For 10 straight years, the eight-day citywide festival has celebrated Denver’s creative community with hundreds of events bringing thousands of people each year
Denver Arts Week, an annual celebration of The Mile High City‘s vibrant arts scene, will mark its 10th anniversary this year from November 4-12. Presented by VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau, the event will feature annual favorites like Know Your Arts First Friday and FREE Night at the Museums, as well as new experiences throughout the more than 300 events at galleries, museums and arts districts throughout the city.
“Denver is home to a phenomenal year-round arts scene – with world-renowned museums, cutting edge street art, exceptional performing arts and more,” says Richard Scharf, president and CEO of VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau. “For 10 years, Denver Arts Week has encouraged people to celebrate the city’s cultural scene, and we are thrilled that the event has continued to evolve and grow as much as the arts scene has. The tenth anniversary is the perfect opportunity to attend some classic events or experience new ones and really immerse yourself in the city’s creative community.“
With more than 300 cultural events – some of which are free or heavily discounted – throughout the city over nine days, there are plenty of reasons to make a night – or a few nights – of it; and there are plenty of great hotel deals to facilitate a stay in Denver. For a complete calendar and a full listing of all the deals and discounts on art, experiences and hotels, visit the Denver Arts Week website.
10 Ways to Make the Most of Denver Arts Week
It can be difficult to choose from the myriad of events taking place around town; here’s how to get the most out of Denver Arts Week 2016:
1. Explore vibrant art districts and diverse neighborhoods on First Friday Art Walks, Nov. 4
The annual event kicks off with citywide First Friday Art Walks in Denver’s art districts, where more than 100 galleries and display spaces stay open late and feature art shows, demonstrations and more. Go on a VIP Art Tour in the River North Art District (RiNo), take advantage of Tennyson Street Cultural District‘s $52.80 art sale, submit your own art in the Art District on Santa Fe‘s “To Denver With Love” art contest, and venture to the Golden Triangle neighborhood to see some of the city’s finest galleries.
2. Experience FREE Night at the Museums on Nov. 5
Venues around town are open late, from 5 to 10 p.m., during FREE Night at the Museums. The museums offer special programming, family-friendly activities and live entertainment, and there are complimentary shuttles to make “museum hopping” easy and convenient. The Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Denver Art Museum, History Colorado Center, The Counterterrorism Education Learning Lab (CELL), Forney Museum of Transportation and Denver Firefighters Museum are just some of this year’s many not-to-miss participants.
3. Check out blockbuster exhibitions, from mummies to Japanese fashion
This fall, several of Denver’s major museums are hosting international traveling exhibitions and original curations. See Washed Ashore, Art to Save the Sea at Denver Zoo; Shock Wave: Japanese Fashion Design, 1980s-90s at the Denver Art Museum; and Extreme Mammals and Mummies: New Secrets from the Tombs, both of which are at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.
This unusual traveling exhibit, Washed Ashore, Art to Save the Sea, features 15 giant sculptures depicting sea life, made almost entirely of debris collected from beaches. Hosted by Denver Zoo, it’s the first time the exhibit has appeared at an inland, noncoastal location. The exhibit will be open from Sept. 24, 2016, to Jan. 16, 2017. The Washed Ashore Project aims to educate the public and raise awareness about pollution through the arts. As a community-based organization, lead artist Angela Haseltine Pozzi draws on people of all ages to help her remove thousands of pounds of debris from beaches then turn it into large works of art.
The organization says 90 percent of the debris they collect come from petroleum-based products such as plastics, nylon ropes and fishing nets. Almost all of the trash then gets turned into sculptures such as a walk-through replica of ocean currents and a coral reef made of Styrofoam.
4. See ‘only in Denver’ dance performances and events
Kick off Denver Arts Week with a free First Friday performance of The Nutcracker (Nov. 4) at Colorado Ballet. Attend a professional dance workshop for free at Chance to Dance (Nov. 5) at the newly renovated McNichols Building in Civic Center Park. See 10 amazing dancers perform as part of the Wonderbound dance company (Nov. 10) at the Mizel Arts and Culture Center; and experience the passion of flamenco dancing when Una Noche de Flamenco! (Nov. 11) takes the stage at Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center.
5. Tune in to Denver’s thriving music scene
Hear beautiful music inspired by Shakespeare as the St. Martin’s Chamber Choir presents There is Sweet Music: Shakespeare at 400 (Nov. 11). Or check out pop and electronic artists at some of the city’s more intimate music venues, such as Timeflies (Nov. 8) and Space Jesus (Nov. 11) at the Bluebird Theater, country bands like Dan + Shay (Nov. 10) at the Ogden Theatre, and country and roots rock singer Sturgill Simpson (Nov. 4 & 5) at the Paramount Theatre.
6. Make plans for a ‘theater night out’
Denver is home to a premier performing arts scene. See Jersey Boys (Nov. 9-13) at Denver Center for the Performing Arts and Hand to God (Nov. 3 –Dec. 17) at the Curious Theatre Company. But if you want to unlock the magic behind theatrical performances, check out the free, family-friendly Magic of Theatre (Nov. 7) activity where you’ll learn about combat, fake blood and conjuring rain on stage from Tony Award-winning professionals at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.
7. See the newest independent films during The 39th Denver Film Festival
The 39th Denver Film Festival (Nov. 2-13) features more than 250 films: blockbusters, documentaries, shorts and more. Regular festival screenings take place at the Sie FilmCenter and UA Denver Pavilions Stadium 15.
8. Discover unique art exhibits
Pay homage to influential artists from the past four decades during Looking Back: 40 Years/40 Artists (through Nov. 13) at Arvada Center for the Arts & Humanities and survey Western art by viewing more than 300 paintings at the American Museum of Western Art. If you want to get smart about art, immerse yourself in a week-long series of educational experiences. Join artists, dealers and other experts at Art Smart in Cherry Creek North (Nov. 4-12).
9. Get in for free at the city’s top cultural attractions
On select days, get free admission to some of the city’s most sought after attractions like Denver Zoo (Nov. 4 & 7), Denver Art Museum (Nov. 5) and Denver Botanic Gardens (Nov. 11 & 12).
10. Choose from numerous great deals and discounts
Take advantage of excellent deals on artwork and tickets and find free events by searching the Denver Arts Week Deals page.
Celebrating 107 years of promoting The Mile High City, VISIT DENVER is a nonprofit trade association that contracts with the City of Denver to market Denver as a convention and leisure destination, increasing economic development in the city, creating jobs and generating taxes. A record 16.4 million visitors stayed overnight in Denver in 2015, generating $5 billion in spending, while supporting nearly 54,000 jobs, making Tourism one of the largest industries in Denver. Learn more about Denver on the VISITDENVER website and at TOURISMPAYSDENVER or by phone at 800 2 Denver. Follow Denver’s social media channels for up-to-the-minute updates at: www.Facebook.com/visitdenver; www.Twitter.com/visitdenver; www.Instagram.com/visitdenver; and www.YouTube.com/visitdenver.