Famous Paintings

Things to Do for Free in Denver, February 7 to 13, 2022

Things to Do for Free in Denver, February 7 to 13, 2022
Written by Noah Roy

The first full week of February is full of opportunities to live and learn — both in person and online.

You can join in the second annual Denver Democracy Summit, celebrate the resilience of shops on Broadway, sit back and listen to Hawaiian steel guitar or start shopping for your valentine. Keep reading for fourteen of the best free things to do this week.

“Community Intentions and Collective Visioning” With Molina Speaks
Opening Conversation Tuesday, February 8, 4 to 6 pm; Open House Saturday, February 12, 10 am to 1 pm
Tin Shop, 117 East Washington Avenue, Breckenridge

Breckenridge Creative Arts tapped multi-talented Denver poet, artist, musician and activist Molina speaks for a residency starting this week and running through March 22 at the mountain resort, where he’ll be hosting interdisciplinary experiential workshops leading up to the creation of a collective artwork. Learn more about Molina’s program and how to participate when he gives an introductory talk, then check out the scheduled activities here.

When the Box Doesn’t Fit: Navigating the Education System With an Exceptional Child
Tuesday, February 8, 7 to 8:30 pm and online
Eisenhower Chapel, 293 Roslyn Street
During this session of the Lowry Speaker Series, GG Johnston and Gregor Owens — Lowry residents, and mother and son — will talk about Gregor’s learning differences and his journey through the education system. Reservations are suggested; make them here (or watch the livestream).

click to enlarge Binaca Mikahn comes to the Center.  - THE CENTER

Binaca Mikahn comes to the Center.

The Center

Queer Woke Speaker Series: Bianca Mikahn
Wednesday, February 9, 11:30 am to 1:30 pm
The Center on Colfax, 1301 East Colfax Avenue
This new speaker series hosted by the Center kicks off with performer and educator Bianca Mikahn, who’ll offer insights and information from her experiences as a queer Black woman. Mikahn, who recently won a Best of Denver award for Best Avant-Garde Band, is an emcee, poet, digital composer, cultural activist and educator, as well as executive director of a youth mental health-based organization Check Your Head and a partner artist with Creative Strategies for Change and Youth on Record. TEDx alum Mikahn’s writing style is described as idyllic yet pragmatic, addressing themes of self-awareness. Lunch will be provided; sign up here.

Celebrate Black History Month With Cleo Parker Robinson and SF1
Wednesday, February 9, noon, online
Join Cleo Parker Robinson Dance and Grammy-nominated MC SF1 in this celebration of Black History Month. For five decades, the dance troupe has dedicated its performances to exploring the human condition and cultural diversity through movement. Shane Franklin (SF1) is a music producer, songwriter, dancer, drummer and actor; he’ll join with drummer Jasson Martin in a musical tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr. Watch it for free here.

A Conversation With Yamiche Alcindor
Wednesday, February 9, 6 pm, online

Rocky Mountain PBS is hosting this virtual conversation with Yamiche Alcindor, moderator of Washington Week and political contributor on MSNBC and NBC News; Dana Knowles of RMPBS will lead the conversation. Submit questions for the discussion and register here.

Hawaiian Steel Guitar: An Evening With Alan Akaka
Wednesday, February 9, 7 pm, via Zoom

The Indigenous Film Series and its hosting venue, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, have teamed up for a music-education presentation that not only feeds into the museum’s current guitar exhibit, but also travels to the Hawaiian Islands for an Indigenous twist. Steel guitarist and educator Alan Akaka will play and give an interactive lecture on the history, culture and influence of the instrument and its sound, which many people might not have arrived in the US from Hawaii, changing the sound of country music and Western swing. The virtual program on Zoom is free; RSVP here.

Denver Democracy Summit
Thursday, February 10, and Friday, February 11, 8 am to noon
Joseph Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver, and online

The University of Denver’s Democracy Initiative at the Korbel School hosts this annual confab that integrates public engagement, research and educational activities on issues of democratic governance. This year’s event focuses on dilemmas of democracy and features over thirty, ranging from Senator Liz Cheney to Ambassador and US representative to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield to Maria Ressa, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and CEO of Rappler, as well as thirty more . Get the full schedule and register here.

Travis Sheridan: Imperfect Pixels and Imperfect Union
Friday, February 11, noon, onl
McNichols Building, 144 West Colfax Avenue
Travis Sheridan’s two-part exhibit at the McNichols Building opened earlier this month and is available for viewing from 8 am to 5 pm daily. Imperfect Pixels It consists of pixelated portraits of recently killed members of the Black community. Imperfect Union asks viewers to consider how the five promises laid out in the Preamble to the US Constitution — justice, domestic tranquility, common defense, general welfare and the blessings of liberty — are distorted and unfulfilled. Sheridan will host a free virtual tour at noon Friday; find out more here.

Fourth Global Love Festival/Galentine’s Day
Saturday, February 12, 10 am to 4 pm, and Sunday, February 13, noon to 4 pm
1500 Block of South Pearl Street

Hit South Pearl Street for Valentine’s shopping with an international flair during the Global Love Fest and a Galentine’s Day celebration. Topping the events at Ruby’s Market, a fair trade food and gift shop, is a ticketed Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony with Chef Sara Gebre at 10:30 am ($15, space limited, RSVP here). But there are free activities, too, including a special 10 am storytime at Second Star to the Right, hands-on crafts and a community art project at 5 Green Boxes, artisan meet-and-greets and more. Learn more and RSVP here.

Valentine’s Day in Westwood: Mercadito de Amor and Amor Eterno Art Show
Saturday, February 12, 11 am to 4 pm
Rise Westwood Campus, 3738 Morrison Road
Love Eternal After-Event
Saturday February 12, 4 to 7 pm
D3 Arts, 3632 Morrison Road
Love is blooming in Westwood, where multiple all-ages events will come together for a big Valentine’s Day celebration. First, head to Rise Westwood to shop local vendor booths for food and handmade items with which to gift your enamorado/a; the Mercadito de Amor also includes dance performances and discounted chocolate at Cultura Chocolate. A concurrent love-themed art show, Amor Eterno, will also entice visitors to the campus with sweet and affordable works. After the shopping, entertainment and art-gazing, Westwood invites everyone to D3Arts, just down the street, to wrap up the day with live music by Katiria, more vendors and good eats. Find more info here.

click to enlarge The late Alicias Cardenas painted this mural on Broadway, right by her own Sol Tribe tattoo spot.  - ERIKA RIGHTER

The late Alicias Cardenas painted this mural on Broadway, right by her own Sol Tribe tattoo spot.

Erika Righter

Hope Tank Block Party
Saturday, February 12, noon to 4 pm
Hope Tank, 64 Broadway

Do-gooder and entrepreneur Erika Righter started Hope Tank on Santa Fe Drive ten years ago, moving to Broadway in the Baker neighborhood almost two years later. Since then, Righter has not only built up her socially conscious retail shop, but has become a stalwart on the block, a model “hopeslinger” for her shop-owners in hard times, including the early days of COVID, when she organized an effort to board up windows on businesses shut down by the pandemic and rounded up artists to paint murals on them. Righter is now moving from Broadway while remodeling her business plan (and going online in the meantime), but not before she says goodbye to all the friends she’s made with an old-fashioned family-friendly block party, a lot of joy and likely a few tears. Learn more here.

Spontaneous Combustion Bonfire and Fireworks
Saturday, February 12, 6 pm
Frisco Bay Marina, corner of Marina Road and Summit Boulevard/Highway 9, Frisco
The town of Frisco kills two birds with one stone with Spontaneous Combustion Bonfire and Fireworks, an ingenious way to dispose of old Christmas trees and light up your Valentine’s Day weekend. The free event at the marina starts at 6 pmwith a bonfire ignited with the donated remains of holiday trees past their prime, while the audience warms up with chili and beverages (cash only, proceeds benefit the Summit County Pre-School); At 8 pm, a fireworks show will brighten the skies for the big finale. Learn more here.

and anytime:

Warm Cookies of the Revolution, Vote Every Day Board Book
Available now for a pay-what-you-can donation here

Denver’s favorite civic health club, Warm Cookies of the Revolution, has been rather quiet over these COVID-conscious months, which haven’t been conducive to the organization’s usual face-to-face roundtable conversations and hands-on LEGO parties. But behind the scenes, the organizers have been busy creating proactive online video content and community-minded, child-sized board books. The second primer, Vote Every Day, will be hot off the press this month in eight languages. Choose your own price and order a copy here, knowing all writing, illustrating, editing, designing, translating, printing and shipping is volunteer-powered — and that hundreds of copies will be donated to Denver Public Schools.

For more free things you can do anytime, see this list.

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


About the author

Noah Roy

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