City Free-For-All

When Michael Hancock was campaigning for mayor in 2011, the same topic kept coming up. “He was meeting with neighbors throughout the city, and there was a recurring theme: People did want to get to know their neighbors, but they didn’t necessarily have the vehicle to do so,” says Rachel Chaparro, who now works for Hancock in the mayor’s office. To fill that gap, Hancock came up with the idea for Denver Days, a project that debuts today and runs through August 11. During this time, anyone living in any community across the city can get the necessary permits and tools, including barricades, to throw their very own block party — for free.

If a block party seems like too much of a task, you can also get a free park permit to hold a gathering. Or you can plan a neighborhood cleanup or another community-service project; paint for wiping out graffiti and other supplies will be provided by the city free of charge. “Our goal is for neighbors to know their neighbors,” says Chaparro, “because that itself builds a civic infrastructure that helps create vibrant, safe and healthy neighborhoods.”

For more information on how to apply for a permit or set up an event, or to see a map of the more than 75 Denver Days get-togethers already planned around the city, visit denvergov.org.
Aug. 3-11, 2013

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Bree Davies is a multimedia journalist, artist advocate and community organizer born and raised in Denver. Rooted in the world of Do-It-Yourself arts and music, Davies co-founded Titwrench experimental music festival, is host of the local music and comedy show Sounds on 29th on CPT12 Colorado Public Television and is creator and host of the civic and social issue-focused podcast, Hello? Denver? Are You Still There? Her work is centered on a passionate advocacy for all ages, accessible, inclusive, non-commercial and autonomous DIY art spaces and music venues in Denver.
Contact: Bree Davies