In 2005, Westword introduced its first class of MasterMinds, five aesthetic adventurers working in a variety of mediums, but all changing the cultural landscape of Denver.
Those first awards came as quite a surprise -- both to the recipients and to us here at Westword. Why? We found that most of the winners used their cash prizes to help other people in the arts -- paying their way through classes, giving hands-on advice on how to start their own business. And when the time came to name our second class of MasterMinds, our first winners were just as generous with their advice for who should be honored. The result was another winning class: Cafe Nuba (which celebrates its tenth anniversary this month) in the Literary category; Katie Taft in Visual Arts; Deb Henriksen in Fashion/Design; Johnny Morehouse in Multimedia; and Dragon Daud of the now-stalled art bus in Performing Arts.
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.