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Denver Arts & Venues is pleased to announce 2022-2023 P.S. You Are Here grantees.
In 2014, Arts & Venues launched P.S. You Are Here (PSYAH), a grant program supporting neighborhood-based community-led projects that activate outdoor public spaces, build civic engagement, honor heritage, beautify neighborhoods and enrich communities. In 2022, Arts & Venues has selected 10 grantees for a total of $100,000 in grants of $10,000 each.
“Denver Arts & Venues uses revenues from things like venue rentals, ticket fees and concessions to fund P.S. You Are Here and other grant programs,” said Ginger White, Denver Arts & Venues executive director. “Grants like the P.S. You Are Here program strengthen partnerships and collaboration through arts and culture. Arts, culture and creativity are integral to thriving communities, helping us celebrate neighborhood history and identity, and fostering a sense of belonging. The 2022-2023 grant projects epitomize those values.”
Upcoming projects range from artistic bicycle racks to wheat pasted portraits to light-based installations to basketball court murals to storytelling projects, and will highlight everything from nature to the stories of refugees to medicine and the culinary arts to pedestrian safety.
Selected projects include:
- 303 Artway (managed by Radian), Intersection Mural: 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. Building on the sense of community ownership and pride around a similar PSYAH installation in 2022, this project will create a similar sense of community pride while also increasing safety, mobility and access to the outdoors for local youth.
- Denver’s Art District on Santa Fe, Moved by Metal: Two metal workers/sculptors will 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.
- Destany Rodriguez, My Place is Montbello: 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.
- Melody Epperson, Tree Tales: 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 a sound element including one of eight audio-recorded stories, legends and myths about trees, hosted on a website and accessible by QR code.
- Park Hill Financial District, Let the Creators Create: Through this project, the organization will host a community paint day during which the community will assist neighborhood 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.
- Sidewalk Poets, The East Colfax Story Walk: 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. 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.
- Stiles African American Heritage Center, Heritage Gardens: 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.
- The Lowry Foundation, For the Love of Lowry: Art & Architecture Loop: 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 of four parks. The artwork themes will tie to the community’s heritage, environmental conservation, social engagement and community building through play.
- Trust for Public Land, Westwood Pocket Park Community Art Activation: 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. This project will promote and support quality physical activity for children between the ages of 10-14, their families and the broader neighborhood. The goal is to engage the broader Westwood community to develop an artistic vision for the basketball court and intersection spaces.
- Westside Stadium Community Coalition, Fresh Start, Inc., Activating the W. Colfax Viaduct Canopy with Artistic Ambient Lighting: This project will include the installation of programmable colored art lighting that beams across the underside of two bays 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.
More detailed information about the projects can be found here.
About Denver Arts & Venues
Denver Arts & Venues’ mission is to enrich and advance Denver’s quality of life and economic vitality through the advancement of arts, cultural, and entertainment opportunities for all. Arts & Venues is the City and County of Denver agency responsible for operating some of the region’s most renowned facilities, including Red Rocks Amphitheatre, the Denver Performing Arts Complex, Colorado Convention Center, Denver Coliseum and McNichols Civic Center Building. Arts & Venues also oversees the Denver Public Art Program, Urban Arts Fund, P.S. You Are Here, Denver Music Advancement Fund, implementation of Denver’s Cultural Plan and other entertainment and cultural events such as the Five Points Jazz Festival. Denver Arts & Venues is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion in all our programs, initiatives and decision-making processes.
About P.S. You Are Here
In April 2014 and inspired by Denver’s Cultural Plan, Denver Arts & Venues launched P.S. You Are Here (PSYAH), a grant program supporting neighborhood-based community-led projects that activate city-owned, outdoor public spaces. PSYAH projects build civic engagement, honor heritage, beautify neighborhoods, and enrich communities.