Grrrls Scrap Back is the newest community program in Fort Collins. Their mission is to create a space for femme, trans, non-binary, and gender queer creatives to explore their art and to support each other in their work.
The first Grrrls Scrap Back meeting took place on November 8th, at Art Lab in Old Town. The event was mostly focused on networking and making connections. In total, there were about twenty people in attendance, including volunteers.
Small snacks and drinks were provided, and there was plenty of space for conversations or work on ongoing projects. The first 30-45 minutes of the meeting were loose, giving attendees the chance to interact with each other on their own.
The second part of the meeting consisted of a more structured, ‘speed networking’ activity. Those in attendance were paired with a randomized partner, and given a prompt to talk about for three minutes. After those three minutes, partners would switch and be given new prompts. Prompts included questions about what each person’s medium was, what they were inspired by, and what direction they hope to take their art.
The need for a space where genderqueer and female creatives could showcase and work on their art was echoed by almost all attendees and volunteers. Though Fort Collins is home to many nonprofits such as Blast n Scrap and Beatz by Girlz, many creative spaces consist mostly of white men. Being the only women or genderqueer individual in such spaces can feel intimidating and in some cases unsafe. Grrrls Scrap Back is aiming to counteract that.
“I’m tired of going to events and being the only, or one of few, femme representing persons there,” said Eliza Milleri, who originally pitched Grrrls Scrap Back. “Especially when I know so many other female and queer creatives who do amazing work.”
Giving everyone opportunities and space to create is essential for communities. The creations of those who are in marginalized groups are often ignored, and art scenes always suffer for it. Bringing light to those who aren’t thought of as fitting the status quo is what keeps art alive and relevant.
The future of Grrrls Scrap Back is dependent on the input of volunteers and attendees. They are hoping to have bi weekly meetings, and showcase the art members create each month. A program such as this is sure to see many participants, and has the potential to change Fort Collins’ local art scene.
You can find more information about Grrrls Scrap Back via their Instagram page, @grrrlsscrapback
Eddy Merritt is a junior at Poudre High School. She is the head author of Cacophony blog, and this is her first year writing for Poudre Press. She is deeply involved in Fort Collins culture and is inspired by the work her peers do. You can check out her blog, Cacophony, here.