Diverse Fort Collins Update: Week of Sept. 17, 2019

Hello, friends!

Diverse Fort Collins took a couple of field trips to Denver and Boulder last week to check out these great arts & culture offerings:

The 30th Annual Denver Art Museum (DAM) Friendship Powwow & American Indian Cultural Celebration featured dancers, drum groups, artist booths and more.

The Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD) funded DAM’s first Friendship Powwow in 1990. It’s a seven-county tax district renewed by voters multiple times over more than 30 years. One penny for every $10 in sales and use tax collected goes to the SCFD, which funds nearly 300 organizations across the front range urban corridor, distributing more than $60 million annually.

Denver’s art district was the site of the 10th annual CRUSH WALLS, Colorado’s largest independent graffiti and street art festival that celebrates art, urban beautification, creativity and culture. #CrushWalls @TheCrushWalls

Watch this one-minute CRUSH WALLS video featuring Colorado artist Gregg Deal for an overview.

The Sept. 5 panel discussion “Representation: If Walls Could Talk” at RedLine Contemporary Art Center brought artists from around the country and Ireland to discuss diversity in public art.

Crush Walls artists Casey Kawaguchi, Didi, Maes, UC Sepia, Gregg Deal, Marka27 and Subset participated in
the panel “Representation: If Walls Could Talk.”

Moderator JC Futrell, RedLine’s education director, highlighted the following quote at the start of the discussion:

“The mural arts movement rises in times of turmoil. This was indeed true in the sixties, when it became a form of street protest, particularly in African-American and Chicano neighborhoods. Mural art can save lives and renew hope.” – New England Journal of Public Policy.

A member of Dublin’s artist collective Subset (wearing red bandanna) talked about creating discourse with art.
Artists Sydney G. James and DINKC are pictured on the right.

Here’s a glimpse at the discussion:

  • Kids are inspired seeing artists who look like them. “Representation does matter. Girls come up to me; I give them a sticker and sketch book. It gives them hope and inspiration.” – UC Sepia
  • Maes, a fifth generation Coloradan, said gentrification on Denver’s east side, now known as the river north “RiNo” neighborhood, has forced out childhood friends who can no longer afford to live there.
  • Didi spoke about long-time Miami building owners bucking the gentrification trend by not raising the rent on tenants in Little Havana, where she has a studio. “The people are what make that neighborhood special.”
  • “It’s a very personal thing [art]. It represents yourself, your family, your culture.” – Casey Kawaguchi

On Sept. 7, Crush Walls artists painted murals all day and chatted with passersby during breaks.

Colorado State University graduate Lindee Zimmer, founder and director of the Fort Collins Mural Project, participated in Crush Walls with a painting on the wall of the new Odell Brewing in RiNo. Read the 303Magazine.com article and visit her at www.ZimmerLindee.com.

University of Colorado Boulder Art Museum is exhibiting “Its Honor Is Hereby Pledged” by Gina Adams, which brings together four installations exploring the complicated history and present-day relevance of treaties between the U.S. government and indigenous peoples, and promoting healing of inherited trauma.

Diverse Fort Collins Events

Join Diverse Fort Collins and Wolverine Farm for a book group discussion of The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea on Oct. 27 from 3 to 5 p.m. at Wolverine Farm Letterpress and Publick House, first floor. This event is FREE. Please plan to buy a beverage to thank Wolverine Farm for the gift of this space.

The book discussion is one week before Fort Collins Reads on Nov. 8 when the author will discuss his novel. Purchase tickets at local bookstores and libraries listed here.

Highlights From Our Social Media Posts

  • CSU Diversity Symposium, Oct. 14-18. Keynote speaker and sessions. Free.
  • Susan Skog’s new book Your Voice Matters: Stand Up, Speak Out captures today’s leading young voices on topics such as racism, bullying, LGBTQIA+ rights, immigration, etc. Join her at Old Town Library on Sept. 24 for this discussion. Free.
  • Elizabeth Acevedo is the first Latina and first person of color to win the Carnegie Medal for her young adult novel in verse, The Poet X.
  • HEYDAY pioneers local, size-inclusive fashion.

Until next time!

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