1. Tune into Jazz Aspen Snowmass’s June Experience In-House. Listen to performances (a mix of previous concert footage and concerts recorded just for this JAS event) and interviews with artists who were scheduled to take part in this year’s JAS June Experience in Aspen. Friday features Badi Assad, the Motet, and Emmet Cohen; Saturday showcases Ulysses Owens Jr.’s Generation Y, Sammy Miller and the Congregation, and Take 6; Sunday wraps with Anat Cohen and Monty Alexander. You even simulate the VIP experience at home each day by ordering special three-course takeout meals from Pyramid Bistro (chef Martin Oswald usually caters all of the meals in the VIP tent). The shows are free to watch, though donations are suggested. Register here to receive a viewing link on the day of the performance. June 26–28, 7 p.m. nightly
2. Become better informed and inspired through this year’s virtual Aspen Ideas Festival. Usually, Ideas Fest, one of Aspen’s most vibrant summer events, is exclusive, with passes selling out far in advance and only pass-holders allowed to even walk across the Aspen Institute campus. This year, it’s going all online, with topics ranging from Covid-19 and racial oppression to freedom of the press and how music can change minds. Best of all? It’s free to watch. The lineup of some 45 speakers includes political leader and Fair Fight Action Chair Stacey Abrams; Former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright; Talking Heads frontman and Arbutus founder David Byrne; Georgetown University sociology professor Michael Eric Dyson; National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci; Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation co-chair Bill Gates; Sinovation Ventures Chairman and CEO Kai-Fu Lee; Columbia University linguistics professor John McWhorter; former US Navy Admiral William McRaven; NPR's “Invisibilia” co-host Lulu Miller; former Secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulson; journalist and Rappler co-founder Maria Ressa; and playwright and actor Anna Deavere Smith. In addition, Yefim Bronfman (June 30) and Jon Bastite (July 2) will perform. Register here. June 28–July 2, 90-minute episodes will stream each day.
3. Marvel at the new Wednesday Night Live in Basalt. This weekly series of outside performances for the age of social distancing launches tonight with a variety of buskers appearing on the sidewalks of downtown Basalt and Willits. The Arts Campus at Willits, the Basalt Chamber, and the Town of the Basalt have partnered on the series, which runs through August 19. This evening’s lineup features musicians Lizzy Plotkin and Natalie Spears at Butch’s Lobster Shack; the Jeremy Mohney Trio out Ann Korologos Gallery; magician Ryan Eason showing his fire skills outside Tempranillo; the David Lawrence Duo on Market Street; the Chris Harrison Duo by Whole Foods; and Miller Ford doing comedy by El Korita and by Sure Thing Burger. 5:30–8:30 p.m.
4. Run the 34th annual Boogie’s Buddy Race—anytime you want between June 27 and July 4. Alas, the Buddy Program’s in-person fundraising race on the Fourth of July, which typically draws 1,000 entrants, won’t take place this year, but there’s still a chance to participate. Here’s how: register online ($40) for the 5-mile or 5K run, or the 1-mile family and canine fun run/walk. Do your run anywhere you want. Then take a photo and upload it to Facebook or Instagram (tag #BuddyRun2020 and #BoogiesBuddyRace) to be eligible for the prize drawing on July 5; categories include best costume, best pic of your pet participating, farthest location from Aspen, most unique outdoor setting for a run, best selfie, and best DIY bib. It’s a win-win for you and the Buddy Program.
5. Pick up a free copy of The Beekeeper of Aleppo to participate in the Community Read. Winner of the 2020 Aspen Words Literary Prize, Christy Lefteri’s novel about Syrian refugees traveling to Great Britain is the focus of the second annual Community Read, sponsored by Aspen Words and the Pitkin County Library. Books will be given out at the library starting June 29 (register here). During the week of July 20, there will be community-wide discussions of the novel (size and locations TBD depending on current public health orders); on July 30 (12 p.m.), Lefteri will join in an online discussion with Aspen Words Executive Director Adrienne Brodeur and Syrian refugee expert Qutaiba Idlbi. A Beyond the Book event, which will help put the social issues that the novel raises into action locally, is slated for August (more specifics to be announced). Overall, it promises to be a great way to connect intellectually during this time of social distancing.