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Congratulations to the 2019 Winners and Nominees!

IMAGINE 2020 Award

An individual or organization that exemplifies the vision and goals of Denver’s cultural plan through their programs and initiatives. This individual or organization is setting an example for others to aspire to as we IMAGINE 2020.

2019 Award Winner: Mark Sink

Mark Sink is an arts activist who strives to bring community together through photography. Sink founded Month of Photography Denver, Big Picture Colorado and Denver Collage Club, and co-founded The Festival of Light. He is also a founding board member of The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA Denver) and RedLine Contemporary Art Center. Month of Photography Denver is presented biannually in conjunction with other cities around the globe, with more than 250 public and free educational events which connect museums, galleries and schools. The Big Picture brings contemporary fine art photography outside the gallery through large-scale murals. The Festival of Light connects more than 20 worldwide photography festivals, joining the photographic technologies of the 19th and 20th centuries with the communication systems of the 21st century.

Mayor's Award for Excellence in Arts & Culture IMAGINE 2020 Award – Mark Sink from Denver Arts & Venues on Vimeo.

Innovation Award

This award is presented to the individual or organization that is breaking new ground in the arts and whose contribution to innovation in the arts has been significant in 2019.

2019 Award Winner: Lisa Engelken 

Involvement in the arts has been a life-long commitment for Lisa Engelken. With Backyard Sessions and Breaking Barriers, Engelken continues her commitment to creating platforms that bring unlikely groups of people together. Backyard Sessions is a multimedia artist showcase and community event platform for local poets, musicians and dancers to build new audiences and create engagement around social issues. Engelken’s Breaking Barriers project builds community through the fusion of theatre and street dance culture.

Mayor's Award for Excellence in Arts & Culture Innovation Award - Lisa Engelken from Denver Arts & Venues on Vimeo.

Impact Award

This award is presented to an individual or an organization that has made a significant and lasting impact on arts and culture in the City and County of Denver. This category requires that the nominee have at least 10 years of history in the arts in the City and County of Denver.

2019 Award Winner: Cleo Parker Robinson Dance

Cleo Parker Robinson Dance (CPRD) is entering its 50th year as a treasured Denver cultural institution. In its lifetime, CPRD has developed into an internationally esteemed organization that operates beyond the traditional performing arts model. CPRD believes that cross-cultural exchange through dance can lead to healthier, happier, more inclusive communities. The organization strives to be the epicenter for this exchange in Denver through performance, life-long learning experiences and celebration of movement for all people. In philosophy and practice, inclusive programming is an operational principle embedded in the organization since inception. For nearly a half century, CPRD has welcomed and celebrated multicultural perspectives and developed programs that emphasize artistic excellence and civic engagement.

Mayor's Award for Excellence in Arts & Culture 2019 Impact Award– Cleo Parker Robinson Dance from Denver Arts & Venues on Vimeo.

Youth Award

This award is presented to a person under 18 that has made a noteworthy difference in the community through the arts or an organization that has significantly impacted the lives of youth in the City and County of Denver through the arts.

2019 Award Winner: Raquel Garcia

Raquel Garcia is well known in the community for her amazing voice and her kindness towards the people and organizations she works with. At only 13 years old, she has performed on some of the most important stages Colorado. Hard working and very passionate about music, she enjoys helping the community in every way she can. Through outreach and fundraising programs, she has supported older adults, people with disabilities and women who have experienced domestic violence. At her young age, she is already a host of her own television show on Estrella TV and radio show on La Invasora 87.7 FM. She has also started a philanthropic organization helping women in El Salvador start their careers.

Mayor's Awards for Excellence in Arts & Culture Youth Award - Raquel Garcia from Denver Arts & Venues on Vimeo.

Global Award

This award is presented to an individual or organization that has brought Denver’s arts and culture to the national or world stage. Nominees for this category have received national or international recognition through collaboration, media coverage, or grant dollars received.

2019 Award Winner: Kali Fajardo-Anstine 

Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s debut collection of short stories, “Sabrina & Corina,” brings light to the often overlooked stories of Colorado Latinas of Indigenous descent, with narratives set against the backdrop of Denver. Chosen as the Kweli International Literary Festival keynote speaker presented by the New York Times, Fajardo-Anstine has also been featured in the Boston Globe, New York Times, Bustle Magazine, MS Magazine, Westword, 5280 Magazine and many more. Her book, “Sabrina & Corina,” is on the short list for National Book Award.