Image of "La Veleta" by Jaime Molina | Denver Public Art Collection
 

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DENVER COMMISSION ON CULTURAL AFFAIRS

The Denver Commission on Cultural Affairs (DCCA) was established in 1991 to support the Mayor and act as an advisory board for Denver Arts & Venues. The DCCA is comprised of dynamic and accomplished Denver leaders who are appointed by the Mayor and approved by City Council. The DCCA and DAV staff meet on the first Tuesday of each month at various cultural organizations across the city.


February 2024 Meeting 
Tuesday, February 6, 4 p.m.- 6 p.m.
Emmanuel Art Gallery, 1205 10th St. Plaza, Denver CO 80204

 

DCCA Portal

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ROLE OF THE COMMISSION

The DCCA is committed to the mission and goals of the agency and representing all residents of Denver. The Mayor appoints commissioners for three-year terms and they can serve up to two consecutive terms.

They serve in four major roles for Denver Arts & Venues:

To oversee the 1% for Public Art program
To serve as trustees of Denver’s cultural plan
To advise on arts and cultural issues
To act as ambassadors to the community

Interested in Becoming a Commissioner?

We are often looking for new leaders to join as members term out. We believe that the DCCA should reflect the racial, ethnic, social, demographic and geographic diversity and composition of the city. And so, we encourage applicants from all city council districts, and applicants from historically marginalized and underrepresented communities. Open positions will be communicated on this webpage, through our social channels and newsletter, and on denvergov.org.

Commissioners have experience in:

  • Board Development and Leadership
  • Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
  • Marketing and Communications
  • Community Engagements across the city
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Philanthropy
  • Real Estate and Built Environment
  • Strategic Planning and Implementation
  • Artists, Arts Administrators, Cultural Workers, Creative Entrepreneurs, etc.

2023-2024 Commission

DAN MANZANARES

Co-Chair

Creative Entrepreneur
Dan is an award-winning literary arts advocate who holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Western Colorado University. He's a founding board member of the nonprofit Sidewalk Poets, and co-founder of Story Quest, a creative business teaching aspiring authors how to use the power of storytelling to unlock their imagination.

ALFREDO REYES

Co-Chair

Latino Cultural Arts Center
Alfredo was born and raised in Denver to Mexican immigrants, Juventino and Aurora. He is a proud graduate of Denver South High, Colorado College, CU Boulder and UC Santa Cruz, where he spent three years of doctoral studies. Alfredo is currently the Executive Director of the Latino Cultural Arts Center (LCAC), a project he dedicated his first Master’s to conceptualizing. His expertise includes education research, college access, youth development, fundraising and coalition-building, among others. Alfredo enjoys reading, bike riding, rowing, and dabbling in painting with his family and friends. 

AISHA AHMAD-POST

Newman Center for the Performing Arts
Aisha is the Executive Director of the Robert and Judi Newman Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Denver. Previously, she was the inaugural Director of the Ent Center for the Arts at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs and Producer of Public Programs for The New York Public Library. Prior to her transition to the nonprofit sector, she held positions at Columbia Artists Management and Barrett Vantage Artists.

ALEXIS MOORE, AICP

Urban Planner
Alexis is an urban planner who is passionate about the intersection of arts and planning. Alexis is active in planning and implementation efforts for the 40 West Arts District and ArtLine project in Lakewood, CO and serves on the Board of Director’s for 40 West Arts.

ALICIA "BRUCE" TRUJILLO

Manos Sagrados
Alicia "Bruce" Trujillo is a music professional from Denver, CO. Known professionally as Bruce, she has been working in music and arts organizations since 2006, with a mission to collaborate with communities who are systematically excluded, and a focus on independent and locally made music and art. She's the founder of Manos Sagrados, supporting BIPOC, femme, 2SLGBTQ+, and disabled artists.

BENJAMIN CHAVEZ

Latino Coalition for Community Leadership
Ben Chavez is a fourth-generation Denverite and longtime community activist. Born in the Westside and raised in the Northside of Denver, Ben focuses his work at the intersection of music, art, and community engagement. He curates art shows, emcees hip-hop events, and works to create and deepen connections within Denver’s black and brown communities. He has worked with justice-involved youth, providing direct case management as they navigate the criminal justice system, and also has worked in local government as a Denver City Council Aide. He works with the Latino Coalition for Community Leadership as a Program Manager on youth violence interruption grants. 

DAMON MCLEESE

Access Gallery
Leader in Accessible Arts

Damon is working at the intersection of art, ability and creativity. He is a speaker, trainer, activist, consultant, coach, mentor and community artist.

ELIZABETH MACY

MSU Denver
Liz is an Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology at Metropolitan State University of Denver and Faculty Fellow in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. In her role at MSU Denver, she developed and oversees a Visiting Artist Series on Music, Race, and Social Justice highlighting the work of BIPOC musicians, performers, and scholars (https://www.msudenver.edu/music/events/music-race-social-justice/). Liz teaches courses on music and culture, global popular musics, and Black music in the United States, performs with Denver community ensemble Gamelan Tunas Mekar, and loves time on the trails with her dog, Fritza. 

HEATHER NIELSEN

Denver Art Museum
Heather is Chief Learning and Engagement Officer at the Denver Art Museum where she champions the importance of art, creativity, access and learning both on campus at the Museum and in community with partners and collaborators. 

JADA SUZANNE DIXON

Curious Theatre Company
Jada is an award-winning actor and director, currently serving as the Artistic Director at Curious Theatre Company, where the mission is to engage the community in important contemporary issues through provocative modern theatre. She believes the best art is created through respect, collaboration, a strong desire to play, and an unwavering spirit of curiosity. Named Colorado's “2022 Theatre Person of the Year,” Dixon has performed and/or directed at various local theatre companies. 

JOSHUA MARGOLIN

2U Inc.
Josh is an educational coach and academic advisor with 2U, Inc. He supports graduate students earning degrees in licensed clinical psychology and acts as a liaison with the company’s Diversity & Inclusion Steering Committee (DISC). Josh is also a Restorative Justice facilitator with The Conflict Center. Aside from volunteering, he enjoys reading, podcasts, writing and reciting slam poetry, riding his bicycle, rollerblading (inline), indoor bouldering, video games, Jiu-Jitsu, improv, and ancient mythology. 

KEVIN SMITH

Denver Film
Kevin is the CEO of Denver Film. He is passionate about film and its ability to transform perspectives and spark constructive dialogue. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Colorado Dragon Boat. 

LISA KENNEDY

Arts Journalism, Film & Theatre
Longtime journalist, Lisa writes on popular culture, race and gender among other topics. The former Denver Post film and theater critic returned to Denver from New York City by way of Phoenix in 2003. Before returning, she held high-level editor posts at Out, Us and the Village Voice. A member of the National Society of Film Critics and the African American Film Critics Association, she has been a juror for the American Film Institute’s Top Movies, Film Independent’s Spirit Awards and the Gotham Awards. She has also been a juror for the Pulitzer Prize in criticism. She has taught adult enrichment courses in criticism at the University of Denver and teaches writing at Lighthouse Writers Workshop

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MARISA HOLLINGSWORTH

Presenting Denver
Marisa is the Executive and Artistic Director of Presenting Denver. She has previously been a part of the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble and the Hannah Kahn Dance company. She has served as a board member for the Children's Museum of Denver and is currently an advisor for the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) for dance. Marisa is a Detroit native and a wife and a mother of two. 

MIKE MCCLUNG

Michael Warren Contemporary
Mike co-owns Michael Warren Contemporary and has produced over 100 exhibits. As an artist and a writer, he is active the city’s art community. Mike currently serves as president of the Denver Art Dealers Association.

PAOLA CORREA-NAVA

Cultural Arts Specialist
Boys & Girls Club of Metro Denver

Paola is a Mexican dreamer and cultural art specialist. She aspires to be an art ambassador who embraces all art and makes it more accessible to everyone. Its her first year as a commissioner and she's very thankful to be apart of DCCA.

RACHEL GARCIA

Mexican Cultural Center
Rachel Garcia has deep roots and connections in her hometown of Denver. She has a great dedication to the arts and creative communities in Denver. Rachel has gained a sense of belonging within the arts and creative communities and they have endowed upon her the beauty of cultural traditions she is proud to pass along to her daughter, Annalisia. Rachel graduated from the University of Colorado at Denver and has a Certificate in Executive Leadership with an emphasis on the issues and challenges affecting the Latinx Community/Population and a Certificate in Inclusive Leadership/Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility.

Rachel is the Executive Director of the Mexican Cultural Center as well as a founding member and CEO of Colectiva, a collective of creatives that curate culturally inspired experiences that elevate and promote Latino Creatives via culture, art and cuisine. In service to her community, Rachel currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of ArtistiCO, is a member of several municipal LatinX Advisory Councils, is a Covid-19 Vaccine Ambassador and a Mental Health Anti-Stigma Ambassador in partnership with the Metro Denver Partnership for Health focusing on the Latinx community. She is also a member of the Scientific and Cultural District Community Acts Fund Advisory Council.

RICK ACOSTA

Philanthropy
After a career in communications and cable programming creation and distribution, Rick turned his attention to our community’s arts and culture life force.  He’s lead several nonprofit organizations as an executive and board member. He pledges to support the Commission and its valuable work.

SARAH HOGAN

Barefoot Public Relations
Sarah is Barefoot PR’s resident word nerd and co-founder. Sarah has channeled her lifelong passion for storytelling into a career in PR and community investment. She leads Barefoot PR’s Research-Based Messaging work and contributes to the strategy we build for nonprofits, government agencies and community-minded businesses. When she is not at work, you can find Sarah reading long articles on her iPad, listening to podcasts, championing Denver’s creative community or building Legos with her son Andrew. 

SUCH CHARLES

Such Charles
Music is a universal language, and for SUCH (pronounced ‘such’), it is the language of her soul. Growing up the daughter of Haitian immigrants, her life was centered around faith and family. Singing in her father’s church planted the seeds for a music career that is on the rise and touching the world. Following an appearance on American Idol, which took her to Hollywood, Such wrote and recorded ‘Trial and Error’, spawning a hit single, ‘Sugar Maple.’ Her music found a solid following in the UK, where she spent several consecutive weeks atop the Soul charts, and in Africa where she won the All Africa Music Award, continental Africa’s equivalent of a Grammy. Such also discovered a passion for acting and played Celie, the lead character in the stage adaption of The Color Purple, earning Broadway World Best Actress and Best Acting Debut Awards. Her latest single ‘Before Dark‘, a top 40 Urban Adult Contemporary hit oozes with the growing self-confidence of a woman who knows what she wants, and how and when she wants it. “I’ve been on this road to discovering who I am as a Black woman and someone who is a little more comfortable in her skin.” Such shares this journey with her new album, ‘WIDE NOSE, FULL LIPS. Inspired by challenges such as police brutality and a desire to flip the mainstream standards of beauty, WIDE NOSE, FULL LIPS is an unapologetic love letter to blackness. Such is currently touring and looks forward to creating unforgettable bonds and memories with music lovers everywhere.

TRAN NGUYEN-WILLS

As the daughter of working class refugees from Vietnam, a homeless teen, to teen parents, to struggling young parents to a small business owner who paved their own way. I understand the importance and power of community which has led me to where I am today. My lived experiences have given me a unique perspective as I’ve championed diversity and engagement in community building, creating safe spaces and fighting for a more equitable world for all! 

Over the past 20+ years I’ve worked at, managed, and owned several small businesses focused on supporting communities across the city of Denver. This included retail/ restaurant concepts, art galleries, home goods, a national non-toxic nail salon brand called BASE COAT and today as a Senior Community Outreach Manager appointed by Denver Mayor Mike Johnston. Working with the community, non-profits, small businesses, activists and creatives has been the unifying red thread across all of my varied endeavors.

Regardless of my job title or position, my focus has always been on making impactful changes for our community, advocating and giving back to the community. From organizing community fridges, vaccine clinics, fighting for reproductive rights, safer work conditions and fair wages for nail salon/beauty industry workers, and organizing fundraisers, to overseeing community projects, building brands, and developing products.

VINIYANKA PRASAD

The Word, A Storytelling Sanctuary
Viniyanka is the Executive Director and Founder of The Word, A Storytelling Sanctuary, a nonprofit organization fighting for equity and inclusion in the literary arts. 

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Questions?

For more information, please contact Georgina Guidotti, Business Operations Administrator, Cultural Affairs

CONTACT GEORGINA