DENVER – In the spirit of IMAGINE 2020, Denver’s Cultural Plan, Mayor Michael B. Hancock has challenged City Council members to infuse arts and culture into their council districts as part of the 3rd annual IMAGINE 2020 District Challenge.
“Thanks to the creativity that our City Council representatives show during the IMAGINE 2020’s District Challenge, Denver’s residents and visitors have yet another way to celebrate arts and culture during Denver Arts Week,” said Ginger White, executive director of Denver Arts & Venues. Many of the events and programming will take place during Denver Arts Week, which runs Nov. 1-9. “The IMAGINE 2020 District Challenge exemplifies how, through collective leadership, we can integrate arts, culture and creativity into everyday life and throughout Denver’s neighborhoods.”
Denver Arts & Venues is providing $2,020 to each council member to support artists or organizations in their districts in the creation or enhancement of community programming. Denver residents and visitors are encouraged to participate in IMAGINE 2020 District Challenge events happening during Denver Arts Week:
- District 1, Councilwoman Amanda Sandoval – Councilwoman Sandoval and City Council District 1 will join Servicios de La Raza, Grupo Tlaloc, Padres and Jóvenes Unidos, North High School, GRASP, Denver Chief of Police Pazen and chief event organizer Nita Gonzales to continue the tradition of Denver's oldest Día de los Muertos celebration at North High School (2960 Speer Blvd.) on Nov. 1, 6p.m. The celebration will begin with a procession from La Raza Park to North High School, followed by dinner at North High School starting at 7 p.m. This year will include a special community commemoration for the children who have passed while in detention centers at the border. The organizers encourage everyone to invite friends and family and ask attendees to bring a candle and carry photos of those relatives who have passed on.
- District 3, Councilwoman Jamie Torres and Councilwoman Robin Kniech (at-large) – In partnership with Su Teatro, Museo de las Americas, Colorado Ballet, CHAC, NEWSED Development Corporation, Santa Fe Business Improvement District and in coordination with Art District on Santa Fe, General Consul of Mexico, Councilwomen Torres and Kniech will infuse Día de los Muertos celebrations into the First Friday art walk on Santa Fe Drive on Nov. 1, 5:30 – 9:30 p.m. Activities will include mariachis, community altars, face painting, and sugar skulls. Colorado Ballet will have special performances throughout the evening. The event will end with a traditional procession on Santa Fe Drive from 2nd Avenue to 11th Avenue.
- District 4, Councilwoman Kendra Black – Councilman Black is commissioning master carver Faye Braaten, known as Chainsaw Mama, to carve an old Cottonwood stump at the south bridge in James A. Bible Park (6802 E. Yale Ave.) into a whimsical woodland scene. The live art creation will take place on Nov. 1 and 2, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. and is open to the public. There will be a community celebration on Nov. 1, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
- District 5, Councilwoman Amanda Sawyer – Councilwoman Sawyer and City Council District 5 will work with Local Art Gym member and muralist, Katerina Vuletich to transform a plain, concrete bus stop partition into a vibrant mural. Drawing inspiration from the unique signs that have lined Colfax over the years and the tree named streets in the surrounding community. This project was brought to Councilwoman Sawyer by concerned neighbors who live adjacent to the RTD Transit Stop at the Southwest Corner of Colfax Ave. & S. Monaco Pkwy. There will be a community celebration to unveil the new mural on Nov. 9, 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
- District 7, Councilman Jolon Clark – Councilman Jolon Clark and City Council District 7 will host the “Community Fairy Door Workshop & Scavenger Hunt,” at Decker Branch Library (1501 S. Logan St.) on Nov. 9, 1 – 3 p.m. With assistance from artist and District 7 resident, Michele Brown, community members will pick from a variety of crafts, colors and decorations to create their own customized fairy door to be installed at their home or business (with prior approval.)
- District 8, Councilman Chris Herndon – Councilman Herndon and City Council District 8 will bring CM Dance to the plaza in front of Dang Soft Serve Ice Cream (2211 Oneida St.) for a flash mob dance performance on Nov. 2, 4:45 – 5 p.m.
- District 9, Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca – Councilwoman CdeBaca and City Council District 9, in partnership with the Denver Arts and Culture Initiative and artists Adrienne Norris, Chelsea Lewinski, Bri Hill and Toluwanimi Obiwole, will create an interactive mural, “#EastsideForever,” on Nov. 8 & 9, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. 2855 Tremont Place. The project will serve as a heritage trail for the "Eastside" of Denver's District 9. Information and creative storytelling launched by the QR codes will pay homage to historical figures and legacy businesses within the area.
For more information on the IMAGINE 2020 District Challenge events, please visit the event calendar on ArtsandVenues.com.
Additional events happening during Denver Arts Week:
Denver Arts & Venues is offering four free Denver Public Art tours during Denver Arts Week:
Each tour is open to the public, but space is limited. Attendees are asked to RSVP for a spot on the tour.
Denver Arts & Venues is also presenting “Inside the Writer’s Studio with Julia Alvarez and Kali Fajardo-Anstine” in conjunction with Denver Public Library and Lighthouse Writers workshop. This on-stage conversation with acclaimed poet, novelist and essayist Julia Alvarez, author of “In the Time of the Butterflies,” and Kali Fajardo-Anstine, author of “Sabrina & Corina,” will take place at Newman Center for Performing Arts (2344 E. Iliff Ave.) Nov. 6, 7:30 p.m. Part of NEA Big Read, this literary event will give audience members insight into the authors’ artistic processes. Tickets are available at LighthouseWriters.org.
About Denver Arts & Venues
Denver Arts & Venues’ mission is to amplify Denver’s quality of life and economic vitality through premier public venues, arts and entertainment opportunities. Arts & Venues is the City and County of Denver agency responsible for operating some of the region’s most renowned facilities, including Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre, the Denver Performing Arts Complex, Colorado Convention Center, Denver Coliseum and McNichols Civic Center Building. Arts & Venues also oversees the Denver Public Art Program, Create Denver, SCFD Tier III granting process, Arts Education Fund and other entertainment and cultural events such as the Five Points Jazz Festival, Urban Arts Fund, P.S. You Are Here and implementation of IMAGINE 2020: Denver’s Cultural Plan. Denver Arts & Venues is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion in all our programs, initiatives and decision-making processes.
About IMAGINE 2020
In Spring 2013, Denver’s community gathered to provide a strategic vision and future platform for arts, culture and creativity in the City that became IMAGINE 2020 - Denver’s Cultural Plan. IMAGINE 2020 is Denver’s first cultural plan since 1989 and reflects the vision, goals and aspirations of everyone who contributed ideas through the planning process and will help guide resources, support and direction for the City’s arts and culture in all their many forms. It makes a call to action to city agencies, cultural institutions, businesses, civic leaders, neighborhood- and community- based organizations and residents to ensure arts and culture are at the heart of this great city.