There is a plethora of free events in town this week. You can go to the hills – or just learn more about them from a talk by legendary photographer John Fielder and author Jeri Norgren. Along the way, stretch your mind and other body parts with yoga experts, scavenge for urban food, or simply stop at Civic Center Park on 4/20 for a contact high.
Keep reading for fifteen of the best free events in and around Denver as we head into the weekend:
Framing the future Print Pop-up Show and Virtual Auction
Pop-Up Show: Thursday 21 April via live online auction Wednesday 4 May
Colorado Photographic Arts Center, 1070 Bannock Street
CPAC’s goal to expand to a new, larger location by early 2023 is gaining speed and urgency. Here’s one way to help the growing photography center and its fundraising campaign Framing the Future: Bid on something beautiful or, if you’re a photographer, something useful. In addition to thirty donated photographic works from established artists, auction items include book bundles and portfolio reviews with industry professionals. Bidding will begin online at Clickbid at midnight on April 20th and will continue through May 4th, when CPAC hosts a virtual live auction. In the meantime, visit the pop-up exhibition in person. Register here via separate links for the Clickbid site and Zoom auction.
Poetry, Mind, Memory: Reading and Talking
Thursday 21 April, 7 pm, online
The Word, A Storytelling Sanctuary, a Denver-based nonprofit that supports literary diversity and gives a voice to writers from underserved communities, offers a mentorship program, an online bookstore, a virtual stage, free workshops, and [margins.], a full-fledged conference returning in August to spread its message. Come and have a taste by tuning in to this week [margins.] meet poetry reading and conversation with 2021 National Mexican Slam Champion Alejandro Jimenez, former Albuquerque Poet Laureate Jessica Helen Lopez, and Roanna “Rowie” Shebala, a competitive and literary poet of Navajo and Zuni heritage. RSVP in advance on Eventbrite; admission is free, but a donation is welcome.
Square Product Theater, lightness has a call that is hard to hear
Thursday 21 April, Friday 22 April and Saturday 23 April from 7 to 8 p.m
Art Gymnastics, 1460 Leiden Street
Emily K. Harrison, whose life project is Boulder’s offbeat Square Product Theater when not teaching theater in other states, recently returned to Colorado with a series of spring/summer productions. Elly Hong .’s first dance-based work lightness has a call that is hard to hear, is part of an art exhibit opening at the Art Gym studio to showcase work by artists who have completed the venue’s six-month residency program. Hong will perform for three evenings, addressing gender transition and personal transformation along the way; entry is free, but an RSVP is required here in advance.
DJ Kavem Concrete Garden Album Release Party
Friday, April 22, 2 to 10 p.m.
McNichols Building, Civic Center Park
DJ Cavem will host a release party for Concrete Garden, complete with a free yoga class and inner-city foraging workshop with Tyron Beverly and Brigitte Mars from 2-4pm, a live concert and film screening from 5-10pm, and a meet-and-greet with DJ Cavem, Ron Finley, and more. “This is my second USDA certified seed packet album release – aimed at capturing carbon and heritage seed savings in marginalized urban realms,” says DJ Cavem. Representatives of Dr. Bronner’s will be handing out free organic and fair trade chocolate and soap samples. Read more here.
Fbomb Flash Fiction Reading Series
Friday April 22, 6 to 9 p.m
Roxy on Broadway, 554 South Broadway
Denver’s flash fiction showcase, Fbomb, is landing in a new place as it resumes personal readings for the first time this year: the speakeasy downstairs in the Roxy on Broadway. Host Meg Tuite takes the stage and introduces guests Nancy Stohlman (who founded the series), Kona Morris and Robert Vaughan. Braver audience members can also sign up for a four-minute open-mic slot. Fun for everyone, and it’s free. Read more here.
An Evening with John Fielder and Jeri Norgren
Friday April 22, 6 p.m
Greenwood Village City Hall, 6060 South Quebec Street, Greenwood Village
Join photographer John Fielder and author Jeri Norgren as they discuss two books. Colorado’s Highest: The History of Naming the 14,000 Foot Peaks describes how all 58 of Colorado’s Fourteeners were named and who first climbed them; Weld County: 4,000 Square Miles of Greatness, Greatness and Yesterday looks at the state’s third largest county and the prairie in and around it. Admission is free; all of John Fielder’s Colorado books and 2022 calendars will be available. Read more here.
Colorado Front Range Trail Sunshine Ride
Saturday, April 23, 9:00 a.m.
City Hall, 500 South 4th Avenue, Brighton
The city of Brighton is holding a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate a new stretch of the Colorado Front Range Trail completed in 2020; the celebration was delayed by the pandemic. Prior to the ceremony, the Sunshine Ride will take bicyclists along the path from City Hall to the site of the ribbon cutting ceremony in Ken Mitchell Park, 889 Kinglet Court. Read more here. Email to RSVP at [email protected]
Native American Spring Craft Sale
Saturday April 23 and Sunday April 24 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m
Lakota Way Healing Center, 201 West Fifth Avenue
A rare opportunity to shop for handmade items by native artists will arrive at the Lakota Way health center in Denver this weekend. Treasures for sale include beadwork, blankets, baskets, pottery, leather items, and other beautifully crafted goods; you can also sample delicious dishes from Renee’s Famous Frybread and Indian Tacos. Admission is free; learn more here.
Little Shop of Physics Spring Science Extravaganza
Saturday, April 23 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m
Monfort Quadrangle and Lory Student Plaza, Colorado State University, Fort Collins
After two years of pandemic restrictions, CSU has moved its annual family-friendly open house outdoors. The Spring Science Extravaganza will feature hundreds of hands-on experiments and experiences. Read more here.
The State of the Yoga Industry
Saturday 23 April, 12.00 to 13.00, online
As part of the Yoga Teacher Conf, taking place April 22-24 at the Hyatt Regency Aurora/Denver, there will be a free livestream panel on the industry’s booth featuring representatives from Yoga Unify, the International Association of Yoga Therapists and Yoga Alliance. “It has been tough on the yoga industry in recent years as the pandemic and other forces have redefined our business,” said Allison Rissel, founder of Yoga Teacher Conf. “We are excited to share this important panel discussion so that everyone can learn how these three major organizations are helping to improve the lives of yoga teachers and yoga therapists and help move the industry forward.” Read more here.
Search the Earth! Treasure hunt, pop-ups and more
Saturday April 23, 1 to 6 pm
Larimer Square, 1400 block Larimer Street
Earth Day takes over Larimer Square on Saturday, with a scavenger hunt to win gift cards from local businesses, connect with eco-friendly organizations, and free Earth Day cocktails from Green Russell — if you follow the square’s new Instagram. The magical IG account @itslarimersquare also offers clues to lead you to green carnations hidden on the block every hour from 1 to 6 p.m., and while you hunt, stop at popups featuring Compost Colorado’s Simple Swap Shop and the Potted PeaceProject. Participation is free; find more info here.
Federico F. Pena: Not bad for a boy from South Texas
Saturday 23 April, 3 p.m
Tattered Cover, 2526 East Colfax Avenue
Since his start in South Texas, Federico Peña has been an attorney, served in the Colorado House of Representatives, served as mayor of the city and county of Denver, founded an investment advisory firm, and served in two cabinet positions in the Clinton administration. as Secretary of the Ministry of Energy and Secretary of the Ministry of Transport. The title of his book, Not bad for a boy from South Texas, comes from a note written by Peña’s English professor at the university. He talks about his upbringing and career during a conversation with Tattered Cover CEO Kwame Spearman. Read more here.
A memorial/tribute to the life and art of Bill Gian
Saturday, April 23, 3 to 7 p.m
Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard, Arvada
At one time and space in Denver’s art history, artist Bill Gian was king of his own empire, creating zingy sculptures, abstract paintings, and pop art T-shirts, not to mention Squiggles, the gigantic outdoor” sea saurus” sculpture/play structure that adorns the grounds of the Arvada Center. He later migrated to California, but his lifelong friends and fans have never forgotten his inimitable sense of color and whimsy. Gian, who passed away in February, will be remembered by Denver’s family and supporters at a memorial service at the Arvada Center. Mourners are encouraged to wear Gian clothes and bring Gian stories; the event will also be shared virtually on Facebook. Find information here.
Children’s Day and SCFD Day Off
Denver Art Museum, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway
Sunday 24 April, 10 am to 5 pm
Clyfford Still Museum, 1250 Bannock Street
Sunday 24 April, 10.30 am to 12.30 pm
The Mexican tradition of Día del Niño (Children’s Day) falls annually on April 30, which more or less corresponds to Denver’s SCFD days off at local museums. The Denver Art Museum is celebrating the twentieth anniversary of its own celebration with a family-friendly day featuring cultural performances from around the world, hands-on activities, and a children’s book giveaway while they last. Next door at the Clyfford Still Museum, families are invited to stop by in the morning for a pewter folk art workshop and additional performances. RSVP to the DAM here; the Still Museum does not require registration.
Lafayette Conversation Series: Sewing the Geopolitical Quilt to Recreate the Body
Associated Talk: A Community Meeting, Sunday, April 24, 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Workshop series: Illuminating Your Voice, Monday 25 April, 2 May and 9 May from 17:30 to 19:00
The Collective Community Arts Center, 201 North Public Road, Lafayette
Dancer/choreographer/activist and Lecturer at the University of Colorado, Boulder, Helanius Wilkins, continues his Conversation Series, an open-ended, state-hopping project dedicated to giving voice to BIPOC stories through movement. In Lafayette, he will host a lecture series for people who want to contribute to a closing dance with roots in local history. On Sunday he will first loosen up the audience with Belonging Conversation; Starting April 25, Wilkins will work with residents on three consecutive Mondays to further shape the work, which will be completed on May 4. Find details and register here to be included.
Know of a free event in town? Good update this list during the week; send information to [email protected]