2022-2023 P.S. You Are Here Grantees

Denver Arts & Venues is pleased to announce that in its eighth year, PSYAH provided $100,000 in funding to the following grantees:


Project: 303 ArtWay: Intersection Mural 

Site: Margaret M. Smith Elementary School, 35th Avenue and Jasmine Street

Grant: $10,000

Description: The 303 ArtWay Heritage Trail is a future four-mile bike and pedestrian loop connecting RTD’s A Line Commuter Rail Station with Holly Square in Northeast Park Hill. The Heritage Trail is a community driven project, with local community stakeholders playing a major role in the outcome of the future urban path. 303 ArtWay will highlight the visionaries, artists, leaders and community activists who have brought so much life to this historically unique and diverse neighborhood, while increasing safety and connectivity throughout the Northeast Park Hill community. Building on the sense of community ownership and pride that surrounded the 2022 PSYAH installation, this installation seeks to create a similar sense of community pride while also increasing safety, mobility, and access to the outdoors for BIPOC+ youth. While awaiting construction of the pedestrian infrastructure at this intersection, the mural will bring people together and build a sense of safety by activating that public space and encouraging drivers to slow down. Nearly half of Smith Elementary students walk to school, so this crosswalk mural will be highly visible and trafficked.


Project: Moved by Metal

Site: 8th Avenue and Kalamath Street, 9th Avenue and Inca Street, 10th Avenue and Santa Fe Drive, 11th Avenue and Santa Fe Drive

Grant: $10,000

Description: Moved by Metal is a place-keeping project that will invite two metal workers/sculptors to create bike racks in Denver's Art District on Santa Fe in order to: encourage more multi-modal transportation in the district, strengthen connections with the light rail, enliven the side streets of the district, reduce traffic and parking concerns, highlight a medium that has not been yet celebrated in the public space, and improve automobile/pedestrian safety along the corridor. Local artists will create bike racks that celebrate the character of the art district while also benefiting the residents, visitors and business owners in the district.


Project: My Place is Montbello

Site: Andrews and Elk drives

Grant: $10,000

Description: The project will showcase the faces of Montbello through wheat paste portraits of the members of the community on one side of neighborhood drainage canals. A photographer chosen from the community will use her perception of Montbello to capture these portraits. As Montbello gradually gentrifies, there’s significance in highlighting the faces of people who have grown and lived in Montbello, the faces that are there to stay.


Project: Tree Tales

Site: Eight parks throughout Denver

Grant: $10,000

Description: Tree Tales is a visual art and sound installation that will be placed in eight trees located in Denver parks. Yellow, orange and red painted fabric flags will hang in juxtaposition with the green foliage of the trees. This striking combination will capture visitors' attention and draw them to an audio-recorded tree tale. The installation echoes the worldwide tradition of draping fabric in significant and mystical trees. Each sound element will include one of eight audio-recorded stories, legends and myths about trees, hosted on a website and accessible by QR code. Tree Tales highlights and honors cultural diversity while celebrating the life within trees in our own neighborhoods and around the world. By acknowledging our shared connection to trees, we honor the life that is within all living things. Melody Epperson will partner with eight storytellers from the state of Colorado and students at Arts Street at Youth Employment Academy to create the visual art pieces and navigational map. When visitors encounter these vibrant trees and listen to the rich traditional tales, they will gain a greater sense of peace and well-being as well as a deeper appreciation of nature in their own community and around the planet.


Project: Let the Creators Create

Site: City of Axum Park

Grant: $10,000

Description: As a continuous effort to bring the neighborhood together, the Park Hill Financial District has built the LET THE CREATORS CREATE™ campaign with the intent of showcasing local artists and providing them with a platform for collaborative and creative expression through which to address social justice issues. Through this project, the organization will host a community paint day during which community members will assist local artists in the creation of a basketball court mural representing the neighborhood. This project will serve as an outlet for underprivileged youth and encourage multi-generational play, as well as inspire people to think about their environment. This project will renovate public basketball courts, beautify the neighborhood, and create large-scale, site-specific artworks to strengthen communities and improve park safety.


Project: The East Colfax Story Walk

Site: Several locations in the East Colfax neighborhood

Grant: $10,000

Description: The East Colfax Story Walk is a two-part project comprised of storytelling workshops and public art. East Colfax locals, including both long-term residents and members of the large neighborhood refugee population, will participate in storytelling workshops through which they will create written works, stories and poems about their lives and personal experiences. These writings will then be used to create public art, displayed in three ways throughout the neighborhood: painted on utility boxes, printed onto street signs and stenciled onto sidewalks. Some pieces will include QR codes linking to a website where recordings of the participants can be heard, and where community members can record and add their own stories. Buddha boards will also be installed throughout the walk to incorporate community interaction and participation. Through this project, residents will feel seen and heard in their own community, while the stories and authentic voices of a rapidly gentrifying area will be preserved. This interactive experience will allow visitors and residents to read and absorb these stories, while also providing a space to contribute their own voice. Work will be displayed in both English and the language in which it was written (when applicable), including Spanish, Swahili, Amharic, Karen and other languages.


Project: The Stiles African American Heritage Gardens

Site: The Stiles African American Heritage Center

Grant: $10,000

Description: The Stiles African American Heritage Gardens will beautify the strip of land between the sidewalk and street around the Center while promoting the values of the organization through an arts platform. This project will highlight four aspects of self-expression through which African Americans have contributed to American history: beautification, medicine, culinary arts and migration. The installation will be comprised of collaborative paintings mounted on raised garden beds that are filled with plants associated with each theme. Signage will integrate storytelling portraying historical contributions from African Americans in these four spheres. Online information will place the themes in contemporary contexts, urging mindfulness about what we put on and into our bodies. Most of the gardens will be filled with native plants that thrive with little maintenance or added water. Encouraging understanding of our relationship with non-human members of our community, plants will be selected for their value to wildlife as well as their historic uses as food and medicine. Included will be culinary herbs, which are hearty pollinator-powerhouses and offer a connection to the rich contributions African Americans have made to food culture. The grounds will be cultivated as a ‘living seed library’ that will be used to disperse these plants into community gardens for years to come.


Project: For the Love of Lowry: Art & Architecture Loop

Site: Several parks in the Lowry neighborhood

Grant: $10,000

Description: In 2023, The Lowry Foundation celebrates 25 years of serving the community. Formed to serve the community after the Lowry Air Force Base began redevelopment, the organization will mark the milestone by creating a special community art project, a four-mile walking and biking art and architecture loop linking four City and County of Denver parks with existing historic architecture and public art. The Lowry Art & Architecture Loop will encourage and promote well-being and active mobility for residents and visitors, bringing people together. Incorporating the community, artists will create temporary and interactive art experiences in each park. The artwork themes will tie to the community’s heritage, environmental conservation, social engagement, and community building through play. Community engagement will include students from Lowry Elementary, where 25 languages are spoken, the Community College of Aurora Lowry Campus, and neighborhood groups such as Lowry United Neighbors. The community art project will help raise awareness of the Foundation’s programs and services while making social connections and promoting health and wellness.


Project: Westwood Pocket Park Community Art Activation

Site: Westwood Pocket Park, West Kentucky Avenue and South Irving Street

Grant: $10,000

Description: Trust for Public Land partnered with Denver Parks and Recreation, BuCu West, Westwood Unidos, and D3 Arts on a park development project to convert an old Xcel Energy substation into a park geared toward children ages ten and up. The site is directly across the street from Kepner Middle School in Westwood. This project will promote and support quality physical activity for children between the ages of 10-14, their families, and the broader neighborhood. TPL led a community-focused effort to create an enjoyable and healthy place with age-appropriate park features that will complement an existing park for younger children less than two blocks away. The feedback from the community-led process advocated for the inclusion of hangout areas, skate features, a basketball court, and custom art to be integrated into the design. Continuing to elevate the community's voice by integrating a basketball court mural and an intersection art activation delivers on the local vision for creating public spaces in their neighborhood. The goal is to engage the broader Westwood community to develop an artistic vision for the basketball court and intersection spaces. Following the choice of artists and designs, both murals will be implemented via community painting days in both locations.


Project: Activating the W. Colfax Viaduct Canopy with Artistic Ambient Lighting

Site: Colfax Viaduct Bridge

Grant: $10,000

Description: This project will include the installation of programmable colored art lighting that beams across the underside of two bays (about 90 ft) of the Colfax Viaduct bridge. Pedestrian-scale artistic lighting will elevate the space, making it safer, more aesthetically pleasing and more economically robust as a community space for the Sun Valley Rising and Denver West Night markets that showcase minority and immigrant vendors and aspiring entrepreneurs from Sun Valley and West Denver. This project will also enhance a venue for residents and visitors to celebrate the diverse and rich cultural heritages that comprise Sun Valley and West Denver. The lighting project will help activate a little-used space to create a welcoming and culturally relevant gathering place for the celebration of culture and diversity.