True pioneers in Denver’s vibrant and renowned art scene, BirdSeed Collective has provided local artists not only with studio spaces that let their creative juices literally spill onto various surfaces, but also with a sense of camaraderie, fellowship, and a collective of bright, colorful minds whose artistic passions are reflected in their works. Established in 2009, their primary objective is to “transform the lives of artists, youth, individuals, and communities through visionary art, civic projects and programs.” A private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, they are dedicated to educating and enabling the disadvantaged and the under-resourced throughout Denver.
Spearheading these efforts is co-founder Anthony Garcia Sr., a fourth-generation Globevillian whose serape-style murals can be found throughout Denver and beyond. “We started out first as just this small group of artists doing art shows and progressed to a whole community of artists helping each other to do the things we are able to now, like helping to feed the community and providing various art programs. These opportunities we’re starting to get… we’ve grown, and we’ve evolved a lot in these past two years.” By planting these “seeds” he mentioned, many of these artists have grown and flourished, planting their own seeds, and have created names for themselves.
Over these past 12 years, BirdSeed has been involved in a multitude of projects around the Denver area including here in G.E.S., Jefferson Park, Chaffee Park/Regis, Commerce City, Villa Park, and with the Boulder Housing Partners. While providing all of us with the beauty that comes with these gorgeous murals throughout town, the Collective also offers a few programs, including the Globeville Healthy Food Distribution Education & Preservation Program, the Globeville Summer Lunch Distribution Program, and multiple activities for children which vary on a daily basis.
…the Collective also offers a few programs, including the Globeville Healthy Food Distribution Education & Preservation Program, the Globeville Summer Lunch Distribution Program, and multiple activities for children…
There are now ten artists that are renting space at Serape Studios on Marion Street, and BirdSeed has two other studios they utilize. Moving from the Berkeley neighborhood to the new RiNo Art Park next door (35th Avenue and Chestnut Place), the Alto Gallery is “a perfect fit in that artists from Globeville moved back to the area to open one of the few galleries in the actual art district.” Garcia finds it imperative to remain in close proximity to the district, not necessarily to partner or work with RiNo, but so that “we still have a finger on the pulse as far as what’s going on and with stuff that’s pushing over to our neighborhood… we want to continue to work hard and make sure our neighborhood is heard and is involved in any growth or infrastructure that occurs.”
The third space is the Globeville Rec Center, and although COVID-19 forced the center to close to the public for more than a year, they were cleared by Denver Parks & Recreation to resume regular programming to the Globeville community and have continued to flourish. “Even during COVID, we grew, and it really was because [of] the amount of work we continued to do when not many people were doing the same work we were doing.” In their possession for three years now, the expiring lease will most likely be renewed, and there are plenty of upcoming events to keep the venue alive and prospering.
Providing music and visual art programming as well as poetry and spoken word programming, the community center will be utilized daily. There will also be a summer concert season starting in May with one show every month that will feature an array of local ethnic bands. Furthermore, BirdSeed is gearing towards girls specifically. “Beats by Girls” is designed to provide a safe place in the center where these young women feel safe and comfortable enough to be able to express themselves without any judgment.
Looking towards the future, Garcia envisions the community center to also be a place where one can get communal information, to be able to talk to somebody about any issues. “We just wanna make sure that the neighborhood is aware. Fox Park, I-70, National Western, sometimes they’re not very easy to reach, but that space, the Globeville Community Center, we want that to be a space where people can come get informed, that if there’s any opportunities, or any type of threat, that they know that it’s coming. Gentrification is real, it’s inevitable, but if we have organizations such as ours that can find some kind of medium, or something that we could leverage… These people are moving in no matter what, and we deserve something for that if they’re creating all this traffic; people [are] losing their homes because they can’t afford to live
To get in-touch with BirdSeed Collective to learn more about their work and to find out how to donate and/or volunteer please contact Anthony Garcia Sr. at email@example.com or call 720.569.7463. You can also visit their website birdseedcollective.org.