We’ve all heard the saying ‘don’t judge a person until you walk a mile in his shoes,’ right? And even if you haven’t (but let me ask you this: How?), you probably have a vague memory of reading Walk Two Moons when you were 10, which basically pivots around the same message.  No? Still not ringing a bell? Ok, that’s fine – because even if you weren’t taught about empathy through charming little idioms or novels, there’s a pop-up museum in Denver that’s decided to take that advice a bit literally.

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According to The Know, if you take a walk down to Denver and head towards Tail Tracks Plaza, which is on 16th Street between Wewatta and Wynkoop, it shouldn’t take you long to find “A Mile in My Shoes.” The exhibit’s not difficult to spot, as the Empathy Museum’s newest project is a one-room building fittingly shaped like an overgrown shoebox. Once you arrive, you can browse almost 30 different pairs of shoes, from red rubber boots to sneakers to the glitziest platforms you’ll ever wear. Then, you can take your chosen shoes on a stroll – along with a recording of the person whose preferred shoes you’re wearing. They’ll tell you their story, whether that means narrating a small, personal life event, or a much longer tale with grandiose steaks. Either way, the exhibit allows you to leave yourself behind for a short while and take up someone else’s mantle.

“A Mile in My Shoes” was created by British artist Clare Patey and philosopher author Roman Krznaric, and though the exhibit is a world-wide traveler, it always strives to collect local voices for each stop it makes. So, you’ll get to walk with true-blue Denverites, no matter which pair of shoes you pick.  

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The Empathy Museum’s arrival is a pre-event to Denver’s Biennial of the Americas, a festival which celebrates the cultural connections between North and South America. This year’s theme is ‘Empathy in Action,’ and the festival will include art and music exhibitions, educational panels, speakers, and the Cósmico Americas party, features an incredible light show in Civic Center Park. “A Mile in My Shoes” will run from now until September 27, and is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day of the week, while The Biennial of the Americas runs from September 25 to September 28.

So, if, like me, you’ve spent maybe a few too many weekends indoors counting how many paperclips you own, go get out of your own head and trek down to Denver – I can guarantee you it won’t take as long as it does to read Walk Two Moons.

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