Music Advocacy

“The Future Of Music Has Always Been Local”

An Advocate For Music At Every Turn

When it comes to local music and local music scenes, René will talk your head off. He holds a belief that the future of music is local. This belief was shaped, in part, by a 6-year stint living, working, and evolving as a songwriter in Washington, D.C. It was those formative years of music collectives, open mics, and showcases that showed the positive and lasting influence a tight-knit community of artists, and business owners could have on its city and citizens.

It might be a benefit show, a pop-up showcase, or collaboration between local businesses and musicians. The goal is always fostering the growth and health of your neighbors.

Art has the power to heal an individual and bring a community together. And it’s René’s lifelong mission to advocate for music and art in his every place he lays his head.

Saving A Local Theater

In 2018, a developer, Westside Partners, purchased the land on which the Loretto Heights College campus sat on. Amongst the historic buildings was The May Bonfils-Stanton Theater a mid-century venue that was begging to be saved. René has been a vocal advocate for saving this theater and has volunteered his time and experience as a music advocate to the cause of saving a theater that could transform his very own neighborhood as well as expand the arts footprint in SW Denver metro area.

René is currently working in conjunction with his fellow Harvey Park neighbors and their City Councilman, Kevin Flynn to convince the City of Denver to add the theater to their portfolio of venues alongside Red Rocks Amphitheater and The McNicols Building. Read more and lend your support here:

Denver Arts & Venues

In 2017, René was invited by Lisa Gedgaudas of Denver Arts & Venues to join the Music Advisory Panel responsible for evaluating grant applications for the Music Advancement Fund.

About The Fund
Launched in 2018, the Denver Music Advancement Fund has now provided $275,000 to support initiatives that advance the Denver Music Strategy and IMAGINE 2020, Denver’s cultural plan. The goal of this fund is to ensure that music continues to drive economic vibrancy, builds a more resilient, equitable and connected city, and creates positive social change through music-centered programs.

Listen Local First

Over coffee, René mentioned this to his friend, Chris Naoum, another local music advocate and an idea was born. Why not form a local music initiative that partnered with local establishments to feature local artist on a monthly playlist. And so, Listen Local First was born. For the next few years Listen Local First sought to highlight the vast array of local talent that lived in and around Washington D.C. To this day, Chris Naoum continues the Listen Local First mission by advocating for legislative and policy changes that improve the lives of musicians living in the Nation’s Capital.

More About Listen Local First
Listen Local First DC (LLF) is a local music initiative devoted to building awareness and creating opportunities for local musicians and venues in order to raise the profile of DC’s local music scene. LLF was born out of a collaborative effort with Think Local First DC and seeks to partner with local musicians, local arts organizations, local venues and locally owned businesses to create performance opportunities and new avenues for local music exploration. LLF’s mission is not genre specific. In order to promote the true cultural depth of DC’s music scene LLF would seek to equally represent all local genres, from folk to funk. Along with distributing a weekly local music stream to businesses across the DMV, and hosting a monthly local music showcase at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, LLF produced two of the DMV’s largest all local music festivals every spring.


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