Sunday, February 25, 2024

A Science and Culture Celebration Day at the Colorado Capitol

Last week, on a bright blue sky day, my husband and I drove to Denver, Colorado, to attend the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District --known as SCFD--2024 Celebration of "Culture For All" event being held on the first floor of the Colorado State Capitol building.

The SCFD is a seven-county tax district created and approved by Colorado’s General Assembly, and renewed by voters multiple times over more than 30 years. It is the second-largest cultural funding mechanism in the United States. We fund nearly 300 organizations across our front-range urban corridor, distributing more than $60 million annually.

You can read more about the SCFD on this link and see a list of the many organizations it supports on this link.

In our invitations, we were told we would "experience interactive exhibits on the first floor of the Capitol hosted by a selection of our funded partners, including Mr. Bones from the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, the Filipino American Community of Colorado, HawkQuest, Mudra Dance, and the Broomfield Veterans Memorial Museum," and that  "pastries and beverages will be provided!"  How could we resist this fun opportunity?

I was greeted by the big SCFD mascot bear and we were given a bag to hold all the information handouts that the organizations present that day would be handing out.

It was hard to miss "Mr. Bones" sponsored by the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, which was actually a man wearing a dinosaur costume.  The schoolchildren who were visiting that day were excited to see him!

We then went around the room to visit all the booths. The first stop was at the Philippine-American Society of Colorado.
"The Philippine American Society of Colorado is a nonprofit organization dedicated to cultivating, preserving, promoting, and sharing the Philippine culture and heritage through educational and cultural opportunities that would enrich and enhance the lives of its members and the people of Colorado."  They host multiple events during the year and have a choir and dance troupe.

Next, we stopped at the Butterfly Pavillion booth. The Butterfly Pavillion has been a favorite place to take our grandchildren over the years. You can read prior blog posts I wrote about those visits--here-- and here.  The famous "Rosie the Tarantula" was in attendance and my husband was brave enough to hold her this time! I opted to just take photos with my cell phone.  We were excited to learn that a new larger Butterfly Pavillion is in the works with fundraising still going on--click here to read more about that.

The next booth was HawkQuest.  HawkQuest's approach to education in classrooms and lecture halls is participatory, allowing the audience to experience HawkQuest's eagles, owls, falcons, and hawks at close range. They do not have a facility to visit, but bring the raptors to events.

Information from their website:

"HawkQuest offers four distinct outreach programs, plus booth appearances and special events. We bring live birds of prey to people of all ages, from preschool children to senior citizens. We strive to impress upon our audiences the importance of preserving ecosystems and the wildlife that depend on them. Through understanding the world around them, diverse populations will appreciate that they can influence the environment positively."

Volunteers displayed the birds on their arms and told us some of the fascinating facts about the raptors found in Colorado.

We saw a wonderful HawkQuest presentation at an outdoor Buffalo Bill Day fair in Golden, Colorado--click here--to see that blog post.

An interesting part of the HawkQuest display!

Next, we visited the wonderful Broomfield Veterans Museum exhibit. 

Information from their website:

"The Broomfield Veterans Museum honors local veterans of all the United States conflicts and peacekeeping efforts, from the Civil War to the present, from all branches of service. The museum not only shares the stories of Colorado veterans, but it is also a center for veterans to connect, students to learn about our nation’s history, groups to explore the rotating exhibits, and families to honor their loved ones who served in the military.
The museum houses nine rooms of exhibits, a library with over 3,000 history/military books and hundreds of archived videos of veteran interviews, and a multimedia room that seats over 40. The museum is free and open to the public and offers docent-guided or self-guided tours, and, twice a month, a presentation called Coffee and Conversation, where you can hear fascinating stories from local veterans and historians."
We definitely hope to visit this museum one day soon.

 The last booth display was for the Mudra Dance Studio located in Cenntenial, Colorado. Mudra celebrates East Indian cultural diversity using the medium of dance and music.

Information from their website:
 Our students learn the beautiful rhythmic movement of the North Indian classical dance “Kathak” (dancing a story) with folk and modern elements. Their performance group performs all around Colorado, extending to other states and countries as well, and is available for hire for dance performances, cultural events, private, and public, and in schools.
You can see photographs of past dance performances on their website at this link. I gave them my name and e-mail address to be notified of their next dance performance.

The Colorado State Capitol is a beautiful building!  I could not resist taking some photos of it as we walked around the SCFD celebration.   We have visited the capitol before on free tours and I blogged about an exclusive guided tour we were able to take a few years ago where we were able to visit the entire building including the very top of the dome, which you can read on this blog link.

We enjoyed the refreshments available to visitors at the celebration, before leaving the building. We enjoyed the event very much and learned about many new places that we hope to visit and performances to see.

We also took a brief walk around the outside of the capitol. It's always fun to see the "mile high above sea level" markers on the front steps of 5280 feet (1609 meters),  As measurement became more exact over the years the markers' location changed a few steps.

A close-up of a marker engraved into the Capitol step

A closeup of the view of snowy 14,130-foot (4,306 meters) Mount Blue Sky in the distance (formerly known as Mount Evans). The Mount Blue Scenic Highway is the highest paved road in America to the top and is open from late spring to early fall. 

The SCFD Celebration at the Colorado State Capitol event was a fun event to attend and to learn about some of the 300 organizations in the seven counties of Colorado that it supports. 

Other Organizations from across the metro area, such as the Denver Art Museum, the Denver Zoo, the Museum of Nature and Science, the Denver Botanic Gardens, and the Denver Center for Performing Artsalso provide hundreds of free days and free programs each year made possible, in part, by funding from SCFD.-- the dates for those free days in 2024 are on this printable free day updated bookmark.

There is so much to see and do in Colorado!


eileeninmd said...

You have some fun things to do and places to visit in Denver.
I would love the Museum of Nature, the Butterfly Pavillion and the Hawkquest.
Wonderful post and photos.
Take care, have a great day and happy week ahead.

Joanne said...

That sounds like such a wonderful event and a great way to learn more about the various places in your community. The building is just beautiful.

ellen b. said...

What a beautiful capitol building. How nice to be able to go to this exhibit and enjoy the inside of the building. Happy last few days of February to you!

Lydia C. Lee said...

That's really interesting about the Stealth bomber. Who knew?! #Naturesnotes

Rambling Woods said...

Of course, I love the hawks...Lucky to be able to see them up close...

stevebethere said...

Great post interesting, what a fun day i enjoyed the photos made me smile :-)

Have a culturetastic week 👍

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

What a great event Pat. I'm so impressed with the SCFD and the cooperation and support from voters in seven counties. Colorado (at least the front range part of it) does seem to know how to do things right! I'd love to attend this event or (probably easier to do) visit the facilities of any of the organizations you told us about. .... I had not realized (or perhaps had forgotten) that Mt Evans had been renamed and I'm off now to find out more about that.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Oh it took no time at all to find out about the name change to Mount Blue Sky and I just had to come back to say I am so glad it was changed. I only wish the State where we spend our winter was as enlightened...

Jeanie said...

What a terrific event. I love the Bear logo and how they used it on the poster and the cute costume. Those things are heavy and hard to wear -- the bear is darling, but I'd hate to be in the dinosaur! The Hawk exhibit fascinates me. It's amazing, seeing those big birds so close at hand.

Lillian "sognafaret" said...

Looks like an amazing time

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

a fun day especially the animals - minus spiders for me please

Penelope Notes said...

A gorgeous building and also such a positive enriching experience for visitors from near and far … educational, mind-opening, and fun. I love this concept of culture for all.

Spare Parts and Pics said...

Very cute photo with the bear. Looks like a fun time!

EricaSta said...

Wow... I fear spider so much.

This week has been turbulent... The internet is too slow, it's tedious. Nevertheless, I don't want to miss out on looking at the individual posts, which I really enjoy as always.

And I'm delighted with your contribution to

Greetings from Heidrun

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

I love the idea of a Scientific and Cultural Facilities District. What an innovative way to fund such organizations instead of like a shopping mall or something like that.
I love the variety of organizations that participated in the special day.
I have never been in the Colorado Capital but I have been on the steps and seen the mile high markings. It has been a while but I remember some very good museums within walking distance.
Great post!!

Photo Cache said...

Sounds like a very fun event.

Worth a Thousand Words

Debbie said...

WoW!! what a great place to visit and an awesome event. how wonderful to see the large birds and the creepy spider. mt. evens is spectacular, what a beautiful picture of it!!

snacks and all, such a wonderful event!!

Tom said..., that's great reason to celebrate.

eileeninmd said...

Hello Pat,
What a great event! I like the bear mascot. They have a beautiful variety of birds for the HawkQuest. Your hubby is brave holding Rosie the Tarantula. The State Capitol building is beautiful. Great post and photos. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, have a great day and happy new week. PS, thank you for leaving me a comment.