Denver Area Black History Month 2017 Events

 

Updated 2/16/2017

African-American heritage is celebrated year-round in the Mile High City, but during Black History Month, it truly comes alive. Below are just some of the various Denver area Black History Month events you can take part in this February.

Black History Month Denver Area ConcertCelebrating Black Composers Throughout The Centuries: The Parker Symphony Orchestra and Parker Arts are presenting an amazing concert featuring works by composers of color from the late 1700’s to the late 1900’s. The program includes “Three Black Kings” by Duke Ellington with a saxophone solo performed by Art Bouton, Scott Joplin’s “The Entertainer” and the Overture to “Treemonisha”, William Grant Still’s “Afro-American Symphony”, and the Overture in D by Joseph Bologne (also known as The Black Mozart). February 25 at 7:30 at PACE Center, 20000 Pikes Peak Ave., Parker, CO 80138 Tickets available here: https://parkerarts.ticketforce.com

Black American West Museum: Located in the former home of the first Black woman doctor in Denver, Dr. Justina Ford, the museum is dedicated to preserving the history and culture of the African American men and women who helped settle and develop the West. They will be hosting several educational speaking events. 3091 California St., Denver, CO 80205

Stiles African American Heritage Center: The mission of this museum and heritage center is to teach African American history 365 days of the year. They are located in Five Points, the heart of Denver’s historic African American community. They were named The Best of Denver by Westword Magazine for their rich cultural teachings. 2607 Glenarm Pl., Denver, CO 80205

Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library: This 3 story library houses a full-service branch, collection archives, and The Western Legacies Museum and Charles R. Cousins Gallery. The name of the library is a combination of the last names of Omar Blair, the first black president of the Denver school board, and Elvin Caldwell, the first black Denver City Council member. They host events throughout the year as well as during Black History Month including Black History Live – Harriet Tubman on 2/18 and the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame exhibit of Mildred Pitts Walter from 1/23 to 2/28. There is also a solo art exhibition by Christine Fontenot titled Chromatic Attraction through March 24.2401 Welton St., Denver, CO 80205

Hallowed Ground: The University of Denver Black Student Alliance and The Black Actors Guild present a multi-dimensional theater performance celebrating the cherished spaces in African American culture. Admission is free. February 11 at 6:30 PM. University of Denver Lindsay Auditorium
Strum Hall, 2000 E. Asbury ave, Denver, CO 80210

Black History Live - Harriet Tubman2017 Black History Live – Harriet Tubman Harriet Tubman is coming to Colorado. Becky Stone, a national humanities and Chautauqua scholar, will portray Harriet Tubman, showing everyone how one woman became an abolishonist and led hundreds of slaves to freedom. It will be held at various locations throughout the Denver metro area and beyond. See website for dates and locations. http://coloradohumanities.org/

A History Of Black Firefighters The Denver Firefighters Museum is presenting an exhibit about the brave African American firefighters who carved out a career in a historically segregated profession. 02/01/2017 to 02/28/2017. 1326 Tremont Place, Denver, Colorado 80204

History Colorado Center: The History Colorado museum presents the history of Colorado year-round, but on February 25, you can see Tim Johnson portray Sgt. Jack Hackett, a Buffalo Soldier. Buffalo Soldiers were the first peacetime all African American units formed after the Civil War. Ask him questions about the life of a soldier. 1200 Broadway, Denver, CO 80203

Author Toni Tipton-Martin Lecture, Food, and Book Signing: Enjoy food and a lecture with Toni Tipton-Martin, author of The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks. Book signing is also available. Wednesday, Feb. 22, 4-6 p.m. CentreTech S100 Rotunda, Community College of Aurora

“Black Women in Medicine”: Colorado premiere of documentary honoring black female doctors around the country, featuring rarely-seen documentation of black women practicing medicine during critical operations, emergency room urgent care and community wellness sessions. Includes first-hand accounts from black female pioneers in medicine and healthcare like Dr. Claudia Thomas and Dr. Jocelyn Elders. Airing, Sunday, Feb. 19 at 8 p.m. Colorado Public Television 12.1.

Incognito: A free, one-man play starring Michael Fosberg detailing the journey of discovery after learning that he is part African-American. A question-and-answer session with Fosberg will follow. Part of Aurora Race Forum Series. Wednesday, Feb. 15 – 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Community College of Aurora CentreTech Campus – 15900 E. Centretech Pkwy. – Aurora, CO 80011

Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Facilities Fundraiser: Enjoy a complimentary breakfast, tour the Cleo Parker Robinson dance facilities and hear from the legendary Cleo Parker Robinson, who will be honored for her accomplishments (Presented by Keller Williams Downtown RH Luxe Group). Saturday, Feb. 25 – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Cleo Parker Robinson Dance – 119 Park Ave. West – Denver, CO 80205

 

Other Colorado African American History Articles and Resources:

A Look Back At Colorado’s Rich African American History

Denver’s Five Points

Joplin’s Treemonisha – Rediscovered For A New Generation

Black History at Denver Story Trek

Dearfield, Colorado

William Grant Still: A Man Of Many Firsts

Get To Know “The Black Mozart” – Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges

Bibliography of African Americans In Colorado And The West

Quiz: Test your Black History Month knowledge

 

Why Community Orchestras Are Important

Parker Symphony Orchestra - Parker, CO Local Community Orchestra

Many major cities, including Denver, have a thriving music scene that includes a symphony orchestra. In fact, there are over 1,800 orchestras in the US alone. However, only about 20% have professional musicians (source: League of American Orchestras). The other 80% are volunteer, or community, orchestras made up of musicians who gladly donate their time and efforts to entertain, educate, and inspire their local community.

Even though many of us live near one of the professional organizations, we probably live even closer to a community orchestra that performs great music right in our backyard. If you haven’t checked yours out, especially if you are in the Parker area and haven’t heard the Parker Symphony Orchestra yet, here are 8 reasons why you really should attend a concert and support or even join your local community orchestra.

 

1. Community Orchestra Concerts Are a Great Value

There’s nothing quite like the experience of getting all dressed up to see the Symphony downtown in the big city. But there’s also nothing quite like the ticket prices either. If you would like to experience live classical music performances on a regular basis but can’t afford to do so at the big venues, community orchestra concerts are for you. Single concert tickets or even season tickets are quite reasonable and you hear many of the same works including famous symphonies like Dvorak’s “New World Symphony” and pop culture favorites like the Music of John Williams.

 

2. Community Orchestra Concerts Are Wonderful for New and Young Fans

So you don’t have a tuxedo or evening gown or you don’t know much about classical music? Maybe you want to introduce your kids to the genre? Community orchestra concerts are a great place to hear wonderful music that you may or may not be familiar with and tend to have a more relaxed atmosphere. While people still dress nicely, most of tuxedos, if not all, are worn by the male performers in the orchestra. The music is often very listenable and the audience is full of people of all ages and music knowledge levels. Community orchestras also sometimes offer children’s concerts to introduce very young kids to classical music and the various musical instruments.

 

3. A Local Symphony Orchestra Is Good for Business.

Businesses that want to attract capable and smart employees often choose a location based on local cultural opportunities. The thought is that an area with lots of cultural events is likely to attract a diverse, dynamic, intelligent, and talented group of people. A community orchestra not only provides residents a way enjoy the arts locally, but it also offers an opportunity for local musicians to perform.

 

4. Community Orchestras Support Emerging and Local Musicians

From youth choirs to local soloists to upcoming virtuosos, you can often hear the newest and brightest talent perform with community orchestras. Many are very supportive of the local schools, sometimes inviting students to play with the organization either as part of a section or as a soloist. Community orchestras are more than just groups of local performers – they are really ambassadors for music in the area.

 

5. Volunteer Orchestras Offer the Chance for Non-Professionals to Play

Volunteer orchestras certainly have their fair-share of musicians who are professionals in other groups, music teachers, and more. But if your day job isn’t in music, that doesn’t mean you can’t still play your instrument. If you’ve got the talent, a community orchestra may have a place for you too. In fact, the Parker Symphony Orchestra is always looking for good, local musicians to join us. Playing music has been shown to have long-term positive effects on the brain as outlined in this Ted-Ed Video.

 

6. Community Orchestras Have Members Who Can Connect You

Need a musician for your next event? Are you looking for a music teacher? Chances are an orchestra member can help or connect you with people who can. Getting to know the members of your local orchestra can connect you to the greater music scene in your area. You can get recommendations about music, classes, other events, instruments, repair shops, and more.

 

7. Local Orchestras Can Help Celebrate Holidays, Events, and Milestones

Music is an essential part of almost every event. While live bands are often the go-to for entertainment, local orchestras, too, can help celebrate the moment. A community orchestra can provide the perfect backdrop for a city anniversary celebration, a night under the stars, and more. Orchestral holiday music, like that at the Parker Symphony Orchestra holiday concerts, is a family-friendly way to ring in the season.

 

8. Support for a Volunteer Orchestra Is Often Tax Deductible

Many community orchestras are actually non-profits, relying solely on public and private support. For example, the Parker Symphony is a registered 501(c)3 organization so all donations are tax-deductible. Giving to a local symphony is a wonderful way to give back to your local community and help keep the music playing.