Mission: Rocky Mountain Arts Association exists to build community through music.
Purpose: The Denver Gay Men's Chorus and the Denver Women's Chorus have joined together as an organization to make an artistic statement: the Choruses, as they sing, provide educational, cultural and social enrichment for our audiences and ourselves, and we identify as an organization of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and straight (GLBTQ+) people and supporters that is actively making a positive contribution to the entire community.
Rocky Mountain Arts Association was founded in 1982 by gay individuals seeking an outlet for creative expression in a safe, supportive and affirming environment. Throughout its thirty-seven year history, the Association has maintained a passionate commitment to the lives and wellbeing of LGBTQIA individuals and steadfast dedication to fostering understanding and acceptance among diverse communities in the greater Denver metropolitan area and throughout the Rocky Mountain region. The singers of RMAA choruses believe firmly in the transformative power of music to change and improve lives. At every concert appearance, we seek not only to entertain, but also to educate, inspire and empower audiences. We do so by selecting choral music which ignites the creative spirit of our singers and by producing highquality choral performances that appeal to diverse audiences regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression. RMAA singers view each concert performance as an opportunity to educate ourselves and our audiences about LGBTQ history and the challenges that remain as we continue to strive for equality and full inclusion in society. RMAA and its member choruses position themselves boldly at the intersection of art and activism; we are acutely aware of recent changes in our nation's political landscape, the rise of divisive rhetoric and growing efforts to rollback protections for all LGBTQIA citizens, especially for transgender members of our community. Rocky Mountain Arts Association and its two member choruses, The Denver Gay Men's Chorus (DGMC) and The Denver Women's Chorus (DWC), embrace our ongoing commitment to use music as a vehicle to inform and educate our fellow citizens in Denver and beyond, to provide safe spaces for creative expression, and to foster supportive environments for all members of our community.
The Denver Gay Men's Chorus: With more than 275 concerts during its 37-year history, this 120-member ensemble is now recognized as the premier gay performing arts organization in the Rocky Mountain region. From guest appearances with the Colorado Symphony at Boettcher Concert Hall, tributes to Freddie Mercury and Prince at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, and a featured performance with Alan Cumming on his Legal Immigrant tour at the historic Paramount Theatre, to a groundbreaking appearance beneath the stunning spires at the US Air Force Academy Chapel, a performance at the inauguration of Governor Jared Polis, and a recent debut solo concert in New York City, the DGMC has remained true to its mission of 'building community through music.' The ensemble's history of advocating for safe and supportive communities for all citizens is reflected in regional premieres of Andrew Lippa's I Am Harvey Milk; and the moving Street Requiem, an homage to citizens in Colorado Front Range communities who struggle with homelessness and housing insecurity. In 2018, the DGMC proudly launched its educational outreach to local high schools to promote diversity, support at-risk youth, and to combat bullying behavior in our schools.
The Denver Women's Chorus: Founded in 1984, this 130-member ensemble is a community chorus of women committed to 'building community through music'. The singers strive for excellence in their musical performances and in the communities in which they live. DWC members firmly believe that music should challenge listeners and inspire individual growth and dynamic engagement which enriches singers, audience members and the entire community. Though the origins of the chorus lie in the lesbian community, DWC is an inclusive ensemble that embraces its identity as a multigenerational chorus of LGBTQIA+ singers and straight allies. The DWC has performed with the Colorado Symphony and Aurora Symphony; collaborated with several well-known musical artists, entertainment figures and political leaders; appeared on the stage at Red Rocks Amphitheatre; and was the featured entertainment for the 2019 Womxn's March in Denver. In June 2019, the DWC joined with the DGMC and 600 singers from GALA Choruses across the United States to present the New York City premiere of Quiet No More: A Choral Celebration of Stonewall at Carnegie Hall as part of World Pride 2019.
The Denver Gay Men's Chorus and The Denver Women's Chorus completed their concert season on Saturday, October 12th, DGMC and DWC performed their final performance of Quiet No More - A Choral Celebration of Stonewall at the Arvada Center on its Main Stage. The combined choruses performed this commissioned piece a total of seven times in Golden, Broomfield, Denver, Fort Collins and Arvada to a total combined audience of 1,827. The total ticket revenue generated from the seven concerts was slightly under $45,000 and the choruses donated 150 tickets to high school and college students and teachers so that they could attend this important event. The tickets were purchased with funds donated by members of both choruses and performance patrons specifically for the purpose of exposing this important historical work to an audience that might not otherwise be able to attend.
In addition to the seven concerts mentioned above, that were exclusively performed by DWC and DGMC, members of both choruses flew to New York City and performed in Carnegie Hall for an audience of 2,804 with other gay and lesbian choruses from cities throughout the nation. Additionally, some members flew to Los Angeles, California and performed the piece in Walt Disney Hall with the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles for an audience of 2,265. The combined impact of all of this effort is truly commendable. -Christine Renee Monks
RMAA will continue to be a voice for love, acceptance, tolerance, and validation for those who most often do NOT have a voice, through its music and outreach.