Things to Do in Denver This Weekend, May 12-15, 2022

The weekend kicks off with a glamorous bang at a Dairy Arts Center fundraiser celebrating thirty years, and ends with a brand-new festival highlighting Colorado’s Asian and Pacific Islander community. Along the way, you can salute StarFest, which is blasting off after 45 years.

See our list of free things to do here, and keep reading for ten events worth the price of admission:

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Peek: Glitter, Glam, Give!
Thursday, May 12, 5:30 p.m.
Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut Street, Boulder

After thirty years, the Dairy Arts Center — a former dairy converted into a multi-disciplinary center with performance spaces, a quartet of galleries, classrooms and a cinema — exemplifies what a mid-scale cultural center ought to look like. The Peek fundraiser aims to keep it that way, by raising cash at an event with Boulder panache. On a voyage through the Dairy’s spaces, party-goers will be fed, refreshed and entertained by Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance, comedian Kevin Fitzgerald, the Victor Mestas Trio, Catamounts theater company and special art installations by local artists. And then it’s on to a ’70s dance party. Tickets are $150, here.

Women + Film Awards Luncheon
Friday, May 13, 11:45 am
South Sturm Pavilion, Denver Art Museum, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway

Once Denver Film’s Women + Film festival has passed, it’s time to rebuild the fest’s coffers to ensure a fabulous lineup of films by women next year. That effort begins with an awards luncheon this year, recognizing veteran actress Rita Moreno with the Barbara Bridges Inspiration Award, as well as Carlotta Walls LaNier, who will win a Women+Film Impact Award as the youngest member of the Little Rock Nine, who sought to join Little Rock Central High School in 1957. Admission is $125 (VIP tickets are sold out); get tickets and learn more here.

Star Fest 2022
Friday, May 13, through Sunday, May 15
Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center, 7800 East Tufts Avenue

StarFest is leaving the galaxy after 45 spins around the sun, making this year’s final throes at the Hyatt Tech Center a must for all local nerds enamored of multiple sci-fi and fantasy genres, a StarFest specialty. Comics, gaming, sci-fi art, Harry Potter, cosplay, space science, Klingon culture — whatever genre you’re looking for, StarFest has it. Special guests this year include a star trek triumvirate of Terry Farrell (Jadzia Dax), Michelle Hurd (Raffi Musiker) and Brent Spiner (Data). Ticket prices range from $25 to $175, with optional add-ons for special events available; get them here.

Livin iN Culture | or somethin Artist Flea Market
Friday, May 13, 5 to 9:30 p.m.
Vision Quest Brewing Company, 2510 47th Street, Boulder
This Indigenous-owned, BIPOC flea market from thriftorsomethin and MyCultureMyRules is the hippest thing in the Republic of Boulder, with fly folks vending vintage, upcycled and designer apparel, original art, jewelry, crystal-infused herbal candles and oils, tarot readings, plants and books, to name a few shopping options. Add to that the promise of Puerto Rican eats and Southern barbecue, plus live music and spins by DJ Scoopa, and you’ve got a deluxe house party. A $15 donation is requested at the door to show appreciation for the performers; learn more here.

click to enlarge Pity+Fear: A Travesty comes to Buntport.  - GRAPEFRUIT LAB

Pity+Fear: A Travesty comes to Buntport.

Grapefruit Lab

Grapefruit Lab, Pity+Fear: A Travesty
Friday, May 13, and Saturday, May 14, 7:30 p.m.
Buntport Theater, 717 Lipan Street

Grapefruit Lab, the theater collaborative of Julie Rada, Kenny Storms and Miriam Suzanne, reclaims the stage with a three-weekend run of Pity+Fear: A Travesty, a performance written by Suzanne with music and lyrics by Josselyn Cool. The personal myth about life in queer and trans culture is explored, with three unrelated Greek myths about princesses named Agraulos — a source of fascination for the playwright —wrapping around the central story. Suzanne and Cool are the sole performers on an austere stage, with only a guitar, a few props and a deep dive into queer identity. The performances continue weekends through May. Grapefruit Lab is selling tickets on a name-your-own-price basis; find out more here.

DCPA Theater Company, Quixote New
Opening Friday, May 13, through June 12, daily except Mondays
Wolf Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex

If chivalry-obsessed Don Quixote and Pancho Sanchez were to show up seeking glory in the modern borderlands of Texas, what would that look like? Octavio Solis’s Quixote New tells the story with the kind of righteous humor that American immigrants save for their white oppressors, as Cervantes scholar José Quijano and sidekick Manny Diaz, a street paletero, chase an illusion among zoot-suited pachucos and evil border patrol officers. The colorful play runs for a month at DCPA’s Wolf Theatre; find information and tickets, $10 to $77, here.

Black Sound Series: Camille Norment, Untitled (red flame)
Friday, May 13, through June 18
Lane Screening Room, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, 30 West Dale Street, Colorado Springs
CSFAC’s three-part Black Sound Series comes to a close with a five-week run of Oslo-based Black sound artist Camille Norment’s Untitled (red flame). The multi-channel installation engages with altered recordings of human speech rendered into something more resembling a human firestorm for justice and positive change. Visit the installation Wednesdays through Sundays from 10 am to 4 pm; the required museum admission fee, $5 to $10, includes entrance to all other galleries. RSVP here.

Expanded Histories: A Symposium on Contemporary Abstract Painting
Saturday, May 14, 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Holiday Theater, 2644 West 32nd Avenue

The shows by Indigenous artists Eamon Ore-Giron and Dyani White Hawk at the MCA Denver both suggest rich insights on the nature and cultural narratives of abstraction in the American Modernist tradition. Mine those inherent revelations with Ore-Giron, White Hawk, Clyfford Still Museum director Joyce Tsai and MCA curator Miranda Lash during a half-day symposium at the MCA’s satellite Holiday Theater. After a morning of talks by rotating duets, lunch will be served in the lobby before a final full-panel discussion. Admission is $25 to $30 here.

Asian American and Pacific Islander+ Festival
Saturday, May 14, and Sunday, May 15, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Denver Zoo, 2300 Steele Street

The Filipino-American Community of Colorado (FACC) and the Denver Zoo are partnering to celebrate the diversity of Colorado’s Asian and Pacific Islander community. Festival events range from a Philippine folk dance to a healing sound workshop, jewelry-making workshop and tai chi performance. The festival is included with regular Denver Zoo admission; find out more here.

click to enlarge CHALK LINES & VINES

Chalk Lines & Vines
Saturday, May 14, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, May 15, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Arapahoe County Fairgrounds, Central Green Event Center, 25690 East Quincy Avenue, Aurora
More than fifteen Colorado wineries will be dishing samples while chalk artists rock the pavement during Chalk Lines & Vines, an art-and-wine combo event brightening up the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds. Food trucks will be standing by, or simply bring your own picnic to eat while you contemplate whether or not to buy a bottle of your favorite sip, and live music rounds out the bash. Tickets range from $10 to $35 in advance here and rise to $40 at the door.

Do you know of a great event in Denver? We’ll be updating this list through the weekend; send information to [email protected]

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