Local artist Hayley Steiner is teaming up with Larimer Lounge to host the first River North Music & Arts Showcase this coming Sunday, November 25. The showcase aims to celebrate the diverse landscape of music and visual art that characterizes the RiNo district of Denver. Complete with food trucks, live performance art and plenty of local jams, this night promises to be one to remember. 303 Magazine spoke with Steiner to get the lowdown on her inspiration for the showcase and how it will stand out from the rest.
303 Magazine: How did this project get started?
Hayley Steiner: It’s kind of a marriage between two really big parts of my life. I was a go-go dancer for a long time and I did stage production and was part of the music scene [in Denver]. But I stopped doing that for a while and now I’m doing art. I just really love the community and felt like we needed a place where we could facilitate acceptance. I wanted to put together a show that I felt would be a local representation of Colorado and the art that we have.
I started pitching the idea and talking to some of my friends and started reconnecting with a lot of people that I haven’t talked to in years and everybody was so excited about it. It was really great to bring together so many awesome people. It’s just a bunch of really good coincidences that have all come together to help me bring it to fruition.
303: What made you want to put something like this together?
HS: I really want people to realize that they are contributing so much more than they know. I spent a big portion of my life believing that I had to be a certain person and that I had to fit a mold so that I would be considered a successful part of society. But I feel like that’s really changing now. Studies have shown that if you do any craft with your hands — if you do any type of art at all — it’ll make you use your brain better so you can contribute to society in a better way. I just wanted to bring those innovative ideas and I think that harboring that for creatives is so hard and that’s why I’m doing this.
303: Are any other business in the area participating?
HS: So we’re actually bringing in a bunch of other venues on Larimer that are excited about it. I’m sending American Bonded and Matchbox a musician and a live painter. They’re going to do some promotions and drink specials and stuff like that.
303: How many bands will be in attendance?
HS: There are five for Larimer Lounge and one artist at American Bonded and another artist at Matchbox and I’m planning on having a couple more on the street. So anywhere between seven to 10.
303: Can you tell us about some of the musicians that will be at the showcase?
HS: Floatgoat, Yarrow, Float Like a Buffalo and 21 Taras. I’ve been to almost all of [Float Like a Buffalo’s] shows. I’ve been a fan of theirs for a really long time and they are absolutely phenomenal. I had about 35 bands apply and then I chose based on creating a general vibe as well as their talent.
303: What type of music did you have in mind when you were choosing these bands?
HS: I really tried to pair the music with the style of art that’s going to be at the show. So that was a whole process — picking all of the artists. 21 Taras is very ’60s and ’70s influenced and there are a lot of paintings that are like that. And Floatgoat is electronic-funk and there are a lot of cohesive pieces [of art] like that as well.
303: How many visual artists will be at the showcase and how did you choose which ones to include?
HS: 35! I really got into Instagram and just went through hashtags. I spent hours and hours looking at Colorado artists and I reached out to quite a few. It’s been a little bit of both — people coming to me and me reaching out to people. And the art is unbelievable. These artists are absolutely amazing.
303: So will the live paintings be happening at the same time as the music?
HS: Yes! I’m making a pop-up gallery with my bare hands. It’s drywall and I’m zig-zagging it through Larimer. So that’ll be from four to eight and we’ll have the artists in the middle.
303: Denver has a lot of music and art festivals, how will this one stand out from the rest?
HS: The funny thing is, we have so many amazing things going on in RiNo but we haven’t really had anything quite like this even though RiNo is such a big art district. I’m really hoping that music lovers are able to see how cohesive art and music is together and I think that will really make [the festival] stand out. The music is also a little bit different. When you go to shows and festivals it’s all the same kind of stuff — but we’re bringing quite a spectrum of music and art. I really want it to be about the locals and about Colorado.
Click here for tickets to the River North Music & Arts Showcase ($10 online or $15 at the door) Happening Sunday, November 25. Keep up with the event through their Facebook and Instagram. This show is located at 2721 Larimer St. Doors open at 4 p.m. This show is 18+.