In celebration of Black History…

It takes a certain kind of man to look at a street corner and have a vision for what should happen there. It takes another kind of man to do the work to bring that vision to pass. Norman Harris is that second kind of man. He’s been “working the vision” for decades.

Harris got an early start to his enterprising, entrepreneurial ways, working at age eight with his grandfather, Norman Harris, Sr. at family-owned Wise Liquors at 24th and Welton. Later, the Colorado State University grad began investing and building businesses. In 2012, Norman applied himself to rejuvenating the Juneteenth celebration in Denver’s storied Five Points neighborhood.

Once known as the “Harlem of the West,” the reinvigoration of Five Points has been his mission, with spectacular results. Norman worked with the annual springtime Five Points Jazz Festival, marked by huge crowds (in rain and in shine), community support, and participation.

Harris’s latest endeavor is Mile High Festivals, through which he manages “First Friday Jazz Hop,” a monthly circuit of events around venues in Five Points.

Denver Arts and Venues sponsors the Jazz Hop to provide opportunities for musicians and artists while highlighting businesses along the Welton Street corridor. It’s the kind of collaboration Norman Harris is known for. So if your phone rings and it’s Norman Harris working on a vision, join him! His track record shows he’s making a positive difference.

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