Sam Pike knows how to tell a story. There's a good one behind The Forum, the series he founded that will have its fourth edition, "Of Rabbits and Hares," at 6:30 p.m. tonight. "I was visiting a friend out in the middle of Nowhere, Michigan, with a six-hour layover in Minneapolis," Pike remembers. So he started talking with his fellow travelers. "I love hearing people's stories -- it's kind of my natural thing to do to just sit down and hear where they're coming from."
He didn't stop listening when he got back to Denver, either. "Everywhere I would go in Denver and hear these stories, I would meet people who were doing their own thing -- creating art, a new initiative within the city," he says. "Those were the stories that really grabbed me." See also: - Ballet Nouveau Colorado makes the leap to Denver and Wonderbound - 100 Colorado Creatives: Garrett Ammon of Wonderbound - Dan Landes on the top five sci-fi films
And they could grab you, too, at tonight's free -- and free-wheeling -- installment of The Forum: Stories That Create. The storytellers will be Dan Landes, founder of WaterCourse Foods and City, O' City and author of Joonie and The Great Harbinger Stampede, and Garrett Ammon, director of Wonderbound, the dance company that grew out of Ballet Nouveau Colorado. Dancers from that troupe -- Julie King, Sarah Tallman and Corbin Kalinowski -- will perform behind the storytellers; MasterMind Laura Goldhamer is providing the music. Since Landes's book involves a rabbit and the dance company's logo is a hare, there's bound to be some interesting symbiosis.
But then, there always is at the Forum events. The first one, back in January, was held at the Denver Bicycle Cafe, but the event quickly outgrew that space. Pike then took the storytelling concept to two coworking spaces: Galvanize and Green Spaces. "That's when more art became involved," he says. "Live art, live music, live painting: combining everything allows people to enter into these stories."
For this fourth round, he looked close to his work at Denver B-cycle, and landed on Junction Box, the new home of Wonderbound, a community space on the edge of Curtis Park. "I love that spot," Pike says. And it was close enough that he could even borrow chairs from nearby RedLine, so the audience can enjoy this evening in comfort.
"Traditionally, it's been pretty ordered," Pike says. "I get up and introduce, there's some music, then three speakers and a Q&A. This one is a bit more organic, because the stories and the dance and the music are all one whole production. Those three forces will work together to create more of an experiential piece."
And the piece won't end with those forces. The work of three local artists -- paintings by Tom Varani, photography by Michelle Christiance and elaborate creations of Andrea Pliner -- will also be on display, and the community-building will continue through the evening, with a food trucks on-site, possibly some wine and beer...and lots of stories.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.