We had the good fortune of connecting with Bianca Mikahn and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Bianca, what’s the most difficult decision you’ve ever had to make?
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
What sets me apart is that I am so much like every single person on this Earth. And how I know the poetry of that. And how the poetry of that makes my breath catch in ways that people call ‘art’. I need art. Music fights food for precedence in my life. To walk down the street in a typical fashion sets my nerve endings painfully ablaze. I believe music, visual art and creative movement/dance are the most refined tools for conditioning society towards some semblance of greater good. This belief jumps out of my face often, I’m lucky people pay me for it as it would be happening regardless. I literally utilized art to increase my personal agency from even a young age. Knowing if I could rap well, I could be heard in my very masculine family better. Knowing that if I could host a crowd with authentic energy and a crafted humor, I could get them to learn things which otherwise might be too painful. Doing all of this to save my own life, as I was hit with anxiety as an adolescent and depression soon after in a time where black girls “didn’t do that”. Every step of this journey has been informed by my personal needs. When I needed to understand mental wellness, I attended and was trained in mental health workshops. When I needed to know more about access, I experienced and was trained in DEI frameworks. As I reach for deeper understanding about Embodied Healing modalities, I also seek the people/orgs/communities doing this work. My music, engineering and performance helps me gain access and orient my capabilities within a given space. Its my Doctorate, and the Doctorate of many educating artists who were too wrought with surviving harmful systems to traditionally maximize their skill sets.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
To get the best of my Denver, we’d have to look back just a bit as so many places have closed. One thankfully open place I’d take my folk to Welton ST Cafe and tell them a millions stories while we eat. Another place we’d have to hit is Meadowlark (recently closed due to COVID). We’d hit the day party GDNSS hosted by DJ Lowkey and dance ourselves so.damn.sweaty. Another night we’d jump over to whichever clubs the Squizzy team are rocking cause deep girls love twerking too (amazing for your root chakra!). We’d catch a GLASS show at 7th Circle or Rhinoceropolis. We’d spend time in 5Points, where the lion’s share of my programmatic work has been centered, especially recently with Creative Strategies for Change. Catch an open mic at Creative Strategies for Change or check out the new hotness at Alchemy Ritual Goods. Gotta chill at Gypsy House Cafe and meet the whole magic unicorn crew. Most of this time would be spent lamenting how the points used to be while bragging about the black owned brunch spot, Mimosas, being here despite so many odds. We’d have to hot spring it for a couple days cause I’m about that mineralized life. I’d use my friend as an excuse to finally use one of those scooters I have an adversity to but secretly wanna try. We’d spend a lot of time along South Federal grabbing elotes and pho. Then write an album about the week and sneak into Youth On Record when the youth aren’t there and make magic.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I dedicate my shoutout to my parents, brothers, (chosen) sisters, my daughter and the incorrigibly dynamic place that raised me, good ol 303.
Shout out to Lady Speech, Suzi Q Smith, Fatuma Emmad and the Frontline Farming crew. So much love to Afro Triangle and Wes Watkins and those who relentlessly celebrate me against so many odds. Deep appreciation to those who trust me with their paths to wellness, those who write and vibe and create with me and trust when I say it will help. Shout out to Jelie and the GirlILLA crew who got now and next and always. Shout out to the Black women and all Femmes running your favorite programs without proper reciprocation. I pray you all receive all of the flowers you deeply deserve.
1. TedX Boulder, 2018 2. Private performance at La Napoule artist residency, Fall 2019, Taken by William Chochran 3. Beach shoot at La Napoule Artist Residency, Mandelieu la Napoule, France. Taken by William Cochran 4. The O’s Safe Sound Series Presents: Wes Watkins, The Oriental Theater, Denver CO, 2020 June 26. Taken by George L. Blosser