Denver Arts & Venues is pleased to announce that in its seventh year, PSYAH provided $120,000 in funding to the following grantees:

Bicycle Colorado DBA Denver Streets Partnership

Project: Colfax Viaduct Activation

Site: Colfax Viaduct Bridge

Grant: $10,000

Description: The Denver Streets Partnership (DSP) is partnering with the West Colfax Business Improvement District (WCBID), the Latino Cultural Arts Center (LCAC) and the Westside Stadium Community Coalition (WSCC) to plan and carry out a series of community-managed, international marketplaces featuring local entrepreneurs and businesses, paired with culturally appropriate placemaking and public art. The Sun Valley community has long envisioned a marketplace located underneath the Colfax viaduct, adjacent to the Broncos Stadium District and buildings owned by the LCAC. Opportunities for art at this location include the underside of the viaduct bridge, including an integrated lighting and mural installation under the Colfax viaduct.

RedLine Contemporary Art Center

Project: Living Land Acknowledgments

Sites: Five Points

Grant: $10,000

Description: Conceived and directed by Kristina Maldonado Bad Hand, a Sicangu Lakota and Cherokee artist, Living Land Acknowledgements responds to the need to acknowledge stolen Indigenous land and honor Indigenous people through art and community gardens, while meeting the needs of local BIPOC communities for healthy food options. P.S. You Are Here funds will support the centerpiece of the garden, a collaborative community-responsive artwork that actively acknowledges the Indigenous ancestral land of Five Points in an ongoing conversation to fortify residents' sense of belonging, agency, and place-keeping. Co-designed by Five Points residents and a local artist selected through an open call, the topiary sculpture will feature Indigenous plants that thrive in Colorado’s arid climate to reconnect gardeners to native plants and to promote environmental sustainability. Community engagement activities such as Indigenous food cooking classes and medicinal herbal applications will bring neighbors together, particularly youth, to learn from the garden. Through the harvesting of fresh foods and its preparation for collective, communal feasts, the garden will be a placekeeper to cultivate community cohesion.

Rocky Mountain School of Expeditionary Learning

Project: Better Together CoLab

Site: Cook Park Urban Garden

Grant: $7,500

Description: RMSEL houses a fledgling S.T.E.A.M.-based maker space designed to put real world learning into the hands of K-12 students. The “Genius Lab” leverages the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) to engage students in engineering and design processes. Adjacent to the RMSEL building is the Cook Park community garden. Formerly, the garden served as a learning opportunity for students to experience local ecology. Now, the garden is a blank slate on which to build a new collaborative relationship between the school and the garden. The Eco Art CoLab will provide an opportunity for authentic, engaging learning experiences for students. With the partnership of local experts in the trades, student design teams will engage in a design process to create a piece of interactive art will demonstrate themes such as:
- The biological and human needs for integration over segregation 
- The connection between ecological and human diversity
- How collaboration increases resilience and quality of life for ecosystems and human systems

Becky Wareing Steele

Project: ¿Qué significa para ti la comunidad? (What does community mean to you?)

Site: Friendship Alley near Munroe Elementary School

Grant: $10,000

Description: In celebration of the primarily Latinx, this project will be a series of diorama-based installations enclosed in Retablo (Latin folk art) inspired cabinets. Each cabinet will contain a scene inspired by Munroe Elementary students' responses to the prompt: ¿Qué significa para ti la comunidad? (What does community mean to you?). Through workshops, students will learn about public art and storytelling and have the opportunity to create their own Retablo-inspired scene, which will influence the final installation. The final installation will consist of a series of scenes enclosed in stainless steel cabinets with plexiglass viewing windows and solar lights. Cabinet exteriors will be painted with a pattern that relates to the scenes within. 

Art Students League of Denver

Project: The Flagpole Project, 350 years of Denver

Sites: Denver Public Library branches, city parks, and North, South, East and West public high schools

Grant: $10,000

Description: To mark ASLD’s 35th anniversary, the Flagpole Project will be a collection of flags inspired by 350 years of Denver and Colorado history. ASLD, in collaboration with artist Holly Kai-Hurd, Denver Public Library Special Collections Team and History Colorado, will recommend and select artists, historians and community members to form teams that will identify facts, events and sites which contemplate Denver’s history. The teams will interpret the historical content into the visual language of symbols to generate a series of flags. The project draws upon the iconic symbology of the flag, which has a complex legacy as a tool to foster collective identity by eliciting emotional, spiritual, national and political sentiments and values. By highlighting Denver’s history through the imagery of the flag, we can co-create a shared collective Denver story that strengthens our community’s sense of place and vision for our future. The flagpole will be a starting point to spark conversations and guide accompanying events that deepen the public’s engagement with Denver’s history. 

Montbello Organizing Committee

Project: Montbello Memory Mapping

Sites: City Parks and canals in Montbello neighborhood

Grant: $10,000

Description: The Montbello Memory Mapping project will capture stories from long-term Montbello residents about the history of the community and their experiences in a newly annexed neighborhood. The stories will be captured in the form of podcast recordings through the technical support of the Confluence Center at McGlone Academy and will live both online in an interactive map of the Montbello community and also physically around the neighborhood in the form of art pieces displaying QR codes. The hope is to graduate the art pieces to exist formally as components of the Montbello FreshLo Walkable Loop wayfinding system, which is currently in the planning stage.   

Markus Puskar

Project: Denver's Mural Coloring Book

Site: Denver Recreation Center, TBD

Grant: $7,500

Description: This project will see the implementation of a black and white mural that will serve as a life-sized "coloring book" for the community to color in together with chalk. This mural will be painted in a public space, a rec center or park. This site will then become host to members of the community that come together periodically to participate in the communal activity of coloring in the mural with chalk. This will be an opportunity for neighbors to participate in collective creativity, and to develop relationships with one another through art. By hosting coloring parties, people will be able to contribute to the art in their community, not merely digest it. The fleeting nature of chalk allows people to lose the inhibitions they might have had by placing more permanent marks on a mural, creating an open and whimsical atmosphere for all the participants. When the chalk is washed off either naturally or by hand, it will be time to organize another "coloring book" event. Many different types of creativity will be on display when coloring in a mural. The result is a dazzling array of color that represents the community that completed it.

Arts Street at Youth Employment Academy

Project: Edible Artscapes Youth Initiative 

Sites: Denver Housing Authority, Arts Street studio

Grant: $7,500

Description: Edible Artscapes will include a team of 10-15 youth, ages 14-21, working with local artists who specialize in permaculture and textiles to learn about principles of urban farming and creative design. They will create a pilot regenerative garden installation with integrated art elements designed by the young people, which could include mosaic, 3D sculpture, painted components, as well as large-scale textile flags. This installation will provide education on urban gardening and healthy eating options for the community while contributing to neighborhood beautification. It will also provide a “learn and earn” opportunity for youth, allowing them real-world creative industries experience and the chance to gain new skills. Throughout the program, youth will learn about permaculture and ecosystems, planting a garden bed in the La Alma neighborhood. To showcase the principles they learn, they will also create art pieces on and in the garden bed as well as down the block to create a more educational and appealing garden installation. The largest of these pieces will be a series of flags that represent permaculture principals, creating vibrant visuals in the garden bed as well as along the public walkway leading from the light rail at 10th and Osage to the garden. 

Edica Pacha

Project: UndocuAmerica 

Sites: To be determined

Grant: $7,500

Description: UndocuAmerica works with undocumented immigrants to create large-scale photographic ‘paste up’ imagery, that brings awareness to their journey as an Undocumented American. Photography, storytelling and large-scale public art will be combined with the work of Motus Theatre, which creates monologues with undocumented Americans. The innovation of UndocuAmerica marries large-scale public beautification with potent storytelling. On the surface, the project will bring interest and beauty to a specific area, but it also offers the opportunity for the community to engage more deeply by revealing a doorway into a rich history into the worlds of humans who are often unseen. Each image will have a QR code that will open a different individual's monologue, creating an interactive experience for the community.

Denver's Arts District on Santa Fe

Project: Powered by Heritage: Utility and Planter Box Art Representing Chicano and Indigenous History

Site: Arts District on Santa Fe

Grant: $10,000

Description: Denver’s Art District on Santa Fe reflects the neighborhood’s rich cultural fabric—a symbol of a deeply emotional past with a future defined by community, culture and development. Steeped in Latino and Indigenous heritage and today representing a diverse population, this project will honor heritage and support creativity. By using public utilities and streetscape elements to tell the story of residents past and present, this project will help define the corridor by its people and community, those that are at-risk of displacement. The project will engage local residents, business owners and artists to determine the Indigenous and Chicano stories to be told on the utility boxes and plant boxes along Santa Fe Drive. A community advisory board will engage the public, listening to and learning from the stories of the neighborhood. Artists for the project will be chosen based on experience, local connection and ability to tell these stories in a visually compelling way. 

The Trust for Public Land

Project: 303 ArtWay Community Art

Site: Northeast Park Hill neighborhood

Grant: $10,000

Description: The 303 ArtWay is a future four-mile pedestrian and bike loop connecting the 40th and Colorado Station to Holly Square in the Northeast Park Hill neighborhood. In order to increase connectivity and mobility throughout the community, the trail will highlight the visionaries, artists and community activists who have brought so much life to this diverse neighborhood. The 303 ArtWay team, consisting of The Trust for Public Land, Urban Land Conservancy and Radian Inc., will work with PlatteForum to host creative visioning workshops with neighborhood youth and recruit local artists and community members to create multiple public art installations along the 303 ArtWay. Culturally relevant, community-driven art celebrating neighborhood heritage will increase a sense of place and community pride. 

Monarch Montessori

Project: Montbello Inspires

Site: Montbello walkable loop and bike path

Grant: $10,000

Description: Monarch Montessori will commission and install 3D art along the busy Peoria Street between 49th and 47th avenues. The 3D art project will include stand-alone metal letters, roughly four-feet tall, that spell out an inspirational phrase in both English and Spanish chosen by students, neighbors, staff and parents. 

Genevieve Waller

Project: Stars and Precious Gems: Celebrating the LGBTQIA+ History of the University of Denver

Site: Harvard Gulch

Grant: $5,000

Description: This project will highlight the LGBTQIA+ history of the University of Denver with a public art display in the Harvard Gulch that skirts the south end of the campus. The display will include printed paper panels featuring photos of individuals, informational texts and various designs that will be wheat-pasted to the concrete walls of the drainage ditch; garlands made of rope and tinsel tied to the fence above and draping to make a rainbow festoon above the panels; and sculptures made of papier-mâché in the shape of stars and cut gems painted in various colors, coated in polyurethane, and hung from chains attached to the fence, interspersed between the paper panels. With images and stories of individuals, as well as a historical timeline of events and milestones, presented as an educational and aesthetically-pleasing gallery display in an empty, plain-walled drainage ditch that runs beside a well-traveled pedestrian trail, this project will celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community at DU from the past and present. The festive garlands and papier-mâché sculptures in the shapes of stars and gems will imply that the individuals featured in the display are stars and precious people worthy of acclaim.

Rafael Herrera

Project: Ruby Hill Mural Project 

Site: Sanderson Gulch Trail

Grant: $5,000

Description: This new mural will be painted on a long neglected floodway wall along the Sanderson gulch trail, bringing together the community and also creating a more welcoming area instead of a drab gray corridor.