‘Mixed Taste’ is ready to mix it up again this summer

Anachronism is art when speakers elucidate audiences on eclectic topics starting with Rattlesnake Kate and Rosé

For the second straight summer, the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts will be a mixed match.

MCA Denver and the DCPA’s adventurous Off-Center wing are again partnering up to present Mixed Taste: Tag Team Lectures on Unrelated Topics on Wednesday nights throughout the summer at the Denver Center’s Seawell Ballroom.

The lineup of eclectic speakers and even more eclectic topics was announced today. Leading off the series on July 11, for example, is Neyla Pekarek of The Lumineers and Rona VanSlyck talking Rattlesnake Kate and Rosé. (Rattlesnake Kate was a Greeley legend who reportedly fought off 140 rattlesnakes to save her 3-year-old son in 1925.)

Pictured at right: Neyla Pekarek is shown in a theatrical production when she was a student at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, opposite Rattlesnake Kate. Pekarek has developed her own folk opera called ‘Rattlesnake,’ based on the life of the Colorado pioneer and the 40-year love letter affair she kept with Colonel Charles D. Randolph, aka Buckskin Bill.)

Mixed Taste, conceived by MCA Denver’s Adam Lerner, pairs two speakers addressing  completely unrelated subjects, followed by questions from the audience. During the first part of the program, no connections are allowed between the topics. But during the Q&A, anything can happen.

This year’s series begins on July 11 and will continue at 7 p.m. on Wednesday nights through Aug. 22. (Please note: The start time for this year’s series changes from 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.):

Wednesday, July 11
Rattlesnake Kate and Rosé
Featuring Neyla Pekarek and Rona VanSlyck

Wednesday, July 18
Juneteenth and The Selfie
Featuring Norman Harris and Roddy MacInnes

Wednesday, July 25
Hygge and PsychoMixed TasteFeaturing Alexandra Gove & Koen van Renswoude; and Alexandre Philippe

Wednesday, Aug. 1
Incorrupt Saints and Hot Pockets
Featuring Elizabeth Harper and Brandon Shepherd

Wednesday, Aug. 8
Red Pandas and Munchausen Syndrome
Featuring Janee Zakoren and Dr. Marc D. Feldman M.D.

Wednesday, Aug. 15
Presidential Drinking and The Golden Ratio
Featuring Adrian Miller and Beth Stade

Wednesday, Aug. 22
Crop Circles and Prenups
Featuring Jeffrey Wilson and another speaker to be announced

(Please note, Mixed Taste topics/speakers are subject to change.)

Lerner originated Mixed Taste in 2004 in an empty storefront in the Belmar shopping center in Lakewood. In 2009, when he took the helm at MCA Denver he moved the program to downtown Denver. The program has been imitated from Boston to Mexico City. It has been discussed in various museum studies books and is regarded by many as the forefront of innovative cultural education programming.

“Off-Center produces the kind of smart and quirky programming in the theater world that we strive to create in the art world,” said Lerner, MCA Denver’s Director and Chief Animator. We’re excited to see what happens when we work together.”

Charlie Miller, curator of Off-Center, is a fan of Mixed Tape because, he said, “it is an inherently theatrical format that is always engaging, surprising and fun — everything we strive for in an Off-Center experience.”

Mixed Taste: Ticket information
Even mismatched subjects will find common ground in a lecture series that can go pretty much anywhere.
• 7 p.m. every Wednesday from July 11 through Aug. 22
• Seawell Ballroom, Denver Performing Arts Complex
• Tickets: $20

Mixed Taste Garden Parties
Join us before the lecture at the ‘Mixed Taste Garden Party,’ presented by The Next Stage NOW and Denver Arts and Venues. Grab-and-go eats and libations will be available for purchase and a relaxing vibe will be set by DJ Uplifted Gourmandizer. Quick bites and bar provided by Centerplate. Wednesdays, July 11-Aug/ 22, starting at 5:30 p.m. in The Galleria at the Denver Performing Arts Complex.

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