We had the good fortune of connecting with Staza Stone and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Staza, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
The arts are the beating heart of our society. They provide inspiration, solace, and a place to truly be oneself. Growing up I dabbled in several different art forms, each one coming at a time in my life when I really needed guidance. The arts helped to lay the pathway for me to walk. It was through music and drawing that I discovered who I was and the person I wanted to become. I was able to turn to the arts in times of grief and isolation. When I came upon the circus arts I felt as though a piece of myself had been found. To express emotions of all kinds through a different medium is truly a gift of this life. Whether that be through witnessing the creativity of others or exploring my own, the arts have always provided a safe space for me. I wanted to be able to give that feeling to others. One of the reasons we started Rainbow Militia is to give both performers and audiences alike that same experience. We want to bring forth safe places for expression, places to escape to, and places to feel hope. I believe whole-heartedly in the importance of the arts to maintain sanity and our humanity. My career comes from the want to not only spread the knowledge of this importance but to share the beauty of the arts with others.
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.
Four years ago I was approached by a group of women aerialists and asked if I would like to be a part of the community they were creating. I said yes, and the rest is history! If you would have told me a decade ago that I would be flying through the sky and eating fire for a living I would have laughed it off as only a dream. When I stumbled (truly, I am quite clumsy in my regular life) into the world of circus my brain burst open with the beautiful possibilities of “what could be”. Through extreme determination and persistence I have made it where I am today. I am not a natural athlete, I consider myself an artist above all else. I have had to work every single day to develop the skills needed to be successful in this field. The most fulfilling paths are never the easiest. One of the biggest lessons I have learned while overcoming the challenges in circus are to build a community you trust. Through the generosity and encouragement of others I have been able to get though the hard days, to grow into the performer I am today. Rainbow Militia carries this into the work that we do. We are constantly asking how we can get more people involved from all different corners of the art world. We might be a circus company on paper but our goal is to provide a creative outlet to musicians, visual artists, dancers, and all! We do this by creating fully immersive circus shows whenever possible. You never know what to expect when you walk through the doors and into the world of one of our projects. We are so excited to presenting one such experience entitled Celestial Chaos in partnership with the insanely imaginative creators at Prismajic this March right here, in Denver.
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?
Denver truly has my heart. When a friend from out of town comes to visit I barely know where to begin! There are so many amazing spots to eat, drink, and experience the arts. A main staple of any visit is a trip to the famous Clocktower (the Daniels and Fisher Tower) on 16th St Mall. For the past several months, Night Lights Denver has been projecting creative projects on the side of the building. I have gone to see each of their programs and am blown away every time. Next step would be actually going into the beautiful historical building and checking out a show at The Clocktower Cabaret. Some of the best performance artists in the country grace that stage and you are guaranteed to have an amazing experience. Speaking of historical, no trip to Denver would be complete without a visit to History Colorado Center to truly get a feel for the rich stories Colorado has to offer. If we wanted to take that even further, I would invite them to step back in time with me at Four Mile Historic Park. You are truly transported to another time and place while wondering the property. If my friend is more of the outdoors type then the Denver Zoo, the Botanical Gardens, and a picnic in Cheesman Park would all make the list. I would definitely be stopping by The Dairy Block for dinner and to enjoy the art installations in the alleyway by Handsome Little Devils. Who knows, we might even catch live music out there! Denver is lucky to be bursting with theater, so I would make sure to scan the schedule of DCPA to see what we could catch. Another area of the city we would be visiting would be RiNo. Whether it would be stopping into the striking Ramble Hotel for a drink, wondering the streets enjoying the murals by Crush Walls, roller skating at EXDO event center, checking out the art gallery in the Walnut Workshop, or going into Nocturne for some jazz and a nightcap, there are no shortage of things to do. I love when people visit during first Friday and I can take them through the Santa Fe Art District to experience the myriad of unique and exceptional galleries. A stop at Leon Gallery is also a must. Perhaps we could head over to the Berkeley neighborhood to see music with a twist at The Oriental Theater and stop into BookBar for browsing and beverages. Moral of this all is that Denver is bursting at the seams with creativity. There are always surprises around every corner and too many favorites to name. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My personal story and the story of Rainbow Militia would not be possible without the vibrant and beautiful circus community of Colorado. We are able to develop shows, provide opportunities to artists, and live as creatives because of the support of our local community. I have immense gratitude to every individual who has volunteered, donated monetarily, given us a shoutout, come to a show, spread the word, and offered words of encouragement. The community has truly elevated us so we can continue on our journey and we would be nothing without them.
Nicholas Caputo Martha Wirth Photography