MCA Denver Director Adam Lerner first got the attention of the museum world with his quirky “Mixed Taste” program, which presented talks by lecturers from completely different fields on topics like “Porcini Mushrooms & the American Ideal,” “Ukulele & Afrofuturism,” or “Tomatoes & Leonardo da Vinci,” which had the effect of making contemporary art more accessible by infusing it with laughter and lightheartedness. Since then, the museum (which occupies a gorgeous David Adjaye-designed building and is marked by a giant, blinking, rotating heart sculpture by Tim Noble and Sue Webster) has garnered further attention for some groundbreaking exhibitions, including originating the first Marilyn Minter career retrospective, and an exhibition of Basquiat works from the critical, formative years of 1979 and 1980. Parents of Denver teens should know about Failure Lab, their internship program for a select group of Denver teens who spend the year making artwork, planning programming and drop-in events, and working with professional artists to create new projects. Oh, and if you happen to be in town for one of their openings, locals will tell you they throw the best parties in town.

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