We had the good fortune of connecting with David Thomas and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi David, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Immersive Denver was a response to a need to give voice and space to an emerging community. Denver is a very creative town. But it lacks some of the more mature supports for the arts that other cities have. That’s good and bad. It’s bad when it comes to resources. It’s great when it comes to creating new things. There’s not a lot of bias about how to create in Denver.

When we started Immersive Denver, it was a recognition that this new art and entertainment industry was standing up, and Denver had something to contribute. ID got to work providing events and communications that gave a wildly diverse set of creatives a place to meet and connect and find common cause.

I guess if you wanted to talk about success, it was partly being at the right place at the right time. But it was recognizing a need. Denver immersive needed a community and we were in a perfect place to convene that commnunity.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My area of academic study is fun. Yes, I am the professor of fun. I like telling that to people because it raises lots of good questions. Can you really define fun? Is fun important? How can I have more fun? When it comes to Immersive Denver, I see fun as the underlying principle that organizes immersive art and entertainment as something distinct, but related to the more traditional arts. The reason for this has to do with a longer explanation about how fun works as a parallel aesthetic form to beauty. So, while our notion of the traditional arts links back to notions of beauty, I think that immersive art and entertainment takes the tools of traditional art and invites creators and audiences to play with them. Why just watch a play when you can participate in it?

So, there’s a lot here. But I see fun as this important function in culture and I see immersive as a wonderfully fertile place where fun and play are at work.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well, up until recently, the answer would be easy: Casa Bonita! I guess we will have to wait and see how the new owners choose to re-open Denver’s most fun place:) Other spots that easily make the fun/immersive list: Meow Wolf’s Convergence Station, I’d also stop by the immersive exhibits at Spectra Art Space, whatever Hanzon Studios is doing as well as the work of Prismajic. I’d probably also swing by the plaque commemorating the birth of the cheeseburger. I mean, why not?

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Immersive Denver would not exist without my friend and co-founder, Jenny Filipetti. Jenny and I were both professors at CU Denver when a conversation about the arts lead us to partner with Meow Wolf in running the Denver Immersive Summit. Jenny’s passion for arts and connecting people is still in the DNA of this organization.

Website: immersivedenver.com

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