Give longtime Westword contributor Bree Davies a soapbox to stand on, and she’ll have something to say. We love her here because she is fearless about speaking up for Denver DIYers, neighborhoods enbattled by unwelcome change, modern feminist values, bad human behavior and other hot-button issues, no matter what her readers say in response. Davies is not only a cheerleader for the city’s underground network of artists, performers and musicians who are making things happen at the grassroots level, but she is one of them, working on the Denver-centric creative front lines. Keep reading for her answers to the 100CC questionnaire.
Westword: If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be, and why?
Bree Davies: You know, I find that there are so many artists/musicians/writers/performers that I know in life right now that I want to work with that I don't think much about looking back. As a writer/sometimes critic/loudmouth who focuses so much of my energy on what is happening in Denver, I would much rather be able to collaborate with my friends and peers. It's something I already do through the multiple platforms I have in my community and I feel lucky to have so many.
Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?
Teenagers. I am fascinated by how absolutely radical, active, socially aware and caring the next generation of artists are already showing themselves to be.
What's one art trend you want to see die this year?
Corporate-sponsored art. I know, this is a big, complicated issue, one that I can't possibly take on in a few tiny paragraphs. But frankly, I'm tired of seeing PBR murals. I love public art; I hate public art that is an advertisement for a corporation. I understand that we all have to eat, but when I see an artist whose work I admire aligned with a corporate company's ad campaign and I know they didn't make that much money doing it and the company is banking on a perceived cool/artsy/whatever factor, it bums me out.
I'm not just talking about visual art — I also hope that musicians in Denver think twice about aligning themselves with a corporate brand in order to make a few bucks. You using your art as a platform to hashtag for corporate companies isn't always the best way to get your music/message across. Look at the long game before signing on to something that will forever identify you as an artist/musician for a brand.
What's your day job?
My work is my life and my life is my work. There's no real line that separates them, which is simultaneously great and stressful. I'm the co-host of a music industry-focused podcast, Welcome to Rock Island; I'm one of the hosts of local television show Sounds on 29th on CPT12; I co-organize the weirdo DIY women-centered music and art fest Titwrench; and I freelance write for various publications, including Westword.
I also live full-time on Twitter, where my followers are subjected to my bombastic, no-filter approach to communication. Basically, the way I talk on Twitter is just like hanging out with me in real life, which means I am always yelling/advocating for women/people of color/teenagers/LGBTQIA folx/anyone marginalized by the patriarchy.
A mystery patron offers you unlimited funds for life. What will you do with it?
Open an all ages/all welcome/accessible DIY venue in Denver and devote my life to giving underrepresented artists a place to showcase their work. Oh, and travel the world telling people why we need these kinds of spaces for expression.
What's the one thing Denver (or Colorado) could do to help the arts?
Stop selling the city to developers.
Who is your favorite Colorado Creative?
So many! Molly Bounds, Stephan Herrera, Suzi Q, Smith, Ryan McRyhew, Quinn Marchman, Colin Ward, Arnie Swenson, Valerie Savarie, Zach Reini, Kalyn Heffernan, Bianca Mikahn, Tom Murphy, Kat Salvaggio, Anton Krueger, Kevin O'Brien, Sarah Slater, Jason Heller, Erin Stereo, Ben Donehower, Brandton Manshel, Madeline Johnston, Anthony Garcia Sr., Sam Tallent, Mane Rok, Baily Rose, Stephen Brackett, Zak Kinsella, Katy Zimmerman, Molina Speaks, Ru Black, Kevin Hennessy, Marilyn Megenity, Don White, Heather Dalton, Reed Fuchs, Gretchen Marie Schaefer and so many more folks who inspire me in so many creative realms that I am forgetting right now!
What's on your agenda in the coming year?
I hope to do what I can to continue to elevate Denver's creative community and champion those who devote their lives to art and activism. I'd also like to get out and experience more art and performances by artists I don't know personally (yet!). And, of course, I'll never shut up about how much I think Denver needs to stay affordable in order for it to be the amazing city that it is.
Who do you think will get noticed in the local arts (music/DIY) community in the coming year?
See my list of favorite Colorado Creatives above: If you're reading this and don't recognize a name on that list, look them up and support their art. Buy their work. Go to their shows. Donate to their causes. Spend money, time and energy in your local arts community and see how your view changes. Our music, art, comedy, theater, performance and overall creative community in Denver is really something special.
Tune in to Welcome to Rock Island online and watch episodes of Sounds on 29th at 9 p.m. Saturdays on CPT12 or online. Learn more about Titwrench on Facebook. Follow Bree Davies on Twitter. And look for her weekly Breeality Bites column on Wednesdays at westword.com.