The temperature's dropping, but the roster of activities both entertaining and educational around town is picking up. This week you can hear discussions of race and society, race and art, and art and age; you can celebrate art and also buy some...but that's the only time you'll have to open your wallet. And in all but two cases, you won't even have to leave your home — but you'll want to for those activities.
Keep reading for the ten best free events in Denver this week.
Denver Design Week
Through October 23
Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas Street, Aurora
The fifth annual Denver Design Week — celebrating Colorado’s most innovative and relevant architecture, design and technology projects and people — has gone virtual this year. While most programs are ticketed, there's a free component. Six local artists — Autumn T. Thomas, Viviane Le Courtois, Rian Kerrane, Jodie Roth Cooper, Sean O’Neill and Lio BUMBAKiNi — are all part of an outdoor art space at Stanley Marketplace that's free to visit. Find out more at denverdesignweek.com.
Colorado Election Experts – Two Weeks Out
Wednesday, October 21, 3 p.m.
The Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research at the University of Denver presents a Zoom conversation with Joey Bunch of Colorado Politics, Democratic strategist Sheila MacDonald, former Colorado Republican Party chair Dick Wadhams, and moderator Floyd Ciruli, discussing the presidential, Senate and congressional races in Colorado, as well as the general state of our democracy as November 3 approaches. Sign up here.
Race on the Ballot
Wednesday, October 21, 4:30 p.m.
A panel of experts will discuss Colorado ballot initiatives through the lens of racial equity. The Interfaith Alliance of Colorado, Soul2Soul Sisters, Cameron UMC, Sacred Stones Ministries and Scott UMC, along with other sponsoring partners, are hosting this virtual event, that will include a panel discussion and also a Q&A. It's free, but you must register in advance.
Make Zines at Home
Wednesday, October 21, 5 p.m.
Learn how to make your own eight-page zine during this MCA Denver virtual workshop with the Denver Zine Library, a Denver treasure. The program also includes an overview of zines and zine culture, as well as a sampling of some of the DZL's zines; find out more here.
Changing the Legacy of Race and Ethnicity: Conversations for One America
Wednesday, October 21, 7 p.m.
Author Adrian Miller leads a panel exploring race and ethnicity in Colorado and the United States from the perspectives of history, economics, criminology, psychology and faith traditions. Panelists include Rachel Harding, a historian and poet who specializes in religions of the Afro-Atlantic diaspora; Denise Maes of the ACLU of Colorado; Wendell Pryor, director of the Chaffee County Economic Development Corporation; and Anthony Young, president of the Denver-Rocky Mountain Association of Black Psychologists. This is the first in a series sponsored by Colorado Humanities; find out more here.
Indigenous Film Series: Places of Memory
Wednesday, October 21, 7 p.m.
The Indigenous Film Festival continues with screenings of two short films followed by a virtual discussion. In "He Hekenga Tuhura," 86-year old Sir Hector Busby (Te Rarawa) sat down with his nephew, Allan George, to share stories about his legacy of celestial navigation and waka carving. Robert Davidson was only 22 when he helped create the first totem pole in Old Massett on Haida Gwaii in nearly a century; in "Now Is the Time," filmmaker Christopher Auchter tells the story from a Haida perspective on the fiftieth anniversary of the pole raising. The program is presented in partnership with the International Institute for Indigenous Resource Management and the Denver American Indian Commission; register here.
Wolves in Colorado: The Experience of Living With Wolves
Thursday, October 22, 5 p.m.
For many in the Lower 48, the idea of living alongside wolves isn’t theoretical; it’s a practical reality. Residents of the Northern Rockies and the Upper Midwest have had Canis lupis as a neighbor for decades, and understand the values, concerns and tradeoffs in a way that few others can. This five-part series concludes with first-person stories and lived experiences from Shane Doyle (Apsaalooke/Crow), an educational and cultural consultant; Denny Iverson, rancher and logger at Iverson Ranch (Montana) and secretary of the Blackfoot Challenge; and Kim Skyelander, associate director of the Center for Collaborative Conservation at Colorado State University. They’ll talk about wolf-human co-existence strategies and share what they’ve learned about balancing diverse viewpoints, in addition to answering viewer questions during the moderated discussion. Register here.
Artists on Their Later Work
Thursday, October 22, 6 p.m.
The Clyfford Still Museum — dedicated to an artist who enjoyed a long career — presents three seasoned local artists who reflect on their work: dancer/choreographer Cleo Parker Robinson, visual artist/designer Clark Richert, and musician Pamela Z. The discussion will be moderated by Dean Sobel, who curated The Late Works: Clyfford Still in Maryland exhibit now up at the museum. Sign up here.
Luminocity Gala Virtual Edition
Thursday, October 21, 7 p.m.
You can show up to MCA Denver’s 2020 Luminocity Gala in your pajamas, and no one will bat an eye. That’s because you’ll be at home with your feet up, enjoying an evening with music by Nathaniel Rateliff and Flobots, comedy with Janae Burris and a performance by Yvie Oddly, the Denver-based winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race, season eleven. On the other hand, you might want to dress up over a champagne toast with yourself; whatever the case, sign up in advance (and see MCA’s handy YouTube video suggestions regarding proper attire) at Eventbrite, and feel free to leave a donation.
99 Pieces of Art
Friday, October 23, 5 p.m.
The annual fundraiser for Access Gallery, an inclusive nonprofit organization that offers creative, educational and economic opportunities for people with disabilities, is a "first come, first served" virtual experience this year. The gallery of 99 one-of-a-kind pieces of art goes live at 5 p.m. October 23; once a work is gone, it's gone for good. Preview the show at accessgallery.org; then return to bid and buy.
and a bonus:
Let’s Go Picnic at the Cemetery!
Saturday, October 24, 3 to 5 p.m.
Riverside Cemetery, 5201 Brighton Boulevard
As always with events hosted by Warm Cookies of the Revolution (Denver’s only civic-health club), Let’s Go Picnic at the Cemetery! has an underlying community-based agenda, but it's also so fun that you'll forget it’s a learning experience. People in this country once picnicked in droves on the lush green lawns of manicured graveyards; now you have the same opportunity, with one big exception: This picnic will be at Riverside, 5201 Brighton Boulevard, a once-grand burial ground where historic Denver figures and Civil War heroes languish, under a thatch of brown grass dried up for lack of water rather than a lush lawn. It’s up to you to get creative about how to save Riverside before it’s lost. The event is free, but it’s BYO picnic and blanket. RSVP online.
Know of a great free event in Denver? Send information to email@example.com; we'll be updating this list later this week.