Things to do in Denver: Free MLK Day 2021 fun, a documentary on pets, Jason Moran stops by MCA Denver’s Holiday Theater

Editor’s note: Due to possible status changes related to COVID-19 and the delta and omicron variants, please check with the organizer before attending to ensure the event hasn’t been canceled or postponed. See further state of Colorado guidance at covid19.colorado.gov.

Jason Moran at MCA’s Holiday Theater

Friday. Downtown’s Museum of Contemporary Art Denver is straying into the Highland neighborhood with its 2022 debut shows at the Holiday Theater — a 1914 movie house that MCA purchased last year.

On Friday, Jan. 14, acclaimed jazz musician and MCA Denver exhibiting artist Jason Moran will perform with his band, Bandwagon, with a YouTube chat between Moran and MCA senior curator Miranda Lash coming next week. Tickets are on sale now for $35. Starts at 7 p.m. at 2945 Julian St. store.mcadenver.org/collections/events

Four-legged comfort, and loss, on film

Thursday-Jan. 28. On top of everything else lately, some pet owners have lost their four-legged friends — friends who have carried them through the pandemic — while others have relied on overworked vets to keep their companions healthy. “The Hardest Day,” a Colorado-rooted film streaming free online, may well provide them some catharsis and insight.

Created by Ross Taylor, a photojournalist and assistant professor at the University of Colorado, and producer/filmmaker Luke Rafferty, the movie traces the unique bonds between humans and animals, focusing on the difficult end-of-life decisions, and the “veterinarians and support staff who help along the way.”

It’s based on a popular, 2018 photo essay that ran in publications around the world, and the free online screenings, Friday, Jan. 20-Jan. 28, already have about 800 registrants. Sign up and learn more at watch.showandtell.film/watch/thehardestday.

Boulder’s free MLK Day art, music

Opens Sunday. In advance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 17, and February’s Black History Month, the Boulder NAACP is presenting the free “Walk With Me” program, a cultural exploration of Blackness in America.

While “Walk With Me” includes keynote speakers, dance performances and more, the centerpiece is the 100-plus-photo exhibition at the Dairy Center for the Arts from photojournalist Ernest Withers, who documented African-American life in the South during the 1950s and ’60s. His daughter Rosalind will be there to open it on Sunday, Jan. 16, and it runs through Feb. 26. 2-6 p.m. daily at 2590 Walnut St. in Boulder.

“Walk With Me” also wraps up that next day, Feb. 27, with a show from the Grammy-winning Fisk Jubilee Singers, who sing in the tradition of Negro spirituals, and are making their Colorado debut. All events are free, all-ages and open to the public at the Dairy Center and Silver Creek High School, 3901 Nelson Road in Longmont. More at naacpbouldercounty.org/walk-with-me.

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