Colorado Arts Spotlight: Things to know and do around the state May 17-19

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Courtesy of Rachel Hayes
Foreland Catskill, NY (2023) installation by Rachel Hayes.

NEA grants coming to Colorado

The National Endowment for Arts announced the second round of grants for the year. 23 Colorado organizations are splitting a total of $4,230,526, ranging from $10,000 for the Denver Fringe Festival Inc. to $12,500 for the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs, and $2,525,040 for Western States Arts Federation (aka WESTAF). Find a full list of recipients here.

Rachel Hayes, "Horizon Drift"

This newly commissioned, textile-based public art installation by Tulsa artist Rachel Hayes opens Thursday at the Plaza of the Americas near the Museum of Contemporary Art in downtown Denver. The temporary installation is presented by the Biennial of the Americas, and with artistic direction by Black Cube Nomadic Art Museum. The work will be on view outdoors, 24/7, through October 27.

“Cullud Wattah” by Erika Dickerson-Despenza at Curious Theatre Company

This play, written by Erika Dickerson-Despenza, is about three generations of Black women living through the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. The play delves into the external and internal forces at play in a historically marginalized community and the difficult choices families face in the absence of viable options. The show blends song, ritual, and reckoning under the direction of Jada Suzanne Dixon.

Friday, May 17

Pete Davidson at the Avalon Theatre

SNL alumni Pete Davidson, known for his critically acclaimed Peacock show "Bupkis" and his various comedy specials and film roles, brings his stand-up show to Grand Junction. This will be a phone-free experience, requiring attendees to secure their phones in Yondr pouches during the performance.

Pete Davidson at the Avalon Theatre in Grand Junction, Friday, March 17 at 8 p.m.

Moved by Metal Opening Reception

"Moved by Metal" features two sculptural bike racks designed by local artist Emily Zeek and fabricated by Superior Iron Works. The project, part of Denver Arts and Venues’ P.S. You Are Here program, aims to promote multimodal transportation while showcasing the talents of Denver's metal workers and sculptors. An opening reception on Friday which coincides with the Arts District on Santa Fe’s Third Friday Collectors’ Night, will offer attendees the opportunity to hear from the artists about their creative process and the symbolism embedded in the bike racks.

“Moved by Metal” opening reception, Friday, May 17, from 6 - 9 p.m. at the ADSF Studio and Headquarters on Santa Fe Drive in Denver.

Courtesy of Don Paul Benjamin
Copper Club Brewing Company in Fruita.

Saturday, May 18

Coppertastic Family Book Fair

Copper Club Brewing in Fruita is inviting book lovers of all ages to experience a world of literary wonder at its first-ever Coppertastic Family Book Fair, an event inspired by the enduring tradition of Scholastic Book Fairs. Numerous authors will be on hand to share insights into their creative processes and sign books.

Coppertastic Family Book Fair, Saturday 18th from 2 - 6 p.m. at Copper Club Brewing Co. in Fruita.

Augustana Arts TEAser

This Central City Opera preview event features select performances from the 2024 Summer Festival lineup by CCO touring artists. There is an optional, ticketed, tea party with sweets preceding the concert.

Central City Opera’s TEAser, Saturday, May 18. The tea party starts at 1:45 p.m., followed by the concert at 3 p.m., at Augustana Arts in Denver.

Courtesy of Broomfield Magazine
Chadash Contemporary Dance Movement.

Sunday, May 19

"Extraordinarily Ordinary" in Westminster

This multimedia program, presented by Chadash Contemporary Dance Movement and the Colorado Dance Initiative,explores themes of responsibility, selflessness, and tragedy through the story of a mother and daughter who discover bottled messages, washing up on the shore near their home. 

“Extraordinarily Ordinary”, Sunday, May 19 with performances at 2 and 7 p.m. at Family in Christ in Westminster.

James & the Giant Peach, a production by Debut Theatre Company in Fort Collins.

All Weekend

Debut Theatre Company Presents: James & The Giant Peach

The Fort Collins-based company describes Roald Dahl's "James & The Giant Peach" as an exploration of "fun, imagination, unlikely friendship, and an unlikelier fruit!" Debut Theatre Company's mission is to provide its theater students with hands-on experiences, not just on stage but also with all the technical elements of mounting a show.

James & The Giant Peach” has its final performances Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 1 and 7 p.m. at Lincoln Center Magnolia Theatre in Fort Collins.

Western States Draft Horse Classic

The Mesa County Fairgrounds hosts the Western States Draft Horse Classic this weekend. It’s a chance to see these “gentle giants” in action, giving audiences a chance to take in their impressive size and strength.

The Western States Draft Horse Classic, Friday through Sunday, May 17 to 19, at the Mesa County Fairgrounds.

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.

Editor's Note: Some groups mentioned in the Spotlight may be financial supporters of CPR News. Financial supporters have no editorial influence.