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Mini Music Festival – Music Executive Panel Discussion

March 24 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Athena Project Festival Mini Music Festival - Panel Discussions

This panel features leaders in the artistic community talking about  their businesses, successes and challenges. This executive panel will examine the difficulties faced by female leaders in the music industry. It will consider various ways that women in positions of power throughout the industry may support one another, female artists, and the next generation of female leaders. Led by Courtney Cauthon, PhD, and participants include Ru Johnston (Roux Black), Koo Qua (Queenz of Hip-Hop), Sarah Rosenquist (Sweetwine Entertainment Group), Hanna Ackerman (Swallow Hill Music), and Asia One (Queenz of Hip-Hop).

Interpreting for the deaf and hard of hearing.

Click Here for the Executive Panel Discussion Digital Program

Hanna Ackerman, Swallow Hill Music

Hanna Ackerman is dedicated to working and living in an interdisciplinary world. Since she was 15 years old, through both school and community organizations, Hanna has been producing live concerts for people who otherwise did not have a place to go hear or perform music. The intersection between art, particularly music, and social progress is the focus of her professional life and the community she is currently investing energy in is Swallow Hill Music and Denver, Colorado.

In her current role at Swallow Hill, as the Associate Director of Concerts, she acts as talent buyer and event coordinator for every public and private event hosted or produced by Swallow Hill. In the course of doing that, she hires and manages employees and contract staff, interns and volunteers, and vets potential partners for community projects. She started at Swallow Hill as an intern and has grown into her current position over the last 7 years.

Before relocating to Denver in 2009 and finding Swallow Hill, Hanna graduated magna cum laude and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa from Gettysburg College. When she achieves ideal work/life balance, Hanna volunteers in the I/DD community, supports the Molly Brown House and Clyfford Still Museum, and takes too much delight in turning her phone off to spend time with her dog in the mountains.


Sarah Rosenquist, Sweetwine Entertainment Group

Sarah hails from Warren, Pennsylvania, a small rural farm town in the Northwestern corner of the state. She graduated from Western Michigan University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing and a Bachelor of Arts in Global and International Studies with a focus on the History of Western Europe.

Throughout her life, Sarah’s goal was to bring music to people. While living in Michigan, she was a brand ambassador for React Presents in Michigan and Illinois. This gave her insight into the business and made her love for the industry grow immensely.

After moving to Denver, CO she quickly accepted an intern position with SEG and since then has climbed the ladder and is now an Agent within the company.


Ru Johnson, Roux Black

Founder, and Lead Executive at Roux Black, Ru Johnson is a writer, creative consultant and avid nail polish enthusiast. Her work has appeared in various publications with a focus on hip-hop and entertainment. She currently writes for The Denver Post and focuses on creating publicity and exposure for independent artists.



Bianca Mikahn, Queenz of Hip-Hop

Bianca Mikahn rocks the highest energy stages and fortifies the deepest learning spaces. Drawing from years as a celebrated facilitator of therapeutic arts and mental wellness workshops, Mikahn knows what it takes to connect to any and all populations through the joys and tribulations of the human experience. With noted lyrical dexterity as a primary tool, this daughter of the Mile High demolishes perceived boundaries of the so called “femcee”. Both alone and as part of the ground-breaking tribute band “Lady Wu”, Mikahn has shared stages with the likes of MC Lyte, Jean Grae, Dead Prez, Mystic, Raekwon and Ghostface Killa, Bahamadia, and hometown heroes Flobots to name a few. Whether performing alone or with the various musician collectives in Denver, her stage presence and lyrical content that can mesmerize multigenerational audiences from any background, earning multiple nominations for “Best Female Emcee” in the Denver Westword. As the Lead facilitator of Check Your Head, a program offered through Mental Health America of Colorado which utilizes urban arts to encourage self-awareness and expression, Bianca has had plenty of experience recognizing and fulfilling the energetic desires of her audiences. Mikahn’s innovative approach to community outreach and articulation of internal experience has garnered her audiences at such prestigious venues as Regis College, University Of Wyoming, Denver University, Metropolitan State University, the Denver Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art as well as the legendary Fylkiengen in Stockholm Sweden among various others. As a presenter and facilitator with various homegrown non-profit groups, Bianca’s brought her unique yet relate-able style of community building to the student populations of Manual, West and Smokey Hill High Schools, Highline Academy as well as intensive groups at Excelsior Youth Center, the Family Crisis Center, and Mile High Youth Corps. Her solo projects “Left Fist Evolution”, “Nightdreams & Daymares” and “In Between Time” offer a sonic stage upon which one might absorb complexity of the spitter, dreamer, healer and ‘Artivist’ that is Bianca Mikahn.


Koo Qua, Queenz of Hip-Hop

Koo Qua is one of Denver’s finest and most respected MC’s. Her microphone presence is dynamic and her style exudes charisma. The winner of 2016’s South West Indy Artist Award for “Best Hip-hop Song” (“Caught Up”), Koo Qua has created a lane totally unique to her movement and message. Through hard work and dedication to the rhymes and culture of hip-hip, this MC has opened for Do or Die at Marquis Theatre in Denver, Chris Webby and more, creating a banner year out of 2016.



Hosted by:
Swallow Hill Music
71 E Yale Ave
Denver, CO 80210


This panel discussion is Free and open to the public


Warm thanks to our sponsors for this event


Bonfils Stanton - Proud Sponsor of the Athena Project Arts Festival Swallow Hill Music Denver - Proud Sponsor of the Athena Project Arts Festival Colorado Creative Industries - Proud Sponsor of the Athena Project Arts Festival



March 24
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
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Swallow Hill Music
71 E Yale Ave
Denver, CO 80210 United States
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Athena Project