While hosting a recent event, the staff of Denver's Gallery XZanthia was robbed of a digital camera, a laptop and $4,000.
"Since we're all young kids, it's really hard to get out of that hole," says 19-year-old Jordan Elizabeth.
But not impossible, at least when you think like a curator and promoter both of which describe Elizabeth.
"My solution," she says, "is always to throw a party."
Hence "Heaven and Hell," scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 31, at the gallery. The XZanthia fundraiser promises 10 bands and four DJs, plus a raffle and auctions of art and "beautiful people." Heaven will be upstairs, hell downstairs; costumes (like that Elizabeth wears above) are encouraged.
Elizabeth, who has lived in the Springs off and on since she was 15, says she was inspired to get into this line of work four years ago, when she saw a free concert put on by Adam Leech in Acacia Park. As someone whose mom kept her out of clubs, she was amazed that Leech could dream of making an honest living by organizing shows especially in a buttoned-up city like Colorado Springs.
When Elizabeth went to college in Trinidad, she set up an internship at First Street Gallery, and also got into promoting local bands. By the time she met XZanthia, the 26-year-old gallery owner, this summer, she was ready to make art and music a full-time career.
So today, as Leech's music and clothing business, The Leechpit, prepares to celebrate its third anniversary, Elizabeth is organizing 20-plus events each month for an ambitious gallery-slash-venue just up Interstate 25. She says it's "her calling."
"It's OK to celebrate life," she says. "The "Heaven and Hell' situation is symbolic of the ups and downs, the dualism, of reality."
"Heaven and Hell" benefit for Gallery XZanthia
820 W. Eighth Ave., Denver
Thursday, Aug. 31, 8 p.m.
Tickets: $10; call 303/863-0063 for more information.