Maggie's Minute: A Colorado Humanities Update

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Maggie's Minute: A Colorado Humanities Update, April 2015

Celebrate Colorado's creative achievement

Colorado is a magnet for creative talent, according to Colorado Creative Industries. Our state ranks 5th in the nation for concentration of artists, 2nd for architects, 7th for writers, designers, entertainers and performers, and 8th for photographers. We can’t help but be proud of our collective creative talent, and the inspiration and deep sense of appreciation that it engenders. That’s why our work is so exciting and satisfying—our programs encourage students from kindergarten up to find creative expression for the things they learn, and provide avenues for people of all ages to share what they discover. Highlights of our year are when we can invite you to celebrate with us Colorado’s creative achievement!

Colorado Book Awards 2015 The awards celebration is coming up. Writers, readers, editors, photographers, book buyers and booksellers will gather at Aspen’s Doerr-Hosier on Sunday, June 21, 2:30-5:30 pm, to honor some of Colorado’s finest literary professionals. Everyone is welcome to attend! Tickets are $20 in advance, and $25 at the door.

42 Colorado Book Awards finalists have been selected in 14 literary categories. Free and open to the public, four finalist Readingsand book signings are scheduled for the next three weekends at 7 pm: Sunday, April 26; Saturday, May 2;  and Saturday, May 9 at Denver’s BookBar, and Friday, May 8 at Tattered Cover in Littleton. Special congratulations are in order now, too, to finalist for history, Elizabeth Fenn, who, as it was just announced, received a Pulitzer for her book Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People. (She is scheduled for the finalist reading on May 2 at the BookBar.)

Student Literary Awards! Our 12th annual Awards Letters About Literature and River of Words winning students will be held on May 13, 2015, 2-4 p.m. at the Denver Public Library. A total of 689 students entered the contests, from communities throughout Colorado from Alamosa and Brush to Grand Junction. At the celebration, Colorado’s student winners will share their poetry, prose and artwork with our audience of students, teachers, families, friends and other writers, artists and community dignitaries. Students will be presented with our Student Literary Awards anthology, a professionally-published book of their winning works in four age categories. The Student Literary Awards is free and open to the public—you’re welcome to come!

Speaking of River of Words, we’re partnering with the Greenway Foundation for a free event for people of all ages that we also hope you’ll be able to attend,Art on the River on May 911 am-2 pm at Cuernavaca Park in Denver where we’ll have an activities booth for families to explore ways art can be inspired by nature—including weathergrams made of seed paper. We will also participate in the Foundation’s South Platte RiverFest, a celebration of Denver’s urban waterways, June 27-28, at Confluence Park, Denver. The RiverFest will include River of Words activities as well as stand-up paddle boarding lessons and demos, fitness classes, live music, a variety of other water and river activities, food, and drink.

Our 2015 Museum on Main Street tour The Way We Worked, sharing the compelling history of America’s workforce, is now at theAurora History Museum until Sunday, May 10. Adapted from the original exhibition developed by the National Archives, The Way We Worked tells of the many changes in the past 150 years that have affected workers and work environments. The exhibit first opened in Colorado this year at the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library in Denver, then moved to the Museum of Western Colorado in Grand Junction before returning this month to the Front Range. The 2015 tour will conclude in Pueblo at theBessemer Historical Society Steelworks Museum and CF&I ArchivesMay 15-June 26

Writers in the Schools also celebrates students’ creative writing at four schools this year in Boulder, Coal Creek Canyon, Denver and Grand Junction. During the celebration, students receive anthologies of the poetry and prose they create during the school year under the instruction and mentorship of our WITS writers-in-residence. We have published four anthologies of their work: Listen To The WhisperThe Poem Rises UpAll Beautiful Things Have to Come to Their Senses; and Things That Linger. In addition to our WITS students, our WITS schools also receive complementary copies of the anthologies. Let us know if you would like to purchase a copy.

Young Chautauqua students were showcased recently at Centennial Village in Greeley, to the delight of their peers, teachers, families and other members of the community. Young Chautauqua students work throughout the year participating in YC workshops to study history, write, memorize and practice creative monologues in the characters of real historical people, and portray them for audiences. More than 370 elementary, middle and high school students from 19 different Weld County schools captivated audiences with their presentations of such memorable and diverse characters as Katherine Lee Bates, Crazy Horse, Fanny Mae Duncan, Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales, Little Raven, Otto Mears, Zebulon Pike, Florence Sabin, Rattlesnake Kate Slaughterback, Mark Twain, George Washington, Emiliano Zapata and many, many others! More than 400 additional students from Boulder, Colorado Springs, Thornton, Westminster and their surrounding communities also participated in our Young Chautauqua program, and YC presentations for public audiences will take place during the next few weeks at Mountain Range High School, Stellar Elementary, nine independent senior centers in Boulder, and at Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum.

And, as ever, all of us at Colorado Humanities celebrate you. Your comments, ideas, encouraging words, participation, volunteerismand donations are invaluable.

Well done, everyone! Thank you for your contributions to Colorado's creative excellence.

Maggie Coval, Executive Director

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