Riders of the West: Portraits from Indian Rodeo, thru Feb. 28, Southern Ute Museum – Featured in the last edition of the Gulch (issue No. 6), “Riders of the West” is an intimate look at the thriving Indian rodeo scene through the lens of Durango native, photographer Linda MacCannell. The exhibit features 60 black-and-white photographs documenting Indian rodeo from Arizona and New Mexico to Alberta, Canada. The exhibit is based on the book of the same title, written by Peter Iverson. Located at 503 Ouray Drive, the Southern Ute Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Telluride Comedy Festival, Feb. 14-17 - Don’t miss this hilarious midwinter weekend with some of the funniest comedians around, brought to you by the Sheridan Arts Foundation. The fest features four nights of live stand-up, from 7 – 10 p.m. at the Sheridan Opera House. Confirmed comedians for the landmark 20th anniversary include Jason Mantzoukas and Paul Scheer, Comedy Fest vets; and new comedian Matt Braunger. Children are allowed to attend if accompanied by an adult, but beware that “colorful language” and subject matter are par for the course (consider the show rated R.) Tickets start at $40 and are available at www.sheridanoperahouse.com, but don’t delay – all four nights are expected to sell out, which would be no laughing matter.
Raven Narratives, “Love,” Feb. 15, Sunflower Theatre, Cortez – As we enter the season of sticky sweet candy and paper hearts, the wildly popular local storytelling event, Raven Narratives, explores the topic on everyone’s mind: Love.
The Raven Narratives exist to connect us with each other through the ancient art of storytelling. The evening will feature eight, real-life local residents spilling their real-life hearts on the stage – in 10 minutes or less. The Raven Narratives features people of all colors, ages and perspectives. Podcasts of the stories are available on the iTunes store, Stitcher and SoundCloud. For tickets or more info, go to ravennarratives.org.
Silverton Skijoring, Feb. 16-17 – Skijoring in Silverton rides again! The 10th annual(ish) Silverton Skijoring Races return to the Notorious Blair Street in Silverton, as horse riders and their intrepid skiers in tow face-off beginning at high noon. In addition to all the spills and thrills of the marquee event, there will be other fun activities, food and entertainment throughout town as well as post-race partying from 5 – 7 p.m. both nights at the Grand Imperial Hotel. Horses and skiers may register separately and be matched at registration or can sign up as a team. Admission for spectators is free but donations are always welcome. For more information, go to check silvertonskijoring.com. And this should go without saying, but leave your drones at home.
Wild & Scenic Film Festival on Tour, Feb. 17, Durango Arts Center – With snow piling high in the mountains, most of us are looking forward to a rocking river season after last year’s snoozer. And what better way to get the river stoke flowing than with the Wild & Scenic Film Festival on Tour. Sponsored by the Citizens Climate Lobby, the event promises to educate, inspire and raise awareness on the issue of climate change, while featuring some of the most amazing river footage from the far corners of the world. Now in its 17th year, the Wild & Scenic Film Festival is held the third week of January in Nevada City, Calif., and focuses on films that speak to the environmental concerns and celebrations of our planet. Proceeds from the Durango films will help fund the Climate Lobby’s first-ever scholarship program to send local youth to Washington, D.C., to lobby for measures to address climate change. For more info., go to www.wildandscenicontour.org. For tickets, go to durangotix.com.
“Steamers and Dreamers” Steampunk Convention, Feb. 23, Aztec – Journey back to the future as Aztec’s fourth annual Steampunk convention returns for a full day (and night) of activities surrounding the “futuristic pastime.” Steamers and Dreamers was introduced to bring the community together in a fun, unique way while raising money for “Good Neighbors,” a citizens group that works to promote kindness and inclusivity. This year’s events include costume contests, music, dancing, wine, food, vendors and more. New this year is Kid Konnections, a space just for kids that includes face-painting, crafts, snacks and games. Events take place from 1 - 11 p.m. at the Aztec Community Center, 101 South Park Ave. Admission is $10 for adults and children are free. For info., go to www.steamersanddreamers.com
Writing & Storytelling with Tanaya Winder, Feb. 23, Southern Ute Museum - Tanaya Winder is a writer, educator, motivational speaker and performance poet from the Southern Ute, Duckwater Shoshone and Pyramid Lake Paiute nations. She grew up on the Southern Ute reservation and attended Stanford University, where she earned a BA in English, and the University of New Mexico, where she received an MFA in creative writing. Since then, she has co-founded As/Us: A Space for Women of the World and Dream Warriors, an Indigenous artist management company. She guest lectures, teaches creative writing and speaks at schools, universities and communities around the world on the different expressions of love (self love, intimate love, social love, community love and universal love). In addition, she is an advocate of “heartwork,” the belief that everyone has a gift they’ve been placed on this Earth to share. At the workshop, Winder will give an interactive presentation and read from selected poems. She will also discuss the importance of writing and storytelling, and give prompts with time for participants to write and share their works.
This event is free and open to the public. For more info., go to www.southernutemuseum.org.
Uncle Clyde’s Run & Slide, March 2, Purgatory– Leave it to Durango to add a competitive edge to all things outdoors, including that oft-scoffed-at underappreicated winter pastime, tubing. Uncle Clyde’s pits teams of two against each other on the tubing hill to see who can bust out the most laps – up and down – and claim the coveted grand prize as well as the associated fame and glory. Oh, and since it’s also Durango, costumes are highly encouraged, and there will be lots of side attractions, including music, high-fives and s’mores for those who need a quick pick-me-up at the bottom of the run. Just like you’ll want to hurry up and down the hill, you’ll want to sign up quickly – the race is open only to 30 teams per heat (there is a slightly less agonizing 60-minute and more agonizing 90-minute version for the super macho.) Please leave the river tubes at home – tubes will be provided for your sliding pleasure. For all the nitty gritty details, go to www.purgatoryresort.com. This event is brought to you by the friendly masochists at the Durango Running Co. and Crossfit Catacombs.
McDonald’s Cardboard Derby, March 16, Purgatory – Bust out the duct tape and appliance boxes for this classic winter competition you won’t want to miss. The annual cardboard derby is a great event for competitors and spectators alike as teams attempt to pilot their creations down the mean beginner slopes of Purgatory. All it takes is some creativity and courage (although engineering skills also come in handy). Need supplies? McDonald’s (201 W. College Drive) has heaps of cardboard to give away free so you can build your best derby vessel. Just swing by and ask for Jeff, the general manager. Although technically not a “race,” prizes will be given in a variety of creative categories. For helpful hints and rules (of which there are surprisingly many), go to www.purgatoryresort.com