Off-Center and MCA Denver to team up for another season of ‘Mixed Taste’

Off-Center Curator Charlie Miller teamed with MCA Denver to bring Mixed Taste to the Seawell Ballroom three years ago. Photo by Adams VisCom

Anachronism is art when speakers regale audiences on eclectic topics such as Celery and Emo Rap

For the third 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 starting July 10 at the Denver Center’s Seawell Ballroom.

The lineup of eclectic speakers and even more eclectic topics was announced today. Did we say eclectic? The season-ending topics on August 21, for example, will be Tornado Chasing and Sports Mascots.

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. MCA Denver describes Mixed Taste as “a weird summer lecture series that will keep you on your toes.”

All shows begin at 7 p.m. Here’s the full, fine lineup of perhaps anachronistic (and perhaps not) topics:

Industrial Musicals and Empathy
Featuring Steve Young and Erin K. Willer
Wednesday, July 10

Mixed Taste

From ‘Mixed Taste’ last summer. Photo by Adams VisCom

Mad King Ludwig and Bee Fences
Featuring Lonnie Hanzon and Mario Padilla
Wednesday, July 17

The Dewey Decimal System and Indigenous Medicine
Featuring Annie Kemmerling and Christina M. Sigala
Wednesday, July 24

Celery and Emo Rap 
Featuring Maya Kroth & David Moke and DJ Big Styles
Wednesday, July 31

Lenticular Photography and American Sign Language
Featuring Andrew Novick and TBA
Wednesday, August 7

Julia Child and Nordic Larping
Featuring Alex Prud’homme and Jaakko Stenros
Wednesday, August 14

Tornado Chasing and Sports Mascots
Featuring Roger & Caryn Hill and Brad Post
Wednesday, August 21

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, the MCA Denver’s outgoing Director and Chief Animator. He will not be renewing his contract when it expires in June.

Charlie Miller, curator of Off-Center, is a fan of Mixed Taste 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 TasteMixed 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
• Tickets will go on sale Tuesday, May 21, at, 303-893-4100 or in person at the Helen Bonfils Theatre Complex box office.

Mixed Taste

Last year, one Mixed Taste event took on Rattlesnake Kate and Rosé. Photo by Adams VisCom.