Colorado Arts Spotlight: Things to know and do around the state March 14 -17

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Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Serenity (8) wears green cheeks for Denver’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade in LoDo. March 11, 2023.

Dazzle jazz club is launching a new happy hour in its new Denver Performing Arts Complex home with a twist. Thanks to the Downtown Dynamic Denver Grant program, Street to Stage, the venue will pay student buskers to perform. 

Marketing director Kelley Dawkins said Dazzle is bringing in Auraria campus student musicians for the program. “We've reached out to the professors, we've reached out to a couple student musicians we know on our own. And then we're also working with the nonprofit (Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts) and Denver University as well to see what students might be interested.”

In addition to live music, Dazzle also offers food and drinks before and after shows in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. The student musicians will perform during the 4 to 6 p.m. happy hours on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays in March and April.

Denver’s Dragon Boat organization brings back Colorado’s only Asian and Asian American film festival this weekend.

Over the course of four days, Denver Film and Colorado Dragon Boat will present an inclusive slate of films and events that pay tribute to the history, culture, and accomplishments of Asian and Asian-Pacific American groups. Eight features, an emerging artists showcase, community conversations, and a shorts program are all part of this year's festival.

The 9th annual Dragon Boat Film Festival runs March 14 through 17 at Denver's Sie FilmCenter.

Paddlers race during the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival on July 23, 2022.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Paddlers race during the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival on July 23, 2022.

Thursday, March 14

The Art Center of Western Colorado (TAC) in Grand Junction, and The Theatre Project are collaborating to host an evening of Shakespearean performances. The event will feature themed cocktails and will showcase some of the Bard's best scenes, sonnets, and soliloquies through readers' theatre. A narrator will be present to assist the audience in comprehending Shakespeare's language and brilliance in a casual, fun-filled atmosphere.

A Smattering of Shakespeare: Scenes, Sonnets & Soliloquies runs Thursday through Saturday, at 7 p.m. at The Art Center of Western Colorado.

The Theatre Project of Grand Junction
The Art Center of Western Colorado (TAC) in Grand Junction, and The Theatre Project collaborating to host an evening of Shakespearean performances.

Friday, March 15

Fort Collins Foodie Walk is a monthly self-guided walking tour that winds through downtown on the third Friday of each month and celebrates the city’s culinary culture and thriving foodie scene. Thirteen locations participate with samples ranging from Polish Pickle Chowder, Cupcakes, to Cassoulet and more. Fort Collins Foodie Walk, Friday from 5 – 8 p.m. Find details and a map of participating locations here.

The crowd at Denver's annual St. Patrick's Day parade in LoDo. March 11, 2023.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
The crowd at Denver's annual St. Patrick's Day parade in LoDo. March 11, 2023.

Saturday, March 16

Denver’s historic Five Points neighborhood celebrates St. Patrick's Day this weekend with an inaugural Pet Parade. The event starts off with a pet costume contest in Lawson Park, followed by a procession along Welton Street, led by a marching brass band. Various locations along Welton Street will also host live music, food, and celebratory drinks with a green theme all day long.

Pet Parade sign-ups begin at 11 a.m. Saturday at 2901 Welton St. in Denver.

Olde Town Arvada hosts its annual family-friendly St. Patrick’s Day Festival. This St. Patrick's Day event that features live music, unique vendors, food trucks, and a designated play area for children. Alcoholic drinks will also be available.

St. Patrick’s Day Festival, Saturday, noon - 6 p.m. in Historic Downtown Arvada.

Courtesy of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra
Wilbur Lin conducts the Colorado Symphony Orchestra's performance of "Peter and The Wolf" and "The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra."

Sunday, March 17

Experience Prokofiev’s classic “Peter and the Wolf” and “Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra” in a family-friendly collaboration between the Colorado Symphony and Denver’s Curious Theater Company. CSO’s Family Series concerts are shorter than typical symphony performances, lasting just 60 to 90 minutes with intermission and are designed for families with young children to get a first taste of classical music.

The Colorado Symphony presents “Peter and the Wolf” and “Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra,” Sunday  at 2:30 p.m. at Boettcher Concert Hall in Denver.

Graeme Schulz
Kristina Fountaine, actor in "Chasing Breadcrumbs," by Michelle Tyrene Johnson.

All Weekend

This weekend in Boulder, the Local Theatre Company hosts its annual new works festival, Local Lab 13. The festival features three staged readings of new plays, including “The Unbuttoning” by Beth Henley, a Pulitzer Prize for Drama winner for her 1981 play “Crimes of the Heart.” The other plays are “Stockade” by Andrew Rosendorf with Carlyn Aquiline and “Chasing Breadcrumbs” by Michelle Tyrene Johnson. The festival will also include workshops, parties, and facilitated discussions following each performance. 

Local Lab 13, hosted by the Local Theater Company, runs from Friday through Sunday at the Dairy Arts Center in Boulder.

Last year, Frozen Dead Guy Days moved north from its original home in Nederland up to Estes Park. In its new location, the annual festival still features many of its classic events, including a Polar Plunge, Zombie bar crawl, and plenty of live music.

Frozen Dead Guy Days runs from Thursday through Sunday at the Estes Park Events Complex and the Stanley Hotel.

Looking Ahead

Over the past few years, Colorado Springs has lost two of its main LGBTQ+ venues, after the tragedy at Club Q in 2022 and a fire at the end of 2023 that forced the closure of the bar ICONS. On Monday, 25+ performing artists, featuring drag, live music, and burlesque, will appear at Hamburger Mary’s Denver in a benefit for ICONS as they raise funds to rebuild. 

The ICONS Benefit Show, Monday, March 18, doors open at 6 p.m., show at 7 p.m. at Hamburger Mary's in Denver.

Other arts and culture events around Colorado

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.