Ten things to do for free in Denver this week, Feb. 28-March 6


This week features standout programs, as the Colorado Springs-based Space Foundation kicks off Symposium 365; there’s also a very artsy party happening from the Auraria campus to the 16th Street Mall, as well as a big Mardi Gras celebration in Arvada today. Go out and enjoy this weather!

But first, keep reading to learn more about the best free events in town.

Space Foundation: Symposium 365
Tuesday, March 1, 11 a.m., online

The Colorado Springs-based Space Foundation offers more adult programming and speakers at its annual 365 symposium. First up: “Start Here for Space: International Collaboration at NASA,” an online discussion about the foundation. Register here.

Click to enlarge

Metamorphosis, red, by Morn Chear.

Arts and places

Tomorrow is a new day: virtual chat with Lauren Iida
Tuesday, March 1, noon, online

Join Shanna Shelby, Denver Arts & Venues and Lauren Iida, Founder of Open Studio Cambodia, for a virtual discussion about Open Studio Cambodia and the artwork featured in Tomorrow is a New Day: The Artwork of Lauren Iida and Morn Chear, now on display at the McNichols Building. Iida will talk about her work, including the art of social practice, mentoring emerging Cambodian artists, and her career in public art; there will also be a short video from Morn Chear. Register here. And while the event is online, you can catch the show for free daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the McNichols Building, bordering Civic Center Park.

Performance Art Week
Performances by Heather Sincavage, Gregg Deal and John Haworth: Tuesday, March 1, 3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Emmanuel Gallery, 1205 10th Street Plaza, Auraria Campus
PAW X-Xtra Large: Tuesday, March 1; reception at 5:30 p.m., Night Lights screenings from 6 p.m. to midnight
Daniels & Fisher Clock Tower, 1601 Arapahoe Street
Live performance day: Wednesday, March 2, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Emmanuel Gallery, 1205 10th Street Plaza, Auraria Campus

At the Emmanuel Gallery at the University of Colorado Denver, students and artists in the exhibit are encouraged to push beyond their traditional boundaries to create braver, more original works without boundaries. It is now celebrating the tenth anniversary of its annual Performance Art Week. In February, students were treated to a workshop with New Orleans performance artist Jeff Becker; during PAW X, it’s their turn to show their own work, as well as performances by alumni and local artists. It begins with three live performances at the Emmanuel Art Gallery on March 1: Heather Sincavage with “a brittleness” (3:30 p.m.), Gregg Deal with “Dead Pioneers, Bad Indian” (4 p.m.), and Smithsonian Executive Emeritus John Haworth National Museum of American Indian (4:30 p.m.) After that, the action moves to the 16th Street Mall that night for video screenings of performance art by thirteen artists at Night Lights Denver. A day of live performances will end at the gallery on Wednesday, March 2. To learn more, click here.

Rowland Ricketts, “Mobile Section”, textile installation.  - ROWLAND REDEMPTIONS

Rowland Ricketts, “Mobile Section”, textile installation.

Rowland Ricketts

Scott Artist Series: Rowland Ricketts
Iris and Michael Smith Alumni Center Event Hall, 701 West Pitkin Street, CSU Campus, Fort Collins
Tuesday, March 1, from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Indiana farmers/artists Rowland and Chinami Ricketts have a practice you won’t see often. As makers and artists working with indigo dyes, they raise and process their own indigo and dye their own fabrics to create both large-scale installations and beautifully dyed functional clothing and household items. Rowland Ricketts, who has been at CSU in Fort Collins leading a student workshop, will discuss this rare practice and perhaps persuade a few people to embrace his perspective as a back-to-the-land craftsman. Learn more here.

Click to enlarge OLD TOWN ARVADA

Mardi Gras City Tour
Tuesday, March 1, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Olde Town Arvada, from Ralston Road to Grandview Avenue, between Yukon Street and Wadsworth Boulevard

Olde Town Arvada aims to bring people together on the streets of the neighborhood, filled with independent shops and restaurants, and Mardi Gras is an ideal opportunity to do so, as a large marching band leads people in a festive parade. At 6 p.m. on Shrove Tuesday, the local Guerrilla Fanfare’s NOLA-style Second Line March will depart from the Bluegrass Lounge, 7415 Grandview Avenue, then tour Olde Town, where pop-up performances and specialty food and Mardi Gras drinks will be spaced throughout the
region. Learn more here.

Harry Potter quiz night
Tuesday, March 1, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Telephone Pub, 7260 West Alaska Drive, Lakewood
The Handsome Boys who open bars in town sure know how to have fun. Tuesday night is a free Harry Potter quiz night at the new Telephone Pub. No registration is required; learn more here.

Natural Grocers 303 Days
41 locations in Colorado

Homegrown Natural Grocers — which debuted as Vitamin Cottage — will mark March 3 by giving customers free, limited-edition, reusable Colorado bags and stickers. Each location will also award a $100 Natural Grocers gift card to one lucky shopper. And through March 26, the chain is offering a sale on a variety of Colorado products. There are 41 locations in Colorado; find one near you here.

Colfax Art Crawl: Mardi Gras
Friday March 4, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
40 West Arts District, West Colfax Avenue corridor, between Pierce Street and Wadsworth Boulevard

In Lakewood’s 40 West Art District, Mardi Gras entwines with the first Colfax Art Crawl First Friday of 2022, making for an explosive night on the town. The Denver Brass will blast its horns in every corner of this creative neighborhood off Colfax, where art spaces will welcome the party as it passes, offering crafts to make and take away, Mardi Gras beads, face painting and more. Find a neighborhood gallery map with links to each space here.

Displaced Aurarian Memory Project
Saturday March 5 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
St. Cajetan Church, 101 Lawrence Way, Auraria Campus

The Auraria that existed before 1976, when the multi-agency Auraria campus opened, is now a distant memory, caught in the shadows of a few rescued buildings where much of Denver’s history and later, a lost Hispanic community flourished. . It won’t bring them back, but History Colorado and Historic Denver want to preserve the memories of families displaced by urban renewal with an oral history archive. People who lived in the former Westside community (and their offspring, who might have heard stories) are invited to share memories Saturday morning at Saint Cajetan, a once-central building in the Auraria neighborhood. Breakfast burritos and free parking are offered to participants; RSVP in advance here (or contact Marissa Volpe at 443-844-2633, [email protected]).

Virtual meditation with Luvin arms
Saturday, March 5, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., online

Luvin Arms is hosting this virtual yoga session with Alex Wright, who will lead a session of light yoga, guided meditation, and breathing. This event is virtual only, but will feature the animal residents of Luvin Arms. Register here.

Plan ahead

Preserving Women’s Voices: The Life and Legacy of Bell Hooks
Monday, March 7, 4 to 5 p.m., online

The Denver Public Library will celebrate Women’s History Month by highlighting Denver Public Library branch namesakes, Dr. Justina Ford, Pauline Robinson, Sarah Platt Decker. First, Professor Qrescent Mason discusses the life impact of the bells and the legacy of her archival collection. Learn more here.

Know of a great free event in Denver? We’ll be updating this list throughout the week; send information to [email protected]


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