Welcome to Cafe Cultura's April 2017 newsletter! 

We are excited to update you as we work to fulfill our mission.


#CafeCultura #XpressYourself #TellingOurStories #ArtInThePark #WordsToActions #RiseUp

Café Cultura is an award-winning arts, culture, and youth development organization that promotes unity and healing among Indigenous peoples through creative expression while empowering youth to find their voice, reclaim oral and written traditions, and become leaders in their communities. 

We hope this message finds you and your family in good health and spirits.  This newsletter helps us keep you informed of our growth as an organization. You can find more updates on our Facebook (facebook.com/cafecultura), Issuu (issuu.com/cafecultura/docs), Instagram (instagram.com/cafeculturadenver), Flickr (flickr.com/photos/cafecultura/sets), and Youtube (youtube.com/user/cafeculturavideos) accounts.

Cafe Cultura's 4/14/17 Open Mic w/spoken word, music, art, door prizes, food for sale, & community.

Spread the word...Bring your family & friends!!!!!  

Note: Make sure to come early to sign up and get a good seat.

WHAT: All ages showcase (alcohol/drug free event)

WHEN: 2nd Fri. of every month... April 14th, May 12th, June 9th (Art in the Park) 

---> 6:30-9:30pm

WHERE: 910 Galapago St 

$3-$5 donation (nobody turned away)

Everyone is welcome!

Feature performers:
----> No "MO" Violence Cultural Dance Group:  This unique and dynamic dance group was founded in 1999 by Cathy Maestas, in memory of her son Geronimo "MO" Maestas. In 1993 her life was forever changed by gang violence when her sixteen-year-old son, Geronimo "MO" Maestas, was killed for his Denver Broncos jacket. Geronimo was not a gang member, yet an active and positive member of the Denver community. The death of her son "MO" sent her on a life-long mission to promote non violence and provide awareness to the youth and their families of communities about the tragic realities of gangs and violence through dance; thus, the No "MO" Violence Cultural Dance Group was formed. This dance group was started with Mexican Folklorico, and incorporated Hip Hop, and breakdancing, involving youth with all three of these cultural dance types today. These are exactly the qualities of engaged activity that are effective for encouraging youth to choose paths away from the gang lifestyle and towards a positive life. This is especially important to make every effort in the urban and inner-city communities, which is typical of this area to provide safe and stimulating events to draw the young people together in celebration of their culture through performing arts with their families.

No "MO" Violence Promotional Video

---->Robert Cross: Always on the front lines.

----> Live Sketches by Rafael Maldonado: Rafael is a comic creator and co-founder of Create áyA Studios were he is releasing his first book entitled "Pilla" a story following a young girl on her journey to adult hood. His hope is to remind children how strong they are and the heroes that they can be.

Community Feature:
----> Herbal Gardens Wellness Non-Profit Organization:  based on the Native American Indian Ethics and Integrative Holistic Health & Wellness Principles. We incorporate experiential learning with Indigenous and Native wisdom to provide healing in herbal medicines, movement, and clinical practices with a foundation of Traditional Medicine. We work with community members locally and away who work with us to improve the quality of life for themselves, family, community, and the environment. We are a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to supporting our people through the integration of health in balance to the physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional aspects of the human being experience.
For more info: info@cafecultura.org; 720-394-6589

#CafeCultura #XpressYourself #TellingOurStories

Xpress Yourself

Spoken Word/Poetry 

Workshops for Youth (#XpressYourself)

We have worked with schools and organizations throughout Colorado to give underserved youth an opportunity to express themselves . Recent partners: Vista Peak Prep, New America School (Lowry), World Denver, and La Raza Youth Leadership Program.


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  highly engaging and  culturally relevant  workshop structure for over a decade to encourage Chicana/o and Native youth to use spoken word to give voice to our stories of love, struggle, injustice, and celebration. They serve to  support Language Arts curriculum (4th through 12th grades) Workshop structure was designed by a spoken word artist with 4 years experience teaching at the middle and high school level with contributions from other poets and youth advocates. Click here for more information.

Cafe Cultura's Xpress Yourself: Hip Hop, Poetry, & Spoken Word workshops
Promo video for Cafe Cultura's Xpress Yourself: Hip Hop, Poetry, & Spoken Word workshops

We're excited to announce the publication of 2 youth-written books in conclusion of classes for DSST College View HS and  JeffCo Indian Education  (see below). We look forward to sharing the powerful words of our current partners: Alameda International Jr/Sr High School, DSST College View HS, and  New America School (Lowry).

"Stop complaining about 'illegal immigrants.'
Stop burying my family's struggles
where no one sees them.
The American government helps our oppressors,
bringing war and destruction into our countries.
My family is not hurting your economy.
My family has worked too hard,
and given too much,
to be kicked down the ladder of success.
Do not blame your failures
on our accomplishments.
We have achieved so much,
because of our love as a family
and struggles together.
We work to reach our goals,
we sacrifice and slave for ourselves,
not you."

"Love goes into people's hearts.
I feel proud to speak
and perform my poetry.
I am able to tell stories of the past
to keep them around
for the future.
It reminds me
of a traditional way of being.
I think about
how I did not have a voice.
But now,
I can express myself more.
Cafe Cultura is part of my life.
It is my family,
my community,
and my future."

"People tug on your leaves all the time
but you seem to grow back.
Seasons change you
into a different person
every time.
In a beautiful season,
you start to pass your seeds
(your story)
to a fresh ground of grass.
that seed grows into another life,
another tree.
This cycle continues forever.
Each part of your life changes
because of who you become
and what you do
to motivate yourself
as a person,
a tree,
a living thing."

Performance for their peers

If you are interest ed in having Cafe Cultura bring our "Telling Our Stories" workshop series to your school as an electi ve, after-school enrichment, or a part of an existing class , contact us.  

Our youth-written books are available online . To access each collection of powerful spoken word poetry from participants in our workshop series,  simply click on the book cover .
Make sure to read future newsletters for more updates.
In this newsletter....
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Contact Information

Cafe Cultura
910 Galapago St
Denver, CO 80204

Hours: Mon-Fri from 8am to 6pm

Make a one-time or monthly donation to Cafe Cultura!

You have the opportunity to invest in Cafe Cultura's work in the community. Click on the following image to make a tax-deductible donation.

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced poet, join us as we workshop poems you are currently drafting or will write during our time together.

WHEN:  3rd Friday of the month (April 21st, May 19th, and June 16th)
TIME: 6 to 7:30pm

WHERE:  910 Galapago St

Questions: 720-394-6589; info@cafecultura.org

Group pic from last month's workshop
Join Our Movement!

Exciting Updates

- Cafe Cultura  was honored to receive a Civil Rights Award from NEWSED.
- Thank you to the  Denver American Indian Commission   for nominating our  Executive Director Ara Cruz for a 2016 Mayor's Diversity & Inclusion Award ...he accepted it on behalf of Cafe Cultura and everyone who makes what we do possible. Below is both a group picture and his acceptance video produced as part of the ceremony.
2016 Mayor's Diversity Award - Ara Cruz/Cafe Cultura
2016 Mayor's Diversity Award

Performances/shows from Cafe Cultura poets:  
If you want us to perform at an assembly or host an open mic featuring our spoken word artists, contact us. Funds will go to sustaining our organization and the work we do in the community (especially our workshops for youth). 

-We continue to receive support from important members of the foundation community. Thank you to our past and current funders: Arts In Society, Imagine 2020 Fund, Hispanics In Philanthropy, Latino Community Foundation Colorado, Young Latino Philanthropists, Bowen Family Performing Arts Fund (The Denver Foundation), Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD), National Association for Latino Arts and Culture Fund for the Arts, Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples , WESTAF , and The Chinook Fund .