For this only-in-Boulder celebration, you can essentially curate your own personal art celebration. No filters, no judging panels, no qualifications, no curation “experts” stand in the way of your curiosity.
It’s Boulder Arts Week, an annual event that celebrates all kinds of art across Boulder. All art, as in any artist with something to share is invited.
This large-scale, inclusive event runs March 27 through April 4.
Despite the current health concerns, the Boulder Arts Week will go on. It will go on — online, specifically.
In response to recommendations from Boulder County Public Health and as a safety precaution to protect the community from the spread of the coronavirus, Boulder Arts Week has moved its celebration online for 2020.
“The welfare of you, our artists, audiences and Boulder at large is of greatest importance. Part of that welfare is, of course, our emotional and social well being: concepts which the artists of Boulder are uniquely well suited to support,” event organizers recently announced.
Check the calendar for online programs here.
All Boulder arts online events are invited to participate and will be promoted through the Boulder Arts Week outlets, including the website, online calendars and social media. Online events may include: links of artistic videos of past events and performances; instructional videos to help the community make things with what they have at home; a live-stream of a performance; artist talks; lists of resources, such as books and movies that can be accessed virtually.
Here’s how Boulder Arts Week typically works: Local artists — everyone from painters to dancers, sculptors to jewelry-makers, authors, musicians, belly-dancers, actors and potters to poets — can organize special events during this week. The events can be usually held in their studio, on stage, in a local business, in a gallery, wherever works (of course, it’s limited to online for 2020). The artists decide what to share, for how long, what price and all the other juicy details. Some events are free or discounted, whereas others are full price.
Artists who can’t afford the costs of their vision could apply for a sponsorship of $500 or less. The Boulder Office of Arts and Culture gave out grants to 21 individual artists to help them host events this year.
Boulder Arts Week compiles all of the submitted art events onto one big calendar and promotes it, as a way to honor Boulder’s artistic contributions and connect local artists with more community members.
For spectators, it’s a great way to explore the artistic scene, discover new artists, meet inspirational people and even make your own creations. Some events are interactive and educational. For visitors, you can fill the whole week with arts and culture and get to know Boulder on a deeper level.
Boulder has the third-largest concentration of artists in the nation, according to the National Endowment for the Arts.
The seventh-annual Boulder Arts Week was scheduled to feature more than 100 events, such as art walks, public art, lectures, readings, workshops, exhibitions and shows.
There are so many opportunities, it can be hard to narrow it down, but one way to get inspiration is to check the Facebook highlights, posted regularly as we lead up to the special week.
Or use the filters on the top of the page to seek out things you’re interested in, the price range you can afford or by region. See what art is being created in your own neighborhood.
Even if you miss an event during Boulder Arts Week, there is always something artsy going on in Boulder, says Lauren Click with the Boulder Arts Week. Last year, she says, they counted about 1,600 arts events in Boulder just on the Boulder County Arts Alliance calendar.
“There’s a lot happening every week, but this is a way to encourage people to go visit a couple new things, a way to get people to focus on the arts,” Click says.
It gives people a little push, she says.
And it’s effective. She says the Boulder Arts Week’s research finds that 37 percent of participants say they went to see a new artist during the week, and nearly 16 percent said they experienced a new art form.
“It guided them to do something new, which is amazing,” Click says.
Boulder Arts Week Highlights
Looking for events to try? You may be surprised to learn you can experience the following unique events that were originally scheduled for the seventh-annual Boulder Arts Week. Note: Many of these events have been canceled or will take on new forms. Check the website for details:
- Share your own art on the wall at the prestigious Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art. Yes, you can hang your install-ready work on the Open Wall at BMoCA. The museum provides the wall. You provide the art.
- Dance at the Boulder Jewish Community Center. “Dance of Deliverance: An Embodied Pre-Passover Practice” invites the community to dance your way “from the limitations of Mirzrayim and narrow ways of thinking into liberation.”
- See artwork at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. The exhibition, “This Land is Our Land,” features modernist oil paintings of national parks and western vistas with an emphasis on conservancy and preservation.
- Step into a 3-D dome of the Milky Way over Boulder. The photo dome project brings hyper-real photos to life in this seven-foot, immersive dome of the Boulder Flatirons.
- Experience the Japanese art of botanic arrangement, or Ikebana. The Kalapa Ikebana sculpture brings Japanese culture to Boulder, when Ikebana master Alexandra Shenpen and her students make a giant Ikebana sculpture in front of the Shambhala Center.
- Help make a mosaic for the University of Colorado’s School of Education and Los Seis de Boulder. Check out the Community Making Day at the Visual Arts Complex. The event is free.
- Watch a glassblowing demo. At this event, learn how a local glassblower uses 100 percent recycled materials from other studios.
- Watch a cabaret show. Blue Dime, a pop-up cabaret troupe, brings a quirky, lowbrow variety show to Boulder. We’re talking juggling, drag, clowns, contortionists, burlesque and more.