If you view arts and culture as the dreaded Brussels sprouts on the dinner plate of your youth, then Denver Arts Week is your mom saying: ‘ Try it, you might like it.’ And mother knows best right? Denver Arts Week kicks off Friday and they’re hoping that you will take advantage of free events and reduced ticket prices to broaden your cultural palette. “We like to encourage people to go somewhere you haven’t been yet,” said Deb Park, associate director of communications at Visit Denver, the organizers of the event.
Denver Arts Week serves up the plethora of visual and performing art that is available most months in the city, but with discounted or free tickets. Events Friday and Saturday serve as the meat and potatoes, if you will, of this cultural buffet.
“It’s just another way to get people up and out and enjoying the arts,” said Jack Pappalardo, President of the Arts District on Santa Fe.
The kick-off capitalizes on the city’s already popular First Friday Art Walks. Pappalardo said Arts Week does spice up the already robust First Friday attendance on Santa Fe.
“Our normal First Friday we do have people from out of town and from the region, but the majority are certainly from the Denver area,” said Pappalardo. “And I think all the promotion that Denver arts week provides helps to draw in people from outside of Denver as well.”
Galleries in seven different city neighborhoods take part in the arts walk. Free shuttles move patrons from place to place, including Saturday evening for Night At The Museums. It’s a concept Denver borrowed from Paris, France, and not the popular Ben Stiller movies and during it museums are free of charge from 5-10 p.m.
Despite its being the largest botanic garden in the west, Erin Bird communications manager at Denver Botanic Gardens said the visibility Denver Arts Week affords the venue is important.
“By having free admission, then we are able to welcome the entire city to visit and experience our unique urban oasis,” said Bird.
There are numerous opportunities to take in visual and performing arts beyond the hearty offerings Friday and Saturday, said Pappalardo. One large as life opportunity lets you experience artwork from the inside the Center for Visual Arts.
“There will be a super-sized Monet painting, which is three-dimensional, that people can walk in and have their picture taken inside a Monet painting,” said Pappalardo.
For the first time this year Arts Week offers observers the opportunity to satiate their own creative beast.
Visit Denver is hosting a contest to see who best captures Denver’s creativity. The medium? A poster, photograph, or 30 second video. With 300 events over the course of Denver Art Week, Deb Park said there’s ample opportunity for the muses to inspire the masses.
“So even if you end up not liking it, or you might end up completely loving it, it’s just a great opportunity to sort of expand your horizon,” said Park.
Followed shortly by the other thing Moms love to say, ‘See? I told you so…’
By Carrie Saldo
Arts District is a collaboration of KUNC, Rocky Mountain PBS, and KUVO.