Creating Utopia

Collaboration takes center stage at the Athena Project Festival, where 200 up-and-coming female creators will get together to showcase their plays, music, visual art and other creative endeavors through a variety of workshops, performances and programs. A highlight of the ongoing fest is tonight’s Utopia/Dystopia Fashion Show, a futuristic look at apparel through the eyes of local designers.

Now in its second year, the theater-oriented festival takes its annual theme from a chosen playwright’s work; this year, it was a production of Government Issued Long Johns, by Erin Wagoner. A story about societal rules and pushing boundaries, it allowed the Athena Project’s creators to play with the question of destiny in a world of unknowns.

Salwa Owens of SNO couture, Geri Garcia of Green Rose Rags, Carletta Miles of C-Style Designs, Emily E. Geisler of Scandalous Couture and Caroline Smith of Janie G. Couture make up this year’s runway participants. “One designer came at it from the idea of utopia being prim, proper and put together, while dystopia might be the darker side,” says fest founder and executive director Angela Astle. “The line will showcase 1950s dress looks compared to super-sexy leather fashion as a contrast.”

The Athena Project Festival runs through March 30 at various venues in the Aurora Cultural Arts District. Utopia/Dystopia starts at 8 p.m. at the Aurora Fox Arts Center, 9900 East Colfax in Aurora; tickets are $25, and proceeds benefit the festival’s programming and workshops. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit
Wed., March 26, 8 p.m., 2014

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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