Thanks to Leap Day this weekend, February is longer than usual, and full of free fun. Side Stories returns to RiNo, with free cinematic art showing on buildings in the area starting February 28; down on the Mall, Night Lights Denver will debut a new crew of artists illuminating the Clocktower on March 1. And there's more: Keep reading for five free events around town over the next three days...and a bonus on Tuesday.
Black History Live: Rosa Parks
Friday, February 28, 10 a.m.
Windsor Gardens Community Center, 595 South Clinton Street
Actor and scholar Becky Stone is on a tour of metro Denver, portraying Rosa Parks as part of Colorado Humanities' Black History Live. “There had always been an uneasy truce between black and white folks in the South," Stone says. "Emancipation granted citizenship to black Americans, but white Americans ended all progress by returning to slave-master protocol that was enforced by Jim Crow law. These laws went beyond segregation. They were designed to make black people feel inferior and whites, superior. By 1955, black Southerners had been oppressed as much as they could allow. They needed the right person to say ‘no more.’ That person was Rosa Parks.” See Stone play Parks at Denver's Windsor Gardens at 10 a.m. February 28 or the Bemis Public Library in Littleton at 2 p.m. the same day; there's a February 29 show at the Aurora Central Library and a March 3 performance at the Community College of Aurora. Find all the details on the Colorado Humanities website.
Remembering the Past to Create the Future
Friday, February 28, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Downtown Aurora Visual Arts, 1504 Florence Street, Aurora
For Black History Month, the Aurora Human Relations Commission sponsored an art contest for Aurora high school seniors, to encourage cultural awareness and education. The result is an exhibit now on display at DAVA, judged by Kevin Hempstead, Emiley Young, Zachary Carlisle Davidson and Viviane Le Courtois. The winners will be celebrated at a reception on Friday, February 28, with a program by Hempstead, with words from Young. Admission is free, and the exhibit will stay up through Tuesday, March 3; gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Find out more on the DAVA Facebook page.
Denver Vinyl Social
Friday, February 28, 7 to 11 p.m.
Denver Press Club, 1330 Glenarm Place
Torn between spinning records from your home vinyl collection and hanging out at a bar? You don't have to choose: Join the Denver Press Club for the Denver Vinyl Social, where the club will be dipping into its collections and also spinning whatever people bring in. Ignore the "Members Only" sign on the door; all are welcome at the club, where the drinks are cheap and there's no admission fee. But remember, BYOV: Bring Your Own Vinyl. Find out more on the Facebook event page.
Cultura Viva Live Broadcast
Saturday, February 29, 5 p.m.
Raices Brewing Company, 2060 West Colfax Avenue
Head to Raices Brewing Company for a live cultural broadcast mixing music, subjects of social interest and great vibes as the community jams with band members and listens to artists discuss their work. The February 29 broadcast features Mono Verde. Admission is free; find out more here.
Thrice French Punk All Night Leap Year Party
Saturday, February 29, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Dairy Block, 1855 Blake Street
Celebrating the day that never existed, this French Punk closing bash will be an out-of-the-box, immersive experience incorporating music curated by DJ Cyn, live performances by Denver pop-soul artist Zach Maxwell, and DJ sets from DJ Val Molano and resident DJ CYN. There will also be craft cocktails from a Run for the Roses pop-up bar, and activations such as sneaker- and leather jacket-painting by Alyssa Mora (BYO clothing items). Admission is free, and part of the proceeds will benefit the Matthew Shepard Foundation & Noble Grain Alliance. Want to pre-party? A French Punk Discotheque will rock the space from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, February 28, and there's no cover. Find out more at thricepopup.com.
And a bonus:
From Nanomaterials to NASCAR: Materials at 200 Miles per Hour
Tuesday, March 3, 2:30 p.m.
Colorado Convention Center
Former nanomaterials researcher and author Diandra Leslie-Pelecky will deliver the lecture “From Nanomaterials to NASCAR: Materials at 200 Miles per Hour,” detailing how materials contribute to speed and safety, including how technology developed by NASA has been incorporated into race cars, and how safety innovations in NASCAR impact the roads everyone drives.The lecture, which is part of the American Physical Society annual convention, is open to the public, and free. Find out more here.
We'll be updating this list over the weekend; if you know of a great free event, send information to email@example.com.