We hope you're feeling well, connected, entertained and engaged as the state's safer-at-home program keeps you inside. Denver artists, musicians and cultural institutions have risen to the occasion to keep you busy in the best ways through the days ahead.
After weeks of reading and hard decisions, the jurors of the Colorado Book Awards have made their picks, selecting the best of Centennial State literature, from children's books and mysteries to creative nonfiction, history and more.
Join bibliophiles statewide at 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 30, to find out who the winners are and to firm up your summer reading list. Go to the Colorado Humanities Facebook page for more information and to watch.
Below are more things to do without leaving your home.
I Heart Camp Fundraiser
Heart & Hand
May 28, 7 to 8 p.m.
The Heart & Hand Center will be bringing its annual I Heart Camp fundraiser online. "Though the event will look and feel different from years past, all proceeds will continue to empower Heart & Hand youth during the summer months," explains the youth-advocacy nonprofit in a statement. "By attending the event, guests will have the opportunity to learn more about Heart & Hand, bid on one-of-a-kind live auction items, and donate to support local kids and families."
Love This City Mixtape
Mondays, 8:15 p.m
Westword recently profiled Denver muralist Pat Milbery, who has launched the Monday night Love This City Mixtape series, in which a DJ performs, wild animations are projected, and Milbery drinks beers, wanders around in his bathrobe and paints his signature big hearts live. Get in on the fun yourself on Monday night at 8:15 p.m. on the SoGnar Creative Division's Twitch channel.
Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design's Virtual Graduation Exhibition
June 5, 5 to 7 p.m.
Graduations and student art exhibitions were canceled around the world. But Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design is moving forward with its senior thesis show online. "At the beginning of the exhibition, RMCAD will be hosting a virtual opening reception via Zoom," RMCAD explains in a statement. "Students and guests will join the reception to view students’ works and have the opportunity to communicate with one another. The purpose of the virtual opening reception is to give students and guests the opportunity to come together as a community in one location and celebrate the hard work of Denver’s newest artists and designers."
Chalk Art Festival
June 6 and 7
While Denver's annual Chalk Art Festival's in-person event in Larimer Square has been canceled, organizers are hosting an online event on Facebook and Instagram. "New for this year, the festival is encouraging anyone who wants to join in the chalk art experience at their own home to participate and share their creations online throughout the weekend. Artists and amateurs who tag #denverchalkartfestival and #larimersquare will have their art shared broadly on the Larimer Square social channels for a large, virtual audience to appreciate," organizers explain in a statement.
Go Outside and Howl
Every day, 8 to 8:05 p.m.
For five glorious minutes, people around the globe will be going outside and howling. It's a perfect expression of collective isolation, a desire for community and more. So do it.
Access Gallery's Art in a Box
Access Gallery, a nonprofit giving people with disabilities experiences with art and employment opportunities, has launched the Art in a Box Series. Order a box of art made by the gallery's artists; these include works on canvas and paper and sculptures, as well as coloring books and postcards or jewelry.
The Art of Being Alone
Museo de las Americas is launching its first online exhibition, The Art of Being Alone, a show looking at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on artists and the world at large. "One of the roles of artists in society is to respond to big changes, to produce creative documentation of their lived experience," explains the museum in a statement. "This online exhibit will act as a living, breathing archive of our times. We hope to engage the public in deep thought, critical reflection and creative wonder. Art will be added every week on Fridays until quarantining is removed from our city, state, and nation."
The Arvada Center is hosting talkbacks with actors from recent productions, actor-performed bedtime stories, and a call for entries for a new exhibit looking at life during the pandemic called Viral Influence: Art in the Time of Coronavirus.
Art in Small Bytes
Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Arts
Thursday, May 7
The Kirkland Museum has been one of the unlikely stars of the COVID-19 shutdown, offering an array of innovative programming on its website. On Thursday, May 7, the museum will launch its third virtual exhibit, Art in Small Bytes, a look at some of the works in its collection. "As we continue to stay home keeping ourselves and one another healthy, you’ve probably noticed a significant increase in the amount of digital information you consume daily,” notes Associate Museum Director Renée Albiston in a statement. “If you must spend time online, spend it expanding your knowledge of beautiful objects, such as those featured in Art in Small Bytes.”
At 7 p.m. every Tuesday through May 12, the Athena Project will host a conversation with an artist who has figured out how to shift her business to connect with the community and still pay the bills. These "Artists Finding Their Way Through COVID-19" events are free, but donations are welcome.
CPR's Vic Vela launched a podcast this year in which he tells stories of recovery. He has spoken to addicts and even shared his own harrowing tales. It's a moving show, and well worth a listen.
When the nomadic museum Black Cube received an emergency grant from the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, curator Cortney Stell opened a call for a video-art competition. Around eighty artists submitted work, and ten were chosen to screen their projects — some made during the coronavirus crisis and others over the past year. The winning projects are: Zachary Barnes-Fagg's "Shower," Sommer Browning's "everything looks better at night," Adán De La Garza's "Protest Etiquette," Juntae TeeJay Hwang's "Blue Salmon," Laura Hyunjhee Kim's "Cricket World," Ben Kinsley's "Dirt Worshiper I," Jeff Page's "Butterfly Hug (an EMDR Poem)," John Roemer's "Left Turn," "Goran Vejvoda's "We Are the Virus" and Derrick Velasquez's "LUX." While the videos will screen on Black Cube's Vimeo page, the museum will also host online artist interviews on Instagram. For more information and a full schedule, go to the Black Cube website.
Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company
Ghost Light Series
When the BETC was forced to turn off the lights, it didn't take the company long to come up with an online option: the Ghost Light Series, an ongoing string of videos starring BETC actors. The series is inspired by the notion of the ghost light, the single light traditionally left on when a theater goes dark so that the ghosts who inhabit the space can perform when nobody else is there.
Center for Musical Arts Online Classes
Looking to bone up on music? The Center for Musical Arts in Lafayette is offering a variety of online classes, from sing-alongs of global songs to group sessions for infants, toddlers and kids, as well as individual music instruction. Prices range from free to $65.
Center for Visual Art Socially Distant Culture Club
Metro State's Center for Visual Art's Culture Club is a great way to mingle with some of the city's up-and-coming artists and creatives — even in an era of social distancing. Visit the Culture Club's website for how-to instructions, recipes and more fun. Then join in for weekly get togethers over Zoom. Ratio Beerworks, a steadfast supporter of Denver's creative community, is offer 20 percent off to-go orders associated with Culture Club. Find out more at the Culture Club website.
Cherry Creek North's Keep Cherry Creek Unique Campaign
Each week, Cherry Creek North will publish ways for the community to stay entertained, educated and healthy, all while supporting businesses in the neighborhood. Mondays will be focused on health and beauty, Wednesdays will explore fashion, decor and art, and Fridays will be all about food.
Cleo Parker Robinson Virtual Dance Classes
Five Points dance company Cleo Parker Robinson Dance will be offering online classes for people of all ages through Cyber Dance 2020. Whether you're interested in learning ballet or modern styles, there is something for you. Best of all, it's pay-what-you-can, so whether you are flush and can support this legacy organization or are broke but willing to throw these professional dancers a few bones, there is an option that will work with your budget.
Denver's experimental microcinema, Collective Misnomer, now has links to all its past programs, so you can review the breadth of media art screened over the past few years and explore the filmmakers' broader work. If Netflix has got you down (or is down), this is a great place to expand your cinematic horizons.
Colorado Business Committee for the Arts' Art Through It All Campaign
The CBCA is urging the public to rise to the occasion and support the arts through the massive closures that have bludgeoned the cultural sector. The group has put together a list of ways you can support local nonprofits and artists, as well as a tool kit, promotional materials and more. Don't just consume art. Save it!
Looking for facts about this state's glorious and notorious past? Check out the Colorado Encyclopedia. In it, you'll find out what the state bird is, how the tuberculosis epidemic increased the state's population, and how Mayor Robert Speer died of the flu in 1918. Not everything in there is comforting, but it's all fascinating.
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Governor Jared Polis has asked Colorado families to break out the art supplies and participate in a Face Mask Design Challenge — a competition in which residents see who can make the coolest face-mask designs out of bright colors. He says it's a chance to de-stigmatize wearing masks and to encourage kids to find hope amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
Colorado Mountain Club's Online University
If you want to use some of your indoor time to brush up on your outdoor skills, the Colorado Mountain Club has launched an online university, with 2- to 45-minute videos about everything from staying fit for outdoor adventures to packing for a thru-hike. “The mental and physical health benefits of being outside are undeniable, and we wanted to help people find that mental and physical health during this unprecedented situation,” says Keegan Young, CMC’s executive director. “With 7,000 members around the state, we felt uniquely situated to help bring the outdoors indoors with expert tips and tricks to keep people’s minds & bodies active and their skills sharp during this time.”
Colorado Photographic Arts Center
CPAC is offering an online tour of more than 800 photos from its permanent collection, collected since 1963. There are works by lesser-known artists as well as the likes of André Kertész, Imogen Cunningham, Bernice Abbott, Ansel Adams, Richard Misrach Adams and Philippe Halsman.
Colorado Symphony Virtual Music Hour
Every Friday at 6 p.m.
The Colorado Symphony will be hosting a weekly virtual music hour. There will be conversations with the orchestra's conductors and musicians and online screenings of performances from the vault. Video will be posted at 6 p.m. on Friday and available throughout the weekend.
Craig A. Knippenberg
Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9 a.m.
Parenting through a pandemic is, well, unprecedented. And counselor Craig. A Knippenberg, the author of Wired and Connected: Brain-Based Solutions to Ensure Your Child’s Social and Emotional Success, wants to help out. Every Tuesday and Thursday, he's hosting Facebook Live sessions called Parenting During COVID-19: The Unsettling, Unknown and Ongoing Effects of Quarantine on Your Child’s Emotions. Comforting? Who knows...
Every Thursday, Curious Theatre is posting a clip from a past production along with commentary from the crew about why the play was memorable.
While Dazzle's best known as a jazz club, in the COVID-19 era, it's also found some innovative ways to keep art and music alive from a distance. The latest is Dazzle Presents, which will include Dazzle Recitals, where you can showcase your talents; Dazzle Performs, where you can check out musical performances; and Dazzle Arts, where you can display your visual art. Whether you're looking to share your work and experience other people's, head to the Dazzle website.
Denver Art Museum
If you miss strolling through the DAM, take a virtual tour of the collection. You can spend as long as you like admiring each piece of work, and the exhibit isn't limited to what the curators have on display: You can see all the works that are currently in storage, as well.
Denver Botanic Gardens
Looking to smell a rose? Unless you grow it yourself, that's going to be tough. But if you want your fix of flowers, you can browse the Denver Botanic Gardens' online offerings, which include a virtual tour, educational resources for kids, and gardening tips.
Denver Digerati Gifathon
Denver Digerati, the group behind the digital animation festival Supernova, is throwing a celebration of GIFs, and the group is inviting everybody to create their own for the Gifathon, which will take place on September 19, from noon to 4 p.m. at 14th and Champa streets. For more info on GIFs, how to make them, and how to apply, go to the Denver Digerati website.
Denver Museum of Nature & Science
The Denver Museum of Nature & Science offers plenty to do through At Home Science Fun, including ideas for parents, activities for kids, and suggestions for DIY scientific exploration. The museum has also provides bilingual educational materials, a Virtual Science Academy for teachers, and resources for students to experiment with science at home.
Denver Parks & Recreation
Fitness, Arts, Games, Classes and More
Denver Parks & Recreation is hosting a bounty of online events, including a fitness classes, arts and dance instruction, trivia, skill-building classes and so much more. Whether you've got stir-crazy children or need entertainment for yourself, the opportunities are nearly endless. Explore the Denver Parks & Rec calendar and join in via Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Zoom.
Denver Public Art Virtual Tours
If you're missing the city's public art, you can still tour it online at Denver Arts & Venues' virtual public art tours. There are various themed jaunts, from Animals and Black History Month to tours of art in City Park and the Botanic Gardens. Browse it now, and see it in person later.
Denver Public Library
While the Denver Public Library has closed its doors, it still offers plenty of resources online, from free movies through Kanopy to downloadable music, online book groups and live storytimes delivered over YouTube. Check out the library's website for more details about how to stay entertained and educated through the closures.
Zoo to You: Virtual Safari
With a new baby rhino calf, the Denver Zoo has set up a 24/7 camera to monitor what's going on with this adorable creature. Online, the Zoo is also offering videos about how your favorite animals are holding up, educational resources for kids, and even giraffe yoga and conservation projects that you can do from your home.
Elitch Gardens' Printable Fun
No, you can't go to the amusement park right now. But you can print out some coloring pages, play some word scrambles, and even watch the POV video of the Mind Eraser (above). Be warned: It might make you puke — just like the real thing.
Ent Center for the Arts at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs
The Ent Center for the Arts is offering a wealth of online programming on its Facebook and Instagram pages, from online yoga and lunch-break dance parties to studio visits with artists.
Fort Collins History Collection's Virtual Backgrounds
If the virtual backgrounds you've been using in your Zoom meetings are getting old, try something different: a historic photo from the Fort Collins History Connection, a collection of historic photographs from that city up north. Even if you're not looking for a new background, these archives are a thrill to browse.
Flatiron Food Film Festival's Dinner and a Movie Series
Starting April 24
The Flatiron Food Film Festival will be screening a weekly movie on Friday nights that will be paired with special takeout and delivery options. "Each Dinner and a Movie event will offer an exciting and interesting online Festival experience from the comfort of your own home," the festival explains in a statement.
Foothills Art Center
If you want to peruse some locally made paintings, Foothills Art Center has made its members' show available online. The nonprofit is also hosting virtual art classes and conversations. Keep up with the latest happenings at the Foothills Art Center blog.
The Gunkhole State Park Podcast
A team of improv actors from Voodoo Comedy has launched The Gunkhole State Park Podcast, an in-depth, improvised exploration of the fictional staff at Colorado's least-inspiring state park.
Hecho en Colorado Coloring Book
Get to coloring. The Latino Cultural Arts Center, a Denver-based group dedicated to sharing the artistic expressions of Latinos in the United States and around the world, just released its first adult coloring book, Hecho en Colorado, which you can download for free at the LCAC website.
High Land Canal Conservancy
The High Land Canal Conservancy wants to remind Denver that its glorious trail is still there. The group, which maintains it and ensures it's a safe place for fun, will be hosting a variety of workshops, volunteer trainings and more online. Head to the Conservancy's website for more information.
How Much Fun Would It Be to Be a Wild Animal From A-Z
Breckenridge children's book creators Mike Messeroff and Hannah Chavez are releasing a new book, How Much Fun Would It Be to Be a Wild Animal From A-Z, page by page throughout April. The book is also being offered as a coloring book.
The Importance of Being Earnest
The University of Colorado Boulder
If you’re missing live theater, head to SoundCloud and check out the University of Colorado Boulder theater department’s production of The Importance of Being Earnest — a radio-play version of Oscar Wilde’s classic play.
Itchy-O's From the Vault Concert Series
Saturdays at 8 p.m.
The 57-member troupe of experimental musicians in Itchy-O is releasing a new HD video of a past concert every Saturday night. You may not be able to be in a crowd, but you can still enjoy the anarchic magic of Denver's loudest, rowdiest masked mob. While you're at the band's YouTube site, peruse music videos and more.
The Kirkland Museum has created a 360 Virtual Tour for art lovers to explore, and most recently it has brought its special exhibitions online, including its latest temporary show — which was forced to close early — Process and Print. The exhibit includes forty fine-art prints and explores how each was made.
Lighthouse Writers Workshop Online Classes
Denver literary hub Lighthouse Writers Workshop has announced that its summer Lit Fest will be moving online. But the nonprofit is also hosting classes for adults and kids on Zoom. If you've been waiting to start writing, now is your chance — and you don't have to leave your desk.
Lost Highways: Dispatches From the Shadows of the Rocky Mountains
Last year, History Colorado launched the documentary podcast Lost Highways, in which public-radio veterans Noel Black and Tyler Hill set out to uncover unique Colorado tales. Given Colorado's stay-at-home orders, the podcast is treating its listeners to an early release of season two. The first episode aired on March 31, and new episodes will drop as soon as producers finish them. Tune in and follow the season on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Stitcher.
Lemon Sponge Cake Contemporary Ballet
Ballet fans will delight in the recording of this live stream of Lemon Sponge Cake Contemporary Ballet's production of White Mirror, choreographed by Robert Sher-Machherndl, as a site-specific dance in Babi Yar Park.
Light, video and installation artist Dorothy Tanner and her Lumonics Light & Sound Gallery, which she co-founded with her late husband, the artist Mel Tanner, are treasures of the Front Range. Visit the Lumonics website to explore a database of photos to browse, limited-edition light sculptures to purchase, information about programming, and a GoFundMe campaign to help the organization survive the pandemic. Back in 2017, the Museum of Outdoor Arts hosted a retrospective of light sculptures by the Tanners. Revisit the show through MOA's 3-D virtual tour.
Masks Exhibition and Benefit
Museum of Art Fort Collins
Through June 28
Masks are nothing new for the Museum of Art Fort Collins, which will be hosting its sixteenth annual Masks exhibition online. There are 250 masks on display that are being auctioned off between May 6 and June 28 at the MOA Fort Collins website. Our mission,” explains Lisa Hatchadoorian, the museum's executive director, “is to spread the power of visual arts. What better way than with an exhibition like Masks, which is still growing in popularity sixteen years later and highlights the extraordinary diverse creativity of our community. People love seeing the variety of the masks designed and donated by professional artists, who make their living through art, and those community artists who want to take a walk on the creative side of life.”
The Frog Prince
Missing children's theater? Miners Alley Playhouse is offering a video version of its production of The Frog Prince through May 31. While the play is free to watch, the company is requesting donations.
Molly Brown House
The Molly Brown House offers various resources, from virtual tours to biographies of the Unsinkable Molly Brown, to activities that your stay-at-home learners can enjoy from home.
Instead of shutting down its offerings entirely, Next Gallery is hosting its latest show, Under the Influence, online. The exhibit looks at works by Next Gallery members and the artists who helped shape them.
Ocean First Virtual Dives
If you're still licking your wounds because your spring break vacation to the ocean was canceled, consider stopping by Ocean First's website and peruse a wealth of online courses that will take you under the seas without leaving Colorado. Learn about sharks, deep diving, underwater navigation and more.
Opera on Tap
Love in the Time of COVID-19: An Apocalypse Cabaret
Saturdays, 7 p.m.
While Opera on Tap can't sing at the bars, the musicians are taking to Facebook every Saturday at 7 p.m. Now you can get your fix of no-pretension opera every week.
PlatteForum's ArtLab TV
PlatteForum is hosting a new video series on Instagram. "We've invited artists in our community to give us a peek into their home studios, share about their current projects, and give short demonstrations of skills and projects that can be created with minimal materials," explains the nonprofit arts center.
Saving Places, a new documentary produced and directed by Joseph Daniel and narrated by Peter Coyote, explores HistoriCorps, a Denver nonprofit saving historical sites around the world. The documentary costs $10 to rent, and proceeds go into saving HistoriCorps, which shut down over the COVID-19 crisis.
At the Movies
While Denver's arthouse cinema, the Sie FilmCenter, has closed its physical location, the programmers have arranged for the films that had been slated to be screened there to instead be delivered to your living room for $12 each. Stay up on the latest in independent cinema, and help support the Sie through this challenging time. If you're looking for a meal to match with the movie, the nonprofit has partnered with DoorDash, which is offering free delivery for dinner-and-a-movie nights.
Spectra Art Space
Spectra Art Space has transitioned online with a variety of options, from time-lapse videos, art auctions and artist workshops to lectures about astrology. Get creative and engaged with Denver's thriving art world.
Thomas "Detour" Evans Artist Talks
Every day, Denver muralist Thomas "Detour" Evans is holding a daily virtual book club on Instagram, speaking with artists and discussing what it means to be a professional creative. The talks are tied to his latest book, Be The Artist: The Interactive Guide to a Lasting Art Career.
Tread of Pioneers Museum
The Tread of Pioneers Museum in Steamboat is hosting a virtual exhibit of work by Gutzon Borglum, the artist who created the sculptures on Mount Rushmore. The show includes 38 copperplate images of his work by Steamboat artist Sue Oehme.
Filmmaker Usama Alshaibi just launched a new diary podcast about his experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. It might not be entirely comforting, but it's definitely worth a listen.
Walker Fine Art
Walker Fine Art is offering videos on its Facebook and Instagram pages that explore some of the work in the gallery's collection. Walker promises to host artist studio tours on video soon.
Warm Cookies of the Revolution's Virtual Gift Basket
Inspired by the notion that when people are sick or grieving, they receive gift baskets, the Denver civic arts and engagement group Warm Cookies of the Revolution decided to create a virtual gift basket with a sampling of some of the best work from Denver's creative community. The project includes three-minute pieces from each artist, released online on the Warm Cookies of the Revolution website, and is at once comforting and entertaining. Enjoy new works from the likes of Ill Se7en, Suzi Q. Smith, Bobby LeFebre, Molina Speaks and more.
We Are Denver Live-Stream Network
Starting April 13, what began as a DIY attempt to create one feed of 24/7 video — a sort of local MTV that would get artists paid during the COVID-19 shutdown — now also includes programming from PBS 12's Sounds of Denver; a Black Actors Guild comedy series, Show Ya Teef; and one from the Head Room Sessions. Viewers can donate to the artists they love online. We Are Denver is continuing to collect new work and is still open for submissions; to submit your projects and watch the 24/7 live feed, go to wearedenver.org.
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Wings Over the Rockies
Aerospace Thrust Campaign
Take a flight with Wings Over the Rockies through the past, present and future of air travel and space technologies. Enjoy short videos, documentaries, educational resources and story sessions for the kids. Even when you're stuck inside, you can shoot for the moon — and beyond.
The contemporary dance troupe Wonderbound is releasing a series of videos each week starring the company's dancers and showcasing music from here and around the world. The group is also hosting online classes for people interested in moving in solitude.
Young at Art
Sylvie Piquet, Steamboat Create’s program manager, is teaching arts and crafts workshops over YouTube. Learn to make a desk organizer out of a toilet-paper roll, tie-dye coffee filters, and create geodesic domes out of newspapers.
Do you know of other Denver-based virtual activities? Send information to firstname.lastname@example.org.