Denver Public Library to Host Shows for the Homeless

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The homeless folk who gather at the doors of the Denver Public Library at 14th and Broadway will have something besides books and air conditioning to look forward to on the morning of Tuesday, September 8. That's the date that the DPL plans to roll out what it's calling "Sunrise Concerts," a pilot program that, if all goes well, will invite Denver bands to play shows outside the library doors just before everyone files in for free internet.

"The show will take place in front of the main doors on Broadway," says librarian Simone Groene-Nieto. "It's not all homeless people, but there's a significant crowd that's always just standing there staring at the doors, waiting for them to open. Homeless services are often based on need; this is kind of a different approach. We're hoping to bring them some joy, a little pleasure for people who have it hard."

Accepting that mission is relative newcomer Piper Cub, the latest project of Denver fashion fixture Brandi Shigley (who happens to be one of our 100 Colorado Creatives and one of the first Westword MasterMinds), a presence so irrepressible that she wrote in a journal when she was thirteen years old that she wanted to be a fashion designer and a rock starand then she did it. If anyone can perk up a crappy morning, it's probably Brandi Shigley. "I'm secretly hoping she'll roller-skate," says Groene-Nieto, "but no promises."

Piper Cub's inaugural set happens Tuesday, September 8, from 9 to 10 a.m.; whatever happens, it will be the last one this year. "It's a one-time deal for now," Groene-Nieto says, adding that the plan is to build it into something a lot like the concert series the DPL has done under the Fresh City Life banner, except in the morning, and outside. But it won't really get going until summer 2016, she says, because "it needs to be warm."

Why do it? "We're really building a name for ourselves in terms of services to people experiencing homelessness," Groene-Nieto says. "This is a symbol of our commitment."

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