MasterMind Awards honor our eighth class of artistic entrepreneurs

On Saturday night, Westword introduced the eighth class of MasterMinds -- artistic entrepreneurs who are changing the cultural landscape. Since we started the program, we have given more than $130,000 in grants to artists and arts organizations. The latest winners (click on the link for profiles): Minor Disturbance; Andrew Orvedahl; Dianne Denholm; Lance Stack/the Flat Response; Hinterland.

These are not lifetime achievement awards (although some honorees have been pursuing art for decades). Our goal is to help grassroots efforts grow by providing a little cash fertilizer....and many of them have put it to very good use. Buntport was a member of the 2005 class; today it's impossible to imagine this city's theater scene without that troupe. The Denver Zine Library was also part of that inaugural class, and after several moves, it's starting a new chapter at 27 Social Centre. Sadly, some of our MasterMinds have had to move out of town -- but we have high hopes that they will return. Are you listening, Lauri Lynnxe Murphy? And see you in March, Ashara.

Here's the entire roster of these most creative classes:

2012: Dianne Denholm/Tactile; Minor Disturbance; Lance Stack/The Flat Response; Hinterland; Andrew Orvedahl

2011: Slam Nuba, Sarah Slater, Tricia Hoke, Illiterate, Tiffiny Wine

2010: Fallene Wells; Jennie Dorris; Jolt; Eric Matelski; Laura Goldhamer

2009: Brian Freeland/LIDA Project; Viviane LeCourtois; Ravi Zupa; The Denver Voice; Vicky Nolan

2008: Creative Music Works/Andrew Starr; RINO/Jill Hadley Hooper and Tracy Weil; Jason Bosch/ArgusFest; Art From Ashes/Cathleen O'Neill; Mona Lucero

2007: Jessica Robblee; Jimmy Sellars; Tony Shawcross/Deproduction, Denver Open Media; Vox Feminista; The Fabric Lab/Josh and Tran Wills

2006: Dragon Daud, aka Dave Denney; Katie Taft; Deb Henriksen; Cafe Nuba/Ashara Ekundayo; Johnny Morehouse

2005: Lauri Lynnxe Murphy; Emerging Filmmakers Project @ Bug Theater; Brandi Shigley; Denver Zine Library; Buntport Theater

Last year, the MasterMind winners also chose their first group of MasterMinds MasterMinds: Marilyn Megenity, Rick Griffith, Ginger White, Chris Loffelmacher, Mondo Guerra and Dana Cain. We'll be inducting a second class of MasterMinds Masterminds this spring; stay tuned for details. In the meantime, congratulations to all involved -- and our thanks to Metropolitan State College of Denver, the presenting sponsor of the program two years running.

Want to know more about the MasterMinds? Or are you a former winner who's fallen off our e-mail list? Post your name and e-mail address below.

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