Things to Do

Ten Things to Do for Free In and Around Denver This Week

Artist Mario Zoots, who founded the Denver Collage Club with Mark Sink in 2013, worked on this piece for Night Lights Denver.
Artist Mario Zoots, who founded the Denver Collage Club with Mark Sink in 2013, worked on this piece for Night Lights Denver. Night Lights Denver
While most holiday light shows have gone dark, Night Lights Denver remains a bright spot in the local art world. For more than a year, the "people's project" has illuminated the Clocktower with work by innovative artists that changes monthly. The January edition, which just went up, is particularly see-worthy.

And that's just the start of the free events, both in-person and virtual, on the horizon this year; keep reading for nine more this week:

Night Lights Denver
Through January 10, 5:15 to 10 p.m.
16th and Arapahoe streets
Night Lights Denver has a new lineup of lighting up the Clocktower in January, including artists/creatives Andi Todaro, Eliza Struthers-Jobin, the Denver Collage Club (with artwork by dozens of artists) and the Royal Essence Elite Dance Academy. The show will go on every night but Monday through the end of the month, when the lineup changes; find out more here.

Three Kings Day Celebration
Wednesday, January 6, 3 to 8 p.m.
Raices Brewing Co., 2060 West Colfax Avenue
In Spain, Mexico and other Latin American and Caribbean countries, Día de los Reyes (Three Kings Day) correlates with the arrival of Epiphany, bringing Christmas to a close with gift-giving and family celebrations. Raices Brewing will show how it’s done with two days of music, artisans and Puerto Rican food truck fare, with goodies and crowns for the children to commemorate the arrival of the Three Kings in Bethlehem, and beer for the adults. Find more info on Facebook and make timed-entry reservations here.

Colorado Legislative Arts Caucus
Wednesday, January 6, noon to 1:30 p.m.

There’s a lot to talk about at this year’s Colorado Legislative Arts Caucus, hosted by the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts and Art in Colorado, which will share data from arts agencies around the state and discuss better ways to share art with the community during the COVID pandemic. You’ll hear about challenges and innovative solutions from creative districts across Colorado. Community members, including artists looking for answers, are invited to attend and speak up at the free virtual meeting. Learn more and register for the Zoom link here.

Food Lover's Book Club: In Bibi's Kitchen
Wednesday, January 6, 6 to 7 p.m.
Writer Amanda Faison leads a discussion of In Bibi's Kitchen: The Recipes and Stories of Grandmothers From the Eight African Countries That Touch the Indian Ocean, by Hawa Hassan with Julia Turshen. This is part of the Denver Public Library's Winter of Reading; find out more here.


Fabric Dragons Workshop With Artist Colby Marie and Comedian Quinn Marchman
Wednesday, January 6, 6 to 7 p.m.

The next installment of MCA Denver's Laugh Your Craft Off — a virtual workshop where you can craft with artists while comedians tell jokes — will feature queer writer/artist/educator Colby Marie showing how to make dragons out of fabric; actor and improviser Quinn Marchman will join in the fun. The lesson is free, but you can buy a craft kit for $17.50 when you RSVP here.

Climate Change: Permafrost Thaw in the Arctic and Our Climate’s Future
Wednesday, January 6, 6:30 p.m.
Merritt Turetsky, director and professor with the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, will address the ongoing climatic and environmental changes affecting the Arctic, including megafires and thawing permafrost, and discuss how they may influence atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations and dictate our climate’s future. This Parker Arts program is free, but reservations are required here.

Value Proposition: The Future of Higher Education
Thursday, January 7, 6 p.m.

Join former Yale president Rick Levin, current Penn State president Eric Barron and moderator Kathryn Regjo of Colorado Mountain College as they examine the future of higher education in this free virtual Vail Symposium program. Register here.

UndocuMonologues: Stories From Our Undocumented Neighbors
Thursday, January 7, 6 p.m.
In collaboration with Alejandro G. Iñarritu’s nationally touring, award-winning virtual reality experience, CARNE y ARENA, Motus Theater is presenting another round of UndocuMonologues. The story of Motus UndocuMonologist Juan Juarez will be read aloud by special guest readers U.S. Representatives Joe Neguse and Jason Crow. UndocuMonologists Cristian Solano-Cordova and Tania Chairez will be reading their own monologues. Each monologue presented is followed by a musical response from Uruguayan musician Elisa Garcia. The program ends with a Q&A by Lisa Duran, the executive director of the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition. Register here.

A Conversation on the Crisis of Climate Feedback Loops
Saturday, January 9, 8:30 p.m.

Climate Emergency: Feedback Loops, a series of five short films featuring twelve world-renowned climate scientists and narrated by Richard Gere, is now available for free viewing (in twenty languages!) here. The Mind & Life Institute will host a launch event for the series with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, climate activist Greta Thunberg and leading scientists, who'll explore steps for addressing urgent climate change challenges. A new action, in which Arvada-based PeaceJam will partner, will be announced during the program. Register here.

click to enlarge The holidays are over, but this light show continues. - LUMONICS MIND SPA: LIGHT INTERSECTION
The holidays are over, but this light show continues.
Lumonics Mind Spa: Light Intersection
Lumonics Mind Spa: Light Intersection
Now Through January 30
UnderStudy, 700 14th Street

One of the big losses of 2020 was artist Dorothy Tanner who, along with her late husband, Mel Tanner, made light sculptures designed to create a state of comfort, relaxation and creativity. Many of them are currently presented in a “fishbowl”-style installation at UnderStudy, located at the Colorado Convention Center — which is closed, but you can see the Lumonics exhibit through the window. Find out more here.

Do you know of other great free events in and around Denver? Send information to [email protected]
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