Denver’s aging adults can now get down for free at the city’s rec centers

Starting today, a Denver resident over 60 need only flash a photo ID to enter and stay active.

86 year-old Mary Robinson dances during a "Silver Sneaker" activity at the end of the program. A press conference announcing the inception of Denver Prime, free access to rec centers for Denver residents over 60. Dec. 6, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) denver; colorado; denverite; kevinjbeaty; rec center; aging; lowry field;
86 year-old Mary Robinson dances during a “SilverSneakers” activity at the end of a press conference announcing the inception of Denver Prime, free access to recreation centers for Denver residents over 60. Montclair Rec Center, Dec. 6, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Young people aren’t the only Denverites who now have free access to the city’s 27 (soon to be 28) rec centers. Today Mayor Michael Hancock announced My Denver Prime, a new program that will give residents 60 and older open access to the city’s many public pools, gyms and healthy activities. Starting today, a Denver resident over 60 need only flash a photo ID to enter and stay active.



Denver’s Martin Luther King Jr. Marade struggles again to make ends meet

A car accident that badly injured Marade chair Vern Howard has been a major setback to the organization still recovering from lost sponsors last year.

Martin Luther King Jr. Marade Chair Vern Howard speaks as the procession fills Civic Center Park. Jan. 16, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) mlk; marade; martin luther king jr; denver; colorado; kevinjbeaty; civic center park;
Martin Luther King Jr. Marade Chair Vern Howard speaks as the procession fills Civic Center Park. Jan. 16, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

The city’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration, the Marade, is still working to fill a $67,000 loss following Black Lives Matter protests that interrupted the event in 2016. Their efforts have been stymied further since their lead organizer, Vern Howard, was in a serious car accident last September; he’s had to relinquish some responsibilities as he recovers from brain injuries.


East High School, Charlie Burrell to be honored by the Colorado Music Hall of Fame

Burrell, a famed jazz bassist, also holds the distinction of being America’s first black symphony musician.

On Tuesday evening, the Colorado Music Hall of Fame will induct seven people and East High School into its ranks as part of its Jazz Masters and Beyond event.

Included in the mix is Charlie Burrell, famed jazz bassist who also holds the distinction of being America’s first black symphony musician. Burrell told us last year he held a day job polishing the seats at Red Rocks Amphitheatre before he’d don tails and play on stage with the symphony each evening.

Charles Burrell at home. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) music; jazz; five points; history; kevinjbeaty; denverite; denver; colorado
Charles Burrell at home. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

You can now submit your music to play in tiny magic doors in Denver trees

“People don’t need to hear pop music, they need to hear what’s happening in their neighborhood,” said artist Nikki Pike, who has put up now five singing portals in five Denver parks.

A second illicit totem in City Park, Nov. 19, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) denver; colorado; sound totem; public art; denverite; kevinjbeaty;
An illicit totem in City Park, Nov. 19, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

There are a few enchanted spots in Denver where there are tiny, singing doors on the side of trees. Stumble across one, open it, and if you’re lucky, sweet sounds will begin to flow from within.

These doors are called “sound totems” and are the brainchild of artist Nikki Pike. Over the past six years, with the help of engineer Tom Dodds, Pike has set up five totems across town. Each plays music or spoken word from residents of the totem’s neighborhood.

Pike says it’s an attempt to inform people about the creative life around them, and now she’d like to open the door to pitches from more local artists.