I’ve always loved museums, the feeling of being on sacred ground, the precious things, the food court. And I’m lucky enough to live in Denver, a town whose museum and cultural scene is blowing up. It’s not just stuffy, dark mineral halls either. Lately it’s really cool, thoughtful exhibitions and experiences that are drawing out people who might not immediately associate a Friday night museum visit with outlandish fun.
MCA Denver, our contemporary art museum, continues to crush it with an event they call “Black Sheep Fridays” – it’s a themed (!!!) evening that ranges from “Spam Poetry” where they had local Denver poets read guests’ spam emails (as amazing as it sounds) to an event where you can make a cake with the artist/actor/rapper Drake’s face on it. Magic. Pure, totally weird magic. Plus, this experience comes with a band, a bar, and access to all the museum exhibits for the insanely low price of $5.
I adore everything about this idea – with Black Sheep Fridays, MCA Denver shows a sense of humor about art that gives people an access point. It’s fun and quirky, but it also exposes world class contemporary art to the guy who might have just come to the event because of the bar and live music. Maybe the dude will drink his beer and split, but maybe he’ll take a moment and look at piece and think about how it makes him feel. MCA Denver is meeting people where they are and opening its doors wide to any riff raff (i.e. myself) who are looking for something cheap to do on a Friday night. It’s taking the museum out of the ivory tower and into the weird, crunchy alley for everyone to enjoy.
I love it so much. Stay strange, MCA Denver.
*Just to clarify: I adore the mineral halls at Denver Museum of Nature and Science. I always make the same joke to my beloved that I’m making my Christmas list when we’re going by the gems and we laugh and laugh. **
**No one laughs at that joke but me. And I make it every single time.