Untitled Final Fridays picture of three members of the Black Actors Guild in performance wearing referee uniforms

Q&A with Black Actors Guild

Celebrate Black History Month at Untitled Final Friday at the Denver Art Museum. Our featured artists, the Black Actors Guild has a fun, creative evening planned exploring the exhibition Jordan Casteel:Returning the Gaze and the illustrious history of Five Points. Learn more about their views on creativity and community and get a few hints about the evening's program below:

1. What do you want visitors/viewers to know about your creative practice?

The Black Actors Guild is a theatre production and education company. Born in improv, we are motivated by the many unique ways stories can be told and the dynamic of relationships.

For this production we are excited to explore the relationship between audience and performer and how we all relate to space. In this case, space is the museum and the storied neighborhood of Five Points.

2. Why do you do what you do / what motivates you?

We've fallen in love with the hustle; the struggles and successes of creative enterprise. Paramount to our journey is the community of individuals we are lucky to call friends, colleagues, and mentors. We've been privileged to grow up with this city.

3. What is a museum?

A theatre by another name. Unique to this environment is the role we play (often quiet, contemplative - a respectful distance from the walls) as audience.

4. How would you define a Creative?

A capital C Creative? That is a difficult concept to define. For us, it is the vision and ability to take an artistic practice and develop enterprise around it. Ideally it also comes with a strong commitment to a larger network and Capital C Community of creative individuals and organizations for the purpose of sustainability.

5. What collections/exhibitions are you connecting to for this event, and how are they inspiring you?

Jordan Casteel: Returning the Gaze. We are excited to play with the audience's relationship with the artwork. Who is truly on stage? How do we passively and actively blur those lines?

6. What are some highlights of your Untitled event that you are most excited about?

Five Points has historically been one of Denver's biggest, most important and dramatic stages. We are honored and excited to showcase as much of that energy in four hours as possible.

7. What do you hope visitors will get out of your Untitled event at the Denver Art Museum?

An experience they would not expect to engage in at a museum.

8. What are your hopes for your Untitled?

To work hard with a community we love, embrace the challenges that will undoubtedly present themselves, and ultimately do justice to Ms. Casteel’s vision.

9. If you could collaborate with anyone (past or present), who would it be?

Jordan Peele and the Third Rail Collective inspired by Guernica.

10. What’s your favorite place in Denver?

  • The Washington Street bridge over the Platte near Brighton Blvd
  • 12:30 am on Saturday at the corner of 27th and Larimer
  • The Tivoli Building on a Tuesday afternoon in early autumn
  • Bluff Lake and the Sand Creek Trail near Stapleton
  • RiNo the day before it was called RiNo
  • Grandma's house in Park Hill
  • A window seat on the 15 Limited [RTD bus] on a rainy day
  • Any basketball court with new, un-frayed net.

11. Who are some of your favorite Colorado Creatives? What makes them interesting to you?

Akiala I of Absoulute Vibe. Her craft is fluid like healing waters and her hustle is boundless.

Bree Davies of [the podcast] Hello? Denver? Are You Still There? Her activism and journalism are in important pillar in a growing community with shifting foundations.

12. What’s up next for the Black Actors Guild?

Skeleton Crew at Curious Theatre Company: March 9 - April 13

Show Ya Teef Improv at Alamo Drafthouse: March 22

Illfoominati: March 23

Mosque at The People's Building in Aurora: in May

Photo at top: Black Sheep Fridays, Museum of Contemporary Art, Courtesy of Black Actors Guild.

Sarah Rockett is the artist programs coordinator in the department of learning and engagement at the Denver Art Museum.

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