Incredible projects are always brewing throughout the thriving BIPOC artist and business community across Colorado. Denver-based Colorful Colorado Collaborations (CCC) is putting in the work to showcase just that through unique collaborations and performances. They’re proving that when music sensations like Lolita are paired with local favorites like Lady Justice Brewing and Celestial Alegria, idyllic creativity flows effortlessly.
The concept is simple; connect BIPOC musicians with a business that compliments them, conduct an interview and performance and the rest is magic. Alicia “Bruce” Trujillo, the Executive Director and Host of CCC, expressed that the past year of trying and continued protest demands shared joy and inspiration.
“We wanted to focus on joy as an act of resistance. We wanted to create a space for people to come and get recharged and reignited and to feel joy and feel comfortable and find community,” said Trujillo.
In August of 2020, music media veteran Trujillo and community organizer and entrepreneur Celesté Martinez began with the idea to create a one-off virtual music festival that would offer a platform to small businesses and musicians during the pandemic. It has since evolved into so much more. Subsequently, digital marketing expert Demi Harvey, and spiritual healer Nicole Moore joined the CCC team. These additions complete the powerhouse that invites you to celebrate BIPOC joy in the community with open arms and the music business chops to back them.
“A lot of the work I do is highlighting different music in the city anyways so it’s fun to be able to pair things and see what people are working on,” Trujillo explains, “With each of our collaborations there’s been a new song or EP released. I also get to know the business owners intimately and I’m making stronger connections within the community which is something I think we really need right now — not only in Denver but throughout the country. So, this is a small way that we’re able to do that and get involved in what is already here and thriving in our community.”
Through the collaboration series, musicians and businesses exchange inspiration and create a product unique to the pairing. The latest season of collabs featured acts including Los Mochochetes in collaboration with Raices Brewing Company, The Reminders in collaboration with J’s Jamaican Flava and Nina de Freitas in collaboration with Alchemy Ritual Goods, just to name a few. From these collaborations, beers, fragrances, and food dishes were created and showcased as a result of the connections made. Many of which you can still try for yourself in-stores.
The most recent season, which came to a close June 2021, didn’t come together without the inevitable challenges that accompany running a nonprofit.
“Season Two has been met with a few more challenges — mainly funding. The basic tenant of what we do is everyone that we work with gets paid,” Trujillo acknowledged.
Past the expected challenges and two seasons of fruitful collaborations in the books, the team is hard at work making Season Three a reality. In order to see the project through, the CCC team has dedicated its efforts to outreach and fundraising. Their current goal is to raise $2500, being matched by Martinez’s business, Celestial Alegria.
With this in mind, Harvey encourages people who want more diversity and inclusion to simply work it into their everyday. She expressed that CCC is a great way to show up for your community.
“Following people in your community catapults you into the sphere of looking for more Black artists, looking for more people of color, looking for more queer creators and businesses. I feel like we’re the perfect landing point for that in Colorado,” said Harvey.
The women of CCC have big goals of expanding this platform across the country and even internationally. They’re on a mission to demonstrate that by virtue of the concept they’ve cultivated, a community can be built anywhere.
Moore said, “I always see CCC as a beacon of light. It isn’t about us, individually or collectively. We are just diverting light into different places. People can do that with their time, with their money, with their attention.”