Five Things to Do for Free in Denver This Week

Spray Their Name mural of Sandra Bland at the Dairy Arts Center.
Spray Their Name mural of Sandra Bland at the Dairy Arts Center.
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After Labor Day (and snow!), the city gets back to business, even if nothing is business as usual these days. Still, one thing hasn't changed: Arts educators, activists and others are keeping creative, and sharing their work with you...often for free!

Keep reading for five of the best free events around town this week.

Street Wise Boulder
Through Sunday, September 13
Virtual celebration Wednesday, September 9, 6:30 p.m.

Head to Boulder to see artists at work at this ARTivism mural festival, driven by social activism. Close to forty artists will be painting two dozen murals around town this week, and you can watch them in action. Get all the details here, and mark your calendar for a virtual program on the 2020 edition at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday; registration required here.

Catrina Painting Days
Thursday, September 10, 6 to 8 p.m.
Firehouse Art Center, 667 Fourth Avenue, Longmont

El Día de los Muertos is neither scary nor sad. Instead, the Mexican celebration of the dead is a community-based holiday when families revisit and honor their ancestors with altars, music and dance. That’s why people of all ages are invited to help paint Catrinas — female skeletons in fancy dress — to be auctioned off at the October opening of Firehouse’s annual Día de los Muertos exhibit. It’s free to participate, but spaces are limited; RSVP in advance (and leave a donation if you choose) at Eventbrite. (There will be a third session September 19.)

Comida de la Calle: CDMX Street Food
Thursday, September 10, 2 to 3 p.m.

The fourth episode of the Biennial of the Americas' Denver_portal programming will dive into the rich culinary street-food scene of Denver and Mexico City. The discussion will include street vendors in Mexico and, here in Denver, Iefef "DJ Cavem" Vita discussing urban agriculture, food justice and empowering healthy communities through organic gardening. Find out more here.

Together Colorado's 2020 Virtual Civic Engagement Kickoff
Thursday, September 10, 6 to 8 p.m.

"If 2020 has taught us anything, it's that we must cherish our relationships and lift each other up," say the organizers of Together Colorado: Members of Faith in Action. "We must work together to create the world we want to live in. We have a beloved community to build." During this Zoom event, join with other activists and leaders across Colorado to learn about the November ballot issues and push for voter education and voter turnout in Colorado's congregations and communities. Register at this link.

New American Arts Festival
Streaming: Friday, September 11, and Saturday, September 12, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. nightly; Sunday, September 13, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Live performances: Saturday, 3 to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 12 to 2 p.m.
Fletcher Plaza, 9800 East Colfax Avenue, Aurora

The New American Arts Festival, the brainchild of Aurora booster and performer Deepali Lindblom, is a new kind of cultural fest for pandemic times: The three-day celebration blends in-person activities in downtown Aurora with streaming performances live from Vintage Theatre. Get ready for a rich slate of events representing Aurora’s diversity, with guests as well known as Yo Yo Ma and Jonny 5 of Flobots to unknown local refugees, as well as food deals at the ethnic food counters at Mango House, 10180 East Colfax Avenue in Aurora. Learn more and find the complete schedule online. Watch online Saturday and Sunday at roshniislight.

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

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