Denver has a very rich black history that should be celebrated year-round, but some special events are taking place in celebration of Black History Month. From art exhibits to dance performances to community dialogue sessions, you surely don’t want to miss out. Take a look at our guide and start marking your calendars.

Test Kitchen hosted by Roux Black

Photo courtesy of Danielle Webster.

When: Wednesday, February 8 from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Where: The Black Box, 314 E 13th Ave., Denver, CO 80203

Cost: Free

The Low Down: Test Kitchen 2.8 is a live hip-hop listening showcase where artists were asked to submit their music for the event and Roux Black will give feedback to the artists about their jams.   

Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame Presents: Legacies As Tall As Mountains

When: The entire month of February

Where: Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library, 2401 Welton St., Denver

Cost: Free

The Low Down: This exhibit celebrates the trailblazing African American women (and other women of color) from Colorado. Stop by to learn more about some of our state’s strongest women and expand your her-storical knowledge of Colorado.

 

A History of Black Firefighters in the Denver Fire Department

Denver fire station. Photo by Brittany Werges.

When: The entire month of February

Where: Denver Firefighters Museum, 1326 Tremont Place, Denver, CO 80204

Cost: Free with admission. Children: $5, adults: $7

The Low Down: The Denver Firefighters Museum will present an exhibit honoring the black firefighters who carved out a career in what used to be a segregated profession.

Basquiat Before Basquiat: East 12th St., 1979-1980

Photo courtesy of the Museum of Contemporary Art.

When: February 11-May 7

Where: Museum of Contemporary Art, 1485 Delgany St., Denver, CO 80211

Cost: Free for members. Adults: $8, college students and seniors, military: $5, teens and children: free.

The Low Down: The exhibition will include a myriad of work from the late artist Jean-Michel Basquiat during the years he lived in New York with his friend Alexis Adler in a small apartment in New York in the East Village.This exhibition will explore how the context of his life inspired and formed Basquiat’s practices from paintings, sculptures, works on paper, a notebook, photos from Adler during this period and tags on the street.

The Life and Times of Valeria Howard-Vason

When: Saturday, February 11 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m

Where: Black American West Museum, 3091 California St., Denver, CO 80205

Cost: Adults: $10, seniors: $9, students: $8, Children: $6

The Low Down: The Black American West Museum will be giving an oral history of and displaying artifacts and memorabilia about the life of Valeria Howard-Vason who was the wife of Lu Vason, founder of the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo. Though the museum was founded to tell the story of “Black Cowboys” the scope has broadened to include the stories of Blacks from every profession needed to help build the American West.

Christine Fontenot: Chromatic Attraction

Photo Courtesy of Christine Fontenot.

When: On display through March 24.

Where: Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library, 2401 Welton St., Denver

Cost: Free

The Low Down:  Christine Fontenot’s Chromatic Attraction collection is an exploration of the complexity of color through painting. Color relationships are showcased and analyzed through a variety of genres in the collection. The local artist will appear at an artist reception on February 18 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Rebels Remembered Documentary Viewings

When: Tuesday, February 14, 21, and 28 at 6:30 p.m.

Where: Park Hill Branch Library, 4705 Montview Blvd., Denver

Cost: Free

The Low Down: The Rebels Remembered documentary series chronicles the untold stories of the civil rights revolution in Colorado. In three hour-long programs, there will be a viewing of three of the short films followed by a discussion with the director and activists featured in the films. The films featured will focus on the Civil Rights movement in Colorado, the justice system from an African American perspective, and education change following desegregation in the Denver area.

Black History Live: Harriet Tubman

Photo courtesy of Colorado Humanities’ Facebook.

When: Sunday, February 19 from 2-4 p.m.   

Where: Brio Tuscan Grille

Cost: $50 per person; make reservations here.

The Low Down: Colorado Humanities’ D.I.N.E (Dinner, Ideas ‘N Exchange) will be combining food, company and food for thought at their event portraying abolitionist, humanitarian and Union-spy, Harriet Tubman. Scholar and presenter, Becky Stone will be portraying Tubman and showing attendees how Tubman became an abolitionist and lead hundreds of slaves to freedom through the Underground Railroad.

World Documentary Film Festival & Cinema

When: Thursday, February 16 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Where: Vickers Boys and Girls Club, 3333 Holly St., Denver

Cost: Free

The Low Down: This film festival will feature educational documentaries which have an emphasis on black history. There will also be a question and answer session as well as live music. All ages are welcome.

The President’s Kitchen Cabinet: The Story of the African Americans Who Have Fed Our Presidents from the Washingtons to the Obamas

Photo courtesy of History of Colorado Center’s Facebook.

When: Saturday, February 18 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Where: History of Colorado Center: 1200 Broadway St., Denver, CO 80203

Cost: Free

The Low Down: This is a launch celebration of the book, The President’s Kitchen Cabinet: The Story of the African Americans Who Have Fed Our Presidents from the Washingtons to the Obamas being published. The event will feature former presidential chefs, presidential reenactors, presidential food and drinks from White House recipes and music.

Trails of the Buffalo Soldiers: Roads to Equality

When: Monday, February 20 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. and again at 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Where: History of Colorado Center, 1200 Broadway St., Denver, CO 80203

Cost: Members can get tickets for $8.50 or $6.50 with a student ID. Nonmembers can get tickets for $16 or $10 with a student ID. Get tickets here.

The Low Down: The History of Colorado Center will host a lecture by Historian, Dr. John Langellier about the role of Buffalo Soldiers in opening the West. This lecture will also take a look into the eyes of the formerly enslaved men who bought their freedom during the Civil War and then trekked westward to Fort Garland and pushed Pancho Villa into Mexico.

Medicines of the Black American Captive with Monticue Connally

luminescent-plantsWhen: Wednesday, February 22 at 6 p.m.

Where: Green Valley Ranch Branch Library, 4856 Andes Court, Denver

Cost: Free

The Low Down: Connally will discuss how slaves used herbs and other natural healing remedies to overcome the worst of conditions with few resources. After learning about the healing power of plants in slave communities, you’ll learn how to use such techniques yourself.

Roxane Gay Book Signing at Tattered Cover

Photo courtesy of the Tattered Cover Bookstore’s Facebook.

When: Friday, February 24 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Where: Tattered Cover Book Store,

Cost: Free

The Low Down: Roxane Gay is a best-selling author, professor and self-proclaimed feminist. She will discuss and sign her latest book, Difficult Women. The book is a collection of stories about passionate love, quirky and vexed human connection, beauty and life as a woman.

Buffalo Soldier: Sgt. Jack Hackett

When: Saturday, February 25 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Where: History of Colorado Center: 1200 Broadway St., Denver, CO 80203

Cost: Free with admission to any exhibit or event.

The Low Down: Tim Johnson will be portraying Buffalo Soldier, Sgt. Jack Hackett, and he will be answering questions about life of soldiers in the late 1800s. Buffalo Soldiers were given their names as the first peacetime all-African-American units formed after the Civil War.

Parker Symphony Orchestra: Celebrating Black Composers Throughout the Centuries

Photo courtesy of Parker Arts’ Website.

When: Saturday, February 25 at 7:30 p.m.

Where: PACE Center, 2000 0 Pikes Peak Ave., Parker, CO 80138

Cost: $22 and up; get tickets here.

The Low Down: To honor Black History Month the Parker Symphony Orchestra will perform pieces by composers of color from the late 1700s to the late 1900s. There will be works from Scott Joplin, Duke Ellington and more.

 

Read. Awareness. Dialogue. Action. – All American Boys

When: Saturday, February 25 at 2 p.m.

Where: Central Branch Library, 10 W 14th Ave Pkwy, Denver

Cost: Free

The Low Down: Denver Public Library and Tattered Cover Bookstore are teaming up for a special discussion of the book All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely. The book explores police brutality from the perspective of both a black and white high school student. The discussion will apply the concepts and perspectives of the novel to today’s current events and issues.

 

Harmony Street Concert Series Featuring Purnell Steen Trio with Myra Warren

When: Saturday, February 11 at 3:30 p.m.

Where: Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library, 2401 Welton St., Denver

Cost: Free

The Low Down: Purnell Steen and company have a mission to preserve the jazz of Five Points. Join them along with vocalist Myra Warren for a night of jazz, community, and good vibes. Light refreshments will be available after the performance.

 

Disciples of Funk Volume 3

Photo Courtesy of Disciples of Funk’s Facebook Page.

When: Friday, February 17 through Sunday, February 19

Where: Bboy Factory, 6401 Broadway, Denver

Cost: $20 for first class or battle entrance, each additional class or battle is $15 or $12 respectively.

The Low Down: Disciples of Funk is said to be a “life-changing weekend of dance.” It consists of master classes from historical dance masters in styles such a breaking, house, waacking/vogue, and more, as well as individual and group battles. Head to the Facebook event page for more info.

 

Racism and Health Inequities: Health Equity Learning Series Part 2

Dr. Rachel Hardeman. Photo Courtesy of The Civic Canopy’s Facebook Page.

When: Thursday, February 16 from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Where: Tramway Nonprofit Center, 3532 Franklin St., Denver

Cost: Free

The Low Down: Join this community dialogue to see a video of Dr. Hardeman’s talk, and learn about health equity, structural racism, and white supremacy. This event is part of the Colorado Trust’s Health Equity Learning Series. There will be a resource fair before and after the talk where attendees can meet healthcare providers and get more information about community health resources.

 

The Box Marked Black: Tales from a Halfrican American Growing up Mulatto (With Sock Puppets!)

Photo Courtesy of square product theatre’s Facebook page.

When: Thursday, February 23 through Saturday, February 25

Where: square product theatre, 2500 47th St., Unit 10, Boulder (the show will move to Denver in early March.)

Cost: $18 general admission, $12 students (w/ ID), $14 seniors (65+). Get tickets here.

The Low Down: This autobiographical solo theatre piece, written and performed Damaris Webb, explores what it means to be biracial in America. It incorporates both song and dance to tell Webb’s personal narrative through multiple characters and fantasies.

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