Deep Dive into our Local History of Racism and Discrimination
Thursday, August 4, 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Museum of Boulder, 2205 Broadway, Boulder
In conjunction with the ongoing exhibit Voces Vivas, which tells the stories of early Latino families in Boulder County, the Museum of Boulder will host a panel discussion documenting some long-ago local history that’s been swept under the rug — like the “white-trade only” designation at Lafayette’s municipal pool when it opened in 1934 (and the community civil rights uprising that followed). The panel will also note improvements in community relations in the present. Admission is $5 (members free); learn more and register at Eventbrite.
Garden of Sound: An Evening with Nathan Hall
Thursday, August 4, 6 p.m.
Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York Street
$7 to $15 online in advance
Denver composer Nathan Hall, a Land Line artist resident at the Denver Botanic Gardens, spent his time in the urban oasis recording an electronic soundscape inspired by his surroundings during quality time spent behind the scenes at the gardens. Hall will share the sounds and discuss his methods during an evening performance and talk. Find details and get tickets, $7 to $15, here.
Friday, August 5, 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m.
Gates Planetarium, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, 2001 Colorado Boulevard
At long last, laser shows are returning to the Gates Planetarium, providing fabulous themed light shows showcasing music by favorite pop stars or referencing TV cult shows like Stranger Things. Music from Netflix’s hit will in fact kick off Laser Fantasy’s new summer-through-winter run on Friday night, along with Led Zeppelin, the Beatles and Dark Side of the Moon shows scheduled for separate time slots. Turn on, tune in and drop out, but first get tickets. Timed-entry museum admission is required; with an additional charge for Laser Fantasy tickets, ranging from $8 to $14. Register and get tickets here.
A Day in Japan: Art Exhibition, Friday, August 5, through August 14
A Day in Japan: Cultural Festival and Sake Tasting, Saturday, August 6
Peoples’ Building, 9995 East Colfax Avenue
Art Gallery Reception: Friday, August 5, 4 to 6 p.m.; free, RSVP at Eventbrite
Sake Tasting Event: Friday, August 5, 6 to 8 p.m.; $20 to $50 at Eventbrite
Cultural Festival: Saturday, August 6, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; $10 (free for children) at Eventbrite
The People’s Building in downtown Aurora is hosting a field day for Japanophiles this weekend, bridging two days of art, exhibits, performances and workshops. A Day in Japan begins Friday evening with an artist reception and exhibitions of vintage Sakura dolls, Ise katagami stencils used for textile-dyeing and contemporary Japanese-inspired art; a ticketed 21+ Friday sake-tasting caps the evening. Saturday unveils a full day of performances and exhibits, with taiko drummers, a vendor market, street food and more cultural presentations, but also acknowledging Japanese pop culture with human cosplay fun and a Japanese dog show (bring your own, in costume!). Learn more about events and tickets here.
[margins.] conference and festival
Friday, August 5, 3 to 11 p.m.; Saturday, August 6, 8 a.m. to midnight; Sunday, August 7, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
McNichols Building, 144 West Colfax Avenue
Denver author, activist, leader and educator Suzi Q. Smith holds down the fort at the literary conference [margins.] as director, but the committed family it takes to jumpstart an event this size hails from all across the nation. Its diverse members are writers, editors, publishers, teachers, booksellers (and anyone else with ties to the art of words). The three-day fest is a place to mix, to learn, to instruct, to share work and celebrate work by others, with a tight schedule of readings, workshops, panels, films, open mics and discussions, and reasonable registration fees. Learn more, and register for in-person or virtual attendance here.
Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, Summer Suite
Friday, August 5, 7:30 p.m.
Mainstage Theatre, Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard, Arvada
At a dance show dedicated to summery vibes, the potential audience is correct to expect some heat, but there’s no question that the ever-energetic Cleo Parker Robinson Dance will generate it. Summer Suite, a collection of dances, is anchored by “Sweet Re,” a salute to the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, choreographed by CPRD alumnus Gary Abbott to a rafter-rattling soundtrack. That’s all you need to know. Get info and tickets, $28 to $40, here.
Puerto Rican Nocturne
Friday, August 5, through August 21; 2 p.m. matinees on Sundays; all other performances at 7:30 p.m.
Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo Street
Denver playwright Jon Marcantoni’s historical social justice drama Puerto Rican Nocturne—based on the 1978 Cerro Maravilla murders of two activists by police in Ponce, Puerto Rico—was about to hit the stage in a production by the Colorado Springs company THEATREdART in in March of 2020, when the possibility of a world premiere was shut down by COVID. But life has lobbed Marcontoni a second chance, with a cooperative hand from IDEA Stages, Sasquatch Productions, Control Group Productions and the Bug Theatre. That’s where it opens for a two-week run, saved by the production posse and a BIPOC cast. Help a guy out: Tickets are $10 to $50 here.
Meow Wolf Vortex Outdoor Festival Experience
Friday, August 5, 4 to 11 p.m.; Saturday, August 6, and Sunday, August 7, 1 to 11 p.m.
The Junk Yard, 2323 West Mulberry Place
The Vortex is ready to swallow you and hundreds more music fans this weekend at a new outdoor venue called the Junk Yard, which more or less describes what the lot was before Meow Wolf grabbed it up for its three-day summer festival. Considering the source—the king of immersive and interactive everything—you know Vortex will be more than just the great music: Expect hands-on art installations, unexpected performances, costume-o-rama and whatever else you dream it to be. Don’t dally: Find pricing levels and tickets here, and more information here.
Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance Festival Showcase
Friday, August 5, and Saturday, August 6, 8 p.m
Sunday, August 7, 2 p.m.
Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut Street, Boulder
The Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance Festival gets down to the nitty-gritty this weekend with showcase performances by an international cast of aerial geniuses specializing in bungee, aerial fabric, trapeze, hoop, invented apparatus, rope, cyr wheel and other high-flying dance disciplines. And yes, it’s extremely rare to see this many top performers on one stage at one time. Tickets are $24 to $28 at the Dairy Arts Center online box office.
Grace DeVine & the Moonbeams
Saturday, August 6, 8 p.m.
Lost Lake Lounge, 3602 East Colfax Avenue
Join art-pop darling Grace DeVine at Lost Lake as she celebrates the release of her new single, “Mangoes,” out August 5. Loosely inspired by Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side” (but with a juicy tropical boost), DeVine describes “Mangoes” as “a bittersweet summertime anthem.” She’ll be backed by her newly assembled band, The Moonbeams, with support from fellow local acts Little Trips and Lavender Jones. Wear your dancing shoes and disco best, and get ready to groove. This is a 16+ event, but children under 16 can attend if accompanied by a ticketed guardian; get tickets, $15, here.