Cafe Cultura's Open Mic: spoken word, music, art, vendors, food (Navajo Taco & Frybread Sale), & community!
Spread the word...Bring your family & friends!!!!!
VOLUNTEERS PLEASE ARRIVE AT 6:30pm :-)
Note: Make sure to come early to sign up and get a good seat. As always, we welcome anybody who is willing to help in our work in the community.
WHEN: 2nd Fri. of every month...May 10th, June 14th (@ La Alma/Lincoln Amphitheater Park)
--->Doors Open w/ Vendors @ 7pm
--->Food & Show @ 7:45pm
WHERE: Denver Inner City Parish/La Academia (9th Ave & Galapago St)
WHAT: All ages Open Mic Night
Come express yourself creatively or just chill with your people
$3 (nobody turned away)...Everyone is welcome!
--->Alexis Rain Vigil (14 year-old poet...Urban NDN...on the path to college): Born and raised in Denver, Lulu is a Freshman at STRIVE Prep SMART. She competed and ranked in the top ten of Denver Public Schools young poets. A young Western Shoshone Native on her path striving for college, Lulu wants nothing but her voice to be heard. She speaks tales of her past and future, as she struggles between good and evil...trying to find a place in this world.
|Depression - Lulu Vigil|
---->Jam Session with Caf� Cultura Collective members
Mat Barkhausen was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, but his people are the Skarure' Kahte'nu'aka, the indigenous nations in North Carolina and Virginia known in English as the Tuscarora/Meherrin/Nottoway. Mat has a BA in interactive media design from the Art Institute of Colorado, and is pursuing an MA in Political Science at the University of Colorado Denver. Mat's vision is to continue his education either as a PhD or return to law school to continue to advocate for the human rights of indigenous peoples.
When I was growing up, I spent summers with my grandparents on their ranch on the Navajo reservation located south of Gallup, New Mexico. The memories I have of growing up were what first inspired me to paint. I decided to pursue art as a career when I enrolled into the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 2002. My passion materialized when I began showing in numerous juried art venues. I later transferred to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2005, and I graduated in May 2007 with a degree in fine art. I relocated to Denver in June 2012 and am currently the Youth Coordinator at the Denver Indian Center. I also work out of a studio near Cherry Creek.
---->Community Feature: WORD (Warriors Organizing and Rising in Denver)...Palabra Guerriller@ We are an organizing circle led by & for young warriors of color to rise & build the protection, self determination & culture for all our relatives in the Denver Metro CommUNITY reppin' for Westwood.
WORD's Facebook page
|For more info: email@example.com; 720-394-6589; www.cafecultura.org|
Supporting Youth to Tell Their Stories - A Letter from Our Director
Have you ever been a part of a group or organization so impactful that you would give of yourself to ensure its continued success? This has been my way of thinking when it comes to Caf� Cultura, an arts, culture, & youth development organization here in Denver....and why I ask you to support our work in the community by donating what you can as we run various lengths in the Colfax Marathon May 18-19.
For more info: www.empowered.org/Running-for-Creative-Expression
I could go into detail about our mission and programs...instead I will share a few stories:
We recently presented our one time basic spoken word workshops at the Increasing Opportunities for Native American Students conference held at Metropolitan State University of Denver. One 15 year old youth made a particular impression on us (we'll call her Jennifer). Although she expressed incredible intelligence and maturity in her participation, the short poem Jennifer wrote revealed pain and struggle. When I praised her work and mentioned the opportunity to share it for those in attendance, she adamantly refused. We gave the participants a few minutes to finish their poem. At that point, we opened it up for volunteers to read. Jennifer's hand shot up with enthusiasm. After sharing, she received a copy of our book (Caf� Cultura Collective Compilation). To our surprise, she returned to our workshop in a later session. Jennifer continued participating...and added more to her poem. Once again, she volunteered to share her story. Like the 1st time she read, everyone showed her love. I couldn't help but notice the change that occurred in our short time together.
During the Fall of 2012, we had the opportunity to conduct our advanced/intensive workshop series for students at College Track in Aurora. Most students quickly excelled, writing amazing poems focused on their identity and sense of cultural pride. However, one young woman struggled (we'll call her Maria). In fact, she trashed her 1st poem despite our best efforts to convince her otherwise. When we moved to their 2ndpoem, Maria hesitantly shared her piece, ending it with following line: "Everyday people think that my life is so perfect. But they know my name, and not my story." Even with praise, this time from her peers, Maria continued to downplay her writing ability in comparison to others in the class. This experience repeated itself for the 3rd poem. When we discussed their performance at the end of semester showcase, she expressed more doubt. On that special night, all the youth in our workshop impressed everyone in attendance by reading/performing a poem from the book we produced for them. To my pleasant surprise, Maria performed with a sense of power and pride she had not demonstrated previously. She seems to carry it with her every time I see her...on my way to College Track's 2nd installment of our workshop/class.
As you can see, our spoken word workshops empower youth to express themselves in ways that improve their confidence, appreciation for their culture, and identification as a leader.
We want to increase the number of workshops that we provide for young people in schools, conferences, and organizations. Unfortunately, we do not have the capacity to fulfill the growing need due to a lack of resources.
So,we are running...In addition to changing careers, attending trainings, and pursuing a Master's Degree in Nonprofit Management, I will run the half-marathon (13.1 miles)...offering my energy and sweat to promote healthy living as well as to fundraise for Caf� Cultura.
That is where you come in...Please consider donating for this very important cause. A $5 donation would pay for a youth's participation in one of our basic workshops. $30 would provide an opportunity for a young person to participate in our advanced/intensive workshop series. $100 provides a workshop for 20 or more youth in need of a creative outlet.
Simply visit this website:
You can donate in my name or that of another runner...You can also make a general donation. We humbly ask for your support.
P.S. You can also send a check made out to Cafe Cultura to the following address:Cafe Cultura1029 Santa Fe DrDenver, CO 80204
THANK YOU Dinner...for supporters, donors, runners, etc
We would like to invite you (yes, you) to join us for an appreciation dinner for those who have supported Cafe Cultura in some way. If you have volunteered, spoke highly of us in the community, donated money, participated in a workshop, ran (or will run) in the Colfax Marathon, attended one of our events, connected us with resources/people, read during an open mic, or even shared our status update, please make plans to eat with us.
Saturday, May 18th @ 5:30pm
1029 Santa Fe Dr
We will share some positive energy with our runners. The majority will be up very early on Sunday to run in the Colfax Marathon.
Please join us!
P.O. Box 11791Denver, CO 80211
Office: 1029 Santa Fe Dr Unit #6
Hours: Mon-Thurs from 9am to 4:30pm
Fri from 1 to 4:30pm.
Workshops for Youth
Students at the following schools/conferences impressed us with their participation in our spoken word workshops: Colorado Academy, Trevista, La Raza Youth Leadership Conference, Boulder Prep, Increasing Opportunities for Native American Students Conference, Grant Beacon Middle School, and Art of Social Justice Conference. We even had the honor of performing for middle school-age youth at Cesar Chavez Academy. We look forward to the opportunity of presenting for students from
Sims-Fayola International Academy, Academy High School, Carbondale Middle School, and the Latino Youth Summit @ Lincoln HS.
If you are interested in having Cafe Cultura present at your school or organization, feel free to contact us. Our basic version is a one time, 1 to 2 hour session. We have used this workshop structure for over six years to encourage Chicana/o and Native youth to use spoken word to give voice to our stories of love, struggle, injustice, and celebration.
We have started discussing monthly spoken word workshops in our space at 1029 Santa Fe Dr. Let us know if you would be interested and what days/times would work best.
We are coming to the end of our advanced/intensive version of "Xpress Yourself"
at the following locations: College Track, STRIVE Prep SMART,
and KIPP Denver Collegiate HS
. Students are working hard putting the finishing touches on their poems while practicing for their showcases. We are busy preparing their books. The dates for each site's showcase are: May 16th (KDCHS), May 17th (CT), and May 24th (SMART). We're excited! Let us know if you would like to attend.
Excerpt from a student @ STRIVE Prep SMART:
"Life is like a tree
they expect so much of you
Then they just throw you away like a piece of paper.
I'll just never let go of my roots.
When you're about to cut me down,
I'll have the air to softly hug me.
I have soo much more to give.
I'm not just a tree.
If you're interested in our workshops, please contact us.
Make sure to read future newsletters for more updates...
-Much love to everyone who attended our April Open Mic. Special shout to Ray Salas, Indigenize, and the numerous youth who performed during the open mic. It was powerful night of poetry and community. Thank you Denver Fair Food Committee for sharing your experience marching for farmworkers' rights. Below are some photos from the event.
-Performances/shows from Cafe Cultura Collective members: If you want us to host an open mic featuring our spoken word artists, contact us ASAP. Funds will go to sustaining our organization and the work we do in the community (especially our workshops for youth).
-Internship and volunteer opportunities: If you are interested in helping build our organization while gaining valuable experience and making connections, please let us know. We will post detailed descriptions soon.
-Feel free to visit our website
often for updates (click on the image).
-We need your help
: We're still distributing Cafe Cultura Collective Compilation books to local schools and organizations
working with youth (especially to those serving mostly Native & Chican@/Raza youth) free of charge. If you're interested or know of contacts, send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org
). We'd definitely appreciate it...
Interested in being more involved in Cafe Cultura?
If you have ever thought of contributing ideas and energy to help Cafe Cultura better serve our community, we invite you to attend the following meeting:
Cafe Cultura Collective, Advisory Board, & Volunteer Informational Meeting/Dialogue
Thursday, May 23rd @ 5:30pm at our office
(1029 Santa Fe Dr)
We will most likely host a similar meeting in June for those who can't be present for this one.
Feel free to contact us with questions and/or concerns.