Welcome to Cafe Cultura's December 2016 newsletter! 

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


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

CafĂ© 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 12/9/16 Open Mic
a portion of proceeds goes to Standing Rock & #NoDAPL

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...December 9th, January 13th, and February 10th. 

--->Doors open w/ Vendors, Food for Sale, Door Prizes, & Art @ 7pm
--->Show starts @ 7:45pm

WHERE: 910 Galapago St 

$3-$5 donation (nobody turned away)

Everyone is welcome!

Feature performers:
---->Emery Vela is a youth slam poet and activist based in Denver, CO. He works with the organization Buried Seedz of Resistance to empower other queer youth of color in his city, and is passionate about community organizing. An alumni of the Denver Minor Disturbance slam team, Emery writes extensively about the intersections of Xicano identity and transness, as well as other issues affecting his communities. He has performed around Denver, and has competed at the international Brave New Voices youth poetry festival.

::Emery Vela @ the GLSEN Awards::

----> FelixFast4wrd (Turntablist, Multi-Instrumentalist, Vocalist). Along side intense turntable technique and musical intuition coupled with juxtaposing obscure records that seemingly do not fit together, Fast4ward creates lush & soulfully Imaginative improvised compositions. Using a Looper and various other instruments ie. flute,guitar,harmonica,melodica,and keyboards, and topping it off with his voice (both singing and rapping) Fast4wrd reinvents the "One-Man Band" format and creates a whole new framework allowing the audience to get to influence & see his music being created piece by piece. With a quirky and unique blend of avant-pop sensibilities and a wildly vivid musical pallet to draw from, FelixFast4ward delivers to you a rare breed of contemporary artistry and musicianship.

::FelixFast4wrd - SWAN::

----> Live Art by Alba Valerdi : Alba is an artist born and raised in Westside Denver. Influenced by her older siblings, she began drawing at the age of 7 and never stopped. While conducting her bachelor's degree at UC Denver, she discovered her love for charcoal and ink and focuses on portrait work as well as art influenced by her Mexican heritage. When not creating art, Alba works at an after school program for teens and shares her passion of art with her students, introducing them to various art mediums and empowering them to be strong, smart and bold.
Community Feature:
----> Lakota Way Healling Center is based on Lakota spiritual values and virtues. We incorporate the wisdom of the elders and the healing energy of ceremony to assist in recovery and give assistance to spiritually disconnected people that are suffering and at the crossroads of their life. We are a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to helping people with trauma, addictions, homelessness, illness and PTSD to rebalance themselves through Native American Healing Methods. 

For more info: info@cafecultura.org; 720-394-6589

#CafeCultura #XpressYourself #TellingOurStories
Join Our Movement!

Our Poetry/Spoken Word classes at Kepner Beacon Middle SchoolGrant Beacon Middle School, and  DSST College View HS  are going extremely well. We look forward to publishing their poetry and organizing book releases. Click on the book cover below to read Kepner's book from last quarter. 

Below are some examples of participant writing:

"I remember when my brother died,
that day I felt sad,
like my love went away.
My family felt lonely.
We remember his life every day.
He looks down on me,
always making sure I am safe and love.
In his memory, 
I will succeed in life."
-Rafaela, Kepner Beacon Middle School student

"We haul the lives and struggles
of our families and ancestors
as we work hard to prove them wrong.
We carry the stereotypes,
extra work,
the insults,
and family problems.
For years,
we have suffered.
But we are not cowards.
We do not shed tears.
You will hear cheers."
-Jesse, DSST College View HS student

"I am the warm frybread
my grandma sets on the table,
the smell summoning my ancestors,
and opening the door for them.
They line up behind me,
waiting for their piece of frybread
that we will take into the front room
and enjoy each other's company.
Happiness and comfort
engulfs everyone,
putting smiles on their faces."
-Celeste, DSST College View HS student

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.
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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.

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 . We have recently conducted our workshop for the following schools/organizations: Rise Up Community School, Fuerte Latino Boys Conference @ UNC.

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

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 (new dates):  3rd Friday of the month (December 16th, January 20th, February 17th)
TIME (new time): 6 to 7:30pm

WHERE:  910 Galapago St

Questions: 720-394-6589; info@cafecultura.org
Exciting Updates
- Thank you to everyone who contributed to an amazing and healing night on Friday for Cafe Cultura's Nov. open mic...whether as attendees, open mic participants, volunteers, vendors, or features. Special shout out to 1) Denver Singers for sharing uplifting songs that moved us 2) Grupo Tlaloc for offering powerful dances 3)  Elizabeth Lindsay  for displaying your captivating art 4) 
International Indigenous Youth Council, Denver Chapter f
or educating us about Standing Rock,  #NoDAPL,  and efforts to support. Thank you!

- 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 - Ara Cruz/Cafe Cultura

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: 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 .

-We were honored to have been selected for the  2013 Mayor's Award for Excellence in Arts & Culture (Youth Arts) . Here is the video they produced:
2013 Denver Mayor's Awards for Excellence in Arts and Culture - Youth Arts Award: Caf?? Cultura
2013 Denver Mayor's Awards for Excellence in Arts and Culture - Youth Arts Award: Cafe Cultura