With more than 50 active theatre companies, a thriving independent music scene, a growing film community, and tons of great museums and galleries to enjoy, Denver is brimming with culture. Fortunately, you don’t have to shell out the big bucks to enjoy the arts. There are tons of great low-cost ways to participate in all that Denver culture has to offer.
Museum Free Days
Days vary, check museums’ and institutions’ websites for free admission days
The Scientific and Cultural Facilities District in Denver sponsors a free day at just about every Denver museum, zoo and garden. With just a state ID, you can get free access to all of the art, history and nature you can handle. Free days can be pretty busy, so it is recommended to arrive early to avoid the biggest crowds.
For 2012, the Denver Art Museum‘s Free Days fall on the following dates: January 7, February 4, March 3, April 7, April 29 (Día de los Niños) , May 5, June 2, July 7, August 4, September 1, September 8 (Friendship Powwow), October 6, November 3, and December 1.
Related: Guide To Denver Museums
First Friday Art Walk
The first Friday of every month, Denver art galleries open their doors and host an amazing evening event. Art lovers can browse the art galleries and admire tons of new, local artists. Many of the galleries offer free wine and there are usually numerous street carts with loads of food options. In some locations you can even spot fire spinners and other street acts. The First Friday Art Walks take place in several of the Denver art communities, though the stretch on Santa Fe is typically the busiest.
Theater in Denver
Theater in Denver is so much more than the multimillion dollar touring productions that can cost nearly $200 per ticket. There are more than 50 theater companies that offer comedies, dramas, musicals and improv comedy. Most of these smaller companies price their tickets below $25 and even offer specials and discounted matinee prices. Chances are, you won’t end up paying much more than if you had gone to a movie.
Film in Denver
Emerging Filmmakers Project
Denver’s Bug Theatre is home to the Emerging Filmmakers Project, a monthly showcase of locally-produced movies and documentaries. Now entering its 10th year, the EFP showcase meets the third Thursday of every month and features between five and 10 short films. A question and answer session with the filmmaker follows every film screening. This is the perfect place to become acquainted with the film community in Denver.
Related: Top Denver Movie Theaters
The Colorado Symphony often features some of the best musicians in the world. They also offer many free options and ways to enjoy these amazing artists. High school students can attend open rehearsals on select days for just $5, and they also host youth concerts that bring the classics to kids of all ages for the same low price. Adults can also enjoy the Colorado Symphony for free at one of their many community concerts.
Related: Tips For Going To The Symphony
Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.