Art fans line up outside of the Denver Art Museum waiting on it to open for the day, April 5.
Photo by PHILIP B. POSTON/Sentinel Colorado

We do think it’s safe to be outdoors without a mask — not safe to be in a mosh pit.

Breathe in, and you can almost imagine it: Aurorans streaming into some summer cultural event, packed into lines at food trucks, dancing side-by-side. A crowd at your favorite music venue. A sold-out show at the Aurora Fox.  

Alas. Even after the sudden, if brief, appearance of hot weather and summer vibes early this month, summer 2021 will probably remain reined in by some familiar COVID-19 restrictions. 

Despair not. Treasured summertime events will probably look a bit more relaxed than they did a year ago. And this year, there’s no shortage of safer things to do. The Sentinel has compiled a lengthy list of exhibits, movie showings, outdoor festivals, musical concerts, cultural expos and more to help keep you sane — and healthy — during another strange summer of COVID-19. 

Mellissa Sager, the Tri-County Health Department’s policy and intergovernmental affairs manager, said events in the next months will likely be “a little bit bigger” than the past year. 

Notably, Tri-County removed its requirement April 5 that people wear a mask when near someone outdoors.

“We do think it’s safe to be outdoors without a mask — not safe to be in a mosh pit,” she said. 

For the time being, events planners will have to devise ways to keep people physically separated. At outdoor concerts, that may mean making sure people can spread out, Sager said. At festivals, planners will have to ensure tents and lines don’t allow for too much congregation and contamination. Parades may go forward if participants split into various groups and weave through different neighborhoods, Sager said. 

The indoors, however, will remain “significantly” more dangerous, Sager said. Aurorans can expect less of the “old” normal inside bars and indoor music venues. 

For the time being, Colorado remains marching toward herd immunity — as of April 6, the Colorado School of Public Health estimates 27% of Colordans are immune to COVID-19 — but several concerning COVID-19 variants have public health experts cautious about relaxing restrictions too much. 

Sager said that, when Aurorans head out to that concert or cultural festival this summer, they should flock to events that clearly advertise their safety precautions. 

It’s understandable to want to jump right back into the swing of things now that event calendars are filling back up. But after a year of quarantining and nervously standing six feet apart from people at the grocery store, it’s normal if people find themselves experiencing stress or anxiety in large social gatherings.

“I don’t know a person in the world who doesn’t have more anxiety due to COVID,” said Dr. Mara Kailin, chief clinical officer at the Aurora Mental Health Center.

The uncertainty and danger caused by COVID-19 has led to an increase in stress and mental health symptoms for many people, Kailin said. And after a year of limited interaction, people’s social skills have also deteriorated, which can be anxiety-inducing when getting back out in the world.

Kailin drew a distinction between healthy anxiety, which is a natural response to external threats, and unhealthy anxiety, which can be all-consuming.

The current moment is challenging because based on health conditions, vaccination status and other factors, everyone is navigating different levels of risk.

“We’re in a tricky moment because the safety of gatherings will really be gradual,” Kailin said. “There’s no one moment where it’s safe for everyone to do everything they did before.”

She recommends that people re-engage with society at a pace that works with their personal risk and comfort levels, and said that people should be gentle with themselves during this transitional time.

If anxiety or fears about COVID safety are preoccupying to a point where you’re struggling to focus on other things or it’s keeping you from doing things you normally enjoy, that’s a sign that you should reach out to a professional, Kailin said.

“Unhealthy anxiety has to be challenged,” she said. “The more that you avoid the situation that causes anxiety, the harder it becomes to overcome.” 

Theater

The end of the year-long intermission at Aurora’s Vintage Theater is nearly in sight. Executive Director Craig Bond told The Sentinel that the north Aurora playhouse is aiming to re-open with a potential production of the musical “Five Guys Named Moe” this July. Shortly before the new season formally kicks off, Bond said the company is planning a retrospective performance to celebrate Vintage’s 20th anniversary. An event tentatively slated for late June or early July will feature a series of vignettes and musical performances from some of the company’s most revered shows from the past two decades. (Down the street, the Aurora Fox is planning a similar compendium of works for its virtual gala beginning April 9.) Titles from the theater’s entire upcoming season are expected to be announced sometime next month. 

Queens Girl in the World

Running April 16 through May 9 at the Fox, 9900 E. Colfax Ave. Tickets are on sale now at aurorafoxartscenter.org.

Following a successful run of “The Pavillion” this winter, the Aurora Fox crew is returning this spring with a run of Caleen Sinnette Jennings’ “Queens Girl in the World,” the tale of a young New Yorker changing schools and boroughs in the 1950s. Leavened with the sounds of era-specific motown, the show promises to provide a timely take on cultural and societal empathy. 

Kyle Scoggins works on the set on Tuesday Sept. 08, 2015 at Fox Theater.
Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel

Wonderland: Alice’s Rock and Roll Adventure

Running June 11 through July 3 at the Fox, 9900 E. Colfax Ave. Tickets go on sale April 27 at aurorafoxartscenter.org.

When Lewis Carroll penned his seminal “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” more than 100 years ago, it’s unlikely he imagined the tale could be set to a cacophony of power chords strummed on electric guitars. But who knows? The guy had one helluva neocortex. Regardless, the crew at the Aurora Fox is staging a production of Alice’s venerable saga this summer, this time set to a soundtrack of ska, punk and even a dash of Bollywood tunes. This retooled telling with music by Michael Mahler is as much narrative comfort food for fans of “Through the Looking Glass” as it is a bona fide rock concert in that converted quonset hut on East Colfax Avenue. 

1 Night, 6 Plays

Running Weekends April 30 to May 29, with doors at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. At the ACAD studio building at 1400 Dallas St. Tickets are $26 at the door, $25 online at 5280artistcoop.ticketspice.com.

Now that’s what we call bang for your buck. For $25, attendees of 5280 Artist Co-op’s latest performance will get half a dozen 15-minute vignettes from an array of local creatives, including Mario Farewell, Lou Johnson, Joseph Arnone, Cris Eli Blak, Kenya Fashaw and Clinnesha Sibley. Talk about an effective way to snap up a whole lot of theater in one fell swoop. Tickets to a preview performance on April 30 will be offered at discounted rates, the proceeds of which will benefit the Denver Actors Fund. Visit the 5280 Artist Coop Facebook page for additional information.

My Fair Lady

Running Aug. 11 through Aug. 22 at the DCPA’s Buell Theatre, 1101 13th St. Denver. Ticket information can be found at denvercenter.org.

What better way to re-enter the realm of mise en scene than with dame Doolittle and her haughty clan? Though the Denver Center for the Performing Arts cancelled its entire 2020-21 season, the state’s theatrical juggernaut is slated to ease back into performances later this summer with this revered take on Shaw’s classic work. Shereen Ahmed stars as Eliza Doolittle alongside Kevin Pariseau as Colonel Pickering and Leslie Alexander as Mrs. Higgins in this Lincoln Center Theater staging this turn on “Pygmalion.”

1776

Running Sept. 14 through Sept. 26. at the DCPA’s Buell Theatre, 1101 13th St. Denver. Ticket information can be found at denvercenter.org.

Fans of the “The West Wing” — and perhaps a high school civics teacher or two — rejoice. While Denver area theatergoers will still have to wait until spring 2022 to be wowed by Lin Manuel-Miranda’s musical masterpiece that also touches on the foundations of this old U.S. of A., history buffs will be able to enjoy a taste with this rescheduled staging of John Adams’ quest for American independence. Presented by the American Repertory Theater at Harvard University, “1776” follows Adams as he beseeches members of the Continental Congress to sign that famous piece of paper still on display in Washington D.C. Diane Paulus directs. 

Mean Girls

Running Oct. 12 through Oct. 24 at the DCPA’s Buell Theatre, 1101 13th St. Denver. Ticket information can be found at denvercenter.org.

The Front Range is finally going to be fetch, people. After being waylaid by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Broadway take on Tina Fey’s iconic film highlighting on the cattiness — and maybe a bit of evilness — of teenages. With a book from the “30 Rock” alum herself, the musical is sure to whet the cultural appetite of many a starry-eyed millennial. Now, go shave your back now, or something. 

Ain’t Too Proud — The life and times of The Temptations 

Running Nov. 16 through Nov. 28 at the DCPA’s Buell Theatre, 1101 13th St. Denver. Ticket information can be found at denvercenter.org.

For about the past year, we’d say the era-defining tunes of The Temptations were a bit too, how do you say, saccharine a soundtrack for these tumultuous times. But with vaccines slowly making their way into resident’s immune systems, we are starting to finally feel like we’ve “got the month of May” for the first time in a long time — at least two years given that May 2020 effectively didn’t exist. By the time November rolls around, we figure we’ll be feeling like we’ve got all four seasons in a day, so long as these nerve-racking variants don’t muck things up. That’s when the Broadway take on the legendary Detroit group will have a two-week stint at the DCPA’s Buell Theatre. The winner of a bevy of Tony awards, the show is sure to serve as a welcome musical balm. 

*”The Lion King” has been rescheduled for December, and Hamilton is slated to hit the Buell stage from Feb. 16 through march 27, 2022. 

Small Mouth Sounds

Running April 30 through May 30 at The Arvada Center, 6901 Wadsworth Blvd., Arvada. Ticket information can be found at arvadacenter.org.

Live theater is finally returning to the Arvada Center this spring with a run of Bess Wohl’s “Small Mouth Sounds,” a one act play that centers on the interactions between six strangers at a silent yoga retreat. The show was on the cusp of running in spring 2020, but, like so much of life last year, was ultimately sidelined by the pandemic. Now, the cast of Jake Mendes, Jessica Austgen, Kate Gleason, Annie Barbour, Geoffrey Kent, Kevin Rich and Josh Robinson are reprising their roles in this bespoke, off-Broadway production. Lynne Collins directs. 

PACE Center

Offerings, dates and times vary through July. Visit Parkerarts.org for specific event and ticket information.

The team at the Parker Arts, Culture and Events Center are slowly dipping their toes back into the live theater pool this spring and summer with several community and youth programs slated in the coming months. On April 23 and 24, the center is hosting a youth production of “Sleepy Hollow,” with a pair of high school musicals in “The Music Man” and “Little Shop of Horrors” slated for May and June. In the meantime, the crew on Pikes Peak Avenue is hosting several comedy events, jazz evenings and continued virtual offerings to ease you out of that pandemic fog. Visit parkerarts.org/shows-events for further information.

Firehouse Theater Company 

Skullduggery on June 12, 13, 19, 20, 26 and 27 and “Sisters in Law” Sept. 25 through Oct. 31 at The John Hand Theater at Colorado Free University, 7653 E. 1st Pl., Denver. Visit the Firehouse Theater Company Facebook page for the most up-to-date information on the productions.

The voicemail for the box office at Firehouse Theater Company remains an eerie reminder of those soul-crushing days of last March when the world went dim. A trembling voice tells callers that the theater is and will remain dark for the foreseeable future while the world weathers the pandemic. However, activity on Firehouse’s Facebook page is assuredly more sanguine, and provides promises of live theater from the Lowry-based outfit this summer. The Firehouse crew is set to host a novel drive-thru — not drive-in — theatrical experience with a regional premiere of the murder mystery “Skullduggery” this June. Auditions are soon to be underway. And in October, metroplex outfit Theatre Or will be staging a production of “Sisters in Law” at the John Hand stage, which centers on the relationship between late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sandra Day O’Connor. Rest assured, there is late at the end of this tunnel, folks. 

Music

Vivaldi by Candlelight 

Tix from $45 per person, comes with one alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink, every Tuesday from May 25 to June 29. 2501 Dallas St. www.stanleymarketplace.com

Few pieces of music encompass an entire year. And after a year of nothing short of a  pandemic, what could possibly capture the myriad ups and downs and various miseries we all struggled through? At the Stanley Marketplace, they’re turning to Vivaldi. Local Denver musicians bathed in (electric) candlelight will play through the Baroque master’s Four Seasons violin concertos and other pieces. Grab a ticket and enjoy the live music from your distanced seat, which will last for an hour. Unfortunately, kids under 18 aren’t allowed.

ThatDamnSasquatch and Daniella Katzir Band 

Tix from $15. 5 p.m., Saturday, May 8. TheBigWonderful, 6785 E Chenango Ave. Denver, CO 80237. Buy at door or online at https://tinyurl.com/2x9h49mm

Call Denver a cow town these days, and you likely won’t get a friendly reaction. But not too long ago, according to legend, tumbleweeds blew down Welton. One could too easily find a Mexican standoff in front of Coors Field. Then they expanded I-25, and everything changed. But hearken back to the days of yore with bluegrass act ThatDamnSasquatch. They’ll sing of rolling fields, solace, and, suddenly, play a set of 80s covers. Daniella Katzir band opens. 

Thumpin’ 

9 p.m. Friday, April 16. Moe’s Original BBQ and Bowl, 3295 S. Broadway Englewood, CO 80113. Tickets from $12. 

It’s music that “moves the body & soul.” It’s “music with maximum groove.” That’s right: it’s Thumpin’. The Denver-based dance act, complete with horns and backup singers, is set to bring its set of disco and pop tracks to Moe’s this month. You’re likely to hear Prince’s “1999,” some Aretha, some Earth Wind & Fire, Marley, Rhianna — a who’s who, in other words, of pop hits. It’s socially distanced with limited capacities inside Moe’s, so grab a ticket quickly. 

Lotus four-night run at Red Rocks

8 p.m. Thursday, April 22 through Sunday, April 25. 18300 W Alameda Pkwy, Morrison, CO 80465. Tickets at $45. 

What the what?! Red Rocks is reopening? After a year of virtual events, it’s true: the red rock behemoth terrorizing the good townsfolk of Morrison will once again fire on, well, at least some cylinders by the end of April. And how better to usher in White Boy Summer than with four nights of Denver’s favorite psychedelic jam band? Tickets will be very limited, so snap them up if you’re able. Oh, and don’t expect the Red Rocks of old. We aren’t out of this pandemic yet. Get vaxxed and wear a mask. 

Colorado Music & Arts Festival 

May 29 and May 30. Centennial Park 13050 E. Peakview Ave., Centennial, CO 80111. Tickets at $12, kids free. Learn more at https://www.denver.org/event 

Music. Classic cars. Contests. Cuisine. Beer. And if it’s not snowing, it’ll probably be gorgeous weather. Flock, Aurorans, to the southern side of Cherry Creek State Park. The typical dwelling of geese, Centennial Park, will convert overnight to a tent city of various entertainments and delights. Oh, and kids get in free. If you’re languishing in the post-pandemic ether, wondering what the hell to do with yourself, this is an easy way to get back out there. 

Festivals & Outdoor Events

Colorado Dragon Boat Festival

Sept. 25-26 Sloan’s Lake Park, 1700 N. Sheridan Blvd. Denver, CO 80219

After a year’s hiatus, registration for racers is now open for the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, which will take place this year on Sept. 25 and 26 at Sloan’s Lake Park instead of during its usual July dates. “Please know that we are working hard to ensure that all teams who would like to participate can,” a release from the Festival said. “Due to the changing guidelines and restrictions in Denver County, all teams that sign up will be put in a waitlist until we are able to confirm the amount of teams that can participate. The decisions made will be either a first come first serve basis or a lottery system depending on the amount of teams that register.” Volunteer registration opens on April 15, and registration for food and marketplace vendors, performers and nonprofit partners will open on May 1. Register online at cdbf.org. The festival, the largest dragon boat event in North America, plans to return to its regular July time frame in 2022, according to its website.

Cherry Creek Arts Festival

Sept. 4-5 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Sept. 6 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Cherry Creek Shopping Center 3000 E. 1st St. Denver, CO 80206

After last year’s COVID-induced cancellation, CherryArts will be holding the 30th annual Cherry Creek Arts Festival over Labor Day weekend. The festival was originally scheduled to take place July 2-4, but is being pushed back to Sept. 4-6 this year. In order to adhere to COVID safety guidelines, the festival will take place at the creekside area of the Cherry Creek Shopping Center instead of at Cherry Creek North. The festival will feature the artists who were juried into the canceled 2020 festival, which includes sculptors, jewelers, painters, digital artists and mixed media artists. The festival will also include music, food vendors and hands-on art experiences.

Rocky Mountain National Park reservations

1-day vehicle entrance $25, $15 walk-in. Rocky Mountain National Park, 1000 U.S. 36 Estes Park, CO 80517

Rocky Mountain National Park is piloting a timed-entry permit reservation system for this year’s season, which will run from May 28 through Oct. 11. One permit will be for the Bear Lake Road Corridor for 5 a.m. to 6 p.m., the other will be for the rest of the park from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The permits allow visitors to arrive within 2-hour windows. The first reservations will be from May 28 through June 30 and will go on sale May 1 at 8 a.m. MDT at www.recreation.gov. The new system is being put in place due to an increase in visitors — the park was the fourth most visited national park in the country last year and saw a 38% increase from 2019, according to its website — along with a need to limit the number of people on the premises at a time due to COVID-19. The good news is that capacity is increasing from 60% of parking capacity last summer to 75% to 85% this year — but I would still set my alarm clock for bright and early come May 1. 

Denver Botanic Gardens

Monday-Sunday 9 a.m.-7 p.m. adult admission $15 1007 York St. Denver, CO 80206

The Denver Botanic Gardens are open with limited capacity, and tickets must be purchased in advance. The tea house, science pyramid and other buildings remain closed, but the Newman Center art galleries are open and are included with the price of admission. “Dreams in Bloom,” a collection of vibrant self-portraits by Fares Micue, is on display through May 16, and “Radiant Season,” paintings of often-overlooked plants and animals, is on display through July 11. Later in the summer exhibits of work by Salvador Dali, Denver Botanic Gardens students and bronze sculptor Yoshitomo Saito will be featured. If online offerings are still more in your wheelhouse, the Gardens’ spring plant sale will take place online from April 26-29 for those who want to bring a bit of the botanic garden experience to themselves.

Photo by PHILIP B. POSTON/Sentinel Colorado

Special Olympics Colorado Polar Plunge

April 17 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Aurora Reservoir 5800 S. Powhatan Road Aurora, CO 80016

Special Olympics Colorado will be holding its annual polar plunge and 5k run fundraiser at the Aurora Reservoir on Saturday, April 17. The icy event raises money for Colorado’s over 15,000 Special Olympics athletes. The minimum fundraising fee for the 5k is $45, the minimum for the plunge is $75 and the minimum for the plunge and 5k is $120. The first run wave begins at 9:30 a.m. and the first plunge wave at 10 a.m., with waves spaced about 20 minutes apart. Register online at specialolympicsco.org.

Aurora Potters’ Guild Spring Sale

9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday May 1. 16000 E CentreTech Parkway Aurora, CO, 80011. 

Typically Aurora’s homegrown pottery artists — many of which work out of community centers throughout the city — have sales twice a year, but the pandemic has, like most things, shuttered them. This is the first one in more than 18 months, and for anybody who has picked up a few new friends for their suburban jungles, the prospect of picking out a few decorative pots is an exciting one. This year, the sale will be outside, in the Community College of Aurora CentreTech parking lot, making it easy to social distance. 

Morbid Curiosities Festival 

12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, June 12. Stampede, 2430 S Havana St. Tickets at $15. Buy online at https://tinyurl.com/5ckd5bfr 

People love their death and oddities, even after a year of, well, death and oddity. The Morbid Curiosity Festival, then, couldn’t come to the Stampede at a better time. People are sure to be donning their black and their goth garbs for the Hearse and Ambulance Show. We’re not sure what the fire dancers will be wearing. Regardless, it sounds like a Hell of a time. See you there. 

Dali’s surrealist flowers at Denver Botanic Gardens 

All summer, beginning April 17. 1007 York St, Denver, CO 80206. Non-member tickets at $16. 

Famed 20th century artist Salvador Dali engendered more than those trippy clocks, people. Although, you could paint this Sentinel loser colorfully surprised that Dali, the master surrealist, also created a series of colorful lithographs depicting oddly-shaped flowers. Those works, on loan from the mothership Dali gallery in St. Petersburg, Florida, will arrive at Denver’s Botanic Gardens for viewing beginning in April. An esteemed member of the Gardens’ staff will guide gawkers through the little gallery to teach “about fun facts, hidden details and gain surprising insight….” No doubt, Dali folded weird wisdom into those flower petals. 

City of Aurora summer events 

All summer at various locations across the city. Visit auroragov.org/things_to_do/events for more information.

Instead of celebrating just a few big blow-outs this summer, City of Aurora staffers are furcating the municipal events calendar in an effort to keep residents distanced while awaiting that coveted herd immunity. Erin Pulliam, superintendent of marketing and special events for the city, said staffers are slated to host more than 30 community events in 2021 in lieu of the nine large-scale gatherings the city typically hosts each summer, such as the 4th of July spectacular. (Details on whether the city will host the fireworks extravaganza at all this year remain undetermined as of early April, according to Pulliam.) The retooled events include community movie nights at various city parks, s’mores on the shore of Aurora Reservoir and an end of summer carnival at Fletcher Plaza in north Aurora. All city pools and spraygrounds will be open daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day, though reservations will be required prior to entering, just like they were in 2020. Pools will only be open on weekends for most of August, so be sure to get your weekday laps in this June and July. 

Exhibits & Museums

Wings Over the Rockies 

$17 for adults, $10 for kids, www.wingsmuseum.org 

From fighter pilots to the cosmos, there’s something at Wings to ignite a little wonder in anybody. Whether it’s how World War II is still impacting lives today or how we’re able to look through a giant telescope and see the majesty of the universe outside of our own world, the museum dedicated to all things that take flight knows just how to catch your attention and make you say “wow, that’s pretty cool.” Find the many exhibits at the Air & Space Museum this summer, and check the Wings Over the Rockies event page for even more cool stuff. 

Cosplayers and fans of Star Wars funneled in to the Wings Over the Rockies museum May 4th to celebrate Star Wars Day.
Photo by Philip B. Poston/Sentinel Colorado

Stonehenge Challenge

$9, Now through September 6, www.dmns.org 

The massive free-standing rocks that have stumped anthropologists for ages are at the center of an exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science this summer. There are so many things we don’t know about Stonehenge, but we do know the monument was erected around 2000 B.C., consists of about 100 giant boulders, and most scientists agree the area was most likely a burial ground. Learn more at the DMNS this summer, masked up of course. You’ll have to pre-order tickets, but that’s okay. Science is worth it! 

19th Century in European and American Art 

$10, ongoing, www.denverartmuseum.org 

Staring at Claude Monet’s lily ponds makes the world alright. The famous impressionist painter is somehow able to melt the entire last year away, if only for a few seconds. Perhaps it’s comforting to know that the world wasn’t as dreamy as Claude made it out to be then either. The exhibit of 19th century art at the Denver Art Museum highlights one of the most important eras in art history, an era that gave way to names like Berthe Morisot, Paul Cézanne Pierre-Auguste Renoir and others. There was upheaval and change in Europe and the Americas alike, curators write of the exhibit’s era. And yet, there are these beautiful landscapes of a place much more idyllic than right here right now. Perhaps we could learn something from that, or we could just enjoy a day looking at great art and forget how terrible things have been. Buy your tickets ahead of time. So far, spots are still limited.

A series of looks from André Courrèges, whose designs Véronique Peck introduced to the U.S. in the 60s. Photo by KARA MASON/Sentinel Colorado

Paris to Hollywood 

$10, Now through July 18, www.denverartmuseum.org 

Forget whatever you think you know about current fashion trends. They could never amount to the inspiration French writer and philanthropist Veronique Peck introduced into mainstream style decade after decade. “Paris to Hollywood” takes an in-depth look at the lives of Veronique and her husband Gregoy Peck. Dozens of gowns, tuxedos and exclusive photographs of the couple are on display this summer, and they tell a grand story of love and influence. This exhibit goes beyond fashion and haute couture gowns. Tickets are on sale now.

Keith Haring: Grace House Mural

$10, Now through August 22, www.mcadenver.org 

Even if you don’t know the name, you probably recognize the androgynous line figures from Keith Haring. The Grace House Mural was originally created to lift the spirits of at-risk teens in New York City. Haring completed the bold work in 1984, and now it’s here in Denver for a spell. Haring, also an activist, died of AIDS in 1990, but his work lives on, or, rather, some of it does. About half of the 45 murals he painted in his lifetime still exist. According to curators, Haring loved working with the teens and they begged him to create the mural, which he did. It was excavated from its site in 2019 and sold at auction. It contains some of his most famous images, like the barking dog, and now exists in 13 panels. The exhibit is on display for most of the summer.

Van Gogh Alive 

July 9 through September 26, www.denvercenter.org 

After a year-plus of COVID-19 social distancing, sitting in a Parisian cafe or stargazing over the French countryside would be a refreshing change of scenery. While international jet-setting might not be in the cards, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts is going to bring France to Aurora this summer with an immersive exhibit of Vincent Van Gogh’s work.

“Van Gogh Alive” will be on exhibit at the Hangar at Stanley Marketplace from July 9 through Sept. 26, according to the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets go on sale later this month.

Aurora History Museum

Free admission, Tues.-Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 15051 E. Alameda Parkway Aurora, CO 80012

For history buffs hankering for a fix, the Aurora History Museum is back open for in-person visits. Three exhibits are currently on display: “Powered by Science: Technologies of the Past and Future” runs through April 18 highlights Aurora’s current tech industry and delves into some of the innovations of the past. “Religious Diversity in Aurora,” which runs through May 30, is a collection of interviews with the city’s religious leaders and photographs of over 100 of the city’s houses of worship. And the museum’s permanent exhibit, “Growing Home,” is on display featuring a restored 1913 trolley for the transportation geeks out there. Masks must be worn in the museum and reservations must be made in advance, which can be done at the museum’s website online at auroragov.org/things_to_do/aurora_history_museum.

Community College of Aurora Student art exhibit

Free admission, Monday Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through April 30. Downtown Aurora Visual Arts gallery, 1405 Florence St. Aurora, CO 80010

Art from Community College of Aurora students will be on display at the Downtown Aurora Visual Arts gallery through the month of April. The exhibit, “Chrysalis,” features visual art and ceramics created by CCA art students over the past three semesters. The exhibit features 22 ceramic pieces and 75 to 100 visual art pieces. Though not COVID is not a major theme, the works display “the courage and strength and the determination of the students working through the pandemic,” interim CCA art department chair Savannah Sanburg said. This is the first year the art show is being held off campus. The art department has worked with DAVA for years, Sandburg said, and the college wanted to honor the partnership and give students the opportunity to have their works seen in the wider Aurora community. Though all the works are unique, said she expects the ceramics to especially draw visitors in.

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Janice Marie
Janice Marie
27 days ago

Thank you for this comprehensive listing of upcoming events, something for nearly everyone. Happy news for the arts, history, outdoor aficionados and more…especially proud of Aurora’s approach and efforts toward “reopening!”