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Giving Tuesday 2020

Mark your calendars to pack a local punch on Giving Tuesday, December 1st. Join donors from…

First Friday Instagram

You can still hear our powerful youth poets perform their powerful youth poems every First Friday via Instagram Live @afaphoenix

Sarah delivering packages

Writing Kits

More than 80 Phoenix Rising creative writing kits have been delivered to schools and other agencies thanks to a generous grant from TGYS!

#GivingTuesdayNOW

May 5, 2020 is a new international day for supporting nonprofits affected by the COVID-19 crisis— #GivingTuesdayNOW

The Colorado Sun

Colorado Sun Article

Thank you to poet, activist and Art from Ashes board member Theo E.J. Wilson for this wonderful piece in The Colorado Sun!

The Colorado Sun

Poetry program helps inner city kids navigate their way past depression and suicidal thoughts

 

ROTG Recap

Running of the Gays flyerby Boone Riddle

High heels and high spirits, open hearts and open bar tabs, tears and twerking, performance and passion. At the intersection of activism and celebration, where vulnerable expression and raunchy comedy are served up in spades, where dedicated warriors pour out their souls as they pour another cocktail—THIS is Running of the Gays. 

The 9th Annual Running of the Gays once again put on this faux marathon in heels to highlight the brilliance of our youth. A silly event with the serious purpose of supporting empowerment workshops for queer youth.  

Our 2018 event was both a familiar family reunion, and a leap forward for our organization. Our incredible youth poets captivated the audience with open, raw, and frequently hilarious expressions of their struggles and their victories. Other performers threw down sultry musical performances as the crowd cheered and tipped and begged for more. However they chose to express themselves, the showcase of talent from our youth performers was a powerful, tangible display of their hearts—and AfA’s work to facilitate their transformation.

Running of the Gays continues to gain visibility with local media, community, and supporters. Many new faces joined the team and gave their all to make this event happen. Running of the Gays was even featured on the FOX31 network! Our incredible network of staff, volunteers, and donors is stronger than ever. Planning for next year’s Running of the Gays is already underway! This is all made possible by your support for Art from Ashes. Thank you. We’ll see you at the 10th Annual Running of the Gays next year!

Thank you to our 2018 sponsors!

Ace Eat Serve

Steubens

Outfront

Fleur Salon

X Bar

The Bank of Denver

Charlie's Nightclub Denver

Pizzeria Locale

For some hilarious photos and videos of the event, check out our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/RunningOfTheGays/

2018 Holiday Letter

Hopefully you can join us for the holiday party on the 4th (invitation below)!

Meanwhile, here’s what we have to share during this wonderful season of light:

(read the pdf of our 2018-Annual Request Letter or read text below)

Happy Holidays from Kumi!  

My name is Kumi, and I am 18 years old. This holiday season, I’d like to share my story of transformation with you.

Before Art from Ashes, I was just an empty shell named Kumi, and I had a degree in making bad decisions. Now I’m getting a different kind of degree at CCD, thanks in large part to Art from Ashes! 

I was full of creativity, hidden behind a door barred shut by my enemy Bipolar Disorder. I was frustrated, depressed, ecstatic, and powerless. Imagine trying to defeat a monster with only a bottle of pills, the wrong kind of friends, and bad love relationships. Doesn’t make much sense, right? 

But then Art from Ashes came to our Creative Writing class at Endeavor Academy. I was so excited about how easy it was to let out my creativity in the form of poetry. I didn’t really ever do much poetry before, so it was new and interesting…and soon it became my favorite thing to do. 

I finally had something new to fight my monster with and you better believe I felt empowered! I felt strong with my new weapon and confident in my new skills. I learned the power of my voice as I read my poetry to the people willing to listen, and I learned how to conquer my fears. And with Art from Ashes, I learned to help empower others, as well.

Art from Ashes was able to come to Endeavor Academy because of generous donations from community members just like you. I’d like to thank you for your support and ask that you please consider financially supporting Art from Ashes this holiday season so that more youth can experience empowerment and transformation through art and poetry.

—Kumi Avila, Youth Representative to the Art from Ashes Board of Directors

Here’s what your generous donation provides:

  • At Art from Ashes, we believe in paying artists! Your donation of $50 provides an honorarium for a guest poet or artist to inspire and motivate the young people in our workshops.
  • We spend more than $1000 a year providing an honorarium to youth who perform their poetry for the community! Any amount you designate can support that goal!
  • We believe in healthy food and LOTS of water for youth. Your donation of $50 will provide enough food and water for one 2-hour workshop for up to 20 young people! How many workshops would you like to support?
  • A monthly donation of $100 will provide writing and art materials for four of our weekly drop-in workshops, held every Wednesday (Phoenix Rising) and Thursday (Drawing on Air Creative Time).
  • A one-time gift of $2000 will support a year’s worth of weekly workshops for a struggling youth. 
  • A one-time gift of $5000 will provide the cost of an 8-workshop program for 20 youth ($15/hr. per youth), which would include operating costs as well as program expenses.
  • Of course, we would very much appreciate any amount you’re willing to donate!

Does your employer match your donation? Please let us know!

And we hope you’ll come to our Annual Celebration of Light Party on Colorado Gives Day, Dec 4th from 7 to 9 pm at Art from Ashes, 1310 west 10th ave, denver


Happy Season of Light from the board and staff of AfA! 

We hope you enjoyed Kumi’s powerful story of transformation. Stories like Kumi’s, and the stories we’ve heard from countless other young people over the years, remind us why we exist and inspire us to continue this important work. Colorado Gives Day is Tuesday, December 4th—a day that allows our generous donors to contribute towards that beautiful goal. During that 24-hour period your donation counts more than any other time.

Speaking of years…on October 10, Art from Ashes celebrated its 15th anniversary! That’s 15 years of young people discovering their creative genius through our unique and innovative programs. At Art from Ashes, we believe that by discovering their creativity, young people are empowered through art and poetry to find their voice, change their stories, and transform their lives. And as numerous studies and our own surveys have shown, it works.

In 2018, Art from Ashes experienced a few transformations as well:

  • AfA won the Mayor’s Award for Excellence in Arts and Culture! This prestigious award is given to organizations that make significant and lasting contributions in the City and County of Denver. What a great way to celebrate our 15th anniversary!
  • AfA merged with Violet Hive’s Art As Healing youth program, a nonprofit organization that shares our belief that art facilitates empowerment and healing. Founder of Violet Hive, Amy Leiter, joined the AfA staff; Bridget Hofstadter of Violet Hive is now our volunteer coordinator; and both are trained Phoenix Rising facilitators who have expanded our weekly Creative Time drop-in workshops!
  • Our programs and the work we do with youth in the community were highlighted on CBS4 and Fox Network, helping to send our message of hope and transformation to thousands of people.
  • AfA hosted and facilitated a workshop for the World Denver Iraqi Youth Delegation.
  • AfA has now partnered with more than 180 organizations to serve nearly 13,000 young people! 

In addition to our ongoing workshops in the community and weekly on-site workshops, young people have shared their stories and their voices at a number of events in 2018. Some of these events include monthly First Friday performances at AfA, the Mercury Café’s 30th Annual Poetry Rodeo, the Youth Voices in Recovery poetry performance, and AfA’s 9th Annual Running of the Gays. Additionally, two of our youth poets were featured at the 2018 Denver Women’s March, where they performed in front of thousands of people! 

Seeing the magic happen in workshops and watching the transformation of both youth and community members during performances and art shows re-ignites our passion for the work we do and leaves us energized for a groundbreaking future:

  • Next year Violet Hive artists and AfA staff will expand the Drawing on Air curriculum, which is built on the foundation of our award-winning Phoenix Rising program.
  • Of our existing trained facilitators, two are professional dancers interested in expanding and facilitating our Wingspan program, which we hope to launch by the end of 2019.

Our programs are magical, but we can’t soar without you. We hope you will help us meet our goal to serve even more youth in 2019. Please consider making a holiday contribution to provide creative empowerment workshops to the young people in our community.

With gratitude and joy,

The Art from Ashes staff, board, facilitators, contractors and volunteers

Catherine O’Neill Thorn, Celeste Seiler, Bridget Hofstadter, Sarah Lanzarotta, Samantha Albala, Savannah Arterburn, Tiffany Bowden, Amy Leiter, Marie Verrett, Carolyn Klier, Lewis Lease, Jessica Jarrard, Susie Martin, Johnnie Thorn, Kumi Avila, plus 63 interns, volunteers, and guest poets/artists!

PS. For those of you who have been supporting, praying for, and thinking of Catherine as she has journeyed through this difficult past year, you can find her medical update on our website here: www.artfromashes.org/category/news

COGivesDay 2017

Colorado Gives Day is December 5th this year, and your donation carries even more weight because of a FirstBank incentive fund. We would love you to consider Art from Ashes youth as the beneficiaries of your generosity.

We’re also having a party at Art from Ashes between 6.30 and 9 pm that evening to celebrate our donors and youth and staff and board and volunteers and… well, everyone who has made AfA possible for the past 14 years!

And if you would rather give early, you can do that, too, by selecting the CO GIVES DAY button when donating.

We could really use the support this year in particular. Please help out with however much you are able! http://bit.ly/afacogivesday

AND as usual, we’re having out annual AfA Holiday Party to celebrate Colorado Gives Day! This year it’s at our new location on 10th and Navajo between the hours of 6.30 and 9 pm.

You will be inspired by brilliant Phoenix Rising youth and local poets; music by Joshua Abeyta; & instant poem gifts typed on the spot by Poet Jen Harris. You can enjoy delicious complimentary appetizers and alcoholic (with ID) and non-alcoholic beverages.

Proceeds from the event will be used to support Art from Ashes creative empowerment programs for youth.

We look forward to seeing you and your friends on Tuesday, Dec 5 from 6.30 to 9 pm @ the Art from Ashes home base, 1310 West 10th Ave, Denver.

If you can’t make it to the party, but wish to make a Colorado Gives Day contribution to Art from Ashes, you can do so by scheduling your donation anytime before midnight on Dec. 5th!
Click here —-> http://bit.ly/donateafa

Events

Pastries and Poetry

Pastries and Poetry Part Deux

Pastries and Poetry

In a different kind of workshop, our second Pastries and Poetry virtual event will be held Tuesday, November 24th from 7 to 8:30pm. (For those who donated to a previous invitation, you don’t need to reserve another spot.) We’ll once again feature Brian Smith, Pastry Chef with FNG, and our very own, Laura Peña. Brian has more than 15 years experience in the pastry and restaurant biz and is donating his time to provide an entertaining spin on how to bake a PECAN PIE right in your own home. There will be youth performances during baking time, and you’ll get to learn a little more about what Art from Ashes does.

A $35 donation gets you a spot to join in the fun. A Zoom link will be sent to you in your confirmation email after signing up. A list of ingredients you will need on hand is under Details.

Please let us know when you RSVP if you have dietary restrictions and/or preferences so that we can work with you to accommodate them.

Thank you for supporting the work that Art from Ashes is doing for their community. We’ll see you in your kitchen soon! Register here!

Brian Smith Pastry Chef

Pastries and Poetry

With all that extra time at home, perhaps you’ve binge watched several seasons of The Great British Baking Show and are ready to try your hand at making a trifle that would earn you a Hollywood Handshake. We’ve got the perfect event, just for you (complete with youth poetry performances, too)!

Mark your calendars! Tuesday, September 22nd at 5 pm, Art from Ashes is hosting Pastries and Poetry, a delicious virtual event that you DO NOT want to miss!

Learn to bake a delicious dessert with Brian Smith, Pastry Chef for the TAG Restaurant Group, from the comfort of your own kitchen. While your creations are baking away, our youth will bless your lil’ chef ears with poetry and spoken word PLUS you’ll even get to hear from several local guest poets!

Plus PLUS you’ll be supporting our mission to empower struggling youth with creative expression all in one fun, sugar-filled evening!

What a Tuesday!

Donations start at only $35 (we’ll even provide ingredients for just a little more) —hurry and get ’em because they’re selling like HOT CAKES! ha.

Click here link to purchase your tickets ASAP!

Running of the Gays 2019

Running of the Gays: Hoofin’ it in Heels for LGBTQ+ Youth

Come out and join Denver’s LGBTQIA community and Allies as we run toward a better future for youth at the 10TH 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 empowerment programs for queer youth in the Denver community. The event is organized by Art from Ashes, Denver’s LGBTQIA* community and Allies. Each year runners are asked to raise money through sponsorships to trot 3 blocks down 17th Avenue in heels, starting at Ace Eat Serve patio next to Steuben’s Food Service followed by an all ages (until 1.30 pm) after party at X Bar!

Proceeds 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.

Run a 3-block marathon in heels to help fund creative empowerment workshops for the queer youth in our community! You’ll be able to register with a $35 donation ($40 after Aug 15th).

REGISTER TO RUN HERE!: bit.ly/ROTG2019

The fee entitles runners to the ROTG “I brought the gay” t-shirt, a goodie bag, a free Mimosa courtesy of Steuben’s, and a foot massage!
Runners are asked to seek sponsorships from friends and family to raise money for the youth programs.

SPONSORS WILL BE ABLE TO SUPPORT SPECIFIC RUNNERS BY DONATING THROUGH FACEBOOK, PAYPAL, GIVINGFIRST, OR WITH A CHECK.
Donate through ColoradoGives: www.coloradogives.org/ROTG2019
Donate through Paypal GIving Fund (100% goes to AfA!): bit.ly/PayPal-AfA
If you are sponsoring a specific runner, please enter their name in the Special Instructions field or by writing their name on your check. Please send checks to 1310 West 10th Ave, Denver CO 80204.

BUSINESS PARTNERS CAN SUPPORT THE MARATHON BY CONTACTING US USING THE FORM BELOW OR BY CALLING 303.837.1550!
So many thanks to our wonderful annual business sponsors. Some have been sponsoring Running of the Gays since 2010! If you’re interested in supporting our youth programs, please download our ROTG Sponsor Menu for levels of sponsorship and associated benefits. We love to support community businesses that support creative empowerment programs for queer youth! 

Runners gather at the bullpen at Ace Eat Serve/Steuben’s at 11 am to sign in, stretch and enjoy the street show. After Party, foot massages, drag show and silent auction will be held at X Bar from noon to 1.30 pm!

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

Thank you to our business sponsors who make the whole thing possible!

Ace Eat Serve

Steubens

“Porchlight

“Timbuk2"

X Bar

Pizzeria Locale

Fleur Salon

Out Front Magazine :: Payroll Vault :: The Bank of Denver :: Queen City Collective Coffee

Thank you to all those who have “come out” in the past. Re-live the fun here:

2019 Rockies Game

ALL SOLD! Thank you, community ❤️

If you’d like to donate towards food and drinks for the youth we’re taking, please do so via Paypal or ColoradoGives or with cash/check (please indicate the purpose of your donation)!

1310 West 10th Ave • Denver, CO * 80204


Great seats, too! Section 117, rows 21, 22, 23

Celebration of Light


The Art from Ashes annual Celebration of Light brings together the beautiful humans in our community to observe the triumphs and accomplishments of the year. Light is the common bond that unites diverse holiday celebrations at the end of the year. It signifies hope, rebirth, and guidance—all things Art from Ashes values. These values are honored when we come together to applaud the youth we serve and the community it takes to serve them. We ask everyone to shine a light on the Art from Ashes youth with their unwavering support and kindness at this special time of the year!

Give where you live!

Please join us at our annual Celebration of Light party on Colorado Gives Day at our location on 10th and Navajo. We’ll have adult and other beverages, great food, holiday art projects, youth and community poets, and our entertainment will feature the talented poet and musician Kayla Marque!

Running of the Gays 2018

Running of the Gays: Hoofin’ it in Heels for LGBTQ+ Youth

Come out and join Denver’s LGBTQIA community and Allies as we run toward a better future for youth at the 9th annual Running of the Gays!

Running of the Gays flyerGet yer heels (and ankles!) ready to roll… or strut, or hop, or stumble in a 3-block “marathon” in heels to fund creative empowerment programs for queer youth in the Denver community. The event is organized by Art from Ashes, Denver’s LGBTQIA* community and Allies. Each year runners are asked to raise money through sponsorships to trot 3 blocks down 17th Avenue in heels, starting at Ace Eat Serve patio next to Steuben’s Food Service followed by an all ages (until 1.30 pm) after party at X Bar!

Proceeds 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.

Run a 3-block marathon in heels to help fund creative empowerment workshops for the queer youth in our community! Register with a $40 donation below:

RUNNERS Register here: bitly.com/ROTG2018
(or send by cash or check to Art from Ashes, 1310 West 10th Ave, Denver CO 80204)
The fee entitles runners to the ROTG “I brought the gay” t-shirt, a goodie bag, a free Mimosa courtesy of Steuben’s, and a foot massage!

Runners also seek sponsorships from friends and family to raise money for the youth programs. Download the Runners Packet for more info!

SPONSORS SUPPORT YOUR RUNNER HERE!
If you are sponsoring a specific runner, please enter their name in the Special Instructions field of the Donate Now window.

BUSINESS PARTNERS SUPPORT THE MARATHON HERE!
So many thanks to our wonderful business sponsors, most of whom have been sponsoring Running of the Gays since 2010! If you’re interested in supporting our youth program, please download our ROTG Sponsor Menu.

Runners gather at the bullpen at Ace Eat Serve/Steuben’s at 11 am to sign in, stretch and enjoy the street show. After Party, foot massages, drag show and silent auction at X Bar from noon to 2 pm!

See on our ROTG Facebook page to see the photos from previous years, as well as find out more information. And be sure to join this year’s event HERE!

Ace Eat Serve

Steubens

Outfront

Fleur Salon

X Bar

The Bank of Denver

Charlie's Nightclub Denver

Pizzeria Locale

Thank you to all those who have “come out” in the past. Re-live the fun here:

Fireworks Rockies Game

Thank you to all who came! Check out our photos from the event!

Thank you to those of you who bought tickets so the youth could attend! Listen to the joy! (click link for a 40 second video): rockies2016

rockies-fireworks-posterWatch the Rockies play the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday, Sept 30, 2016, and also watch fireworks from the field as part of the ticket price!

As a fundraiser and community builder for our youth, AfA is selling 50 Rockies tickets at face value. We have guaranteed seats in Section 149 (foul ball territory!) and after the game, we’ll be able to take our stuff and watch the fireworks from the field! (bring a blanket!)

Purchase your $40 ticket from us (no markup; in fact you save the $5 Ticketmaster fee!), and Art from Ashes gets $15 of that amount as a donation thanks to the generosity of the Colorado Rockies Baseball Club!CoorsSeating_final

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

Pay through PayPal below (you don’t need an account) or mail a check to Art from Ashes, 853 Inca St., Suite 1A, Denver CO 80204. Be sure to let us know if you are donating one or more tickets to a young person. Purchase your tickets by Sept 24 and we’ll mail them out,** or you can stop by the office on or before the 29th to pick them up.

**Seats are in rows 8–13; best seat selection will depend on time of payment

Star Wars Rockies Game

rockiesIt’s the Star Wars game! Watch the Rockies play the Atlanta Braves on Saturday, July 23, 2016. As a fundraiser and community builder for our youth, AfA is selling 50 Rockies tickets at face value. We have guaranteed seats in Section 146 (foul ball territory!); there will be a parade on the field; and the first 20,000 people get a FREE Charlie Blackmon X-Wing Fighter Pilot Bobblehead. Dress up in costume and you could win a prize!CoorsSeating_final

Purchase your $40 ticket from us (no markup; in fact you save the $5 Ticketmaster fee!), and Art from Ashes gets $15 of that amount as a donation thanks to the generosity of the Colorado Rockies Baseball Club!

Can’t attend? Some of our young people have never attended a baseball game and would love the opportunity. Please consider buying a ticket for a young person or add one or more tickets onto your purchase.

You can buy your tickets through PayPal below (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 any to a young person.

Purchase your tickets by July 18 and we’ll mail them out,** or you can stop by the office after the 19th to pick them up.

**Seats are in rows 14–17; best seat selection will depend on time of payment

Check out our Facebook event HERE


Choose an Option
Number of tickets for youth



Running of the Gays 2016

Thank you to all those who “came out!” Re-live the fun here:

Come out on Sunday, Sept 25 and show support for Denver’s LGBTQ+ youth at Denver’s SEVENTH annual Running of the Gays!

2016 ROTG-FlyerGet 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 in our community. The event is organized by Denver’s LGBTQIA* 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 Ace Eat Serve patio next to Steuben’s Food Service followed by an all ages (until 2 pm) after party at X Bar!

Every year AfA, the queer community and allies run a 3-block marathon in heels to help fund creative empowerment workshops for the LGBTQ+ youth in our community. Runners register with a $40 donation ($35 before August 31st).

RUNNERS WISHING TO REGISTER: HERE!
(or send by cash or check to Art from Ashes, 853 Inca St, Suite 1A, Denver CO 80204)
Runners seek sponsorships from friends and family to raise money for the youth programs. The fee entitles runners to an ROTG t-shirt, a goodie bag, a free Mimosa courtesy of Steuben’s, and foot massage!

RUNNER SPONSORS SUPPORT YOUR RUNNER HERE!

BUSINESS PARTNERS SUPPORT THE RUN HERE!

Runners gather at 11 am to sign in, stretch and enjoy the street show. After Party, foot massages, drag show and silent auction at X Bar from noon to 2 pm!

See on our ROTG Facebook page to see the photos from previous years, as well as find out more information. And be sure to join this year’s event HERE!

Run toward a better future for youth!

So many thanks to our wonderful business sponsors, most of whom have been sponsoring Running of the Gays since 2010! If you’re interested in supporting our youth program at Mental Health Center of Denver’s Voz y Corazon program, please download our ROTG Sponsor Menu.

Ace Eat Serve “width=SteubensOutfrontFleur Salon
Pizzeria LocaleX Bar“Porchlight
“PayrollThe Bank of Denver

Joan Van De Griek Logo