Junction Box - 1075 Park Avenue West


Funding Received: 2013
Denver, CO
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
December 31, 2013

Wonderbound Company Artists Julie King and Damien Patterson in "The Nutcracker;" photo by Amanda Tipton

As Wonderbound moved into the later half of November, we began rehearsals for our production of The Nutcracker with Colorado Conservatory of Dance. With the holidays close at hand and the performance season nearly half over, it is a natural time for reflection on what we have achieved, and contemplation about what the future has in store.

Triangle Park Public Meeting - On November 19, Denver Parks and Recreation held a public meeting in the Community Studio of our neighbor and collaborator, RedLine. During the well-attended meeting, Denver Urban Gardens presented the new preliminary plans for the challenged plot of land that is adjacent to Junction Box as it is transformed into a garden with controlled access. This project has been a long time in the making and has grown out of ongoing conversations among the many dedicated stakeholders in the neighborhood.

Presentation to Consolidated Investment Group and the Merage Foundation - On the morning of November 20, Dawn Fay and I took four Wonderbound artists to the offices of Consolidated Investment Group and the Merage Foundation. As one of the Merage Foundation's grantees, they invited us to share our story of organizational transformation and creative placemaking during their all-staff meeting. We kicked off the meeting with a performance by the Wonderbound Hares and followed it with an overview of our organization and the work we have been doing at Junction Box.


Denver City Councilman Albus Brooks with his family and the artists of Wonderbound; photo by Evan Semon

Holiday Photo with City Councilman Albus Brooks and His Family - Wonderbound had the pleasure of hosting Denver's District 8 City Councilman Albus Brooks at Junction Box on November 23. The artists of Wonderbound joined Councilman Brooks and his beautiful family for a session to capture a unique photo for their annual holiday card.

Second Floor Demolition and Design at Junction Box - A whole new level of activity began at Junction Box this month. Urban Market Partners and Community Coordinating District No. 1 began demolition of the upstairs space that will become their offices in the near future.


Urban Market Partners and Community Coordinating District No. 1 team members finalizing plans for the second floor of Junction Box; photo by Garrett Ammon

Their team has been meeting regularly at Junction Box to finalize their design plans as they move rapidly toward construction. We are excited to see this next step for Junction Box unfolding and look forward to discovering what new possibilities it holds in store.


Image by Chen Man, front cover of Vision Magazine, 2004; courtesy of RedLine

RedLine's She Crossed the Line Launch Breakfast - The morning of December 3, was a special day for our neighbors at RedLine as they hosted a breakfast for a large contingent of Denver leaders. At the breakfast they launched their ambitious 2014 exhibition series "She Crossed the Line." The year long series will feature "five exhibitions of trailblazing women artists who have been instrumental in laying the foundations of contemporary art." The breakfast featured a talk by Dr. Hauwa Ibrahim, a Nigerian human rights lawyer and winner of the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize. This event was also RedLine's first public event under Executive Director Louise Martorano. Louise has been instrumental in RedLine's growth and we are thrilled to see her be promoted to lead RedLine into the future.

Ranchlands Art Show and Ranchlands Review Launch - On December 5, we were delighted to host the first event in the auxiliary space at Junction Box. This special event was produced by the wonderful and highly creative people of Ranchlands who's "goal is to preserve ecosystems and our ranching heritage."


The Ranchlands Art Show; photo by Isaac Cole

For two weeks they prepared the space with installation art, paintings and film to create a unique and memorable arts experience that helped launch their new digital magazine Ranchlands Review. The event was a resounding success with the auxiliary space packed wall-to-wall with guests.

Community Coordinating District No. 1 Founder Featured in The Denver Post - On December 12 (exactly one year after Wonderbound announced its new identity and plans to move to 1075 Park Ave. West), Community Coordinating District No. 1 Founder Amy Harmon (our fearless partner in the Junction Box endeavor) was featured on the front page of The Denver Post. This wonderful profile is so well deserved for an inspired and unique individual who is using her skills and passion to make a positive impact on the Denver community.

Read the article here: Denver Post -- Amy Harmon brings new life to Denver's distressed neighborhoods.


Wonderbound and Colorado Conservatory of Dance in studio rehearsal for "The Nutcracker;" photo by Jeri Johnson

The Nutcracker with Colorado Conservatory of Dance - Since August, the students at Colorado Conservatory of Dance have been hard at work learning and refining their parts for "The Nutcracker." From December 5-7, Wonderbound's artists joined the students at their studio to prepare for the fast approaching production together.

The following week we moved into the theatre for tech and dress rehearsals before opening the production on December 14. What a pleasure it has been to see these talented students dance their roles with an ever-growing level of skill and grace.

Recent Wins
New Businesses - There has been a lot of activity in our neighborhood this past month with new businesses popping up all around including Sugarmill, a dessert focused restaurant; Ste. Ellie at Colt & Gray, a bar; Happy Leaf Kombucha, a kombucha brewery; and Lower 48 Kitchen, a contemporary American restaurant. We can't wait to check these new spots out, and we wish them all great success!

Colorado Gives Day - December 10 was Community First Foundation and First Bank's annual Colorado Gives Day where Coloradan's are encouraged to "give where they live." This year's campaign was record breaking with more than $20 million contributed to 1,442 Colorado nonprofits (including Wonderbound, which was proud to see its record broken too!). Thank you to everyone who helped make the day a huge success!


The Artists of Wonderbound; photo by Amanda Tipton

As the new year fast approaches, I have been reflecting a great deal on the past year. Not to reminisce, but rather to gain perspective as Wonderbound builds its plans for the future.

We have a lot to be thankful for one year out from introducing the new vision for our dance company to the world. We could not have taken such a huge leap into the unknown without a great many people by our side. Their belief in us has fueled our determination and inspired us daily.

As we look forward, we are asking ourselves big questions about how Wonderbound can be of the greatest value in our community and the broader world. During this process, I find myself continually finding great meaning in this quote from Sheila Heti's 2012 novel, "How Should a Person Be?" published by Henry Holt & Company:

“Most people live their entire lives with their clothes on. And even if they wanted to, couldn't take them off. Then there are those who cannot put them on. They are the ones who live their lives not just as people but as examples of people. They are destined to expose every part of themselves, so the rest of us can know what it means to be human.”