Denver’s Amazing Mobility Race

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Hosted by the Denver Streets Partnership, the Amazing Mobility Race got politicians to stop talking about transportation and actually go into the city and experience public transit.

..The Denver Mobility Race “was about instilling a sense of transportation urgency in people interested in leading the city.” Kevin Beaty, Denverite 

Beginning in the scantily served and sometimes inaccessible outskirts of Denver, candidates for City Council and Mayor raced to The Alliance Center  in Downtown Denver using any mode other than a car. Teams get points for social posts and number of modes used and speed.

 

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WalkDenver board member and Majestic Collaborations, Inc. VP Molly North volunteered as a scorekeeper along with Allison Conwell, consumer advocate at CoPirg. They were able to experience the thrills of the race from behind the scenes.

 

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When the first team comprised of candidates for City Council District 1 arrived at The Alliance Center, Molly was ready and waiting to hear how it went and gather their thoughts about navigating the city. Scott Durrah said “we should have free transit for kids until age 18.” David Sabados reported that “it would have been difficult in a wheelchair” and Sabrina D’Agosta noted various “issues with infrastructure and wayfinding.”

 

 

 

When Team 2 arrived, Molly was able to get their impressions as well. Candidate at-large Lynne Langdon “hadn’t traveled with a wheelchair and dog before, learned a lot.” Patrick Thibault, candidate for City Council District 8, regularly uses multi-modal [transportation], but noted the lack of connected bike lanes. After arriving at The Alliance Center, Chris Hinds, candidate for City Council District 10, said “people should have freedom to get from A to B safely”

 

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Kayln Rose Heffernan, who is leading Denver’s first disabled artist / activist campaign for Mayor, arrived with Team 3. She reported that the race was “just like every other day” for her. Penfield Tate III, also on the Mayoral Team 3 realized that “the sidewalks are in bad shape.” Additional teammate and candidate for City Council District 9 Jonathan P. Woodley reported being very comfortable with the transportation race, saying “I use these transportation options often,” but he also acknowledged that using alternative transportation options “could be uncomfortable for people who are not used to them.”

 

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Aaaand here are the results!

  • In 3rd place with 24 points: Chris Hinds, Patrick Thibault, and Lynne Langdon
  • In 2nd place with 31 points: Penfield Tate III, Kayln Rose Heffernan, and Jonathon P Woodley.
  • In 1st place with 41 points: David Sabados, Scott Durrah, and Sabrina D’Agosta

 

 

 

After the race was over, teams convened to discuss what they learned during the process of navigating the city without a car.

All-in-all, the Amazing Mobility Race was a fun way to get candidates to experience public transit, and to start important conversations about the issues facing Denver residents and the state of public transportation in Denver. It’s imperative that all citizens to be able to travel safely and effectively in their cities on a daily basis.

Regardless if they gain the privilege to represent Denver’s residents, we know these candidates will continue to be leaders in our community. And we are grateful that they took campaign time to learn more about the transportation system – a system that touches all of our daily lives. We look forward to seeing how they use these lessons learned!

Chicano Power 1969: Fire in the Streets & War of the Flowers

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Last month, Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center fed hearts, souls, and minds with an incredible show Chicano Power 1969: Fire in the Streets & War of the Flowers. Created and produced by Anthony J. Garcia and Daniel Valdez, this world premiere was Su Teatro’s highest grossing show in history.

Many who experienced Chicano Power 1969 say that this production is Denver’s Selma, and after seeing the show ourselves, we were struck by how very true that statement is.

Powerful stories were brought to life on stage through seamless collaboration among talented performers, musicians, behind the scenes technicians, producers, and event staff. Congratulations to everyone who came together to expose these heart-wrenching, but important historical events to our modern consciousness. 

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Synopsis from Su Teatro’s Website:

  • Fire in the Streets: 9th Avenue from Elati to Galapago was covered in smoke so thick you couldn’t see in front of you. On March 19,1969, the students at West High School walked out to protest racism and marginalization in the schools, they were met with tear gas, arrests and police batons.
  • War of the Flowers: On February 15, 1969, Lupe Briseño and four striking women chained themselves to the gates of the Kitayama Carnation plant in a non-violent protest. Immediately, Weld County sheriffs arrived. Deputy D.B. Ruiz flanked by two deputies turned on a tear gas machine and sprayed a snow-white layer of gas over the women who instantly fell to the ground; coughing and weeping. 50 years later, the War of the Flowers: “Lupe’s story” will be told.

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The history behind the events recreated in the production really struck a personal chord with Kowal, who was honored to write This is My West Side for Su Teatro’s Chicano Power 1969: Fire in the Streets & War of the Flowers.

During the his pre-writing research, he noted a clear similarity between this Civil Rights story and the Selma Bus Boycotts; both events are such strong and important pieces of history and should never be overlooked or forgotten. The clip below shows Kowal at his home studio, strumming through the creative process with a rough cut of This is My West Side

 

 

Kowal also wrote Meet Me At The Arches (lyrics and chords) 

and The Hammer Came Down (lyrics and chords) 

for Su Teatro’s record-breaking production Chicano Power 1969 (lyrics and chords) 

 

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Kowal’s soulful contribution for Su Teatro wasn’t his first song-writing rodeo. His music has been commissioned by several organizations, including New Belgium Brewing Co, and The Moth story hour. Additionally, Kowal performs regularly with his band, The Reals. Check out the links below for some of his past work.

If you’d like to collaborate with Kowal, send us an email!

Music Cities Convention Lafayette 2018

From Oct 11-12, Matthew Ché Kowal ventured to Lafayette LA for Music Cities Convention Lafayette.

At Music Cities Lafayette, Kowal noticed a high interest in the utility of emergency preparedness cross-training at festivals to help build resilience in cities.

Majestic Collaborations thinks that training for emergencies could go a long way in helping people respond with more finesse to emergency situations, while at the same time giving agency to city arts and culture institutions by allowing them to plan ahead instead of having authorities make top-down decisions in the event of an emergency.

Emergency preparedness cross-training could provide an answer to the question – How do we build resilience in cities facing climate-induced migration? Sharon Yazowski, the Director of the Levitt Foundation, delivered an excellent presentation about building programming themed towards inclusion and welcoming immigrants. She drew upon the great example that Dayton, OH is providing for the nation: Dayton was the first city in the US to earn the status of Certified Welcoming due to its inclusiveness and integration of immigrants.

In general, many at Music Cities Lafayette agreed that prescribed training would be very applicable to residents of the southern states; pre-planning for emergencies being naturally very important to people who live near the Gulf of Mexico. There was a consensus among convention delegates that we should be looking at long term, big picture goals of boosting the authority and agency of arts and culture institutions so that they can be prepared to make emergency decisions.

All of us at Majestic Collaborations can’t wait to see how this idea grows into practice as more and more artistic and cultural institutions are endowed with the training and knowledge to protect their artists and patrons.

 

Music Cities Lafayette

October 11-12, 2018

Majestic Collaborations will be heading to Lafayette this October for the Music Cities Convention, the largest and most extensive global gathering on the topic of Music Cities. This conference brings together leaders from governments, cities and regions, academics, organizations, and the music scene to discuss, debate, and introduce new thinking regarding best practices for improving urban planning, quality of life, city policy and development strategies through music. Majestic Collaborations will provide marketing, media relations and community liaising for this conference.

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Majestic Collaborations to work as Emergency Preparedness Consultant for Denver Arts & Venues

July 12, 2018 

Majestic Collaborations will be Emergency Preparedness Consultant for Performing Arts Readiness hosted by Denver Arts & Venues

We are very excited to share that Performing Arts Readiness has employed Majestic Collaborations in the role of Emergency Preparedness Consultant to develop emergency preparedness in Colorado’s creative and Performing Arts community. This position, also known as “Circuit Rider”, is hosted by Denver Arts & Venues. We will work to define the scope of the Emergency Preparedness Program, develop emergency preparedness plans, and build networks and partnerships with performance art entities in the Colorado Region.

Funding was was made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Melon Foundation, a foundation that provides advocacy and support for the humanities and the arts.

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Canadarado

November 9-11, 2017

Matthew Kowal and Majestic Collaborations collaborated with multiple different national and international organizations, musical groups, local vendors, and government officials to bring about Canadarado, a musical trade mission to inspire advocacy for Colorado’s music community. The mission supports the continued pursuance of creative and business opportunities across Canadian and Colorado musical industries and educational sectors. Majestic Collaborations believes that the application of international perspectives is always important understanding of the different forces at work to improve and expand any musical ecosystem.

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