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A new installment from the Tesoro Cultural Center promises to give Coloradans an in depth look into Native American art, traditions and more. Image Courtesy of the Tesoro Cultural Center.

What to Do in June

Your short list of Colorado’s coolest events this month.

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Culturally Relevant | Weekends June 2- October 15
Since the early 2000s, the Tesoro Cultural Center’s annual Indian Market and Spanish Colonial Art Market have been mainstay events on the Denver area’s calendar. This year, though, the nonprofit replaces the two markets with the Living History Experience: 20 themed weekends that will highlight the art, music, and traditions of different groups that have made their homes in the Southwest over the centuries. In doing so, the center hopes to give Coloradans more opportunities to learn about the region’s history while providing local creatives, such as Cherokee painter Jesse Hummingbird, with greater exposure by showcasing their works. The first weekend’s packed schedule will also include demonstrations with a live eagle, beading workshops, a dance contest, and a ceremony that recognizes Native American veterans for their service.

festival-caravan
The University of Denver’s Cason Brierly Griffin Dance Library will pay homage to Festival Caravan. Image Courtesy of the Denver Public Library/Western History Collection

Command Performance | Starts June 15
Henry Lowenstein’s nickname as the father of Denver theater isn’t for nothing: He served as general manager of the storied Bonfils Theatre for nearly 20 years. Plus, he established Festival Caravan, a series of free plays, concerts, and dance performances held in the Mile High City’s parks from 1973 to 1985. The “festival for all” included displays as varied as Chicano and American Indian dance, Broadway plays, and a type of Jewish folk music known as klezmer. This month, the University of Denver’s Carson Brierly Giffin Dance Library pays homage to Lowenstein’s creation with its Festival Caravan exhibit. The showcase of memorabilia includes Lowenstein’s hand-drawn map of the different parks the festival visited and a documentary featuring artists who worked with the legend, including choreographer and dancer Cleo Parker Robinson, who continues to incorporate techniques she learned at Festival Caravan into her renowned dance company’s pieces. (She’ll also receive a tribute this month when DanceUSA presents her with its highest honor.) Says Parker Robinson: “Festival Caravan lives through us still.”

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Mavic-Haute
Ride like a pro in the Haute Route course. Image courtesy of Manu Molle

Professional Grade | June 24-30
Colorado is home to plenty of rookie cyclists. Now they can ride like the pros, when the Haute Route, a racing series designed to give amateurs a taste of the professional circuit, expands to Colorado. It’ll take a week to complete the calf-busting, 507-mile Mavic Haute Route Rockies course ($2,200 to $2,400) with sections in Boulder, the Sawatch Range, and Colorado Springs. Thankfully, pro perks like massage treatments and catered lunches are included, too.

Fingerpickin’ Good | June 23-25 
Only in Colorado will you find a bluegrass band that includes a professional skier and a conservationist who works in urban forests. The stylings of RapidGrass reflect the Centennial State’s musical diversity as well, combining traditional bluegrass with pop, jazz, and swing. Check out the quartet’s traffic-woe ode, “I-70,” and other tracks inspired by mountain living on Happy Trails. The album drops the second day of the RapidGrass Festival.

Looking for more to do in Denver? Check out our events calendar.

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