Being a university town has its perks. Some of the brightest minds in science live and work right here in Boulder, and other big thinkers often come here to share knowledge, connect with a progressive populace and enjoy our outdoor recreation. Hear their fascinating insights and stories at one of these Boulder lectures, talks or presentations.
These popular lectures and presentation series have a broad range of topics, often ones you've never considered much before. This makes for surprising, interesting opportunities for edification.
Every year for 70-plus years, the CWA has brought in a hundred or so experts on a huge variety of topics from around the world to participate in 200 panels, discussions, plenaries, concerts, and events — all free and open to the public. Famous film critic Roger Ebert was a loyal attendee and presenter, calling it "the Conference on Everything Conceivable." Come for the full week of meaningful discourse in April.
During the school year, the University of Colorado at Boulder hosts a vast number of lectures and presentations from visiting professors, notables and luminaries. In any given week, you could attend multiple mind-opening sessions on topics from concrete poetry to forensic botany to beer brewing in the ancient world.
In 1898, the Colorado Chautauqua was built at the foot of the Flatirons mountains. It was a family retreat created in the tradition of national Chautauquas of the time, focusing on culture, nature, and music. Today, that tradition continues in the historic Chautauqua Community House, with lecture series featuring guests ranging from aerospace engineers to mountaineers.
A partnership between Boulder's Ku Cha House of Tea and the University of Colorado Center for Humanities & the Arts presents a series of Tea Talks on a wide range of topics ranging from Asians in Colorado to theater and dance. The talks are just 20 minutes, followed by 40 minutes of questions and answers, then complimentary tea and pastries. More information here.
Four times a year, CU hosts an extraordinary speaker for its Leo Hill Leadership Speaker Series. This is inspiring, motivating storytelling at its finest, with past speakers including intrepid North Pole solo trekker John Huston and the U.S.'s first black female astronaut, Mae Jemison.
Boulder was named one of "America's Most Artistic Towns" by Expedia, and the town is teeming with authors, artists, storytellers, and performers. These series give you a chance to hear from Boulder's artists — as well as visiting artists — up close.
As the premier bookshop in town, the Boulder Bookstore has always been a huge supporter of Boulder’s local authors and touring national authors alike. Book signings happen in among the wooden bookcases on the upper level.
Designed to enhance art students’ experiences, the University of Colorado’s Visiting Artist and Scholar Program is also open to the public. Hear the unique perspective of visiting visual artists.
A festival founded in India and devoted entirely to the literary arts and creative thinking brings a caravan of writers, thinkers, poets, and storytellers from around the world to Boulder each September. Guests can attend lectures, readings, discussions, live music events and more — all for free — during the Zee Jaipur Literature Festival – JLF at Boulder.
Also held in the cozy Chautauqua Community House (see above), the Colorado Chautauqua Association brings in thought-provoking novelists and nonfiction writers for intimate discussions as part of their Author Series.
Every other month, at Boulder’s Truth Be Told story slam, seven storytellers relate their tales in front of a standing-room-only crowd and five judges, who select the evening’s winner. It makes for a fun and riveting evening!
With several federal research laboratories based in Boulder, there's no question this town loves to nerd out when it comes to scientific exploration and understanding.
Designed for families, the CU Wizards free events happen one Saturday morning a month. University of Colorado professors share their knowledge on a particular topic with demonstrations geared toward little scientists.
Come hear from some of the leading archaeologists about recent discoveries, such as a newly discovered sunken ship in Israel’s Bay of Haifa, and new insights, such as innovative research about Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. The AIA lectures take place at the University of Colorado’s Museum of Natural History.
Who doesn't love a good adventure story? With a large population of outdoor enthusiasts calling Boulder home, the following events have a welcoming audience. Join them to hear tales of remarkable discovery — and maybe have a few adventures of your own along the way.
This favorite independent Boulder outdoor gear shop invites guests to the store for unique talks, such as “To Antarctica and Beyond” with Conrad Anker and an evening with filmmaker Chad Jukes. Many of the events have a suggested donation to support outdoor-related charitable causes.
Like to walk while you listen to a talk? Boulder’s Open Space and Mountain Parks regularly offer educational hikes with a naturalist. They are fun and fascinating, with topics that include astronomy, Chautauqua history, and even wild mating rituals! There are also family hike-and-learn programs, too.