Yes, by now you can make it out of your house, but there's still plenty to do online. The Biennial of the Americas is looking back at the past year in a special program today; Colorado Poet Laureate Bobby LeFebre will remember those lost to the pandemic. And TEDxMileHigh is under way, with programs leading up to a blowout event Saturday.
Keep reading for ten great free events — all but one online, and all free.
Through Saturday, March 20, online
TEDxMileHigh's "Uncharted" will be online, with special programs leading up to the main event on Saturday. At 6 p.m. March 19, Kebrina Josefina De Jesús, from Samba Colorado, will lead a live dance workshop; Jordan Smiley of Courageous Yoga will host "Yoga for the Uncharted" at 10 a.m. on March 20. After that, the TED talks will cover everything from world-class poetry and music to the future of urban design and how to respond to the long-term ramifications of COVID. Brother Jeff will be one of the speakers, and Dr. Nita Mosby Tyler will join emcee Leslie Herod for a conversation on what they're seeing in the community and what's transpired since their TEDxMileHigh talks last year. It's all free; find out more and sign up here.
Biennial Coffee Chat: Public Memorials & Social Memory
Friday, March 19, 9 to 10 a.m., online
During the pandemic, the Denver-based Biennial of the Americas has continued to spark public interest through interim cultural programming such as the Americas COVID-19 Memorial Project, a six-month COVID response project collecting memorial drawings from commissioned artists and the public. Leading up to to the project’s culmination, the Biennial is hosting a series of YouTube coffee chats related to the ongoing process. On March 19, a panel including scholar Renee Alter, Black Cube’s Cortney Lane Stell, artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer and professor James E. Young will focus on the topic "Public Memorials & Social Memory," after Colorado Poet Laureate Bobby LeFebre offers a recitation on the same topic. Register for the free discussion here.
Colorado Department of Public Safety: Women Leaders Panel Discussion
Friday, March 19, noon to 1 p.m., online
In honor of Women's History Month, the Colorado Department of Public Safety is hosting an online panel discussion with numerous leaders, including CDPS Deputy Executive Director Jana Locke; Colorado Bureau of Investigation Chief of Staff Susan Medina; CBI Deputy Director Jan Girten; DCJ Deputy Director Debbie Oldenettel; DFPC Chief of Staff Melissa Lineberger; DFPC Wildland Fire Battalion Chief Brenda Wasielewski;
DHSEM Chief of Staff Sheila Scanlon; State Patrol Chief of Staff Sarah Allen; State Patrol Major Afsoon Ansari; and State Patrol Port of Entry Director Kirstie Nixon. Watch the free livestream here.
Literacy for All: Flor y Canto - Arte Ciencia y Tradicion Indigena (Art of Flower and Song)
Friday, March 19, noon to 1 p.m.
This Chicano Humanities & Arts Council program will share ways to achieve literacy, exploring how authors and writers create a legacy for all by fostering skills for the community to tell their own stories. Sign up for Flor y Canto here.
Writing in Color: Dr. Regina N. Bradley, Chronicling Stankonia: The Rise of the Hip-Hop South
Friday, March 19, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., online
Regina N. Bradley’s focus as a scholar, educator and podcaster is the modern, urbanized Black culture of the American South, particularly the hip-hop culture specific to the region. That’s the subject of her new book, Chronicling Stankonia: The Rise of the Hip-Hop South, which more specifically looks at the rise of Dirty South hip-hop and its part in bringing cultural change through the influence of the duo OutKast. Lighthouse Writers Workshop hosts a free virtual reading and discussion with Bradley and local author/panelists Steven Dunn and André O. Hoilette on Friday; learn more and register here.
Hindsight Publication Party
Friday, March 19, 6 p.m.
Hindsight, the creative nonfiction student publication published by the University of Colorado Boulder that was formerly known as Journal Twenty Twenty, will host a launch of its spring issue, complete with a new name and fresh faces. Author Jericho Perms will speak at the virtual event, which is free to watch; RSVP here.
What Is an Art Song?
Friday, March 19, 7 p.m., online
Art Song Colorado will premiere the video "What Is an Art Song?" during this virtual event. For centuries, the art song genre has been a vital part of the classical and concert music scene, allowing composers of all backgrounds to preserve small vignettes of society, politics, love and many other perspectives of the time in a blend of music and poetry that still inspires audiences all over the world. The program includes pre-recorded performances by both professional artists and Colorado Mesa University students; it's free to watch here.
César Chávez Tribute
Saturday, March 20, 11 a.m., online
Latino civil rights attorney Maurice "Mo" Jourdane honors the struggle of farm workers in this program hosted by the Chicano Humanities and Arts Council (CHAC), Colorado Folk Arts Council and Metro State University Chicana/o Studies Journey Through Our Heritage. As a young staff attorney with the California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA) organization, Jourdane was charged with protecting farm worker rights through federally supported legal intervention during the early years of César Chávez’s United Farm Workers Organizing Committee (UFWOC). His work at CRLA helped secure several of the farm workers' most significant victories in their campaign for justice during the nation’s civil rights gains of the 1960s and 1970s. He documented his experiences in his books The Struggle for the Health and Legal Protection of Farm Workers: El Cortito, and Waves of Recovery: The Life of an Advocate of Latino Civil Rights. The program is free; find out more here.
It’s All Bueno
Saturday, March 20, 1 and 4:30 p.m.; Sunday, March 21, 1 p.m., online
Su Teatro, one of Denver’s longest-operating independent theater groups, is all about passing down traditions. That’s why there’s a youth company, El Teatro VolARTE, operating under Su Teatro’s wing. Get a taste of what these kids — all in the age range of seven to sixteen — can do with a script and a stage to call their own when they share a live production of the family play It’s All Bueno, about a broken family searching for community. Admission is free; RSVP online in advance here.
And yes, an in-person event:
Art Strut: Women in Their Infinite Forms
Saturday, March 20, 4 to 6 p.m. Dairy Block, 1800 Wazee Street
The Athena Project strikes again with Women in Their Infinite Forms, the result of a group of local women artists invited to design blank mannequins according to personal interpretations of the theme for a display throughout the month of March at the Dairy Block, both inside Milk Market and outside in the art alley. Participating Colorado artists include Adri Norris, Autumn T. Thomas, Jana Hope, Lindsey Gutman, Deborah Jang, Tatiana Jordan, Karlee Mariel, Michelle Lamb, Mel Aman and Samantha Doom Donen, plus an additional piece by Denver Milk Market itself. During Art Strut, you can meet the artists and shop their handmade goods at a Pop-Up Art Market celebrating women in the arts. This in-person event was postponed from March 13; find more information here.
Know of a great event in or near Denver? We'll be updating this list through the week; send information to email@example.com
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.