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This is a time of civic engagement, starting with the Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations through Inauguration Day and Dr. From Justina Ford Day to honoring Denver’s first African American female doctor and graduating with citizenship activities over the weekend and the MLK We Will Not Forget program on January 25th.
There are plenty of opportunities to get involved and get involved along the way … and even have fun. Here are twelve free events to fill up all of your free time over the next week:
Womxns March Denver
Wednesday January 20th
While there won’t be a personal march this year, Womxns March Denver will be hosting a one-day, interactive event to celebrate the community through art and the digital #MotivationMural where you can answer these two questions: What’s your motivation for 2021 ? And what motivates you to move forward? Sign up here for the link, which will be posted on January 20th.
JustUs: Stories from the Frontline of the Criminal Justice System
Wednesday, January 20, 5 p.m.
Four members of the JustUs of the Motus Theater, formerly incarcerated monologues, will offer autobiographical monologues on racism and injustice in the criminal justice system. Her monologues are woven together with musical responses from Spirit of Grace. The free program will be featured in the new MCA Denver Citizenship exhibit: a Practice of Society; Sign in here.
Wednesday, January 20, 6 p.m.
Musicians are storytellers, and their songs enable the community to remember our struggles and achievements. To honor this democratic, narrative music tradition, Su Teatro is holding the Resistance Jam, a celebration and a call to action. Register for a performance time slot before noon and tune in at 6 p.m. More information is available at suteatro.org.
Clyfford still took over Instagram with artist Ron Hicks
Wednesday January 20th and Thursday January 21st
Follow @still_museum for a takeover by noted artist Ron Hick, a Denver painter who lives and works and is one of BuzzFeed’s 100 Best Artists Currently to Work. Traditionally a figurative painter, Hicks has begun to blur the line between abstraction and realism. “I try to play with abstract, non-objective worlds of realism, to create a harmonious balance between the disciplines and to put them on canvas or boards on which I paint,” he says. Follow here.
Tree ring dating and the history of archeology in the American Southwest
Wednesday, January 20, 7 p.m.
The dating of tree rings changed the archeology of the Southwest on June 22, 1929 when Andrew Ellicott Douglass of the University of Arizona and colleagues discovered specimen HH-39, the piece of charcoal that “bridged” the gap in his tree ring chronology and it allowed him to date archaeological sites in Mesa Verde, Chaco Canyon and elsewhere. Over the past nine decades, tree ring dating has been refined, expanded, and expanded into a full-blown science that Stephen E. Nash, curator of archeology at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, will explore in this free program. Sign in here.
The narrators: expiration date
Wednesday, January 20, 8 p.m.
During this one-hour inauguration day virtual show, three artists, along with hosts Ron Doyle and Erin Rollman, will tell stories that foster empathy and celebrate our common humanity. “We intend to keep this mission this year, even if the world as a whole seems determined to tear people apart,” the hosts promise. RSVP at buntport.com.
Boulder Ensemble Theater Company science shorts
Thursday, January 21st through Sunday, January 24th
With BETC, read four short pieces by playwrights from Colorado, as well as four short lectures from the scientists who inspired their work. The free Science Shorts will be streamed online from January 21st. On January 24th at 4 p.m. the scientists and playwrights will discuss the work. Register here for free programming.
The Iranian nuclear treaty in a rapidly changing Middle East
Thursday, January 21, 5:30 p.m.
What impact did the US abandonment of the Iranian nuclear deal (JCPOA) have? Find out more during this virtual program run by the Colorado Chapter of the National Iranian American Council in partnership with the University of Denver’s Center for Middle East Studies. Sign in here.
Dr. Justina Ford’s 150th birthday
Friday, January 22nd, 12pm to 2pm
The Black American West Museum celebrates Dr. Justina Ford on the state with a two-hour homage to the official Dr. Justina Ford Day. The program includes interviews with some of her remaining patients, as well as a reenactment of Ford’s only known interview and the first public presentation of her handwritten letter to the Colorado Medical Society documenting the delivery of 7,000 babies in her fifty-year career. See it on Denver Community Media on Comcast Channel 56, 57, 881 HD; You can find out more about the museum here.
Teen Anti-Hero Short Film Festival
Friday, January 22nd, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
MCA Denver requested high school filmmakers to make and submit microfilms no longer than five minutes for the Teen Anti-Hero Short Film Festival. The voices of marginalized women, BIPOC and LGBTQIA “antiheroes” were highlighted through creative storytelling. A committee made up of teenagers, staff and community members evaluated the entries for a virtual screening. The selected filmmakers, each receiving a $ 50 grant for their problems, will be in attendance to discuss their winning work. The program for all ages is free for everyone. Register with Eventbrite in advance.
Virtual civil Saturday
Saturday, January 23, 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Anythink will host its fourth Citizen Saturday and bring the community together through civic engagement and tradition. The theme of this round is “Facing Conflict”, which will be explored through readings, poetry, music and discussions. The actors include the memories and the poet Franklin Cruz. Materials will be made available to participating families to encourage young children to take part in the discussions. Find out more here.
Who is Jane Doe?
Saturday, January 23rd, 12:30 p.m.
If all those months you’ve lived on social media or acted on back-to-back TV series have resulted in one dire case of short attention span, “Who is Jane Doe?” is made for you. The curiously titled event will be hosted by local flash fiction master Nancy Stohlman, who will read along with Jesse Coley, Claire Polders, Sally Reno, Meg Tuite and Francine Witte and will range in length from five to about a thousand words. It’s free to watch; RSVP on Facebook for the zoom code.
And a bonus at all times:
In the Defense of Justice in Denver last weekend, a documentary about the protesters who were indicted after seeking justice for Ellijah McClain premiered last weekend. You can see it here now, along with a post-premiere Q&A panel with the filmmakers and protest leaders.
Do you know of a great free event in town? We’ll update this list later this week. Send information to [email protected]
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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; She has been an editor since then. She regularly participates in the weekly CPT12 Colorado Inside Out roundtable, played a true journalist in John Sayles’ Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton with flip-flops, and has won numerous national awards for her columns and feature writing.