Brenton • Writer, Thinker, Creative Polymath
Brenton is here to use the power of words and performance to cultivate humanity. He’s a writer, performer, multidisciplinary creative, and a public speaker. Currently, in Colorado, he is a Playwright Fellow at the Denver Center Performing Arts and organizer for TEDxBoulder. He loves the page and stage, and tries to infuse as many moments as he can with improvisation, and believes that beauty can be found at the intersection of ideas and perspectives.
He is also the son of Congolese immigrants, a first-generation essayist and award-winning creative polymath who has traveled to over 60 nations. Brenton has always tried to blend narrative, philosophy and history to examine the struggle and beauty of the human experience and to ask: how do we build ethical societies?
Brenton has lived in Denver on and off, but he grew up here for much of his life. To him, Denver is a very welcoming, creative community, super welcoming, in fact. During our conversation we nerded out on interconnectedness and cultural perpetuity. We were also interrupted by a stranger on the street who then asked him to perform. He proceeded to spit a freestyle incorporating several prompts that he got from the passerby.
Brenton is talented, smart and passionate about building community here in Denver. When I asked him to describe Denver in one word he replied, “molting.” Here’s what it means to be him, here.
Who are you?
I’m a being who is just trying to seek truth. We’ve all been brought into a world that’s very confusing and full of many faulty ways that we interpret it. So I’m trying to find the truth of what is this essence that binds me to the world around me.
What does it mean to be you?
First, it means creating beauty. I have a transcendent drive to bring as much beauty as I can into the world and make others feel valid by creating moments of people and life being deeply seen. Second, it means being sensitive. I feel very deeply and constantly moved by the small wonders of the world. Last, it means curiosity. I’m endlessly curious about how things work and how people work and always want to smash atoms together as often as I can.
What does it mean to be you here?
It means pushing the bounds of creating meaning, connection, and asking human questions in ways that may not often be seen in my neighborhood, city, and collaborative groups. It means being vulnerable and being willing to go first – even if people don’t understand it at first. Maybe it’s just in my DNA, but I experiment a lot, and many of my experiments I think about for long periods of time. I don’t often act on my harebrained ideas. Sometimes, I’ll stew on an idea for years and finally will be like, “Alright, now it’s time to activate on it.” But when I propose said ideas, sometimes they’re interdisciplinary or they’re being executed with levels of intention that people aren’t used to. So sometimes people will not take me seriously in the beginning, or they don’t realize how much work I’m trying to put into it, and then afterward they’re like, “Oh, if I had known I would have gone way harder.”
What do you love most about living in Denver?
I love how community-oriented this city is. People are truly kind to each other, we gather in parks and community spaces to engage in meaningful experiences, and we’re always willing to try new things and welcome strangers.
How have your experiences in Denver shaped you?
In every way. It’s taught me about risk-taking. It’s taught me about community; about heartbreak; about mental health. Being here has encouraged me to go deeper into my own humanity than many other places I’ve been to.