On any day of the week, you can find a unique cultural event happening in Denver and its surrounding cities. But for one week a year, cultural organizations all over put their best foot forward during Denver Arts Week.
“The whole concept is to highlight the amazing arts and culture scene in the metro area,” said Ashley Taufen, communications manager with Visit Denver, the tourism organization for Denver. “Not only is the week an opportunity to spotlight the various arts districts, but it’s a chance to spotlight smaller galleries.”
The 11th annual Denver Arts Week begins on Nov. 3 and runs through Nov. 11. It features everything from free and low-cost events, to special exhibits and tours. The week kicks off with first Friday arts walks on Nov. 3 at art districts that include Belmar, the Golden Triangle, Tennyson Street and 40 West Arts.
“One of our most unique events is on Saturday, Nov. 4, when Denver’s museums are open late and are free,” Taufen said.
Participating museums are open from 5 to 10 p.m. Facilities like the Black American West Museum, Denver Botanic Gardens, Golden History Center, and Denver Museum of Nature and Science are all offering nights at the museum. “We even have a shuttle to take people to different spots that night, so visitors can see as many museums as possible.”
Denver Arts Week is not the only a way to create a sense of community in the arts community, but it also highlights the fact that Denver is home to internationally recognized scenes, galleries and exhibitions.
“Residents don’t really get to act like tourists in their home town all that often,” Taufen explained. “A lot of people don’t expect the quality they find here, and it’s not just one style of art. We have something for everybody.”
Here are three recommended Denver Arts Week events to check out:
Denver Film Festival
WHEN: Nov. 1-12
WHAT: More than 55,000 tickets are sold to more than 250 films, making this annual festival one of the city’s biggest cultural events. Some films showing at the festival that you’ll be hearing about through awards season include “Lady Bird,” featuring Saoirse Ronan, Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut, “Molly’s Game,” and Frances McDormand’s acting master class, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”
40 West Arts Youth Autism opening reception
WHEN: 5 to 8 p.m., Nov. 3
WHERE: 40 West Arts gallery, 1560 Teller St., Lakewood
WHAT: The Lakewood arts district is partnering with autistic youths for an exhibit that highlights the range and skill of these artists. Many children with autism use art as a creative way to express their emotions and experience. The exhibit will feature a variety of mediums, and there will also be beer, wine and light snacks.
First Friday live music
WHEN: 6 to 8 p.m., Nov. 3
WHERE: Southwest Plaza, 8501 W. Bowles Ave., south Jefferson County
WHAT: Michigan musician Kenny Lee Young has been in the Denver area for a while now, and will be performing in Southwest Plaza’s Food District. Young brings a mix of soul and folk to the stage, and he is certainly worth seeing live.
Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. A community editor with Colorado Community Media, he can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.