Praxis Creative Arts Space is gone -- because of a lease dispute, or the Westword curse?

Praxis Creative Arts Space is not just off the grid -- it's gone altogether. A month after its founder, Joshua (no last names, please) was featured in "Free for All," Josiah Hesse's July 25 cover story on people living off the grid, the community group that Joshua had founded with a few friends near Denver's Art District on Santa Fe (no addresses, please), was evicted from its space. Hesse had interviewed Joshua in that space, where Joshua -- who has a master's in mathemathics from the University of Colorado -- had lived with a revolving cast of characters, operated a "free store" and occasionally hosted unauthorized events.

See also:
Best of Denver winner Unit E survives liquor bust

Some have suggested that Praxis's problems stem from the "Westword curse," which dooms DIY spaces after they've gotten attention from the media. But that curse is more urban legend than reality; most DIY spaces close because it's tough running community spaces long-term. Or even short-term.

The Praxis warehouse space.
The founders of Unit E, which won our Best New DIY Venue in the Best of Denver 2012, had always planned to disband after their lease expired, and did so late last year -- after winning a Best Rentlessless DIY Venue in the Best of Denver 2013. Other DIY spaces disbanded because of personal reasons or, like Blast-O-Mat, said they were closing but just kept going.

And the landlord of the warehouse at 1120 West 12th Avenue that housed Praxis, Joshua and company had already set the eviction in motion. "The tenant at that address is gone for reasons other than the Westword article," he says. "It was headed toward this."

The tenant was evicted on August 26, the same day this message was posted by "Schwa" on the Praxis Facebook page:

It's been a hellish month. Due to intensely hostile and viscous attacks from the asshole slumlord that owns our building, we were forced to close our doors today. It's a long story (one that will be told another day), but this man is one of the most deplorable and deceitful people that any of us have ever had to deal with. Seriously, the depths of this man's malice cannot be exaggerated. HOWEVER! The amazing support we have had from the community over the last few months has been amazing, beautiful, and inspiring. Thank you one and all! And this will certainly not destroy the spirit of Praxis! It may take a minute, but we will rise again, no doubt. Gogo Praxis 2.0! (And fuck slumlords.)
That was the last post on the site, except for a note that Leela's would host a benefit later that week, to "help Praxis with relocation costs and potential legal fees. And it's going to be rad!!!"

Read the original story, as well as many comments -- including one in which a neighbor outed the Praxis address -- here on And if you have other examples of the "Westword curse," post them below.

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Gee, a failed experiment in socialist living and "working"? I'm shocked.


Humm... this is a quote from the landlord "you know I really liked those kids, they really remind me of when I used to think, that I knew everything, so idealistic, so brave, so rebellious,so stupid  we never had a any trouble, I didn't care that nobody had a job around there and all seemed completely useless, they played some really shitty music, I just thought the trust fund would kick in at the end of the month, and I would have my rent paid, and not have to trade anything.  I did not care about the 'Freegan" take anything that is not tied down to the floor thief mentality- lifestyle, always hated how everybody asked me for a ride and bummed cigarettes off me  every time I would go over there and unplugg the toilet, we had a funny joke about it i would say toilet is backed up again , well then why dont you and all your friends quit being full of shit! LOL . I did not  care  that all their girlfriends smelled like patchouli and rotting salmon, it did not matter, hey I was young once!   I liked that kid Joshua, I thought it was funny how the first few months the rent was paid in all nickles and dimes, he told me he did not want it traced? but hey all good things come to an end and the real reason is this, one night i guess with the Food not Bombs buddies Praxis had , they made dinner and invited me over, I brought my wife, I mean those kids tried but I think i was turned off when the semi fresh fruit collided with rotting veggies lentil soup week old stale bread, I did find out about the tortilla dumpster yeah taco night once a week now,  for dessert we had a half a cheesecake that was about a month over its expiration date, we both got sick.  So you see it's not a Westword curse, I mean anybody can be affected by the mediocre word vomit, that spews out every week on the pages like handing out a free bible, eviction notice for 969 Broadway, Denver more like it.   the real reason was the fact that I just could not take the smell anymore, I could not take the lack of motivation,. I could not see myself supporting twenty-somethings take a dump on what me and my generation did in the 60's/  besides I thought they were good kids a little confused, I thought the best thing for them is to go back and live with their parents for a while 

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