Arts-focused project transforms vacant buildings into vibrant community space and jobs for artists and small business owners
DENVER (July 23, 2020)—As the pandemic shutters restaurants, music venues and art galleries across the state, community has become more essential than ever. At Wana Brands, community-building has always been central to the organization’s mission. When Wana Brands CEO Nancy Whiteman learned about the Art House Project that is bringing a vibrant interactive art experience to Denver’s diverse Tennyson neighborhood, she was immediately on board.
“In the face of the pandemic, the cannabis industry was designated as an essential service by the state of Colorado. However, we know that many people–including artists and small business owners–are hurting as a result of recent shutdowns,” Whiteman said. “By participating as a lead sponsor on the Art House Project, we’re providing jobs and support for local artists and creative entrepreneurs while also giving back and creating a fun, socially-distanced experience for the community. Supporting our community truly is an essential service in these challenging times.”
In partnership with local Denver real estate startup Reactiv, The Wana Art House Project transforms three vacant homes in Denver’s Tennyson district into an immersive arts destination. Local artist Lucia Visuals converts the Wana Beach House into a tropical oasis with projection mapping featuring breathtaking beach scenes from around the world. Alexandrea Pangburn, Founder, Babe Walls, led the efforts to transform the Wana Art House into a four-sided mural. Absorb compelling art installations while enjoying Wana Quick Fast Acting Gummies, the perfect Happy Hour accouterment.
“Black, Indigenous and people of color have been disproportionately impacted by systemic inequalities and the unjust War on Drugs. These same communities are now bearing the brunt of COVID-19. It was important for us to elevate these community members’ voices through Wana’s involvement with the Tennyson House Project,” Whiteman continued.
“The pandemic has challenged all of us to find new ways of connecting while remaining safe,” said Reactiv’s Activation Director Tim Sack. “Art provides common ground for community members to engage with one another and charts a path forward to a more equitable future.”
The Wana Art House Project infuses lively creative energy into three currently vacant homes slated for redevelopment. When the pandemic paused redevelopment plans, Reactiv saw an opportunity to build community. Reactiv partners with artists to transform buildings or spaces into temporary collaborative art experiences before redevelopment.
The Wana Art House Project is made up of three properties:
- Wana Beach House (4347 Tennyson) offers an immersive beach projection experience created by Lucia Visuals and showcasing beautiful beaches from all over the world along with meeting space for community members. The Wana Beach House will be open to the public Thursday, 7/30, through Sunday, 8/2, from 5pm to 8pm. After that, it is available for private events, which can be booked through Reactiv at this link. Public Picnic Tables featuring QR codes for neighborhood restaurants offer an open-air option for shoppers to dine.
- Wana Art House (4345 Tennyson) features an interactive magical circus experience by Rainbow Militia’s Gnome Away from Home, with social-distanced groups encouraged to explore the rooms. The Art House is transformed into a four-sided mural by Babe Walls The Wana Art House Project opens to the public on Thursday, July 30, and runs through Saturday, August 22. Tickets are required for Rainbow Militia’s Gnome Away from Home immersive performances are one hour long and run in 10-minute increments from 6:25pm to 10:00pm from Thursday, July 30, through Saturday, August 22. Tickets are required and can be purchased at http://gnome-alone.com/
- Wana Club House (4353 Tennyson) is an event space for socially distanced gatherings as well as a pop-up boutique with work for sale by artists and other local small businesses including Black Tiger Vintage, Wallis Jordan Design and Hemp Dog CBD. The Wana Club House is bookable for private events at this link. The pop-up boutiques will be open to the public Thursdays through Sundays, hours are variable.
“The Wana Art House Project posed a unique opportunity during uncertain times when redevelopment was paused due to the pandemic. With support from Wana Brands, we’ve transformed three vacant properties into a community destination, while providing jobs for more than 20 artists and retail space for small entrepreneurs,” Sack continued. “We’ve received a lot of positive feedback from the neighborhood as they’ve watched the project take shape.”
Safety is the exhibit’s No. 1 priority. All visitors are required to wear masks, and social distancing measures will be in place. Participants are required to wear a mask in all experiences until they are seated at their private table which will be properly distanced. Flow through the Art and Beach Houses is single directional. In the Art House experience, guests never touch a surface as all access is controlled by the actors. Beach House guests enter through the open front and leave through the open rear door, also never having to touch anything.
The Wana Art House Project opens to the public on Thursday, July 30, and runs through August 22. Tickets are required for Rainbow Militia’s Gnome Away from Home immersive event and are available at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gnome-away-from-home-tickets-111349170366
A VIP invitation-only preview event for media will be held on Thursday, July 30, from 4pm to 6pm. To RSVP or schedule an interview, please contact Shawna Seldon McGregor at 917-971-7852 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Reactiv is a commercial real estate sharing company based in Denver, Colorado. Reactiv strives to build a stronger sense of community through the online sharing of physical spaces. It gives property and business owners the chance to maximize returns on their assets, and renters access to flexible terms and available space to pursue their creative initiatives. To learn more about Reactiv, please visit www.reactiv.io.
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