. Find out more here.

Off the Wall
Through Sunday, September 20, 1 p.m. until dark
ARTAOS Gallery, 2822 East 17th Avenue
This tribute to street art in the Rocky Mountains will raise awareness and money for Youth on Record, the Denver nonprofit that helps kids make music. From 1 p.m. until dark, 24 local artists will set up in the ARTAOS Gallery to work on street-wall-style panels designed by the artists and FORGE Art Studio. You can watch in socially distanced safety while enjoying live music and taking advantage of nearby food trucks. Find out more at

Representation Matters: If the Walls Could Talk Too
Thursday, September 17, 6 to 8 p.m.
RedLine, 2350 Arapahoe Street
The writing's on the wall this week during Crush Walls, and this conversation about social justice in public art, hosted by RedLine's JC Futrell, will include panelists ranging from Alicia Cardenes to DINKC, Hiero Viega, UC Sepia, Thomas "Detour" Evans, Jodie Herrera, Casey Kawaguchi and more. Ther's limited space at RedLine, but the program will also be live streamed on Facebook via the We Are Denver page.

Civic Center Live: Biennial Night
Thursday, September 17, 6 to 8 p.m.
Civic Center Park
The Biennial of the Americas is presenting a free outdoor concert featuring Ecuadorian indie-pop sensation Neoma (Carla Huiracocha), who's found fans around the world with her dreamy yet energetic “lunar pop” hits.  In 2018, Neoma relocated from Cuenca, Ecuador, to Denver, along with producer/bassist Danny Pauta, to focus on her music career. In June 2019, Neoma released "Young," her first single as a resident of Denver; her debut album, Real, was released in November 2019. The concert is currently sold out; find out about other events in the Civic Center Live series and look for a waitlist here.

SaveArtSpace for Crush Walls Opening Reception
Thursday, September 17, 6 to 10 p.m.
Dateline Gallery, 3004 Larimer Street

SaveArtSpace, a national nonprofit, and Dateline Gallery present SaveArtSpace for Crush Walls, a cross-media gallery and public art exhibition curated by Thomas “Detour” Evans and Lorenzo Talcott, featuring artists Sasha the Kid, Crystal Marshall, Olive Moya, Danielle Klebes, DINKC, Joshua Palmeri, Marcus Murray, Meaghan McCallum, Diana "Didi" Contreras, Austin Blue and REMOTE. Starting September 8, SaveArtSpace launched public art installations for each of their works on billboard spaces throughout Denver; you can see the actual pieces in the exhibit, which runs until October 4.

Thursday, September 17, 7 p.m.

Autobiographical monologues by Alejandro Fuentes-Mean, Armando Peniche and Tania Chairez will be read by professors Aviva Chomsky and Natalia Molina; Boulder-based Uruguayan musician Elisa Garcia will respond to each monologue with healing singing from her pan-American repertoire. After the intimate, online performance exploring the intersection between immigration, race and economics in U.S. history, Chomsky and Molina will talk about their experience of reading these monologues and take questions. The free program, presented by Motus Theater, is part of the Boulder Public Library’s One Book, One Boulder; register here.

We Are All Connected: Saving Species and Preventing Pandemics
Friday, September 18, 11 a.m.

Smithsonian Affiliations and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute's Global Health Program explore the current pandemic and the ways in which the health of humans, animals and the environment are inextricably linked. Dr. Maureen Kamau is a Smithsonian veterinary research fellow with the Global Health Program, based at the Mpala Research Center in Laikipia, Kenya. She'll share her experiences following this unique career path, discuss how her research in Kenya relates to current concerns around infectious disease and pandemics, and how her careful study of poop — yes, poop — has been instrumental in working to save the Eastern Black Rhino. Register here

Handmade in Colorado Expo
Friday, September 18, and Saturday, September 19, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, September 20, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Skyline Park, 16th Street Mall at Arapahoe Street

The twelfth annual Handmade in Colorado Expo is a showcase of some of Colorado's best handmade arts, crafts, foods and goods from dozens of vendors; there will also be live music, including Kenny Lee Young on Saturday. The event is designed with social distancing in mind, and all sales go directly to the vendor. Find out more at

Signs of the Time
Saturday, September 19, noon to 4 p.m.
Washington Park, South Downing between Exposition and Ohio avenues

Denver screen printer Stu Alden, of Ink Lounge, is turning a portion of Washington Park into a celebration of the First Amendment and the democratic process. He's created oversized conversational yard art to fill a temporary sculpture garden with signs designed to support the 2020 election and inspire a discussion of a better future. There will be voter registration on site, as well as free T-shirt (bring your own white T) and patch printing; limited editions of standard-sized yard signs with be available for purchase. Fifty percent of the profits from yard sign sales will go to nonprofits Future Coalition and Black Lives Matter 5280. Find more information here.

Do you know of a great free Denver-based event, whether in person or ongoing? Send information to [email protected].
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