Parker Arts

Parker Arts Lectures is a series of free lectures supported by the Parker Cultural and Scientific Commission. The intent of the lectures is to increase the understanding of how arts, science and technology affect current and future issues facing our community, and provide the opportunity to learn and discuss a variety of trending topics. Lectures take place at the PACE Center both in-person and online via a live stream to the lecture.  Click the link to a lecture below to learn more and reserve your free tickets.

If you have a topic you would like to present to the community as part of the Parker Arts Lecture Series, please reach out by March 30, 2022 to Simply email your name, topic, and how you are knowledgeable about the topic. You will be invited to present your idea to the Commission for consideration.

These free lectures are generously sponsored by Centura Parker Adventist Hospital

Centura Health Parker Adventist Hospital

Upcoming Lectures

September 1  | Footpath to Busy Parker Road: Transportation Systems Along Cherry Creek

Speaker: Lee Whiteley, Parker Area Historical Society
From Native American footpaths, the Cherry Creek waterway has evolved into a major transportation corridor. California-bound gold-seekers in 1849, including Cherokee, followed Cherry Creek. Then with the Colorado gold rush of 1859, the newly opened Smoky Hill Trail followed the aptly-named Cherokee Trail along Cherry Creek. Six “Mile Houses” were established along Cherry Creek, from Parker to Denver, to cater to trail travelers. The Denver & New Orleans Railroad provided the transportation system needed for Parker’s growth. Colorado Highway 83, Parker Road, with its “Bridge to Nowhere” south of Franktown, was the original planned route for Interstate 25. Join us for this thoughtful presentation on the history and development of local transportation systems.
You may access a video of the lecture here.

October 6  | Bringing Light and Love to Mental Health

Speaker: A panel discussion with: Artist Scott Switzer, Jim Stevens, VFW Post 1 Veterans Arts Council Director, and Sarah El Hage, VA Recreational Therapist.
In coordination with the PACE Center exhibition, “Through the Eyes of Artists: Understanding Mental Health Through Artistic Expression,” please join us for a panel discussion with artist Scott Switzer, whose artwork is a response to—and way of coping with—his son’s decent into schizophrenia, Justine Murray, who created the Ethan Murray Fund to support counseling, costs of medication and Homeless transitions in Spokane Washington after she lost her son during a mental health crisis, along with Jim Stevens, VFW Post 1 Veterans Arts Council Director and an award-winning international artist and author who is also legally blind.  He lost his sight as a result of combat wounds while serving in the U.S. Army.   and Sarah El Hage, VA Recreational Therapist. Panelists will share personal experiences and insights into how art can bring about healing and awareness.
Reception will immediately follow Parker Arts Lecture Bringing Light and Love to Mental Health Panel Discussion. Refreshments and deserts will be served in the Art Gallery. Guests are invited to stay and mingle with panelists, artists, and friends of Parker Arts.
You may access a video of the lecture here. Please be aware that the sound to the lecture is very low.

November 3  | From Antimatter to Wormholes: The Science of Interstellar Travel

Speaker: Dr. KaChun Yu, Curator of Space Science, Denver Museum of Nature and Science
Ideas about traveling beyond the confines of the Earth have triggered human imaginations for millennia. Once we understood how truly far away the distant stars are, journeying to them have become a recurring theme in speculative fiction in print and later on screen. This has in turned inspired scientists and engineers over the past half century to dream of and to investigate ways of traveling beyond our solar system. But how realistic are these schemes? Do they follow the laws of physics? Is faster-than-light travel using “warp” drives possible? In this presentation, Ka Chun Yu will take the audience on a whirlwind tour of the science and technology behind interstellar travel, separate the fact from the fiction, and even estimate how far in the future it will be before interstellar travel is possible.
You may access a video of the lecture here.

January 5  | The World According to Dogs

Speaker: Marie Seelmeyer, Canine, Feline Behavior Counseling, Senior Behavioral Counselor
Strengthen the bond between you and your dog by understanding how they see, hear, smell, and interpret the world around them. We will discuss ways to use these senses to help calm your dog in stressful situations and improve their quality of life.
You may access a video of the lecture here.

January 18  | Antarctica Planetary Analog: What Exotic Places on Earth Teach Us

Speaker: Michael Carroll, Artist/Writer
In 2016, the National Science Foundation sent artist/writer Michael Carroll to the slopes of an active volcano in Antarctica. Together with planetary volcano expert Rosaly Lopes, the expedition studied formations on Mount Erebus, ice structures which may resemble volcanoes on other planets and moons. Now, Carroll brings his adventures in Antarctica to you, along with photos and paintings from the expedition. Lopes and Carroll’s photos, and paintings by Carroll and his wife Caroline, will be on display before and after Carroll’s richly illustrated lecture.
Mr. Carroll’s talk is part of Antarctica Planetary Analog: What Exotic Places on Earth Teach Us art exhibit available at the PACE Center Art Gallery January 13 – February 27.
Click here to RSVP free tickets.

February 2  | Finding Common Ground: Bridging the Political Divide

Speaker: John Schuster
This session will look at how we can weave the fabric of civil political discourse back together. The fabric has been fraying for a long time and is seen in legislative gridlock, but also very close to home, in families that cannot converse about politics and friends who have drifted apart. Rather than be passive and becoming victims of a media barrage that can pull us further apart, we can learn to de-polarize. This program will offer some ways to think and act that can bridge the divide, heal wounds, and make a difference. There are many organizations trying to address this challenge for Americans and you will hear about the speaker’s experience with one of them. Learn some of what they do and what options exist for positive change.
You may access a video of the lecture here.

March 2  | Understanding Palliative Care

Speaker: A panel discussion with Angela Wibben, MM, MT-BC, Jeanie Youngwerth, MD and Representatives from Parker Adventist.
When sickness or a chronic illness happens, patients and families benefit when the goal is improving the quality of life with compassion.  Assessment and treatment of pain and suffering that can be physical, psychosocial and/or spiritual in nature is addressed by palliative care providers.  Learn from our experienced panelists about how this new specialty in healthcare is provided by interdisciplinary teams.  Palliative care is not limited to individuals near the end of life, but rather is available for families and patients of any age dealing with chronic, acute or terminal disease.  The panelists will educate us about the palliative care options that are available in our geographic area.
You may access a video of the lecture here.

April 6  | The Truth Is, All of My Pictures Are Lies

Speaker: Eric Biggerstaff, Photographer
This lecture explores how Eric visualizes and creates his images using the computer and/or darkroom to alter what was initially captured with the camera to better represent what he saw in his mind when looking at the scene. He will explore other artists’ works as well as his own in an effort to explain why he has no desire to represent reality with his work. Join us for this for a deep look into photography methodology and artistry.
Click here to RSVP free tickets.

May 4  | Beginning Birdwatching

Speaker: Kate Hogan, Denver Audubon Society
New to birding in Colorado? Wonder where to begin? Join Denver Audubon as they introduce the art and science of bird identification as no one else can. Learn tips and tricks for how to identify birds by sight, sound, and habitat, as well as advice on choosing and using binoculars, field guides, and phone apps.
Click here to RSVP free tickets.


Past Lectures

Urban Coyotes | September 2
Speaker: Katie Doyle, District Wildlife Officer, Department of Wildlife
View the lecture by clicking here.

The Utes: Colorado’s Forgotten People | November 4
Speaker: Earnest House, Jr., Senior Policy Director, Keystone Policy Center
View the lecture by clicking here.

Climate Change: Permafrost Thaw in the Artic and Our Climate’s Future | January 6
Speaker: Merritt Turetsky, Director and Professor, Institute of Artic and Alpine Research
View the lecture by clicking here.

Crowdsourcing Coronavirus: Analyzing Experimental Data From One Epidemic to Understand the Current One | February 3
Speaker: Mike Edwards, CEO Bioinfo Solutions
View the lecture by clicking here.

The Curious Case of Colorado Cannibal Alferd Packer | March 3
Speaker: Dr. Erin Baxter, is Curator of Archaeology at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science
View the lecture by clicking here.

The Need For Good Foster Parents | April 7
Speaker: Jazmin Dolbin
View the lecture by clicking here. Sorry, this recording is unavailable.

Let’s Hike Douglas County (Our 1/2 14ers)  | May 5
Speaker: Jackie Sanderson, Natural Resource Specialist Douglas County Division of Open Space and Natural Resources
View the lecture by clicking here.