There’s no way for a single exhibit to fully detail the history of LGBTQ+ Coloradoans, but it’s still important to take steps to share the stories of people whose experiences have largely been ignored or minimized over the years.
Rainbows & Revolutions, the new History Colorado exhibition, aims to get that process started by sharing artifacts that bring to vivid life the major events on the road to equality and highlights the challenges still to be faced.
“As far as we can tell, this is the first LGBTQ+ history exhibit being put on by a state agency at a state agency location,” said Aaron Marcus, Gill Foundation Associate Curator of LGBTQ+ History at History Colorado. “It’s a historic moment.”
Rainbows & Revolutions opens June 4 at the History Colorado Center, 1200 N. Broadway in Denver. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Gill Foundation is supporting the exhibition and hired Marcus as the first curator of LGBTQ+ history at History Colorado in 2020. After being hired, Marcus began collecting LGBTQ+ artifacts from all over the state, which will now be part of the museum’s permanent collection and known as the Gill Foundation LGBTQ Archives, according to provided information.
“When I started, the LGBTQ+ collection was very small, but better than I thought it would be. But once I started collecting it went from around 94 to more than 500, most of which can be accessed online,” Marcus aid. “For the exhibit we ended up with about 150 items, but it was very tough to decide what goes in and what doesn’t, since we’re trying to tell 50 years of history.”
The exhibit begins in the 1950s and goes up to present times and captures important moments like the high-profile revolt against Denver City Council in 1973, the AIDS crisis during the 1980s and Amendment 2 in the 1990s.
Some of the items visitors can see include: stained glass that hung at the Woman to Woman Feminist Bookcenter on Colfax Avenue, a drag outfit worn by Juiccy Misdemeanor at Black Pride Colorado and posters from Pride marches, gay magazines, court documents, personal photographs and more.
“Around the entire exhibit is a timeline of events that happened nationally and affected the community here locally, as well as honoring those who are no longer with us,” Marcus said.
This exhibit is just the first step in telling the story of the LGBTQ+ community, and Marcus hopes there will be others if Rainbows & Revolutions is successful. And there will be a traveling version that will be taking the story around the state.
“I hope people come away knowing more about the LGBTQ+ community, especially since there’s been so much misinformation lately,” he said. “For the children who visit, I hope they see themselves in the exhibit and it helps them understand themselves better.”
For information and tickets, visit www.historycolorado.org/exhibit/rainbows-revolutions.
Combine fishing and wine at Chatfield Gardens
It is difficult to find a more surprising or delightful pairing than fishing and wine. And yet, that’s just what the 4th Annual Cakebread Cellars Cast and Sip event has done. The event will be held at 5 p.m. June 8 at Deer Creek Stables in Chatfield Gardens, 8500 W. Deer Creek Canyon Road.
The sipping event allows attendees to sample fly rods from Trout’s Fly Fishing of Denver and a selection of wines from Cakebread Cellars and Mullan Road Cellars. Add onto that bites from Organic Roots Catering and you have the ingredients for a perfect evening.
Reserve a spot at https://cakebread.com/events/4th-annual-cast-sip/.
Clarke’s Concert of the Week — Matchbox Twenty and The Wallflowers at Ball Arena
Summer is the time of nostalgia, which makes the pairing of Matchbox Twenty and The Wallflowers the perfect seasonal pairing. Both groups’ 1990s hits still ride hard (“Push,” “Back 2 Good,” “One Headlight” and “6th Avenue Heartache,” anyone?) and by all accounts, can still put on an incredibly fun show.
The two groups are stopping by Ball Arena, 1000 Chopper Circle in Denver at 7:30 p.m. June 7. This will be show for a fan of the full-throated sing-along, so don’t miss it by securing tickets at www.ticketmaster.com.
Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at Clarke.Reader@hotmail.com.
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