Arvada Center Blog

Getting to Know Arts & Ales Festival Musical Acts

Getting to Know Arts & Ales Festival Musical Acts

By Leslie Simon

This year at our annual Arts & Ales Festival on August 24, patrons will be entertained by three great local acts- The Dylan Miles Experience, Rastasaurus, and The River Arkansas. Whether your musical style is classic rock, reggae or folk, the Arvada Center has everything you need for a full day of handmade art, handcrafted beer, homegrown entertainment and family fun. Get your tickets today and save – prices go up the day of the event!

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Dylan Miles Experience – Musical child prodigy Dylan Miles is no stranger to performing at festivals. This student of the guitar program at Denver School of the Arts has been playing on stage since he was only a few years old. As Dylan has gotten older, he has sat in with bands such as North Mississippi All-Stars and currently fronts his own group, the Dylan Miles Experience. Despite his age, Dylan has a wide range of musical influences that span decades- Talking Heads, The Rolling Stones, Phish and more. Like his idol Jimi Hendrix, this lefty wows audiences with his nimble guitar skills and effortless improvisation. Come and dance to covers of funk, punk, blues and rock classics this year at the Arts & Ales Festival when Dylan takes the stage at 10 am. Great for all ages, make sure to bring your kids and let them be inspired and influenced by the talented Dylan Miles.


Rastasauraus – One part reggae, one part rock and one part jam make Rastasaurus one of the premier acts in our thriving local reggae scene. Dubbing their style “New American Reggae,” Rastasaurus has been performing on stages across Colorado since 2011. Feel good reggae beats and vocals blend into psychedelic guitar solos creating music that promotes good times and a great message. Rastasaurus takes the stage at 12:30 pm, so grab a brew and get ready for an irie dance party.


The River Arkansas– When The Haunted Windchimes member Mike Clark began penning a collection of songs about the human condition in 2014, he didn’t realize that it would turn into a new band with a life of its own. Good fortune and good timing brought the members of The River Arkansas together, and with a folk-Americana sound that sounds ready to tour with alt-country’s Sturgill Simpson, they have enchanted crowds across Colorado and beyond. Anchored by Clark’s soulful, gravelly vocals, the band is rounded out by some of Colorado’s best musicians- and it shows in the delivery and sound. Make sure to catch The River Arkansas when they hit the stage at 3:00 pm.


Find nature at the Center

Find nature at the Center

By Leslie Simon

The snow has melted, the flowers that made it have bloomed, dragonflies are buzzing and bunnies are everywhere as springtime finally hits the Arvada Center. Mother Nature returns for another season of bright colors, delicate smells (ok, the lilacs smell strong), refreshing morning dew, and of course….fuzzy bunnies! A trip around the Center grounds shows that spring is in full bloom, and we are eager to share some nature photos that will put a smile on your face and hopefully not stir up any allergies. Can you identify the flowers of the Arvada Center?


A look inside: Blurring The Line – Opening Reception

Blurring The Line at the Arvada Center

By Amberle N.

The Arvada Center opened its doors this past Thursday for its latest art exhibition, Blurring the Line: Form, Function, Design, featuring the work of thirty-four artists whose artwork plays on the intersections of form, function, and design. Around two-hundred guests and artists were in attendance, enjoying the galleries as they browsed between the upper and lower sections of the Center.

Ceramics, furniture, and interior lighting were the main features in the Lower Gallery exhibition.  Upon entering, one’s eyes are immediately drawn towards the vibrant colors of Knomad Colab’s Harlequin Night, which features an array of lamps decorating the wall with geometric patterns of many colors. Left of the entrance, the displays feature a plethora of works from elaborate cups to exaggerations and combinations of commonplace furniture.

Knomad Colab’s Harlequin Night

Everyday home items were created with transformative qualities that evoke questions of their form and function. Many works combine aspects of different furnishings into new forms. In the Lower Gallery, Michael Beitz’s Lies Bench invites guests to rest on the intricate and functional design, shaped in a cursive writing of the word “Lies.”

Michael Beitz, Lies Bench

Some artists were featured for their very first time. Emily Stevens spoke about her first Arvada Center gallery exhibit, 67, expressing her love of geometry and wanting to build a confluence of the geometric and organic. Comprised of 67 octahedrons, some of which are vases, the piece is a dynamic set intended to be rearranged according to the tastes of its owner.

Emily Stevens, 67

The Upper and Theatre Galleries feature wearable art. Some pieces, such as Kristin Stransky’s notion motion, were created to be interactive with guests, featuring lighting and symbols that respond to motion or touch.

Speaking to her work, Sarah Havens, a costume creator with the Arvada Center, commented on her six-piece set of hats. “Each piece was an opportunity for me to tell my story through costuming, [reversing] the normal use of theatre costuming which doesn’t often tell stories.” Each hat features a human body in some way, from the figureheads on her ship-like creations to tiny figures that express the action of the story, which details her life and travels by boat along the east coast of the United States.

Work by Sarah Havens

Other artists spoke to what inspires them. Jesse Mathes’ distinctive neck-pieces are inspired by paintings of Queen Elizabeth I of England, using many techniques such as Japanese basket weaving to create her unique radial designs. Mathes is an Arvada local, and this summer she will be teaching her techniques to the Colorado Metalsmithing Association.

Jesse Mathes, Japanese Basketweave Neckpiece One

Wearable art presents its own unique challenges. Ryan Gardner provided many insights on his work. “When creating wearable art, there’s [a lot of thought] that goes into making it practical as well. Some artists create elaborate pieces that aren’t really designed to be worn, but when you’re also making pieces for sale you’ve got to keep comfort and wearability in mind.” Ryan cited many architects as the source of his explorations into the limits of materials in his art. One of his fellow artists, Josiah Trujillo, provided an interesting contrast with jewelry inspired by organic shapes.

Ryan Gardner, Corvette and Aqua Ring

These are just a few of the artists and displays at the Arvada Center. Blurring the Line will be featured on display until August 25, 2019.

Getting to Know……. Riders In The Sky

By Leslie Simon

Giddyup to the Arvada Center this summer for a rootin’ tootin’ good time! On June 15, Grammy-winning western music and comedy group Riders In The Sky take to the Arvada Center outdoor amphitheatre. The “singing cowboy phenomenon” started in the 1970s, and Riders In The Sky continue this entertaining tradition for families everywhere.

While many fans have been following their career for decades, younger fans may know them from a less-expected place- Pixar’s Toy Story! It’s only fitting that this band of cowboys would create a medley of songs for the Woody’s Roundup: A Rootin’ Tootin’ Collection of Woody’s Favorite Songs Toy Story 2 album. With names like Joey the Cow Polka King, Woody Paul, Ranger Doug and Too Slim, Riders In The Sky sound like they would fit right in with Woody and his pals. This family-friendly night will see cowboy hijinks, classic country and western tunes, thrilling rope tricks and more!

Listen to Woody Paul, “King of the Cowboy Fiddlers,” as he fiddles faster than a hot knife through butter. Keep watching Woody Paul as he becomes “King of the Clothesline” and performs daringly silly rope tricks. Be astounded as Ranger Doug shows off his yodeling prowess and entertains with the song “That’s How A Yodel Was Born.” You’ve got Too Slim on the upright bass (that sometimes wears a bandana around its neck!), and Joey the CowPolka King bringing the party with his accordion. Or as he calls it- the “Stomach Steinway.”

Get your tickets today to see “America’s Favorite Cowboys” and get ready for a night of laughs, groans, one-liners and two-steppers!

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Dinner and a show this summer in Arvada!

Dinner Before the Show

by Leslie Simon

Let’s go out to dinner and see a concert! You’re yearning for a good night out on the town, and Arvada has so many great spots, how do you even begin to choose? This summer, we are making it easy for you by creating this concert and restaurant pairing guide that covers our entire Summer Concert Series.




June 15 – Riders In The Sky & Hot Club of Cowtown

Looking for a casual night of Western swing and country tunes? Grab some down-home cooking at 4 Barrel Bar & BBQ. Built in a former Texaco service station, 4 Barrel offers up ribs, pulled pork and all the other usual BBQ favorites. Make sure to try their special Arvada Hash- tater tots covered in pulled pork and green chili. It goes great with double-bill Riders In The Sky and Hot Club of Cowtown, two western favorites that entertain audiences young and old.

Riders In The Sky & Hot Club of Cowtown



June 29- Orquesta Akokán, with Baracutanga

Latin music makes us think Latin food and drink, and Global Goods and Coffee Shop makes the best cortado in town! Popular in Cuba, this coffee drink is an espresso mixed with warm milk, and goes great with their Panini-pressed sandwiches. Afterwards, head over to the Arvada Center for Cuban big band Orquesta Akokán, where driving mambo rhythms and exuberant horns will have everyone on their feet.

Orquesta Akokán Tickets




June 30: The Denver Brass: Awesome Summer Mix!

The Denver Brass: Awesome Summer Mix concert blasts to the past with popular songs like “Hey Jude” and the Ghostbusters theme, getting us in the mood for another blast from the past- pinball! Play the silver ball at SomePlace Else Brewery before the show and feel like a kid again.

Denver Brass Tickets


July 11: The Colorado Symphony presents Mozart Under Moonlight

With guitars available to play right there, we think Mozart would feel right at home in this live music friendly coffeeshop. A staple in Olde Town Arvada since 1993, La Dolce Vita serves up locally-made quiche, ice cream, coffee and live tunes. So grab a piece of coffee cake from this local favorite before seeing another local favorite- the Colorado Symphony performing Mozart Under Moonlight!

Mozart Under Moonlight



July 13: The Colorado Jazz Repertory Orchestra

Brewing up their own special beers and winning awards for it, New Image Brewing has really upped the brewery game in Olde Town Arvada. Head to their taproom and try out a Better Together India Pale Ale, then come over to the Arvada Center to hear another the music of a duo that is also better together- Ray Charles and Count Basie! The Colorado Jazz Repertory Orchestra graces our outdoor amphitheatre again this summer, this time playing selections from the 2006 album “Ray Sings, Basie Swings.”

CJRO Tickets



July 15: Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo

When we think New York City, the first thing to come to mind is pizza! Stop by Homegrown Tap and Dough for a soda and a slice before heading over to see one of New York City’s brightest stars- Pat Benatar. Pat Benatar and her husband Neil Giraldo have been making NYC-gritty music together for 40 years, but sound as fresh as if they just met a year ago.

Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo



July 21: A Symphonic Tribute to Comic Con

As a kid, comics and cartoons went hand-in-hand with sugary cereals on Saturday mornings. Now that we are adults, we can have cartoon-colored breakfast cereals any day of the week. Head over to The Cereal Box for gourmet cereal with any toppings you want before seeing the Colorado Symphony Tribute to Comic Con show at our outdoor amphitheatre. Stay forever young as the symphony performs songs from video games and pop culture.

Comic Con Concert Tickets



August 4: George Thorogood and The Destroyers

Dive bar vibes and an old-school jukebox- definitely the kind of place where you can imagine George Thorogood sitting at the bar, or playing loudly over the speakers. Feel bad to the bone grabbing a drink at 12 Volt Tavern before jamming out under the stars to one of rock and roll’s most famous bad boys.

George Thorogood



August 14: Justin Hayward, with Michael Dawes

Justin Hayward from The Moody Blues brings a lot of class wherever he goes, so set the tone of the night right with a delectable pre-show seafood dinner at Smokin Fin’s. It’s the perfect start for a great night with someone you love. Opener Michael Dawes rounds out the night with an English fingerstyle guitar technique that will leave the audience intently listening to every note.

Justin Hayward



August 17: Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals

With over 1,400 kinds of whiskey, School House Kitchen and Libations can get anyone ready for some “Groovin’.” Hit up this popular schoolhouse-themed bar and restaurant before Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals play at the Arvada Center- it’s only fitting since they were playing at the Whiskey A Go Go in Los Angeles when their first number one song “Good Lovin’” broke.

Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals



August 24: The Colorado Ballet – An Evening Under the Stars

Opened in 1933, the Arvada Tavern has a cozy speakeasy feel that can bring romance to any night out on the town. Stop by the tavern for a specialty cocktail before heading over to see the Colorado Ballet – An Evening Under the Stars. If the night goes well, you can head back to the tavern after the show for a late-night cocktail, as they stay open until 2 am on the weekends and 12 am during the week.

Tickets for the Ballet



August 29: Legends of Rock – 50 Years of Woodstock

Sausage, pretzels, beer….. sounds like the food court at a festival! Kline’s Beer Hall will get you in that festival mood with homemade sausages and local brews before we celebrate 50 years of Woodstock with Legends of Rock here at the Arvada Center. Come see Big Brother & the Holding Company, Vanilla Fudge and more as we revisit the vibes of 60s psychedelia with the bands that created the sound.

Legends of Rock Tickets



September 6: Squeeze, with X

This year before the Squeeze Songbook Tour at the Arvada Center, get “Tempted” by one of the everchanging beers on tap at Denver Beer Co. Their outdoor patio is the perfect place to get into a happy and light mood before you see bestselling English pop band Squeeze take the stage at our outdoor amphitheatre.

Squeeze Tickets



If you get hungry during the show- have no fear! Steuben’s Arvada will have a pop-up kitchen here at the Center serving many of their crowd favorites during each summer performance. Don’t miss their chicken and waffle cones or the vegan-friendly Impossible Burger. Full menu available at