Accessible by a long walking ramp, the MCA Denver bills itself as “the museum without a front door.” And to be sure, it does open wide to let the world in. Picture 17

Eschewing a permanent collection, it stages ever-rotating, often highly provocative exhibitions that interrogate postmodern society and our place in it: existentially inclined short films by Yang Fudong, the wacky soundscapes of local artist Jim Green, even Damien Hirst’s famed mixed media installations.

And following a merger with The Lab, it now hosts some of the city’s most eye-opening programs—above all Mixed Taste, a seasonal series of lectures each comprised of two unrelated topics: imagine (if you can) the Human Genome and Leadbelly or Absinthe and Arctic Ice Caps.