Coming Attractions

Arts remain unbound during COVID pandemic

Recommended activities for the coming weeks


With so many stuck inside for the bulk of this year, there’s a common outlet creatives all over are turning to — podcasting. Doug Kacena, artist and owner of Denver’s K Contemporary art gallery, launched his Art Bound podcast in October to highlight artists in the area and provide listeners a window into the personal challenges creation poses.

The show is releasing its final episode of 2020 on Dec. 30, entitled “The Value of Art” with neo-expressionist Hunt Slonem. In preparation for the wrap-up of its first season, I spoke to Kacena about the podcast, staying creative during the pandemic, and demystifying the art world.

Interview edited for brevity and clarity.

Tell me about how the Art Bound got started:

I was approached by Golden Peak Media about starting a new podcast for their company. We started developing the ideas of what it could be, and we decided it wouldn’t be a podcast where artists talk about their resumes or how they mix their favorite shade of blue. We wanted to demystify what it’s like to be in the art world - things you normally don’t hear from artists and people in the industry.


What have you discussed with some of your guests on the show?

Our first episode was about fear, and how fear of failure plays a role in a role in their arts practice. How do people deal with imposter syndrome and any other challenge that happens? We’ve had some really dynamic conversations about the turning-points in careers, the role of digital media and more.

The magic is the format — just me and two guests. We want it to feel like we’re having drinks and just talking.


Who have been guests on the show?

Some of artists guests have been uber contemporary, some have been more from the traditional side. We’ve also had arts professors on the show as well.

Most of them don’t usually have this kind of platform, and we’re interested in topics they often don’t talk about publicly — hopefully someone hears the discussions and can relate to it.


How does Art Bound connect to your work at K Contemporary?

The podcast is an interesting extension of what we do at the gallery. This year has been one where we’re looking at how we do businesses, including doing more public pop-ups and engagements outside of the gallery. We want to help artists make a living and put them on a larger stage - this is a natural extension of that.

Being an artist is a lifestyle choice — it’s not a traditional career or job. There are lots of misconceptions about the art world - some people are intimidated just about walking through the door of a gallery. I love having the opportunity to shed some light on it.


For more information on K Contemporary, visit Visit for more information and where to download the podcast.


Peanuts gang welcome a new year

It’s probably because I grew up with the Peanuts gang, but I can’t imagine a better energy to bring into a new year than Charlie Brown’s unflagging optimism, Snoopy’s insatiable joie de vive and Lucy’s relentless determination.

With that in mind, the Schulz Museum is inviting families to celebrate New Year’s Eve from noon to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 31. The event will feature Peanuts-themed New Year’s crafts, special appearances by Snoopy and Woodstock, and a countdown to the Museum’s annual up-down balloon drop — all via Zoom.

To secure a spot, visit


Clarke’s Concert of the Week - The Avett Brothers’ New Year’s Eve Show

Performing New Year’s Eve shows is a tradition for The Avett Brothers - it’ll be the 17th year they’ve preformed on the occasion. Music as dynamic, joyful and moving as the Avett’s will be a great soundtrack as we welcome what will hopefully be a better year.


The livestreamed show will feature the full band and special guests like Willie Nelson and Brandi Carlile. It begins at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 31. Get tickets at


Streaming style - Mike Birbiglia’s New Year’s Eve comedy

For my money, comedian Mike Birbiglia is one of the best in the game right now. During the pandemic he’s been developing a virtual show, and he’ll be doing two New Year’s Eve performances - one at 2:30 and the other at 4:30 p.m. In addition to countdowns for international audience members, the material with be completely different from the Christmas, Thanksgiving and the October shows he’s been writing.

Birbiglia’s shows are not only always wildly funny, but deeply insightful and profoundly moving. Search “Mike Birbiglia” on to pick your performance time and get a spot.


Clarke Reader’s column on culture apears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at


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