OMF Announces Independent Voice Award Winners

Denver, CO, December 2, 2014 – Each year, the Open Media Foundation hosts an event celebrating independent voices in Denver. Of the hundreds of nonprofits and thousands of individuals served every year, OMF selects one individual and two organizations to honor, as well as one “Independent Voice of the Year” award.  The award winners will be recognized on-air during OMF’s Independent Voices Celebration on December 5th at 700 Kalamath St. Denver, CO 80204.

Pete Turner and Virgil Dickerson of Illegal Pete’s and the Greater Than Collective Music Label are co-recipients of the 2014 Independent Voice of the Year Award. Recognized for their roles in promoting positive social change through media. In addition to their work with the local Illegal Pete’s restaurants, the duo also runs the Greater Than Collective, a non-traditional label based in Denver, that Dickerson describes as “ label focused on helping local, independent voices find national and international fans.”  

According to Turner the label illustrates the idea that “the independent creative community is stronger when working collectively towards common goals; Greater Than Collective takes its name from our firm belief that “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”  We pair Illegal Pete’s resources, financial and otherwise, with other local creatives to broaden the independent vision and voice of Denver locally, nationally and internationally.”

“OMF is so proud to work with Pete and Virgil, and they are the ideal duo to share this, our third annual Independent Voices of the Year Award”, said Tony Shawcross, Executive Director of the Open Media Foundation. Past winners include Patty Calhoun of the Westword, and Dan Landes, founder of Watercourse Foods and City O City, among other endeavors.

The two nonprofit organizations to be honored are Book Trust and The Second Wind Fund, both of which have worked with the Open Media Foundation throughout 2014. 

Book Trust provides books for kids from low-income families—books that they choose themselves and that become their very own.  Since 2001, Book Trust has helped children choose and own 3.5 million books and Invested $8.7 million in books for children in need.

The Second Wind Fund offers treatment services to at-risk children and youth. Second Wind Fund has built an innovative program to match children and youth ages 19 and younger, who are at risk of suicide, with a licensed therapist in their local community.

The Independent Voices Celebration will take place starting at 7pm on December 5th, 2014. The event will include live music performances from Sorcha Richardson and Miss America by Wheary, comedy from Ben Kronberg, and a Silent Auction benefitting OMF’s work to make media and technology training and tools available to underprivileged communities. Those who cannot attend can watch the event stream online at or on Denver’s Public Access TV station, Denver Open Media: Comcast Channel 57.