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The FunDevelopment Committee
For many, nothing could be further from fun than the idea of fund raising. The very term can cause anxiety enough to wake up in cold sweats. Many individuals might find themselves quaking in their well-intentioned boots and biting their fingernails in fear of the moment when they will have to ask others for financial support—even for a great cause like ours.

At AfA, we like to keep it fun, even as we work, and we know the power of the very carefully chosen word. To us at AfA, fun is connection. It's seeing the young people in our community share their creativity and their vulnerability with the rest of us. It not only takes courage, but it shows that youth desire connection. That is why we decided to call our fundraising committee The FunDevelopment Team. What could be better than a team charged with the task of developing fun?

For more information on how you can support AfA, please visit the following link or be sure to join us at one of our fun events! SUPPORT AfA

annual events:

Please check back or sign up for our email newsletter (on the left)

Each Art from Ashes event/fundraiser will feature a youth performance in order to support the efforts our young people are making to reach out to the community. We hope that you will consider attending these events to offer emotional support to our youth performers and financial support for our work. Please check back, this site will be updated regularly (okay, "regularly" is relative...).

first fridays
Join us every First Friday in the ArtsDistrict on Santa Fe for a youth performance at Denver Art Society at 734 Santa Fe Dr. at 7 pm.
Contact Jessica Fitzgerald at Art from Ashes for more information.

The next First Friday is Oct 3rd.

Much more than a public performance, youth gather at Art from Ashes at 4.30 for a FREE one-hour Phoenix Rising writing workshop, followed at 5.30 by a FREE one-hour performance workshop.

AfA facilitators and local artists/performers guide the youth through poetry writing prompts and spoken word presentations to prepare them for a public performance at Denver Art Society, 734 Santa Fe Dr. at 7:30.

Download the flyer here.

sept 7 :: fifth annual running of the gays! Running of the Gays flyer
"Come out" and show support for Denver's LGBTQ youth at Denver's fifth annual Running of the Gays! Get yer heels (and ankles!) ready to roll... or strut, or hop, or stumble in a 3-block "marathon" in heels to fund creative programs for LGBTQ youth at Rainbow Alley. The event is organized by Denver's gay community and Art from Ashes. Each year runners are asked to raise money through sponsorships to trot 3 blocks down 17th Avenue in heels, starting at Steuben's.

Every year AfA and the queer community run a 3-block marathon in heels to help fund creative empowerment workshops for the LGBTQ youth at Rainbow Alley. Runners register with a $35 donation ($25 before August 8th), and sponsors include Steuben's, Rainbow Alley, Colorado Injury Care and X Bar.

To support a favorite runner or to support youth programs at Rainbow Alley, go to our ROTG fundraising page and use a credit card or bank draft to donate, or send a check to Art from Ashes, 853 Inca St., Suite 1A, Denver CO 80204.

See on our ROTG Facebook page to see the photos from this and previous years, as well as find out more information.

Proceeds from ROTG contribute to continuing transformational creative programs for local youth who identify as LGBTQ. While the event is silly, the statistics for our LGBTQ young people are decidedly unfunny: gay and lesbian youth are two to three times more likely to commit suicide than other youths and 30% of all completed youth suicides are related to the issue of sexual identity; 45% of gay males and 20% of lesbians surveyed reported having experienced verbal harassment and/or physical violence during high school as a result of their sexual orientation; 26% of gays and lesbian youth are forced to leave home because of conflicts with their families over sexual identity. Art from Ashes provides creative programs with proven results that improve self-perception and increase involvement with and connection to the community.

Check out all the photos and press from this year and last year!
:: Photos from 2013
:: Photos taken by Westword
:: Photos taken by 303 Magazine
:: Photos taken by Art from Ashes
:: Photos taken by edge on the net
:: More on Westword online
:: Article in Outfront Magazine (inside front cover and page 45)
:: Alf, Channel 93.3-Modern Rock
:: Article on Colorado Daily

sept 19 :: rockies game with fireworks!
Watch the Rockies play the Diamondbacks on Fan Appreciation Night Friday, September 19th. As a fundraiser for AfA, we are selling 100 Rockies tickets for the Fan Appreciation Game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. We have guaranteed seats in Section 149—foul ball territory!—that also allow us to ENJOY THE FIREWORKS FROM THE FIELD. Purchase your $39 ticket from us (no markup) and we get $16 of that amount as a donation.

Some of our young people have never attended a baseball game and would love the opportunity. Please consider purchasing a ticket for a young person, too, even if you can't make it.

Purchase through PayPal (you don't need an account) or mail a check to Art from Ashes, 853 Inca St., Suite 1A, Denver CO 80204. Be sure you include a note about how many tickets you need and whether you are donating one or more to a young person. Purchase your tickets by Sept. 10 and we'll mail them out, or stop by the office on or before the 18th to pick them up.

How many of the tickets will be for a young person in our program?
(update the total number when you get to Paypal)

june 3 :: coming of age ii with steef sealy
Steef Sealy and friends donated $1350 at a free concert on June 3rd! He celebrated his 65th birthday at the Oriental Theatre and passed the hat for Art from Ashes.

Steef says,"When I was turning 60 I realized how important music was in my life. And though I'd always had aspirations as a writer and performer, I didn't take it all that seriously. That concert became a personal declaration of intent — to honor those lifelong dreams and make them a priority in my life...The reason I would like to make Art from Ashes the beneficiary of this show is because of your mission to help young people discover themselves and express themselves through poetry. I know this process saves lives because in a similar way, music has saved mine."

april 5 :: fleur salon words & wine event
In honor of National Poetry Month, Fleur Salon and Art from Ashes preseneted an evening of spoken word, wine and hor d'oeuvres, with a couple of youth performances and a writing prompt.

Fleur Salon is located at 30 E. 9th Ave. in Denver (between Lincoln and Broadway on 9th)

Contact Catherine O'Neill Thorn at 303.837.1550 or cait@artfromashes.org to schedule your own Words & Wine event!

March 26 :: FAMILY NIGHT in partnership with Denver Probation/TASC Force
at Carbon Gallery, 841 Santa Fe
In addition to Art from Ashes, the following organizations were available to provide Creative Education for at-risk Youth:

March 25 :: Express Yourself Mayor's Youth Commission Event at Youth On Record

March 21 :: Stay-At-Home Fundraiser
A campaign for people to stay home on a Friday night and donate the money saved to our youth programs. Cool, huh? Actually, you can do that anytime! :D

Feb 26 :: Dylan Thomas Society Happy Hour at Historian's Ale House

Dec 10 :: AfA's appaloosa grill holiday party was held on Colorado Gives Day!
Appaloosa Grill logo Our annual holiday party at the Appaloosa Grill on 16th Street between Glenarm and Welton.

Appetizers donated by Appaloosa Grill a DJ, and an amazing performance by the Phoenix Rising youth and some of our guest poets, as well as an open mic. Thanks to the generosity of Appaloosa Grill owners, a portion of the proceeds from the night's imbibing helped support AfA's youth programs.

AfA's 10th anniversary party!
10th birthday image
10th Anniversary sponsors
Last year we had even more to celebrate than usual... Our 10-year anniversary! On October 24th, from 6 to 8 pm, AfA honored the month 10 years ago when we became a nonprofit organization. The lineup featured AfA Youth Poets Wolf Girl, PJ Sykes, Solomon Muhammad and some blasts from the past: Dev Adams, former Columbine student; Inocencio "Oxygen" Mendoza and current volunteers, guest poets and board members.

We watched youth from over the years perform their poetry, ate delicious appetizers provided by community businesses (see below), and enjoyed libations from the Skylite Station bar at Skylite Station, 910 Santa Fe, Denver (9th and Santa Fe).

Watch some videos of performances on YouTube!

Stay tuned as 2014 becomes an entire year of celebration as we launch a new decade of creative expression and personal transformation for youth! Keep an eye out for a huge written, spoken, and visual art celebration in the spring to mark a major milestone for the agency we all love.

rockies game with fireworks!
Thank you so much for those who came to watch the Rockies game on Fan Appreciation Night Friday, September 20th. It was wonderful to see members of the community come together with youth to celebrate the end of the season with a game and a spectacular fireworks show! The seats were great and allowed us to ENJOY THE FIREWORKS FROM THE FIELD. The good people who support us also bought an unprecedented 30 tickets for youth, most of whom had never attended a live game in their lives. Good show, donors!!

AfA's 4th Annual Running of the Gays!
or "Not the makeup! Don't spray my face!"

Every year AfA and the queer community run a 3-block marathon in heels to help fund Phoenix Rising workshops at Rainbow Alley. Runners register with a $35 donation, and sponsors include Steuben's, Rainbow Alley, Colorado Injury Care and X Bar.

Boy, did we have some fun! The weather was perfect on August 11th for a 3-block marathon in heels -- just enough sunlight to make the green sequins glisten on Alex's heels (winner of the Fancy Hoofer award!), but not so much heat that our runners had to risk it all at the mid-course misting station ("Don't spray my face! Not the makeup!!" they yelled while running toward Washington Avenue).

Our Rainbow Alley youth poets amazed the crowd with their poems of strength and courage which were aptly complimented by their superhero costumes (Death Rose dressed as Batman ended up taking home the award for (audience-voted) Best Dressed. Speaking of best dressed, you must see the photos of the copper coin cocktail dress bedazzling our wonderful emcee, Ms. Shirley Delta Blow, at our lively after party at XBar!

New to this year's line-up was an ROTG MVP trophy deservedly awarded to Alf, who annually brings his high spirit and sponsorships ($$$) to the fundraiser. Alf donned a Colorado Mammoth jersey (and heels) in 2011, a Broncos jersey (and heels) in 2012, and this year a full-out Rapids jersey (and Steve Madden patent leather heels). We are so glad we could save the MVP trophy with a heifer on top from a banal existence at a local state fair, because Alf is such a wonderful human being and also the winner of this year's "Most Beef" - Highest Fundraiser - award, bringing in over $500 in sponsorships that support the creative programming Art from Ashes provides to the LGBTQ youth at the Center's Rainbow Alley.

We are so thankful that folks like Alf and our perennial business partners, John Larkin from Colorado Injury Care, Steuben's Restaurant, and XBar Denver, see the incredible merit and unmatchable fun that Running of the Gays brings to the Denver community and its LGBTQ youth.

MAY 6 :: dylan thomas society POETRY & PIE
The Dylan Thomas Society membership is for people financially committed to helping Art from Ashes provide creative workshops that allow youth to access their creativity, understand their value, and realize their potential for success. Membership is a commitment to $1000/year or $100/month. Benefits include exclusive performances, events, silent auctions and gifts of youth artwork. For a list of current members or to learn more about the Dylan Thomas Society, email info@artfromashes.org or go to our Dylan Thomas section for more information.

If you can't make it to the events, but would like to support our programs or become a member, please donate here

FEB 10 :: dylan thomas society POP-TARTS AND POETRY BRUNCH!
Our Dylan Thomas Society event to thank our current members and welcome new supporters was a Pop-Tarts & Poetry Brunch held at Highline Crossing in Littleton on Feb. 10. The brunch featured youth poet performances, a 3-minute writing prompt to create a poem to give to a loved one on Valentine's Day, and a spread consisting of Gourmet Pop-Tarts, an Egg Bake, Blueberry Parfaits and Mimosas!

CLICK HERE to view photos from Pop-Tarts and Poetry.

On Colorado Gives Day, Dec. 4th, Art from Ashes held its holiday celebration at Appaloosa Grill. The annual party gives us the opportunity to thank our donors, poets, partners and volunteers for a great year doing great work!

Appetizers were donated by Appaloosa Grill and there was an amazing performance by the Phoenix Rising youth and some of our guest poets. Thanks to the generosity of Appaloosa Grill owners, a portion of the proceeds from the night's imbibing helped support AfA's youth programs.

AfA will be collaborating with the Circle of Light Photo Project held at Artwork Network, 878 Santa Fe Drive on Friday, Nov. 16 from 6.30 to 9.30 pm. Come for an Art from Ashes youth performance, desserts, hot drinks and a silent auction of the photos in the exhibit.

One person's decision to be an eye donor can allow another to see. Through the Circle of Light project the recipients of restored sight photograph something meaningful. That photograph then served as inspiration for poems created by the Art from Ashes youth poets. No one expects being an eye, organ and tissue donor to impact a community in this way.

During a recent Phoenix Rising workshop, youth participants were asked to write poems inspired by the photos taken for the Circle of Light project... with a twist. They were given special glasses provided by the Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank. These glasses simulated legal blindness by obscuring images to mere shadows and shapes.

For the poets of the Phoenix Rising Program, it took the lack of sight for them to gain and give perspective. Through empathy and expression, the youth created beautiful poetry that sheds a light on the powerful impact of being an eye organ and tissue donor. A youth poet from The Spot wrote this poem in response to the workshop prompt "what would you miss if you could no longer see?":

by Wolf Girl, 20

If my sight clouded once more
Not realizing how much I'll miss
All the words I wrote down
Smiles that lit up all faces
The beauty that life showers
But most of all
My ability to write
Be it poetry, songs or stories
I would cry and cry and cry
If my sight clouded once more
I'll cry and cry and cry

This appreciation of sight and insight will continue Saturday, November 16, at the Artwork Network gallery where the Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank will display many beautiful photographs taken by people who have recently received the remarkable gift of sight. Through cornea transplants, these people were allowed to see the world in a different light and will be sharing their new perspective of the world through the meaningful images they've captured using their restored vision.

These same photographs, as seen through the eyes of the blind and vision impaired, served as the inspiration for the poetry created by the amazing youth in the Phoenix Rising Program. Their inspired poetry will be shared alongside the photos in the exhibit, giving the photographs a voice and a new perspective. Selected youth poets will also perform live, making it a night that is not to be missed.

For more information, go to the Circle of Light Photo Project site; for a blog on the AfA workshop on blindness held at The Spot, written by Circle of Light project director, Robert Austin, read this (it's wonderful).

A 3-block "marathon" in heels to fund creative programs for LGBTQ youth. Running of the Gays flier
On Sunday, September 30, Denver's 17th Avenue was overrun with crazy people, stilt-walkers, jugglers, drag queens, and youth, all in high heels for the THIRD ANNUAL RUNNING OF THE GAYS! The event, held every fall, is a 3-block "marathon" in heels to fund creative programs for LGBTQ youth put on by Art from Ashes with the support of Denver's queer community. Each year, runners are asked to donate $20 for the registration fee and are encouraged to raise money through sponsorships to run 3 blocks down 17th Avenue in heels! (C'mon, who wouldn't pay to see you run in heels??)

Thank you so much to our Events Team, our board members and volunteers, and the LGBTQ and straight community of Denver for making this the best Gay-la ever! And big ups to our wonderful coordinator who worked for months to ensure the community's LGBTQ youth get our Phoenix Rising program. (We love you, Anna-Liisa!)

This year was amazing! We had 37 runners who raised more than $5,000 for our programs for LGBTQ youth. Businesses contributed another $2,300 in in-kind goods and donations. We had free massages for runners and our sponsors Rainbow Alley, Steuben's, X Bar and Colorado Injury Care Massage Center generously supported most of the expenses to put on the event. These figures not only stood on a lofty pedestal over last year’s earnings, they also stood for the respect and rights of LGBTQ youth, making the three block run in heels and all those sore feet even more worthwhile.

Art from Ashes supplied free boas and a goody bag, plus, any runner who raised $250 or more in sponsorships got an "I brought the gay" t-shirt (free to all participating youth). Runners supplied the heels and sported the gorgeous calves; Steuben's supplied free mimosas to runners; X-Bar supplied the after party (man, do they have good, fresh food!); Shirley Delta Blow, Bovine Metropolis Theater and Tetra Nova supplied the entertainment; Morris Price provided a wonderful "keynote" poem; AfA youth poets performed; and local businesses supplied the prizes! The Running of the Gays was more than just an opportunity to dress in drag and traverse a busy part of town, the event was a platform for collaborating with Art from Ashes to support the city’s youth. Even more youth, Anna-Liisa hopes, will be supported in future events.

Check out all the photos and press!
:: Photos taken by Westword
:: Photos taken by 303 Magazine
:: Photos taken by Art from Ashes
:: Photos taken by edge on the net
:: More on Westword online
:: Article in Outfront Magazine (inside front cover and page 45)
:: Alf, Channel 93.3-Modern Rock
:: Article on Colorado Daily
For photos and the Westword articles by Jef Otte from previous years (with video) CLICK HERE.

If you would still like to donate to help our programs reach more youth, please select the Donate Now button below.
Donate through ColoradoGives.org

Now that was fun! Well, maybe not the game, exactly...

For the second year running, Art from Ashes held a fundraiser by selling tickets to the Rockies Fan Appreciation Night with fireworks. As the Rockies and the Arizona Diamondbacks [sort of] fought it out, Art from Ashes was there in force; we sold all 75 tickets, many of which were donated to several AfA youth poets.

Due to the chronic lackluster pitching of this past season, the Rockies weren't able to walk away with a win. But the evening was beautiful, the company was fun, the hot dogs were... well... hot dogs, and the fireworks were probably the best we'd ever seen anywhere!

If you were unable to attend this year, please join us next season! Have fun with your family and friends, raise some money for the youth. It works out.

Thank you so much to everyone who joined us, and a special thanks to those who bought tickets for the youth! We're in the process of purchasing tickets for next season, so make plans to join us again in 2013 and bring your friends!
:: CHECK OUT PHOTOS AND A VIDEO HERE (the video's pretty big, so it you'd prefer to watch it on Facebook, click here!)

AUG 15 :: DENVER'S SUMMER OF SAFETY Summer of Safey Photo An event sponsored by TYC and State Senator Mike Johnston to support healthy activities for Denver's urban youth. On August 15th, 2012, Art from Ashes youth poets performed at Civic Center Park and were applauded by Mayor Michael Hancock and Senator Johnston.

Pictured are Senator Mike Johnston, AfA youth poets Logan, Sly, Prinjastin, Shyla, and Christian, Mayor Michael Hancock, and youth poets Dee and Sparkles.

MAY 19-20 :: 2012 COLFAX MARATHON Colfax Marathon flyer
Remember last year's Running for the Gold? (If you don't, just check out the photos of the AfA relay team in tutus!) Well, we were in it to win it (the gold, I mean) once again, and we raised enough to support eight youth workshops, thanks to beautiful and amazing (and athletic!) Katie Wheeler, who managed the event almost single-handedly!

And thank you so much to our runners, who asked friends and family to sponsor their marathon to support youth programs at Art from Ashes! (you can still donate, until... well, forever!)
Dav Timm
Matthew Hajny
Kate Hendrickson
Elizabeth Bailey
Megan Hutcheson
Brianne Neuman
Bailey Staggs
Kyle Conley
Matt Bolejack

Denver Press Club Wonderful youth poets and a crew of donors and AfA staff showed up on Colorado Gives Day for a special happy hour at the historic Denver Press Club! Art from Ashes executive director Catherine O'Neill Thorn and lead facilitator Cameron Shaw were guest bartenders who donated all tips during that time to AfA!

Colorado Gives Day is a wonderful opportunity to help your gifts go further for your local community. We can't thank the Denver Press Club enough for inviting Art from Ashes to be its guest on Colorado Gives Day!

Colorado Gives Day Colorado Gives Day was the 24 hours starting at 12 a.m. on Tuesday, December 6, 2011. Online donations made through ColoradoGives.org supported nonprofits that protect and nurture quality of life in Colorado, and a percentage of donations was matched by a FirstBank Incentive Fund. Art from Ashes received $5,300 worth of donations on Dec. 6! Thank you, Colorado!

NOV 30 :: APPALOOSA GRILL HOLIDAY PARTY Appaloosa Grill invite
The annual Art from Ashes holiday celebration at Appaloosa Grill gave us the opportunity to thank our donors, poets, partners and volunteers for a great year doing great work! And a portion of the proceeds from the night's imbibing helps support AfA's youth programs.

Thank you to the owners and staff at Appaloosa Grill (16th & Welton) for supporting Art from Ashes. Your generosity is a blessing to our entire community!

Give the Same Dollar and Bless Three Ways!

On Nov. 18 from 5 to 8 pm shop at Ten Thousand Villages, 2626 E. Third Ave in Cherry Creek, shoppers put their holiday budget to good use by buying beautiful, reasonably-priced, handcrafted gifts to please their friends and family; providing income to international artisans; and supporting struggling youth in your own backyard—all at the same time. Ten Thousand Villages donated 15% of all sales to Art from Ashes.

For information on Ten Thousand Villages, click here.

The Ginn Mill invited Art from Ashes to be its "charity of the week" during the week of October 10, starting with a kick off happy hour on Monday the 10th. All profits from Monday night's imbibing supported programs at Art from Ashes, and Denver Young Professionals co-sponsored the event. Check out the Ginn Mill and thank them for supporting our organization!

Running of the Gays flyer SEPT 25 :: RUNNING OF THE GAYS!
Well, that wasn't fun at all!! This year the community once again "came out" en masse to show support for Denver's LGBTQ youth at Denver's second annual Running of the Gays! We also raised funding to cover most of the costs for a creative program offered to Rainbow Alley geared specifically for LGBTQ youth's needs. This year's event raised more funding (almost twice as much!) and community support than last year. Check out the wonderful media coverage pre and post by faithful runner Jef Otte of Westword and the phantastic photos taken by... well, most people. We expect the 2012 ROTG to be even bigger, so get yer heels (and ankles!) ready to roll... or strut, or hop, or stumble...

The Running of the Gays is an annual 3-block "marathon" in heels to fund creative programs for LGBTQ youth at Rainbow Alley. The event is organized by Denver's gay community, Art from Ashes, and Ed Gillespie of G3. Each year runners are asked to raise money through sponsorships to trot 3 blocks down 17th Avenue (from Steuben's to JR's) in heels! Steuben's, Jonesy's Eat Bar and The Center sponsored the 2011 run. Art from Ashes supplied free boas and "I brought the gay" t-shirts for any runner raising $250 or more in sponsorships (and free to all participating youth); Steuben's, Hamburger Mary's, and Jonesy's EatBar supplied the brunch and drink specials; local businesses supplied the prizes; and JR's Bar and Grill supplied the after party!

SEPT 16 :: ROCKIES GAME Rockies Fireworks
We love baseball and we love the Rockies...And we had a great time at the Friday night game against the 2010 National Champions San Francisco Giants! Okay, the Rockies lost, but our group had a fantastic time hanging out together at the game, and there were fireworks on the field afterwards. Thank you to everyone who purchased a ticket and made this little fundraiser so much fun!!

One man's "extra stuff" is another man's treasure, and we had dozens of mens and womens stuff all over our parking lot! And after we were all done swapping "treasures" we opened it up to the public... Thank you, public! For all your donated items and for buying all our stuff! Thank you to our wonderful volunteers who sat out in the hot sun and cleaned, sorted and moved everything.

... was fantastic! Live music on both stages, poetry, and drawings for prizes, all on Denver's prettiest patio. Thank you to everyone who participated and made it so much fun! Special thanks go to our musicians: Jonny 5 of the Flobots, Mute:Man's:Microphone, Wheelchair Sports Camp, 19th Pl., Left Fist Evolution, DJ Low Flying Crow, Rachel Eisenstat and Iron City, Spanish guitar by Andy Hackbarth; to participating poets Lucifury, Ralph Lazo, Chance Two Crow, Jose "Jozer" Guerrero, Art from Ashes youth poets; and to our sponsors: The Meadowlark, Nail'd Boutique, Denver Nuggets, Gunoo's Studio, Devil's Food, The Bookies Bookstore, West Side's Book Annex, Bonnie Brae Ice Cream, and Colorado Injury Care.

Many people were sleeping in the early hours of May 15, when a light rain was falling, and the weather barely broke 50 degrees Fahrenheit. But those people are not the dedicated individuals who participated in the Colfax Marathon this year. When the starting gun went off just after 6 am, 11 people took off running to support our cause.

Our amazing volunteer and major donor Susie Martin spearheaded yet another wonderful annual run to the tune of $3,500 in donations! Go team! Big contributors included Marie Verrett who valiantly raised $530 for Art from Ashes. Marie was part of the Colfax Marathon team relay event. Together with Catherine O'Neill Thorn, Stephen Marshall, Joanne Hasse, and Willa Conway, the Art from Ashes relay team sported their own style, wearing fashionable black tutus (might we see those again in September for our second annual Running of the Gays event?). Susie raised $1,630 from family, friends and co-workers and ran the Half Marathon with youth poet Chance Two Crow.

Check out some photos!

Thank you to all who participated. If you are interested in running in the 2012 Colfax Marathon and raising money for Art from Ashes youth programs, please contact Erin at info@artfromashes.org.

Poetry Rodeo flyer MAY 7 :: 22ND ANNUAL POETRY RODEO
Art from Ashes was featured at the 22nd Annual Poetry Rodeo at the Mercury Café on May 7th, showcasing poetry organizations such as Lighthouse Writers, Columbine Poets and Art from Ashes! Poets & performers from Colorado Springs to Fort Collins were represented in this huge poetry extravaganza!

DTS flyer FEB 10 :: Private Party for Members and Potential Members of the DYLAN THOMAS SOCIETY
Attorney Mark Bell and Dr. Josh Blum hosted a Dylan Thomas Society event at Gallery 1261 on Thursday, Feb. 10 at 6 pm. For more information about the Dylan Thomas Society, CLICK HERE.

Art from Ashes had a fantastic party to thank all of our donors, friends, volunteers, board members, vendors and others in the community who have graciously supported our work with youth over the past seven years. Our appreciation/benefit was held at one of the finest bars and restaurants in downtown Denver, where more than 70 people from all over the state celebrated our success and had a chance to meet some of the youth poets and guest poets with whom we've worked.

Thank you to the owners and staff at Appaloosa Grill (16th & Welton) for a wonderful evening. Your generosity is a blessing to our entire community!

Ten Thousand Villages LogoA special evening at Ten Thousand Villages in Cherry Creek helped support Art from Ashes youth programs and global microbusinesses, when 15% of all purchases was donated back to the community through AfA's work with youth. Ten Thousand Villages is one of the world's largest fair trade organizations and a founding member of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO). The company strives to improve the livelihood of tens of thousands of disadvantaged artisans in 38 countries. Not only are the products beautiful, unique and reasonably priced, they are handmade by artisans in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.


Art from Ashes Youth Poets performed their original work on Oct. 16 atFirst Plymouth Congregational Church, a community that offers a creative, diverse, and welcoming environment that supports all individuals and families.

A 3-block marathon in heels to fund creative programs for LGBTQ youth
On Sunday Sept. 26 at 11 am, Denver's gay community, Art from Ashes, Ed Gillespie of G3 & Noelle Benjamin hosted the first Denver Running of the Gays to support creative programs for youth at Rainbow Alley. Runners agreed to raise $250 each in sponsorships to run 3 blocks down 17th Avenue in heels! Art from Ashes supplied the t-shirts, runners supplied the heels, Steuben's and Hamburger Mary's supplied the specials, and JR's supplied the party!

A fantastic party was organized by a collection of friends who celebrated their birthdays by supporting Art from Ashes! It was held at Chez 4001 in the Highlands Neighborhood of Denver for a requested minimum donation of $45. All donations went to support Art from Ashes youth programs. The party featured poetry, music, wine and microbrews with guest speakers and performers:

Chris Ransick :: Denver Poet Laureate & author of Asleep Beneath the Hill of Dreams
Lucifury :: Spoken Word Artist, ranked 5th in the world
Chance Two Crow :: Spoken Word & Hip-Hop Artist, and Youth Representative on the AfA Board of Directors
Evan Sitchler :: Acoustic Guitar and Ukulele
Nick Orf :: Performance Poet & MC
Appetizers were provided by Bay Window Catering


The Dylan Thomas Society, founded in 2010 by Mark Bell (download bio)—an attorney with Husch Blackwell LLP—was established in memory of his mother for donors who want to give with purpose. The Society is a separate fund with benefits such as poetry gifts, banquets and luncheons, the obligatory pub crawls (hey, we're talking Dylan Thomas!), and special youth performances for members. Membership in the society is for community-minded givers who are committed to donating a minimum of $1,000 a year or $100 a month through ColoradoGives.org.

Strings Restaurant Our first private event of the Dylan Thomas Society was held at Strings Restaurant, 1700 Humboldt St. in Denver. At the dinner, members were given the opportunity to invest in our youth programs, after a delicious meal, cocktails, a youth performance, and an invitation to work with Art from Ashes from our sponsor Mark Bell. You may contact Mark at 303.870.4809 or mbell@JCFKK.com for more information, or you can become a member by making a contribution at ColoradoGives.org below, which also allows donors to make monthly contributions through automatic withdrawals.

Donate through ColoradoGives.org


Each year we come together to celebrate the spoken word and the power of intentional creation. This annual event, held in honor of National Poetry Month, is a collaboration of artists and Denver Slam Poets, with special performances by the Art from Ashes Youth Poets. This year we also featured our new Casting Shadows theater program. With hands-on interactive workshops and activity booths, there was a little something for everyone from poetry to graffiti and other creative activities in between.

Art from Ashes organizes this event, not only in celebration of National Poetry month, but to celebrate its relationship with the community and with organizations serving young people. Our host this year was Cole Arts and Science Academy located at 3240 Humboldt in Denver.

Jacobs Chase AttorneysOur main sponsor, Jacobs Chase, a firm with 11 attorneys including Art from Ashes board member Mark Bell, named 2010 Super Lawyers*.

*Super Lawyers magazine names attorneys in each state who received the highest point totals, as chosen by their peers and through the independent research.

On May 16, eight runners ran the Colfax Marathon to raise money for Art from Ashes, accomplish a personal challenge, and have a great time. Runners generated more than $3,000 in 13 miles thanks to the generous time and effort expended by volunteer Susie Martin.

MARCH 7 :: POWER IN THE CITY: Public Voice through the Art of Spoken Word and Graffiti
A night celebrating urban arts, community, and the power of self expression organized by students from DU's Denver Urban Issues and Policy course as the final class assignment. In collaboration with Your Name in Graffiti and Art from Ashes, the theme was the power of public voice through the urban art forms of spoken word and graffiti. The event was held at the Mercury Caf? and featured five youth poets.
Sponsored by: The Puksta Foundation and DU's Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning (CCESL)


The March First Friday youth performance was held at Museo on 9th and Inca and featured five Art from Ashes youth poet!

Laurie Maves printClick here to buy prints of Laurie Maves' recent painting of the AfA event "Out From the Ashes" :: Pictured are (from left) Spoken Word Poet and AfA Facilitator Lucifury, Youth Poet Natalia, Executive Director Catherine O'Neill Thorn, Guest Poet LINK (Joshua Abeyta), Youth Poet and AfA Board Member Chance Two Crow, Youth Poet Keizuan, Director of Operations Marie Verrett, and [above] Jonny 5, emcee.

A reflection of renewal—from sacrifice to redemption—at Capitol Heights Presbyterian Church
The Art from Ashes youth poets performed for the community in an presentation emceed by Jonny 5 of Flobots logo

Click here to watch the video.

The February First Friday youth performance featured a special reading at Artwork Network in honor of former AfA youth poet Rinu, who died suddenly the week before. More information will be posted here in the upcoming week, including an article about Rinu and the event by Tina Griego of The Denver Post.


Art from Ashes Concert flyerWE ARE THE WORD! 2010 NEW YEAR CONCERT, JAN. 9
Thanks to Andrews on Lincoln for donating space and income from our first benefit concert of 2010! And many, many thanks to the wonderful musicians who supported our work with performances: DJ Cyn, More Cowbell, Jonny 5 of the Flobots, Paradox, UmConscious, Oakhurst and Vices I Admire DJ Cyn logo More Cowbell logo Paradox logo Oakhurst logo Vices I Admire logo
Umconcsious logo  Flobots logo



Art from Ashes held a party to thank all of our donors, friends, volunteers, board members, vendors and people in the community who have to graciously supported our work with youth over the past six years. Our appreciation/benefit was held at one of the finest bars and restaurants in downtown Denver, where more than 70 people celebrated our success and had a chance to meet some of the youth poets with whom we've worked this past year.
View photos


Our last youth performance opportunity is Dec 4, 2009 for First Friday at Museo de las Americas at 861 Santa Fe Dr., Denver CO 80204

National Assoc. for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth, NOV. 16
Art from Ashes youth poets from the workshops at Urban Peak performed at the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth conference at the Denver Marriott.

"A colorful collaborative event to celebrate diversity in our collective communities and elevate our inner artist."

The first of an annual celebration of art, that featured 25 artists, music, authors and the Art from Ashes youth poets!

SUNDAY ON STAGE, NOV. 8 Poetry in Motion Denver Arts Week/Sunday on Stage in Boettcher Hall at DPAC. A reading of poetry by Denver Poet Laureate Chris Ransick, Pikes Peak Poet Laureate Aaron Anstett, and 8 youth poets chosen for the Poetry in Motion project (youth poems on 800 RTD buses), including Art from Ashes youth poet Dominic Perez.


Art from Ashes youth poets performed at Abecedarian Gallery, 910 Santa Fe Dr. Unit #101



ArgusFestArgusFest featured performances by AfA youth poets in celebration of 8 years of raising awarness of human rights, social justice, media, and environmental issues.

Taylor Jones participated in Race for a Cause in Aurora. The money donated to support her race was given to Art from Ashes, her chosen nonprofit. Thanks, Taylor!


SLAMPhoenix! :: Thursday, April 30
:: Our April Poetry & Spoken Word Festival in honor of national Poetry Month was held at Denver Big Picture high school at 35th and Franklin.

We had booths with art projects and poetry writing prompts as well as guest performances and performance poets Bianca Mikahn and Lady Speech providing tips on performing spoken word.

was a blast, as usual! We joined Denver Poet Laureate Chris Ransick and DOCA for Poets on Corners!


Top bands team with youth poets in fundraiser
Several of Denver?s hottest bands will join forces with a group of young poets to benefit Art from Ashes in a March 21 concert at Herman?s Hideaway. Vonnegut, Dead Ringer, Arms Raised, Electric Ordinary, Station X, Novus Folium and The Paradox are among the groups that will perform that night. Artist Laurie Maves will be performing "live art" on stage during the sets and her artwork will be auctioned off at the event to raise funds for our work.

Proceeds from the event will benefit Art from Ashes, a Denver nonprofit that empowers struggling youth through creative programs that facilitate health and hope through expression, connection and transformation. What makes this concert unique is that some of the bands will premier songs they have written that were inspired by youth poets who have participated in the Art from Ashes Phoenix Rising poetry program.

Find out more information about the bands on their MySpace pages:
Dead Ringer
With Arms Raised
Electric Ordinary
The Paradox
Station X
Novus Folium



SATURDAY, NOV 15, 2008: PeaceJam Slam at Denver Center for International Studies
Art from Ashes provided two workshops at the PeaceJam "Global Call to Action" event featuring Naomi Tutu, daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nomalizo Tutu. The event also featured youth poets on stage before an audience of youth and adult sponsors. Thanks to a grant from Colorado Humanities, the poems of several youth from Denver Children's Home were read as part of the performance.*
:: Check out the slideshow ::
(If anyone would like copies of the photos sent to them, please contact us with your request at info@artfromashes.org)

*Colorado Humanities, a program of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Flobots.org, and sponsors and donors of Art from Ashes are funding 24 workshops at Denver Children's Home through Dec. 10.


Our young poets performed at various art galleries along Santa Fe

WEDNESDAY, OCT 22, 2008: Volunteer Appreciation Retro Bowling Party!

FRIDAY, OCT 17, 2008: Workshops, Poetry and Music at the Arapahoe Community College Writers' Studio!
Colorado Humanities, a program of the National Endowment for the Humanities, sponsored an events at ACC which featured our youth poets from Denver Children's Home. The event also included an Art from Ashes workshop on writing from the creative right-brain; music by Coyote Poets of the Universe; guest poet and slam champion Bianca Mikahn; and a bake sale run by our young friends at Columbine High School. All proceeds benefited Art from Ashes and our work with youth.
:: Check out the slideshow ::
(If anyone would like copies of the photos sent to them, please contact us with your request at info@artfromashes.org)


SATURDAY, SEPT 27, 2008: SkyDive4Free
Our celebrity jumpers, ALICE 105.9's executive producer Mikey Goldenberg, BJ, Howie & Jennifer Morning Show host Jennifer Wilde, and Denver Poet Laureate Chris Ransick, and our own team of volunteers jumped out of "a perfectly good plane" to raise money for AfA! Click below to watch the video or a slideshow of the jumpers.
:: ALICE 105.9 video
CLICK HERE to read about it!
Oh, and by the way, we're doing it again with the 2009 skydiving team on Saturday, September 19th, 2009. I hope you can join us next year, everyone is invited, just let us know via email.
:: Slideshow

AUGUST 17, 2008: Solera Restaurant and Wine Bar
Our wonderful fundraiser at Solera was a great time! The youth poets from our Art from Ashes workshops were fabulous; Brazilian Flamenco Guitarist Marco DiFerreira gifted us with his music; chef Andrew Van Stee of Il Posto served up some very fine appetizers; Andrew Burch and MIke Williams donated two cases of wine each; and we appreciate so much the generosity of the many businesses and individuals who donated the silent auction items. We especially would like to thank Ian Maxwell the general manager of Solera and resident sommelier, who donated the space, his expertise and all of his bartending tips from the evening. Of course the event would not have been a success without the many donors and guests who supported our program with their financial generosity. Lindsey, our intern from Metropolitan State College of Denver and a trained co-facilitator with our program, ran her first event efficiently and seamlessly. Thanks to LIndsey and our other volunteers for their hard work and ongoing service to Art from Ashes!

JUNE 6, 2008: First Friday
Art from Ashes six young poets performed at the corner of 9th and Santa Fe with Coyote Poets of the Universe, a combination band and spoken word performance group.

MAY 2, 2008: First Friday
Art from Ashes five young poets performed at the corner of 9th and Inca with Coyote Poets of the Universe, a combination band and spoken word performance group.

APRIL 4, 2008: First Friday
"Poets on Corners," an event for National Poetry Month organized by Denver Poet Laureate Christopher Ransick and the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs, boasted a variety of well-known local poets standing on street corners as part of the Santa Fe Arts Walk. Art from Ashes youth poets, along with Coyote Poets of the Universe, a combination band and spoken word performance group, performed at the corner of 9th and Inca from 6.30 to 7.30 pm.

MARCH 7, 2008: First Friday
Art from Ashes youth poets not only performed at Artwork Network and at Laughing Bean Café on Santa Fe and 10th, but also on local TV Channel 57!


FEB. 27, 2008: Erin Gruwell Event at the Colorado Convention Center
The Mayor's Office of Education and Children, the Mizel Museum and the Facing History project presented an event featuring speaker Erin Gruwell of Freedom Writers for 5,000 middle school and high school students and educators. The lineup included First Lady Jean Ritter, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, Fate and Colorado Hip Hop Elements, and a presentation by Catherine O'Neill Thorn, Art from Ashes Executive Director, and performances by two AfA youth poets: Lorenzo Salazar and Giovanni Lopez.

FEB. 23, 2008: Artopia
Art from Ashes was presented with the MasterMind Award and a check for $4,000 at Artopia presented by Westword. Youth poets Lorenzo Salazar, Chance Two Crow and "Phoenix" read their poems at the event.


FEB. 22, 2008: Denver Press Club Thomas Hornsby Ferril Poetry Contest Reading
The Denver Press Club announced the winners for the first poetry contest in the name of former Colorado Poet Laureate Thomas Hornsby Ferril, and one of the Art from Ashes youth poets, Tripp, was a winner! The Press Club donated proceeds from the reading and from the contest to Art from Ashes, and Denver Poet Laureate Chris Ransick and Mike Henry of Lighthouse Writers were the guest bartenders who donated their tips to Art from Ashes.



DEC. 7, 2007: First Friday Christmas Party
All those who have supported our work in the past, whether volunteers or donors, attended a party and youth poetry performance, featuring Giovanni Lopez and Lorenzo Salazar.

OCT. 26, 2007: Youth Performance and Fundraiser
...and PARTY! We always have a good time at our fundraisers, and this was no exception. Between the comedy team of Wrist Deep, the fantastic Rooster Brothers Band,the youth poets, wine, appetizers and desserts, and our amazing supporters, the event at Crossroads Theater was amazing! Thank you to all of those who weren't able to attend and yet still bought tickets.

SEPT. 21, 2007: FLOBOTS CD release show, featuring Jonny 5, the Dualistics, Nathan & Stephen at the Gothic Theatre.


SEPT. 3, 2007: Poets' Picnic on Labor Day at Washington Park from 5 to 8 pm, sponsored by Access Idiom

AUG. 15, 2007: Presentation and reading at Crossroads Theater's Wednesday night open mic poetry, featuring youth poet Ietef Hotep Vita

AUG. 3, 2007: KGNU Radio Interview [listen]

JULY 13, 2007: Open Dialogue XI: Global Connections to Cultural Democracy
Art from Ashes youth poets performed at the biennial conference of arts organizations and artists from communities of color and their supporters in America, held July 12-15 at the Magnolia Hotel in Denver.


JUNE 16, 2007: Cultural Legacy Booksellers at 3633 W. 32nd Ave. dedicated 10% of total sales on June 16 to Art from Ashes. The Highlands Square Street Festival was held on that day, and Cultural Legacy hosted a reading featuring several authors and our youth poets. Thank you to owners Steve and Celia!

MARCH 11, 2007: Fine Cuisine and Fine Arts at Highland's Garden Café featuring Denver Poet Laureate Chris Ransick
Chris Ransick read from his latest book Lost Songs and Last Chances. Proceeds from the reading were donated to Art From Ashes, as well as a generous donation from the owners.

MARCH 2007 :: Art Show at Nine10Arts
The month-long showing and silent auction at theGallery at Nine10Arts was sponsored by 910Arts Nonprofit. The show featured the beautiful collage artwork of Manivone Nonthaveth, which combines the photography of Manivone and Lewis Lease and the poetry of our youth. There are several pieces left (see below for example :: click on photo to view larger image). Please contact us to own a truly unique work of art for your home or office or to give as a gift for someone who supports art, poetry or youth.

automatically, as we shine who we are...
we turn away those
who have nothing to learn from us,
and attract those who do,
and from whom we have to learn as well.

— richard bach, "adventures of a reluctant messiah"



FEBRUARY 23, 2007: Thomas Hornsby Ferril Birthday Poetry Reading
The Ferril Birthday Celebration at the Denver Press Club, 15th and Glenarm, was sponsored by the Denver Press Club and Lighthouse Writers Workshops, which also had a birthday celebration at Ferril's former home on Feb. 24. One of Colorado's first Poet Laureates Ferril was a long-time member of the Denver Press Club and a celebrated essayist, columnist and editor. One of our youth poets performed along with former Colorado Gov. Dick Lamm and his wife Dottie, Denver Poet Laureate Chris Ransick, Denver Post reporter Mike McPhee, the Rev. Leon Kelly of Open Door Youth Gang Alternatives, poet David J. Rothman, and DPC members Anneliese Rix, Frank Steiger and Catherine O'Neill Thorn.


JANUARY 11-13, 2007: Symposium Benefit at the Boulder Republic
The Dis-Enkultured Poets conducted a Boulder Symposium at the Boulder Republic, which raised $2,000 for our youth programs. The 3-day fundraising event featured workshops and performances that included youth readings by the Art from Ashes youth poets, rock mogul and Naropa poet Steven Taylor, 2006 American Book Award winner Tim Hernandez, Deep Rawk Dave & and the Council of Word, DJ Lazyeyez (Radio 1190), and DJ Chris Nathan (KGNU).


DECEMBER 13, 2006 Holiday Martini Mixer at The Loft Bar & Lounge! Carrie Baumann, owners Jamie and Shane, and bartenders Scott and Johnnie made the evening great fun for the 35 attendees, and our young poets Phoenix, Giovanni, Inetta, Tripp and Leticia spoke to the power of the program and each read two poems written during the workshops.


OCTOBER 15, 2006 Gala at the Oriental Theater with Wendy Woo, spoken word artist Bataan, Chris Ransick, Denver's Poet Laureate, Katy Pivoda and Eddie Davis of the Denver Youth Slam Team, and our famous youth spoken word poets received a strong show of support from the community. CLICK HERE to see photos.

More than 200 people attended our first gala event, which included a wine tasting, an art auction, a "Live Art" date auction, and youth performances, as well as performances by Wendy Woo and Bataan, Christopher Ransick, Katy Pivoda and Eddie Davis. Dr. Ronald Jemal Stephens, Chair of the Department of African and African American Studies at Metropolitan State College of Denver addressed the audience about the importance of community outreach and partnerships that provided direction and growth for young people in difficult circumstances.

CLICK HERE to view the donors and sponsors of the event.

MAY 7, 2006 English Tea Party and Sassy Stuff Spring Shopping Spree
Thanks to the 20 people who attended Miranda's party and who purchased from Sassy Stuff! Sassy Stuff generously donated a percentage of the proceeds to Art from Ashes and some of the attendees also made cash donations. Bless you!


APRIL 22, 2006
Youth performance with PoeJazz at the Cool Cat Café
Located at TOSA (1400 Dallas St.) in Aurora
Community members gathered for the opening of the Cool Cat Café, a center for youth artwork run by The Other Side Arts. Several poets from the Phoenix Rising workshops at The Spot performed.

APRIL 6, 2006
Youth performance with PoeJazz at the Arapahoe Community College's Writing Center
Over 100 students and community members gathered in Half Moon theater at Arapahoe Community College April 6, 2006, to celebrate poetry and jazz by listening to the young poets from the Phoenix Rising workshops at The Spot and the PoeJazz of the Lou Malandra Trio. The articulate, unique, and raw poetry of the poets from Art from Ashes moved many to tears, and the poets received several standing ovations.

MARCH 18, 2006
A Fundraiser for Art from Ashes: Music, Poetry & Fashion at Beyond Nightclub!

FEBRUARY 28, 2006
Poetry Reading at Curious Coffee
From 7 to 8 pm, five poets from the Art from Ashes adult writing workshops presented a reading of their work written over the past few sessions. These transformational poems manifest the beauty and power of the written and spoken word, and it is the first public reading for these women. Curious Coffee graciously provided coffee, tea and dessert for the event.



:: shine ::
Watch our 4-minute video produced by Rachel Julkowski
:: Low Res (small file)
:: High Res (large file)
or check it out on youtube!
Please contact us if you'd like to be sent a DVD of our video :: info@artfromashes.org

:: Check out the Flobots Rise! video ::
:: Check out the PeaceJam slideshow ::
:: Check out the Arapahoe Community College slideshow ::
:: Check out the SkyDive slideshow ::

Please refer to our YOUTH WORKSHOPS page for a listing of workshops and presentations.

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