The local Denver music scene never ceases to amaze, especially with the news that long-time musician Kyle James Hauser is partnering with rap sensation Kalyn Heffernan of Wheelchair Sports Camp on the next Detour project. Detour is a pilot program — primarily sponsored by The Music District — between Colorado creative industries allowing artists to connect with communities while touring. Wheelchair Sports Camp will be the first of what Hauser hopes will be many local artists helping with this program.
After a musician books a show or tour dates, they spend time (in some cases days) working with the communities they are visiting on social issues they may face or events that the community put together. The goal is to have a program in place that helps keep artist active and always connected to those around them through the universal language that is music. “Detour is pretty close to my heart because it’s in line with some of the struggles that I went through in my 20s,” said Hauser. Each Detour project is traditionally tailored to the artist’s social interests and Hauser gets to work on carving out the details and bringing the musician’s dreams to reality. Heffernan had many interests to choose from when working with Detour but decided to focus on the correctional facilities in the Colorado area. Both artists saw longevity in this particular project and look forward to the growth and participation of other local musicians getting involved.
Inmates in the handful of participating correctional facilities will have the option to sign up for the Detour workshop like any other program listed on their itineraries, so class sizes will vary depending upon participation. Workshops will last around two hours where the artist(s) will give a small performance to introduce themselves and then will break off into smaller groups. Instructors from Youth On Record will join the team and conduct classes that focus on the instructor’s special skill sets.
This music empowerment Detour project was originally scheduled to launch in July but was postponed due to legal matters surrounding Heffernan’s latest health care protest at Senator Cory Gardner’s office. Correctional facilities have policies in place prohibiting volunteers with pending legal charges from entering the building, putting a hold on the program until after her court hearing. All charges were eventually dropped against the rapper and now the program is back on track — they will be conducting the first of many workshops starting in November.
Although he feels a connection to all of his Detour projects, Hauser hopes that a project like this one can be the start of a powerful trend and movement. He’s optimistic that musicians will relate and want to get involved enough so Detour projects can spreading nationwide with multiple outreach programs going on simultaneously. Detour is also joining up with Little Kids Rock in Take Note Colorado, a new nonprofit organization providing statewide funding for music education and involvement for all student K-12.