Let’s watch “Goodnight Brooklyn” and talk Denver DIY

12 min. read
Experimental musician Cecilia McKinnon, AKA Star Canyon, plays to a growing crowd under a plush set. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

At the roots of any healthy cultural ecosystem, there's DIY.

Denver's own scene has been around since long before the boom, long operating unbothered in the city's basements and otherwise unneeded warehouses, in some cases housing artists and in all cases acting as safe spaces for young people and incubators for artists who grow into bigger venues locally and nationally. In December 2016, when a fire at Oakland's Ghost Ship space killed 36 people, that changed. Cities across the country feared their own Ghost Ship fire, and in Denver, inspectors showed up just days later at the doors of venues Rhinoceropolis and Glob to shut down the venues and evict the artists living there.

Two years later, Rhino and Glob have the go-ahead to reopen, but the shape of Denver DIY is different.

But what exactly does it look like? On Feb. 5, we're going to sit down with RedLine Contemporary Art Center's Louise Martorano, Glob's John Golter and Denver Arts & Venues' Lisa Gedgaudas to talk about it. And before we do that, we'll watch a movie with our friends at GoodCinema. They're showing "Goodnight Brooklyn, The Story of Death By Audio," a film following the final days of the Brooklyn DIY venue after they learned they would be forced out to make way for new Vice Media offices.

It's all happening from 6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 5 at Alamo Drafthouse, 4255 W. Colfax Ave. General admission is $15 -- or you can get a ticket and become a Denverite member for $45.

Here, for a little optional homework, is a timeline of events:

Dec. 8, 2016: 

Denver Fire Department shuts down DIY arts space Rhinoceropolis

Dec. 9, 2016

Denver Fire describes hazards at Rhinoceropolis. How can Denver keep its DIY art spaces?

Dec. 12, 2016

What DIY spaces like Denver's Rhinoceropolis and Glob do that others don't -- and what their options are now

Dec. 14, 2016

Denver Fire knew in 2015: Records describe Rhinoceropolis as "an abandoned warehouse with people living in it"

Dec. 19, 2016

DIY venue Seventh Circle Music Collective targeted by white nationalist 4chan users

Dec. 20, 2016

Denver DIY space Juice Church gets inspected by the city, no one is displaced

Jan. 12, 2017

DIY space Seventh Circle Music Collective passes Denver Fire inspection

Jan. 19, 2017

Denver allots $20,000 for "safe creative spaces," artists ask for help and clear plan

Meow Wolf commits $20,000 to support Denver DIY spaces

March 9, 2017

Denver Arts & Venues is giving $20,000 to the Meow Wolf DIY & Alternative Creative Spaces Grant

June 19, 2017

Denver may be the first city in the nation to grant legal status to un-permitted DIY art spaces

July 17, 2017

Denver artists will get more time to bring their spaces into compliance, but what they really need is money

Aug. 7, 2017

Meow Wolf grants give lifelines to Denver art nonprofits and DIY spaces

Dec. 5, 2017

Denver announces $300,000 Safe Creative Spaces Fund

Jan. 8, 2018

One year since the Rhinoceropolis evictions, Denver DIY struggles as the city welcomes Meow Wolf

May 14, 2018

'No matter what, DIY is going to exist,' so Denver officials and artists are looking for creative solutions

Jan 10, 2019

DIY Is Back: City Allows Rhinoceropolis and Glob to Reopen (Westword)

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