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Photograph by Evan Semón / Courtesy of Biennial of the Americas

What to Do in September

Your short list of Colorado’s coolest events in September.

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Displaced
Photograph courtesy of Elias Williams

Displaced | Sept. 4–10

The current conversation around refugees is tense, to say the least. (As of June, residents of six Muslim-majority countries were banned from traveling to the United States unless one of their immediate family members was already living in America.) Doctors Without Borders is taking the opportunity to humanize the issue, with an interactive exhibition called Forced From Home making the first stop of its six-city tour in Boulder. Participants will be handed an ID representing a displaced person and allowed to choose just five items to take with them through the hourlong course, which simulates the harrowing experience of a refugee on the run. One of the display’s seven phases involves listening to raw testimonies from real migrants, told through 360-degree videos that cover the walls and ceiling of a 30-foot dome. The immersive experience should help Coloradans empathize with their neighbors—that is, the close to 60,000 refugees who have settled in the state since 1980.

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Latin Flavor | Sept. 12–16

President Donald Trump may not be keen on having a close relationship with Cuba, but Governor John Hickenlooper is. In February, Colorado’s chief executive visited the country on a diplomatic mission: Invite artists, politicians, and businessmen to attend the 2017 Biennial of the Americas, a weeklong event that brings international leaders to the Mile High City to discuss everything from culture to the economy. Cubans took him up on the offer, as this month’s biennial will feature collaborations between local arts institutions and a creative team from Cuba led by renowned musician X (pronounced “Equis”) Alfonso. Expect performances by Afro-Cuban percussionists the Pedrito Martinez Group and Denver dance companies Cleo Parker Robinson Dance and Wonderbound, plus exhibitions at the Denver Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, and Museo de las Americas. And on September 14’s Biennial Night, representatives from more than a dozen countries will join Cubans and Americans for a night of art and music—which translates to “fun” in any language.

Camp Shenanigans
Photograph courtesy of Camp Shenanigans

Adult Swim | Sept. 15–17

Now that the kids are back in school, it’s your turn for summer camp, thanks to members of roller-derby team the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls. They’re launching Camp Shenanigans ($475 to $499), designed for the 21-plus crowd. You’ll be party-bused from Highland Tavern to Deckers’ YMCA Camp Shady Brook for traditional activities like capture the flag as well as more adult pastimes such as cornhole, flip cup, and dance parties around the bonfire with Denver DJ Mega the Psycho. Did we mention the open bar? You didn’t need another reason to hightail it there anyway.

Musical Legacy | Sept. 8–10

Even though Sound Tribe Sector Nine (STS9) hails from California, the jam band has spent enough time in Colorado for the state to qualify as its second home. To wit: This performance, in celebration of the quintet’s 20th anniversary, will mark the group’s 23rd show at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. The set kicks off with fan favorite record Artifact—an all-instrumental blend of guitar, keyboard, and drums—which STS9 will perform in its entirety for the first time since its 2005 release.

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