Free things to do in Denver this week, January 17-23, 2022

The week got off to a great start with celebrations marking Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. But the spirit of MLK lives on in other events throughout the week.

And there is more, much more to do in and around Denver – completely free. Keep reading for a dozen of your best options:

Of any dream needed visual mixtape
Monday, January 17 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Clocktower, 1600 Arapahoe
The Dream Create Inspire Tour debuts a special mixtape, “Generational Healing,” which is “meant to focus on the importance of recognizing the land we occupy,” according to its creators. It offers original artists’ perspectives on the history of their lineage, all projected on the side of the bell tower. Normal hours for Night Lights Denver are 5:15 pm to 11:59 pm Tuesdays through Sundays; find out more here.

Response to anti-Semitism: An interfaith call for action
Tuesday, January 18 at 19 online

Governor Jared Polis and other government officials, as well as religious leaders from many faiths, will gather for this virtual interreligious community event in solidarity after Colleyville. Click to view.

Words of action
Tuesday, January 18 at 19.30 online via FAC Connect
The director of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Idris Goodwin, a poet himself, will host Action Words, a poetic evening inspired by the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as part of a week of events commemorating Dr. King at Colorado College. Goodwin’s guests include Pikes Peak Poet Laureate Ashley Cornelius, Albuquerque Slam Champion Mercedez Holtry and CC candidate, author and activist Angela Kong, who will share a free virtual reading of poetry. Learn more and tune in here ..

click to enlarge Camp Amache containment camp opened in 1942 in southern Colorado.  - NPS

Camp Amache containment camp opened in 1942 in southern Colorado.


Archeology at Amache, Colorado’s Japanese-American containment camp
Wednesday, January 19 at 19 online
The forced removal and subsequent imprisonment of over 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II included a detention camp in southeastern Colorado. Since 2008, Bonnie Clark of the University of Denver has led archeological research in collaboration at the site of Amache, Colorado’s War Relocation Authority containment facility. She will discuss the ongoing project in this virtual speech; sign up here.

click to enlarge Travis Sheridan has two exhibits in the McNichols Building.  - TRAVIS SHERIDAN

Travis Sheridan has two exhibits in the McNichols Building.

Travis Sheridan

McNichols Building Exhibitions opens Thursday, Jan. 20 at 7 p.m. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
McNichols Building, 144 West Colfax Avenue

Four new exhibits are debuting in the McNichols building this week: On the first floor, Travis Sheridans Imperfect pixels and Imperfect association ask us to remember those that black society has recently lost, and to examine the promises of the US government that are not being fulfilled. On the second floor, Zen Gardens from Kyoto to Denver celebrates the beauty of Japanese Zen gardens with large-format photos of the late William Corey and photos of the Denver Botanic Gardens Shofu-A Japanese Garden by Scott Dressel-Martin. On the third floor, Tomorrow is a new day features in-depth personal work by Open Studio Cambodia blockbuster artist Morn Chear and Open Studio Cambodia founder Lauren Iida, a Japanese-American paper-cutting artist. There is free admission; find out more here.

X Games Aspen 2022
Friday, January 21st through Sunday, January 23rd
Buttermilk Mountain, Aspen Snowmass
Winter X Games returns to Buttermilk Mountain for the 21st year, bringing an international team of nearly 100 top skiers and snowboarders to Colorado for breathtaking slopestyle, big air and superpipe competitions. Invited athletes include Olympic medalists Chloe Kim, Shaun White, Nick Goepper, Jamie Anderson and Alex Ferreira, as well as 2022 challenger Eileen Gu. Watching is free and you can watch online too; find a complete schedule here.

The hardest day
Available Saturday, January 20th through Sunday, January 28th online

Rust documentary The hardest day, on the power of the human-animal bond in its last moments, will be available to stream for free from January 20, with permission from Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice, the film’s presenting sponsor. A live virtual Q&A event with the filmmakers and veterinarians appearing in the documentary takes place at. 20:00 on Saturday 27 January. Find out more here.

Center for Freedom and Justice: Mousa Abu Maria
Saturday, January 22 at 9 online
Joe Drexler from CFG-Co will interview Mousa Abu Maria, the founder of CFJ in Palestine, about his background (including his time in prison), life during occupation, his principles of non-violence and sustainability to resist the occupation (he started a non-violent movement in Beit Ummar in 2005), and the importance of international support. It is free to watch the interview and there will be an opportunity to ask questions; find out more and stream it here.

SCFD Free Day: Guitar Day
Sunday, January 23 at 10-15
Denver Museum of Nature & Science, 2001 Colorado Boulevard

DMNS is hosting its second SCFD day off in the new year with a special focus on the current exhibition Guitar: The instrument that shook the world. In addition to watching the show, a salivating guitarist’s dream exhibition, visitors can participate in guitar-related science activities or color a rock-and-roll poster. General day off, including all permanent exhibits and strolling paleo puppet master “Mr. Bones,” will be available all day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Find more info here.


Vida Building at CSU Spur
Daily, 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
National Western Complex, 4800 North Bettie Cram Drive
This amazing new animal care facility from Colorado State University opened in time for the National Western Stock Show, and admission is always free. (Stock Show parking is also free, but you may have a short walk.) Inside, you can see cat and dog surgeries, see a fake pediatrician clinic, and experience virtual reality. Find out more here.

Night Light Denver
Tuesdays to Sundays to January at 17.15 to 23.59
Clocktower, 1601 Arapahoe Street
The January program for “People’s Projector” is up and running with new works by artists Danielle Cunningham. Joseph Toney and Mario Carrillo illuminate the side of the bell tower; Clayton Kenney’s audience favorite “Snow” from 2019 has also returned. The light shows continue daily (except Monday) through January; find out more here.

Wednesdays to Sundays to January, noon to 8 p.m.
Understudy, 890 C 14th Street

The latest project in the Denver Theater District’s cozy art incubator room, Understudy, has all the features of a traditional arcade – except that they’ve been soaked up by a host of participating local artists. Even the prizes are made by artists: Grab a masterpiece from a claw machine, or redeem coupons for enamel needles, coloring books, miniature paintings, jewelry, tea towels, art prints, small sculptures and much more. ARTcade will be open Wednesdays through Sundays through the end of January to accommodate Stock Show visitors; find out more here.

Do you know of a great free event in metro Denver? We will update this list throughout the week; send information to [email protected]


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