100 Colorado Creatives: Judy Anderson
#85: Judy Anderson
Judy Anderson, "Twins."
When Judy Anderson founded PlatteForum a decade ago, it was a good idea. Over the years, with the help of an enthusiastic team, it's morphed into a great idea -- a well-oiled machine that molds a rare product: Kids pumped up on creativity.
The basic idea behind the nonprofit -- pairing inner-city youth with resident artist-mentors for in-depth projects culminating in exhibitions -- isn't unique to PlatteForum, but few programs ever reach the same pinnacle: With help from her staff, Anderson has led PlatteForum and, specifically, its ArtLab program, all the way to Washington, D.C., where she accepted a $10,000 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award in 2011. One of only twelve such grants awarded across the nation, it was handed over by Michelle Obama herself.
But there's a lot more to Anderson than her most visible role as artistic director at PlatteForum. A fine artist in her own right and a longtime arts educator, she brings a fat resume and an artist's eye to all that she does, whether welcoming artists to PlatteForum, collaborating with others on her own multidisciplinary projects or showing work at Walker Fine Art.
PlatteForum's Judy Anderson.
Still, her unflagging love for her day job never wanes. She's just as excited about the arts project opening at PlatteForum tonight -- Reconstruction: Building New Music From Old Denver Records, a sampling workshop for sixteen youth interns (hear the final product from 5:30 to 8 p.m.; admission is free), as she was for the first residency ten years ago.
DJs Memetic and Pho lead an ArtLab youth workshop at PlatteForum.
And on Saturday, she'll be heading up the unGala, an offbeat tenth-anniversary celebration at the Infinite Monkey Theorem. Tickets, if still available, are $75 ($140 couple) for an evening of eating, drinking, pop-up performances and dancing to Conjunto Colores and PlatteForum residents, DJs Memetic and Pho; go online to reserve.
There's a lot to celebrate: In 2002, Judy Anderson had the vision to make it work. Ten years later, PlatteForum is here to stay.
We asked Anderson to take our 100CC questionnaire; her thoughts on the state of the arts in her world and all of Colorado follow. Read on.