Fall arrives this week, bringing with it many free events designed to expand your horizons. And you won’t have to leave home to take an intellectual, artistic journey: Virtual events are more prominent than ever.
Keep reading for ten of the best free things to do this week, including one that will actually get you out of the house!
John Lewis: Good Trouble
Monday, September 21, 5 p.m.
While the Denver Center for the Performing Arts may be dark, the nonprofit is joining with dozens of other cultural institutions for a program on the new documentary John Lewis: Good Trouble. If you haven’t seen the film, you can rent it here for $12 and then participate in a free discussion with Dawn Porter, the film’s director; Ras J. Baraka, mayor of Newark, New Jersey; Khalil Gibran Muhammad, who teaches in the department of history, race and public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and heads up the Institutional Antiracism and Accountability Project; and Lonnie G. Bunch III, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. Register for this free event at dcpa.today/jlewis-register.
Read & Rant
Monday, September 21, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Read & Rant is the Athena Project’s book club, which explores plays written primarily by women. It’s free to join the club and participate in the Zoom discussion; to register and get the list of scripts to read for the next Read & Rant, go to AthenaProjectArts.org.
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Helen Thorpe, Finding Motherland
Monday, September 21, 7 p.m.
The Irish Network of Colorado kicks off a fall series of lectures with author Helen Thorpe talking about the essays in her new ebook/audio collection, Finding Motherland. It’s free to participate; register here.
InSights & InPerson — Connections: Mona Lucero and the Clothes We Live In
Tuesday, September 22, 3 to 4 p.m.
What do our favorite clothes mean to us on a personal level, and where do they fit into the bigger historical picture? Melissa de Bie, History Colorado’s collection access director, is teaming up with fashion designer Mona Lucero, a Denver favorite, for a virtual talk punctuated by interesting clothing items from the museum’s collection. The interactive event will also make room for audience members to pull out their own special garments and share fashion stories. Admission is free, but a $5 donation is suggested; either way, register in advance at Eventbrite for the Zoom link.
BMoCA + Swoon: Virtual Artist Talk with Senga Nengudi
Tuesday, September 22, 5:30 p.m.
Senga Nengudi, the BMoCA + Swoon 2020 artist in residence, will talk about her work during the residency, as well as past and future projects. The program is free; sign up here.
Tuesday, September 22, 6 p.m.
The Latina Cultural Arts Center is hosting Zoom talks that explore how art can have a social impact. This week’s edition features Denver-based metalsmith Ana Marina Sanchez, whose jewelry is available at LHAC. Register here.
Public Trust: The Fight for America’s Public Lands
Wednesday, September 23, through Saturday, September 26
Aspen Film, in partnership with Wilderness Workshop, is offering a screening of the new documentary Public Trust; the screening will be followed by a recorded panel discussion with Angelo Baca and Judy Fox-Perry, moderated by Will Roush, executive director of Wilderness Workshop. Although there’s a suggested donation of $20, which directly benefits Aspen Film and Wilderness Workshop, two of the Roaring Fork Valley’s venerable nonprofit organizations, you can watch for free. Find out more here.
Environment Colorado Virtual CORE Act Tour: San Juan Mountains
Thursday, September 24, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Join Environment Colorado for the last stop on its virtual “tour” of the areas protected by the CORE Act, the most significant and broadly supported effort to protect Colorado’s most cherished lands, waters and forests in a generation. The tour includes appearances by Ridgway mayor John Clark; Mark Pearson: executive director of San Juan Citizens Alliance; Lexi Tuddenham, executive director of Sheep Mountain Alliance; and Shelley Silbert, executive director of Great Old Broads for Wilderness. Sign up here.
Black Angels: A Work in Progress
Thursday, September 24, 7:30 p.m.
Viennese choreographer Robert Sher-Machherndl has created a new, commissioned work for Cleo Parker Robinson Dance; join Denver’s legendary dance troupe and the Longmont Museum for a live-stream performance and talkback that includes thirty minutes of performance and a thirty-minute Q&A all on Facebook Live. Find out more here.
Avalon Drive-Thru Art Event
Saturday, September 26, noon to 4 p.m.
Avalon Ballroom parking lot, 6185 Arapahoe Avenue, Boulder
Think of the Avalon Drive-Thru Art Event as an arts festival that you travel through and view from the safety of your car, from which you can purchase fresh work by some sixty local artists, all while enjoying live music, dance performances and wacky art installations. Mask up, roll down your windows and chat with the artists as you roll around the tented, drive-thru gallery; the entire event is free, meaning you’ll have more dough in your wallet to give artists a reason to live again. Reserve timed tickets in advance at Eventbrite.
Know of other great free events in Denver? We update this list throughout the week. Send information to firstname.lastname@example.org.