Revealing the historic development of a population as diverse as the land itself.

In 1861, the U.S. Congress carved Colorado’s boundaries representing no river, mountain range, tribe, or language group to enclose five distinct areas that are now Southern Colorado; Western Colorado; the Eastern Plains; the Front Range along the eastern face of the mountains; and Metropolitan Denver. Each of these regions within the state’s man-made boundaries vastly differs in terms of populations, communities, cultures, communications, and economies that have evolved from their varied geography and histories.

Released in April 2023, Colorado Humanities and Denver-based HaveyPro Cinema produced a 90-minute documentary film, The Five States of Colorado. Designed for a wide range of audiences from elementary school-age to adults, the film addresses the history and issues within these five regions, or “states,” to inform, educate, and serve as a basis for community and classroom discussion. The film is an easily accessible and engaging exploration and illustration of the history, culture, present-day facts and perspectives, concerns, and needs of each of the five featured regions, and a powerful contribution to public education and discourse. Now in post-production, it will be made available as a free, streaming video or download to every public, school, and academic library in Colorado.

Viewing Options

Free screenings of The Five States of Colorado are taking place at various locations across the state. Following each screening are community conversations designed to encourage dialogue and reflection on the diverse cultural and geographical tapestry of Colorado. These events offer a unique opportunity for attendees to gain insights, engage in meaningful discussions, and foster a sense of community. Join us at these screenings and conversations, as we collectively explore the rich and vibrant heritage of our beloved state.

Click here to learn more about our community conversations.

Past Screenings

  • The Lyric, Fort Collins – August 3, 2023
  • The Fox Theatre, Walsenburg – August 18, 2023
  • San Luis Valley Museum, Alamosa – September 22, 2023
  • Arapahoe Libraries, Centennial – October 17 & 18, 2023
  • Trinidad Space to Create, Trinidad – November 17, 2023
  • Trinidad State College, Trinidad – November 20, 2023
  • H.R. Sayre Senior Center, Trinidad – December 15, 2023
  • The Powerhouse, Durango – January 11, 2024

Check our calendar
for upcoming events near you!

The five “states” of Colorado are:


Southern Colorado, including Pueblo, the San Luis Valley and the plains south of the Arkansas River

Western Colorado covering most of the mountain ranges, including North, Middle and South Park, and extends west of the mountains across the high plateau

The Eastern Plains that stretch out from the Front Range north of the Arkansas river

The Front Range, including the cities and suburbs from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs

Metropolitan Denver, distinguished as a separate region because of its substantial influence in the State’s politics and economy

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Your donation to THE FIVE STATES OF COLORADO supports the distribution of this film to schools and libraries across Colorado.

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