This week will see the first First Friday celebrations of the new year in arts districts around the state. Despite the frosty weather, it’s a chance to get out and see what local galleries and shops are up to as we head into 2024.
Friday, Jan. 5
Denver First Friday
Art District on Santa Fe, 5:30 - 9:30 p.m.
The Santa Fe Art District runs from 13th Ave to Alameda Ave and Kalamath St. to Inca St. The bulk of our galleries are between 5th and 11th Avenues. Shows opening this weekend include Mixtape, a group show by artists affiliated with Access Gallery and Studio, and Pressing for Change, which explores how printmakers push for social environmental change, at the Center for Visual Art.
River North Art District, 6 - 9 p.m.
The RiNo Art District includes the historical neighborhoods of Globeville, Elyria-Swansea, Five Points, and Cole. Events this time around include the Annual Affordable Original Art Event at 73 Art Agency and the Live Art series at Federale, where artists will be at work throughout the evening.
Tennyson Street Cultural District, 6 - 10 p.m.
Shops and galleries — and lots of eateries — will be open late along this stretch of Tennyson between 38th and 44th Avenues in Denver’s Berkeley neighborhood.
Lakewood First Friday
40 West Arts District, 6 - 9 p.m.
Four different hubs around this busy stretch of Colfax offer galleries, specialty shops (from custom knives to anime to tattoos) and other experiences. Find a map of participating businesses here.
Colorado Springs First Friday
Downtown Colorado Springs, 5 - 9 p.m.
Spreading across the downtown area, this First Friday includes dozens of galleries, retailers and nonprofits that host events through the evening hours.
Old Colorado City, 5 - 8 p.m.
Twenty galleries and numerous restaurants and shops participate in ArtWalk, offering a night out from 5-8. The district is located along W. Colorado Ave between 23rd St. and 27th St. in Old Colorado City.
Other Friday happenings
PlatteForum's ArtLab presents Spoiled Echoes, a new exhibition in which interns explore timely issues. Through works in a variety of mediums, from paper collages to digital art, the artists express their voices on issues like housing justice, mental health, climate change, and reproductive rights.
“My piece specifically touches on the dehumanization of homeless people and how we'll only see them through the nuisances they're causing, instead of seeing the actual people going through turmoil that they are,” said 10th grader Roachie White. His piece in the show is a collage titled “It Can Happen To You.”
White believes the exhibition gives ArtLab’s interns an innovative chance to express ideas that people might be overlooking.
“Like when you see a homeless person in Denver, a lot of people are only ever complaining about, ‘oh, they bring a lot of mess to the sidewalk. They're loud, they behave in strange ways,’ and you never really hear a lot of people have actual compassion for what they're going through.”
Spoiled Echoes at EDGE Gallery from Jan. 5 - 21, with an opening reception Jan. 5th from 6 - 9 p.m.
“The Future is Bright” is a cabaret-style production entirely created, produced, performed and run by the youth from the Parker community. Founded by Eli Testa, they are back for their third and final year, with a collection of 22 songs from 22 different musicals that will flow one right into the other.
“Our show, I think, is a very, very special community of people,” said Testa, who graduates this year. “When we say the future is bright, we mean that. And I strongly believe that our cast this year, and anyone who's ever been a part of ‘The Future is Bright,’ they're all going to make a very big impact in our community and communities wherever they end up.”
For the first time, the show is being sponsored by the city of Parker and Parker Arts and will be performed in a professional venue, the Schoolhouse Theater. All ticket proceeds and donations from their performances will go to the Denver Actors Fund.
“The Future is Bright” runs Jan. 5 - 13. All performances are at the Parker Schoolhouse Theatre at 19650 Mainstreet, Parker.
The Whiffenpoofs of Yale University, the world’s oldest and best-known collegiate a cappella group, perform in Basalt at the Arts Campus at Willits. The evening is billed as a Supper Club & Show. Dinner is served at 6:00 p.m. and the performance starts at 8:00. For show-only guests, the doors open at 7:30 pm.
The group will also perform at DU’s Newman Center on Saturday, Jan. 4, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The CHAC Gallery at 40 West in Lakewood is currently hosting an exhibition showcasing the work of Steven Lucero, a prolific Chicano artist from Denver who was also a founder of CHAC Gallery. Lucero was an influential mentor to many artists in Denver and his art is on permanent exhibit at Denver's Meow Wolf Convergence Stations. This exhibition is the last chance to purchase his small art pieces that are on display at the gallery and includes original artworks and signed prints.
CHAC Presents: Works of Steven Lucero has its opening reception Friday, Jan. 5th, from 6 - 9 p.m. at CHAC @ 40 West, 7060 W. 16th Ave. in Lakewood
Saturday, Jan 6
Orpheus Pagan Chamber Choir presents its annual 12th Night Yule Concert and Viking Feast. The concert celebrates the joys of the Yule season with carols and Tudor madrigals, stories of Krampus, and a feast inspired by Viking-age culinary traditions. Concert-only tickets are also available.
The 12th Night Yule Concert and Viking Feast is Saturday, Jan. 6th at 6 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Denver
Starting on Saturday, MusicFest will draw thousands of skiers and music lovers to Steamboat. The festival runs through Jan 11th and features household names and upcoming stars of Texas and Americana music.
MusicFest runs Jan 6 - 11 at various venues around Steamboat Springs.
The National Western Stock Show returns to Denver for 16 days showcasing western traditions — and over 20,000 animals. Since its inception in 1906, the show has grown tremendously and is now recognized as one of the country’s premier livestock shows. Along with the animals, the entertainment also includes The Coors Western Art Exhibit & Sale, family shows, square dancing, and much more. And just across the highway, the Coliseum hosts daily rodeo events, featuring some of the top stars on the circuit.
The National Western runs from Saturday, Jan. 6 to Sunday, Jan. 21.
Other arts and culture events around Colorado
- Denverite Things to do in Denver this weekend
- KRCC community calendar for Southern Colorado
- CPR Classical concert calendar
- Indie 102.3 calendar
How we pick our events: CO Arts Spotlight highlights events around the state to give readers a sense of the breadth of Colorado’s arts and cultural happenings, it is not — and can not possibly be — a comprehensive list of all weekly events. Entries are not endorsements or reviews. Each week’s list is published on Thursday and is not updated. Some groups that appear on the list may also be financial sponsors of CPR, but have no input into our editorial choices.
Some groups mentioned in the Spotlight may be financial supporters of CPR News. Financial supporters have no editorial influence.
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