Roseanna Frechette — poet, activist and friend of Denver’s bohemian underground - thinks it’s time for Denver to take proactive steps toward keeping its arts community in town. Concerned about the continuing gentrification and redevelopment that's put a stranglehold on our city’s creatives, who are desperate for affordable digs and studio space, Frechette is organizing the old-fashioned way: by inviting citizens to join Denver Artists for Rent Control, an activist group set to have its first meeting on Monday, May 23. Here’s her manifesto:
Denver Artists for Rent Control consists of concerned citizens of Denver's independent art culture that wish to communicate effectively with our state and city legislators to preserve a legacy of bohemian artistic beauty in our town. To this end we dedicate ourselves to whatever responsible positive action is deemed necessary and appropriate for the preservation of an artistic culture that preceded us, included us, and we hope will continue far beyond us.
The culture we represent is, and always has been, an important aspect of Denver's identity. This is a culture that continues to thrive in every vibrant, self-supported way possible while rent for everything, from living space to studios, galleries, performance venues and gathering places, is becoming so outrageously out of reach that we, as a culture, face the serious threat of extinction.
We are at a crossroads as a community culture that honors our significant predecessors by showing up to do the work of making relevant art while feeling the ground we stand on is suddenly, seriously unaffordable. This is, quite literally, our only major obstacle to maintaining the legacy we have been bequeathed. And so, here we stand. Taking action. For Denver. For our bohemian legacy. For Independent Art.
Frechette says the first meeting is just the beginning, and expects the cause to grow as people put their heads together to build a concrete agenda. But it takes bodies to get the job done, she notes: “When worried individual concern becomes confident community action, an entire energy field can change.” Get in on the ground floor of that change at 7 p.m. Monday, May 23, at Deer Pile.