July 2022 Newsletter
A Summer Message from the LCAC Board Chair + Founder

We dedicate this Newsletter to Sun Valley, and invite you to join the exciting events and programs happening in our neighborhood. My family established our food business in this part of town 50 years ago, and I have witnessed the displacement and changes up close.

Honesty, it feels as if a bomb was dropped in the middle of what was for decades a community of people of color and immigrants. Many will not be returning as it no longer feels like home. After years of neglect, suddenly our neighborhood is the center of gentrification. Nevertheless, we are proud of our neighbors and partners who haven’t lost their connection to our history and the residents, old and new.

As the summer heat turns up, we want to share important information about ongoing efforts around water and artwork along the South Platte River. I want to introduce you to the River Sisters Circle and share that our Artist in Residence, David Ocelotl Garcia, is constructing components of two bridges for the National Western Center at the LCAC Colfax Studio, while transforming public art and community engagement! 

Adrianna Abarca
Founder & Board Chair
The Latest LCAC News & Upcoming Events
Taquitos and Tequila with Doña Loca
and Lupita Infante at the Viva Southwest
Mariachi Festival!
Bring the entire familia to the Pachanga! You are cordially invited to a VIP Reception - UNLIMTED Tequila, Mezcal and Taquitos with Denver Chef Dana Rodriguez and Mariachi sensation Lupita Infante>>
Join the LCAC Team for a special fundraiser and reception at the Levitt Pavilion Denver, on September 25, 2022, from 3-5pm, sponsored by Doña Loca, Master Chef Dana Rodriguez!

VIP tickets include early access to the venue, VIP seating, a private musical performance, the best of Mexican cuisine and spirits and a meet-and-greet with Lupita Infante!!

Tickets are $100 per person and proceeds will fund LCAC Music Programs at 800 Kalamath, a state-of-the-art music building with access to soundproof practice rooms, rehearsal spaces and a computer lab with music engineering software. Nos vemos at the celebration!
The River Sisters Circle: The South Platte River To Become a Pathway Toward Healing the Community,
the Water and the Land
The River Sister Circle (RSC) emerged from a 2018 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), signed by Mayors Michael B. Hancock and José Enrique Reina Lizárraga, establishing a Bi-national partnership between the peoples of Denver, Colorado, and San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora, Mexico. In 2019, RSC partnered with residents of Sun Valley, the Denver Housing Authority and the City in their community-driven master redevelopment plan to revitalize the neighborhood and create a new riverfront park.  

Over the last 3 years, the LCAC has taken a leading role as a community anchor of the RSC, alongside El Laboratorio. Together we are embarking on building a “Turquoise Necklace” riverwalk concept along the South Platte River in Denver. Our goal is to “heal” our sister, the River, and ourselves. In acknowledging and tapping into our Native heritages, we will transform these open spaces, while expanding creative, cultural, educational, and economic exchanges, locally and beyond.

We find ourselves in a deeply fractured society living on a damaged planet, urgently needing innovative approaches that combine art, culture, nature, engineering and science to bring us together to heal ourselves and the sacred resources and ecosystems that nourish us.

RSC Contributors:

Alfredo Reyes, Solicia Lopez, Nita Gonzales, Adrianna Abarca, Stella Madrid, Lisa Saenz, Jenny Santos, Jorge Figueroa, Paul Hellmund
Two Brides Public Art Project (MUST SEE VIDEO)
Have you heard Denver is getting two new bridges across the South Platte River at the National Western Center?! The development of the project is being handbuilt by David Ocelotl Garcia. His team works in collaboration with the community at the LCAC Colfax Studio location and a dozen other studios across Colorado.  

The People’s Bridge of the Sun and The People's Bridge of the Moon will welcome viewers with a meaningful experience rooted in healing the mind, body and soul. The use of organic symbolism, tribal philosophy, and nature-inspired design grew from Garcia’s approach to art he calls “abstract imaginism”. 

To learn more about David and how the project is coming along click here.

If you are a Monthly Donor, please watch your inbox for a special invitation to tour David’s studio next month and learn more about the Project!
JOLT Joins the LCAC Public Arts Mentoring Program to Train the Next Generation of Public Work Artists
LCAC's Public Arts Mentoring Program evolved from our pandemic Artist Training pilot and is creating a pipeline of fresh talent that will learn about history, culture, interpersonal and technical skills, and project implementation. As the program grows, we will welcome more high school and undergraduate students to develop their talent as creative professionals.

This July, the LCAC welcomed three students from Colorado Charter High School and Tyson Tafoya to be mentored under muralist JOLT from Guerilla Garden. A special “thank you” to our partner Denver Street Partnership and Little Saigon Business District for supporting our youth as they learn about the techniques behind creating a public mural and the rich history that bridges Mexico and Denver. We will spark many new collaborations across sectors, including the arts, mental wellness, support local businesses, and climate justice.

Interested in learning more about the LCAC Public Arts Mentoring Program and partnering? Email LCAC Executive Director, Alfredo Reyes.
Sun Valley is Home to the Nation’s Most
Endangered Historic Murals
Top photo: Urban Dope, Rural Hope circa 1978, bottom photo: Urban Dope, Rural Hope Destroyed, circa 1995.
Photographs sourced from the CMCP Mural Mapping Project and Google Earth.

Colorado recently made headlines when several Chicano murals were listed as one of the “11 Most Endangered Historic Places in 2022”, a nomination submitted by the Chicano/a/x Murals of Colorado Project (CMCP). Sun Valley is home to a handful of murals that either have been destroyed or are at risk. Some may not know about “Urban Dope, Rural Hope,” which was Denver’s largest mural, measuring 16-foot by 350-foot, on a privately-owned building at West 9th Ave and Bryant across from the former Sun Valley Housing and the South Platte River.
“Urban Dope, Rural Hope” was designed and painted by Emanuel Martínez, in collaboration with artists Elfego Baca, Ernie Gallegos, Roberto Roybal, and 
Carlos Sandoval, with numerous Sun Valley youth in 1977. The mural portrayed many facets of the Chicano experience with Mesoamerican imagery, telling a story of love, temptation, sorrow, and resilience. The mural was whitewashed in the 90s, and now with the efforts of the CYMP, there will be an attempt to uncover, restore, and preserve this history.

Additionally, efforts to restore David Ocelotl Garcia’s mural “Huitzilopochtli” on 8th Ave. near Federal has begun!

Visit us at Hijos del Sol when you are in the neighborhood! 

En Comunidad
Don’t Miss the Sun Valley Viaduct “Back to School"
Night Market on August 20th!
West Denver Rising Presents:
Sun Valley Viaduct Back to School
Night Market

Located at the Empower Field Under the Viaduct on Old West Colfax
August 20th, 2022 from 4-10 PM

Join us in Sun Valley to celebrate the culture, art, and food of beautiful North West Denver. We’re excited to partner with our neighbors to bring you live music, family-friendly games, beer served by local favorite Raíces Brewing Company and 30+ food and craft vendors. Come to have fun, enjoy cuisines from all over the world, and support our diverse community.

The Sun Valley Viaduct Night Markets are here to stay! They are meant to feature chefs, artisans, artists, and entrepreneurs from an initiative called West Denver Rising. The marketplace is a "reunion" to reunite displaced residents, long-time Sun Valley residents, and welcome newcomers to celebrate the vibrant neighborhood.

At the last marketplace in May, the Night Market featured five local chefs, that used Sun Valley Kitchen + Community Center's commercial kitchen as a commissary kitchen. The photos above spotlight Tra Nguyen, a Sun Valley chef, serving food at her booth. Additionally, Odie Tina, a Sun Valley youth, helped out at Glenn's Fry Stand.
Don't Miss this Weekends Healing Festivities
Servicios de la Raza Presents:
The Five Senses Holistic Health Festival
1501 W. 38th Avenue - Denver
Saturday, July 23rd from 9am-2pm

Participants will learn holistic ways of healing by exploring the five senses in a safe, immersive experience. They can discover ways to care for themselves and practice healthy coping skills.

Participants will be guided through experiences to connect mind and body through sound, sight, smell, taste, and touch. Those who attend can engage in a variety of activities and experiences including yoga, aromatherapy, limpias, and health screenings. We invite the community to honor their mental health in connection with their bodies.
A Special Thank You to Our Media Partners
El Semanario
LCAC Denver \ Colorado