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Do It Right. Do It Yourself

Empowerment to the people is what today's Blacktop Festival is all about. From self-publishing to self-discovery through art, the first annual DIY street party showcases musicians, dancers, comedians and artists who have found success through self-made means.

"We were really interested in turning people on to the DIY idea — that you don't need corporations to back art," says co-organizer Gregg Ziemba. Ziemba and other artists from local performance space Unit E are the human power behind the Blacktop Festival — which came to fruition after the Denver Theatre District approached the group about curating a free, art-driven experience for the public. Ziemba says Unit E already had plans for a similar music and arts fest in the works, so the collaboration was a welcome one.

Taking place in various spots throughout the Denver Performing Arts Complex, the festival welcomes musical acts Cody ChesnuTT, Nurses, Luke Wyland, Wild Pack of Canaries and Rubedo to the main stage. Live poetry, art installations and special performances by Ballet Nouveau Colorado will also be a part of the fun, along with a hand-built geodesic dome hosting various noise musicians from around Denver. In addition, experts from the local zine-making community will host workshops, and bicycle-savvy folks will be on hand to teach cycle maintenance.

The Blacktop Festival starts at 2 p.m. at the arts complex; admission is free. For more information, visit

Sat., Sept. 29, 2 p.m., 2012


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