Best Way to Enjoy the Denver Art Museum From Afar 2020 | Denver Art Museum Online Collection | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword
Courtesy Denver Art Museum

On any given day, you'll see only a fraction of the Denver Art Museum's vast collection as you walk through its galleries. When you're out and about and busy with life, that might be enough, but when you're stuck at home with nothing to do? That's the time to explore everything that's not on the floor, including collections that are in storage until the Martin Building partially reopens in June. And you can do that: It's all there online at the DAM's website, with several search ranges at your disposal.
MCA Denver

You know MCA Denver doesn't do things like other museums. It doesn't have a collection to catalogue online, and many of its events are all about inviting audiences to be a part of something communal, from hands-on workshops to lighthearted lectures. And while the museum is closed to the public, you can still participate in the serendipitous fun: Follow @mca_denver on Instagram for weekly prompts dropped on Tuesdays and submit your contribution using the hashtag #LetsMCA. The Insta page will also host artist talks, live streams and other content, beginning with video from MC Rakim's recent talk and performance hosted by the MCA at the Oriental Theater.

Brandon Marshall

From the comfort of your couch, explore the digital offerings of the Denver Botanic Gardens. Start your visit by going on the venue's YouTube channel to see the various parts of the gardens and learn more about them. Next, take a photo stroll through the Japanese garden, steppe gardens and more. The website also shows what's blooming, and once you've exhausted those options, you can check out the Instagram page for even more pictures. After all, even if the place isn't open, gardeners will be on hand to keep up the grounds, so you might as well watch everything grow.

Best Place to See Wildlife From Your Couch

Denver Zoo

The Denver Zoo has put effort into digitally sharing what its animal residents are doing whenever the grounds are closed. We're talking Instagram, daily Facebook Live feeds at 1 p.m. under the hashtag #bringthezootoyou, and tons of information about the creatures on the website. As a bonus, the zoo's social-media posts show videos of the new baby rhino, yet to be named, and other cute wildlife on the premises. Map out which animals you want to visit the next time the zoo gates open.

Although the Denver Public Library had to close its doors to the public, the institution's online platform is as robust as ever. DPL offers respite for stressed-out parents with ebooks, animated children's books and the Phone-a-Story program (720-865-8500), which allows you to pick English, Spanish, Amharic or Vietnamese selections. You can even chat with a librarian online and get answers to questions Google can't figure out. DPL offers free access to its Kanopy streaming service, too, which includes more than 30,000 film titles, as well as thousands of albums in an online music library and hundreds of releases from local artists.

If you're really desperate for art to look at, how about renting some on the fly? Joe Clark of Get the Gallery devised the art-rental service to be affordable and easy but handled with care, meaning that after you select something online, it'll be delivered to your door, ready to hang, with the option of having the concierge hang it for you for an additional fee. Prices range from $17 to $49 per month, according to the number and value of the pieces you rent. And Get the Gallery keeps it local by offering art by Colorado artists, another reason to feel good about what you see on your wall.
Courtesy RedLine Contemporary Art Center

RedLine has always put artists first. While the Five Points gallery, studio and event space may be closed, the nonprofit continues to offer solid resources for artists, providing an online list of grants, funds and residencies available now to help creatives in need. RedLine also asks artists to fill out a brief survey on its website, attempting to assess real-time needs. Executive director Louise Martorano is a bright light in dark times, working directly with the community on what can be done right now to meet artists where they are.

PlatteForum has long connected young people from Denver with artists from around the world through residencies, exhibits and workshops. The nonprofit also understands the exceptional challenges that youth from under-resourced communities can face day to day. During these uneasy times, PlatteForum is working to offer information relevant to young artists and their families, starting with a list of resources for the community that includes connections for rental and utility assistance, information about meal and food-access programs, resources for freelancers, youth-specific grants and more.
Brandon Marshall

The music-education nonprofit Youth on Record has served two major functions in the Denver area: hiring artists to teach, and using contemporary music education to keep youth in school. With all of its in-person programming currently shut down, the organization still plans on paying its artists and continuing with some of its virtual programming. That includes My Youth on Record, the podcast where artists share music they created when they were teens. Hosted by Shawn King from DeVotchKa, the program has included interviews with Sunny Jain of Red Baraat, underground rapper Sage Francis, Zac Barnett of American Authors, and Denver rapper Kalyn Heffernan of Wheelchair Sports Camp.

How often do you think about Colorado and what makes it unique? Why not take advantage of this period of isolation to learn more about the great state we live in through stories documenting Colorado history, places and people? The podcast Lost Highways, sponsored by History Colorado and compiled by folksy Colorado Springs polymath Noel Black and producer Tyler Hill, who traveled around the state gathering information about Japanese internment camps, the African-American settlement of Dearfield and other Colorado-centric sagas, will get you hooked in a minute. You can just feel the hours indoors melting away.

Best Of Denver®

Best Of