The 13th Annual Denver Arts Week will feature nine days of events throughout The Mile High City and surrounding metro area. Kicking off with the signature events, First Friday Art Walks and Saturday’s FREE Night at the Museums, Denver Arts Week will also feature events like gallery show openings, live performances, special exhibitions and more.
This year’s Denver Arts Week will highlight the considerable cultural moment happening in The Mile High City right now. Denver Arts Week kicks off on the heels of two groundbreaking exhibitions – Denver Art Museum is the sole U.S. venue for Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature, the largest exhibition of its kind in more than two decades; and Denver Museum of Nature & Science recently opened After the Asteroid: Earth’s Comeback Story, detailing one of the world’s most significant archaeological discoveries, which actually happened in Colorado over the past several years. Denver was also recently named the “Street Art Capital of the Country” by AFAR; and over the course of the next year, the city will see the continued development of Meow Wolf, world-class performing arts and more.
Below are just a few highlights; for even more on Denver Arts Week, go to the Denver Arts Week website. Throughout the week, there will also be excellent deals on local art, hotel packages and cultural memberships, among other discounts.
42nd Annual Denver Film Festival, Sie FilmCenter & various locations (through November 10)
The Denver Film Festival is the premier film celebration in the Rocky Mountain Region. Hosted by Denver Film Society, which works to promote film as both an art form and a civic forum, The Denver Film Festival showcases blockbusters, documentaries, shorts and independent films at a variety of venues around the city, along with panels, in-person filmmakers and other special events. This year’s Denver Film Festival will screen more than 250 feature-length films, documentaries, shorts and independent films.
First Friday Art Walks, Denver’s Creative Districts (November 1)
Denver Arts Week kicks off each year with citywide First Friday Art Walks in six of Denver’s creative districts. More than 100 galleries and venues stay open late for a night of art, food, drink and fun. First Friday provides a way for people to meet local artists, peruse art in a creative and casual way and even find great deals on original artwork, with prices starting at a “mile-high” $52.80 price tag at participating galleries. For more information of the arts districts and neighborhoods, check out VISIT DENVER’s Neighborhood Guides.
Free Night at the Museums, various locations (November 2)
Continuing the Denver Arts Week kickoff weekend, 16 of Denver’s top museums stay open late on the first Saturday of the annual event. Free museum admission and shuttle buses between neighborhoods make it easy to explore several spots throughout the course of the evening. From historic landmarks and reenactments to world-class art and technology exhibitions, there is a museum for every interest, and Free Night at the Museums is a once-a-year opportunity to experience Denver’s cultural institutions in an exciting, unique way. Free transportation shuttle are not available to all museums, and hours of operation may differ; the shuttle schedule is available at DenverArtsWeek.com
Denver Fashion Week, various locations (November 9-17)
Denver Fashion Week (DFW) is Denver's largest fashion showcase featuring emerging designers, local boutiques, national brands, hair stylists, makeup artists and models. Dubbed “one of the fastest growing American fashion platforms” by Forbes, Denver Fashion Week will present workshops, panels, receptions and fashion shows throughout the week.
Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature, through February 2, 2020
The Denver Art Museum is the sole U.S. venue for the most comprehensive exhibition of Monet paintings in more than two decades. The exhibition features more than 100 paintings spanning Monet’s entire career and focuses on the celebrated French impressionist artist’s enduring relationship with nature and his response to the varied and distinct places in which he worked. In connection with Denver Art Museum, several hotels have created VIP packages that include untimed, skip-the-line tickets, which allow access to the exhibition even if the date is sold out to the general public; these packages can be found at https://monetindenver.com.
The Science Behind Pixar, through April 5, 2020
Enjoy a unique look into the Pixar process, and explore the science and technology behind some of the most beloved animated films and their characters with The Science Behind Pixar at Denver Museum of Nature & Science. This interactive exhibition showcases the science, technology, engineering, art, and math concepts used by the artists and computer scientists who help bring Pixar’s award-winning films to the big screen. With more than 50 interactive elements, the exhibition’s eight sections each focus on a step in the filmmaking process to give you an unparalleled view of the production pipeline and concepts used at Pixar every day. Participate in fun, engaging hands-on activities, listen to firsthand accounts from members of the studio's production teams, and even come face-to-face with re-creations of your favorite Pixar film characters, including Buzz Lightyear, Dory, Mike and Sulley, Edna Mode, and WALL•E.
Extreme Sports: Beyond Human Limits, through April 12, 2020
Visitors will be put to the test as they jump, fly, dive, climb and explore some of the riskiest activities in the world at this Denver Museum of Nature & Science exhibition. Physical, multimedia and creative challenges place guests inside the minds and bodies of extreme athletes and their passions such as wingsuit flying, ice and rock climbing, parkour, and free diving. Amid exhilarating speeds, breathtaking heights, and profound depths, the stories of these passionate athletes will leave visitors inspired to push their own personal limits.
Beer Here! Brewing the West, through August 9, 2020
Explore Colorado’s brewing industry from the saloons of the Gold Rush through Prohibition to today’s booming craft beer scene at History Colorado Center’s Beer Here! Brewing the West. Learn about the Centennial State’s brewing past, present and future through historical artifacts, interactive elements and more.
Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Denver Arts Week Showcase, November 5
Since 2016, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance – a dance academy and studio that honors African American heritage – has hosted a private showcase during Denver Arts Week. The showcase features a lively performance, appetizers and drinks along with an update on the organization from its Executive Director, Malik Robinson.
Throughout the fall, the Colorado Symphony is featuring innovative programming, renowned guest artists and revered symphonic works at the Boettcher Concert Hall in downtown Denver. The Denver Arts Week performances kick off with Disney in Concert: Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, a showing of the feature film with the score played live by the Colorado Symphony (Nov. 1-2). The following weekend, the symphony and Colorado Public Radio will present a production including Braham’s Tragic Overture, Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 17 and Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 (Nov. 8-10).
Colorado Opera’s The Barber of Seville, November 2, 5, 8, 10
Opera Colorado kicks off its 2019-20 season at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House with this laugh-out-loud comedy, featuring some of the most memorable tunes in opera—including Figaro's famous "Largo al factotum," Rosina's "Una voce poco fa" and more. Packed with punchlines, this rapid-fire prequel to The Marriage of Figaro features the mischievous barber Figaro at his most cunning, in a whimsical Art Deco production.
The Phantom of the Opera, November 6-17
Cameron Mackintosh's spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom Of The Opera makes its return to Denver’s Buell Theatre as part of its North American Tour. Critics are raving that this breathtaking production is bigger and better than ever before and features a brilliant new scenic design by Paul Brown, Tony Award®-winning original costume design by Maria Björnson, lighting design by Tony Award®-winner Paule Constable, new choreography by Scott Ambler, and new staging by director Laurence Connor.
Night Lights Denver, November 7-9
The Denver Theatre District will launch Night Lights Denver during Denver Arts Week. This ongoing, year-round projection mapping installation will be projected on the Arapahoe Street side of the historic Daniels & Fisher Tower every Thursday through Saturday evening. Night Lights Denver will include rotating content, designed by artists and the community, featuring a wide range of art. For the launch, between November 7 and November 9 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., the installation will include works by Colorado-based artists Joel Swanson and Sofie Birkin with a special opening piece by Limelight Art.
Free Days and Evenings
In addition to Free Night at the Museums, several of Denver’s top cultural institutions will have free days and evenings throughout Denver Arts Week. Free days will happen at Denver Art Museum (Nov. 2), Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield (Nov. 5), Four Mile Historic Park (Nov. 8) and Denver Zoo (Nov. 4 and 8). Free evenings will take place at Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus (Nov. 5) and Museo de las Americas (Nov. 1).
Public Art Tours
Many tour operators will be offering arts-centric tours throughout the week. Denver Graffiti Tour takes people through the RiNo (River North) Art District to explore the abundant street art in the neighborhood and learn more about the artists and the works themselves. Similarly, Denver Microbrew Tour is offering a RiNo Beer and Graffiti Tour (Nov. 3). Historic Denver Walking Tours will offer tours of the Capitol Hill and LoDo (Lower Downtown) neighborhoods, pointing out each location’s unique character through its architecture, public art and history. Denver Arts & Venues will also offer their own public art tours downtown (Nov. 3, 5, 6).
Denver Arts Week Deals
Throughout Denver Arts Week, participants will be able to find great deals on local art – including visual art pieces with the “mile-high” price tag of $52.80, discounted event admissions, free activities, discounted memberships to top cultural attractions and more. In addition to great deals on art throughout the week, many attractions and performances will be offering two-for-one tickets to events during Denver Arts Week and beyond, including Clyfford Still Museum, Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art, Curious Theatre Company and more.