Parker Arts
Lecture Series

Parker Arts Lecture Series are free lectures supported by the Parker Cultural and Scientific Commission. The intent of 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 Schoolhouse Theater and The PACE Center Event Room. Please check lecture locations below and review preshow email for location changes and additional information.  You may reserve your free tickets two months prior to each lecture. Click the link to a lecture below or find the lecture on the ticketing page.

If you have a topic you would like to present to the community as part of the Parker Arts Lecture Series, please reach out 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 Advent Health Parker.

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2024/2025 Lectures

How AI is Changing Medicine and Ourselves

September 4 | 6:30 p.m.| The Schoolhouse Theater

Speaker: Matthew DeCamp, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Center for Bioethics and Humanities and Division of General Internal Medicine

Artificial intelligence (AI) is already being used throughout medicine, from disease prediction to patient-facing chatbots. But are these AI applications merely tools we use, or do they change how we think and who we are? When we come to see how AI influences our choices, reflects our biases in words and images, and affects how we view each other, we come to realize that AI is more than a simple tool. And once we do, we can imagine new possibilities for ensuring this new technology can promote humanism in medicine and beyond.

Reserve your tickets after July 4.

Discover Dia de los Muertos

October 2 | 12:00 p.m.| The PACE Center Event Room

Speaker: Ericka Hernandez, Program Director Mexican Cultural Center

Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a day of celebration for the people of Latin America, particularly in Mexico and Central America. Rather than grieve over the loss of a beloved family member or friend, they choose to commemorate the lives of the dearly departed and welcome the return of their spirits.
During this lecture, we will discover more about this joyful celebration that roots back many years and how it continues to be celebrated today.

Reserve your tickets after Sept. 2

Chemicals in Drinking Water: What you Should Know

November 6 | 12:00 p.m.| The PACE Center Event Room

Speaker: Tanya Doriss GAO, Senior Analysis Government Accountability Office; Jared Mann, Parker Water and Sanitation District

Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), known as “forever chemicals” because they persist in the environment for decades, can cause adverse health effects, including cancer. PFAS are heat- and stain-resistant chemicals found in many common products. Tanya Doriss, an expert from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), will present information on PFAS, including how they get into the environment, how people are exposed to them, and proposed federal requirements to protect human health.

Reserve your tickets after Oct. 6.

A Coroner Does What?

February 5 | 6:30 p.m.| The Schoolhouse Theater 

Speaker: Raeann Brown, Douglas County Coroner

Did you know that every day in Douglas County – at all hours of the day and night – the coroner can be called to a scene of unfortunate circumstances – for a death that is expected, unattended, violent, sudden, or suspicious? As an impartial, independent agency, the Douglas County Coroner’s mission is to serve the public by providing the citizens of Douglas County, medical professionals, and members of the justice system accurate, scientific, and unbiased medical-based determinations of cause and manner of death in cases falling under the jurisdiction of the office.
Meet Douglas County Coroner Reann Brown for an intriguing discussion on her experience as elected coroner and her efforts to deliver scientific-based truth through exceptional and professional medicolegal investigation.

Reserve your tickets after Dec. 5.

Why is the Signal Always Red?

March 5 | 12:00 p.m.| The Schoolhouse Theater 

Speaker: Dave Aden, Town of Parker Traffic Division Manager

Meet the Town of Parker’s Traffic Division Manager Dave Aden, as he provides a high-level overview of how traffic signals operate and how the Town of Parker works to maximize safety and efficiency of the signals in our community.

Reserve your tickets after Jan 5.

Ruter-Hess Reservoir Archaeological Project

April 2 | 6:30 p.m.| The Schoolhouse Theater 

Speaker: Gordy Tucker, Jr., PhD, Retired Archaeologist and Brittany Cassell, Curator Douglas County Government

Environmental studies and archaeological investigations were conducted to identify and mitigate adverse effects caused by construction of the Frank Jaeger Dam and Rueter-Hess Reservoir in Douglas County. During the archaeological investigations dozens of sites were recorded and several sites were excavated in the affected area identifying 7000+ years of human occupation along Newlin Gulch, defined a Regional Sphere of Precontact Interaction (300-mile radius). Join Dr. Gordy Tucker as he describes the accomplishments of the Reuter-Hess Reservoir Archaeological Project and how it expanded our knowledge of the indigenous peoples who lived in Douglas County for millennia. County Curator Brittany Cassell will provide an overview of how research and analysis is completed for a collection, where artifacts go after excavation, and how other artifacts are acquired and cared for in the Douglas County History Repository.

Reserve your tickets after Feb. 2.

Sustainable Change for Planet Earth

May 7 | 12:00 p.m.| The Schoolhouse Theater 

Speaker: Catherine Praiswater, Podcast Host, Your Positive Imprint

STOP! Don’t toss that! Catherine Praiswater, host of the documentary podcast, ‘Your Positive Imprint,’ shares how citizens in towns like Parker can become more active in the process of making sustainable improvements. Catherine’s lecture will provide information and resources from various podcast guests such as Climate Elvis and various volunteers of Repair Cafes across the globe to help you create sustainable change in your community. The future is about your positive imprint and positive actions.

Reserve your tickets after Mar. 7.

Recent Lectures and Recordings

Colorado’s Last Grizzly and Other Stories from DMNS
Speaker: John Demboski VP and Chief Curator Science Division, DMNS
View recording of lecture here.

Aging with Intention
Speaker: John Schuster, Author, Educator and Coach
View recording of lecture here.

The Adolescent Brain and Addressing Teen Behaviors
Speakers: Terri Tillis, RDH, MS, MA, PhD Professor Emerita at the University of Colorado school of Dental Medicine
Dr. Jesseca Manson, Assistant Professor in the Division of Counseling and Family Therapy at Regis, University teaching in the Master of Arts in Clinical Counseling program
Dr. John O’Malley, Assistant Professor in the Division for Counseling and Family Therapy at Regis University teaching in the Clinical Mental Health master’s program
View recording of lecture here.

Growing a Drought Resistant Garden
Speaker: Robert Sanchez, Colorado Master Gardener, Douglas County Extension
View recording of lecture here.

3 Billion Birds Lost: How to Create Bird Friendly Communities
Speaker: Kate Hogan, Denver Audubon
View recording of lecture here.

Urban Coyotes
Speaker: Katie Doyle, District Wildlife Officer, Department of Wildlife
View recording of lecture here.

The Utes: Colorado’s Forgotten People
Speaker: Earnest House, Jr., Senior Policy Director, Keystone Policy Center
View recording of lecture here.

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

Crowdsourcing Coronavirus: Analyzing Experimental Data From One Epidemic to Understand the Current One
Speaker: Mike Edwards, CEO Bioinfo Solutions
View recording of lecture here.

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

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

Footpath to Busy Parker Road: Transportation Systems Along Cherry Creek
Speaker: Lee Whiteley, Parker Area Historical Society
View recording of lecture here.

From Antimatter to Wormholes: The Science of Interstellar Travel
Speaker: Dr. KaChun Yu, Curator of Space Science, Denver Museum of Nature and Science
View recording of lecture here.

The World According to Dogs
Speaker: Marie Seelmeyer, Canine, Feline Behavior Counseling, Senior Behavioral Counselor
View recording of lecture here.

Finding Common Ground: Bridging the Political Divide
Speaker: John Schuster
View recording of lecture here.

Understanding Palliative Care
Speaker: A panel discussion with Angela Wibben, MM, MT-BC, Jeanie Youngwerth, MD and Representatives from Parker Adventist.
View recording of lecture here.

The Truth Is, All of My Pictures Are Lies
Speaker: Eric Biggerstaff, Photographer
View recording of lecture here.

Beginning Birdwatching
Speaker: Kate Hogan, Denver Audubon Society
View recording of lecture here.

Buzztails and Bullsnakes
Speaker: Joseph Ehrenberger, MS, Senior Ecologist, Matrix Design Group, Inc.
View recorded lecture here.

The Sinking of the Titanic
Speaker: Chris Schutzneberger, Molly Brown House Museum Volunteer
View recording of lecture here.