"Our Neighbors, Ourselves" Fundraiser This Saturday with DeVotchKa and Flobots Helps Refugees

By: Claire Woodcock

This Saturday, September 24th, the Our Neighbors, Ourselves art gallery and fundraiser will be held at the new Stanley Marketplace in Denver. The gallery event will be accompanied by local music acts including Porlolo, Tom Hagerman of the Denver-based rock band DeVotchKa with members of the Colorado Symphony, and special appearances from members of the Flobots.

Hagerman, who will be performing with the Grande Orquesta Navarre, called the collaboration a “miniature swan orchestra”. Composed of bassist Sue Cahill, bandoneon player Hector Del Curto of the Colorado Symphony, and pianist Sara Parkinson, Hagerman said these members are some of the most accomplished musicians he’s played with.

“I know [music] and I’m struggling to keep up with them. They are pretty hardcore classical players and I’m from this rock band world,” said Hagerman, “I did that stuff at the beginning- I went to college for violin, but it’s just when you have not been sort of busting your chops and practicing for like 20 years, you’re just not in shape. But it’s fun for me to play with such great players.”  

Tom Hagerman.

Tom Hagerman.

Hagerman and friends will be performing several original pieces written by Cahill, as well as some classically arranged showpieces with tango elements that have been “stripped down to work with four people”.

In addition to music, the Stanley Marketplace gallery will debut a collection of original mixed media works, paintings, and photographs by over 35 artists, many of whom are Colorado-based.  Inspired by this year’s theme, “Finding Refuge”, proceeds from the event and artwork sold will go to support Project Worthmore.

Jamie Laurie.

Jamie Laurie.

I caught up with Jamie Laurie of the Flobots for this event, who’s actually on the board for Project Worthmore. The Denver nonprofit works with refugees providing hands-on support to local refugees from countries like Burma, Congo, Sudan and Somalia, helping them settle in the Denver/Aurora areas.

"With war and with climate change, and with all the things happening in the world, there's going to be more refugees and we're going to have to get better at being a community of people that might not all speak the same language or might not all be the same religion, but who all are living together,” said Laurie, “If you go where Project Worthmore is, you'll see this beautiful and incredible community, where on the same block there are folks from Burma, folks from Nepal, from the Congo, people from Iraq, [and they are] all just living in the same community. Maybe they can speak a little English to each other, maybe they can't. But that neighborhood has formed something really incredible.”

“Beautiful things happen when you have people all in the same place that are from different parts of the world,” Laurie added.

For more information about Project Worthmore tickets for Saturday’s event, check out the organization’s website. Hope to see you there!

-Claire

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists and events featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.