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A brief chat with Melissa Shipley from Raw: Current


On November 21, art organization Raw Denver will present Current, a one-night event featuring artists and photographers, music and fashion, and performance art, at City Hall. It’s an unusually diverse mix of artists from different creative areas, so we had a chat with organizer Melissa Shipley about what we can expect.O

Yellow Scene: How many years have you been doing this event for?

Melissa Shipley:Raw is an international arts organization and they’ve been around since 2009. Denver specifically, I picked it up last year so this will be our second full season.

YS: It’s a cool and unusual mix of art, fashion, music – how do you pick the artists and performers?

MS: What we look for is local artists that are really at that stage where they want more exposure, and the chance to network in front of a very diverse group. As far as submissions are concerned, I look at a lot of other markets and events that are going around town, or concerts that are happening. A lot of the time, the word of mouth about our show has gotten around so there are a lot of people that have heard about us and submitted online. I’d say each show has about 40 artists, and about half of those are for our art gallery and the other half is broken down between the stage performances, so music fashion and performance art.

YS: What do you think of the current state of art scene in Colorado?

MS: It’s picking up tremendously. I was born and raised in Colorado, so especially right now I’ve notice that music and fashion are blowing up. Colorado is actually now being recognized as a legitimate state for music and fashion, and that’s really exciting within itself.

YS: Do you have plans to expand the event?

MS: In Denver, Raw are always looking for the next city to take over. As far as Denver is concerned, I think as we continue to grow the event will naturally get larger. Raw are up for expanding to more cities across the US and beyond.

YS: What are the highlights?

MS: I’m really excited four really talented musicians in Leadville Cherokee – they’re amazing. We also have a fire dancer called Lumina, and an Aeralist called Lisa. She’ll be performing a couple of times as well. So I’m really excited for our stage acts. I think they’re going to be really incredible this time around, but also because it’s close to the holidays, for doing some holiday shopping we have some really cool accessory designers and artists that are coming out prepared.

Raw Current takes place at 7 p.m. on Friday, November 21 at City Hall; 1144 Broadway, Denver; View their website.


Brett Calwood
Brett Callwood is an English journalist, copy writer, editor and author, currently living and working in Los Angeles. He is the music editor with the LA Weekly. He was previously a reporter at the Longmont Times-Call and Daily Camera, the music editor at the Detroit Metro Times and editor-in-chief at Yellow Scene magazine. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brett_Callwood

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