Posts

Badass-Ray Arterburn

The poem “Badass” written and performed by AfA youth poet Ray Arterburn

First Friday Instagram

You can still hear our youth poets perform every First Friday on Instagram @afaphoenix

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

young man reading his poetry

CBS Denver Features Art from Ashes

Art from Ashes youth and executive director were featured on CBS4’s This Morning Show on March 26, 2018

Why Am I Here-Tylan

The thing I don’t know
Is one thing

Savannah-18

Savannah3-minute poem by Savannah Arterburn

I get that you just want to impress
and not admit that you’re a mess.
I know ‘cause I can see the tears your soul disappears.
Beauty’s pain and beauty’s in everything
but we are just here to learn—
don’t forget to breathe.
If need be lean on me
and don’t forget what makes you, you.
It’s crazy but you don’t have to know exactly who you are
your friends will help with that part.
Feeling unnoticed is how you go
and it hurts ‘cause we all know.
You’re not alone with all your pain
forget the world just whip it all away.
You deserve it ‘cause it’s not about the surface
yes, you’re still perfect and always worth it.
So let me be your mirror so you can see a little clearer.
‘Cause you’re beautiful and you don’t even know.

Events

First Friday Youth Workshops/Performance

PerformanceFlyerJoin 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 email hidden; JavaScript is required at Art from Ashes for more information.

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 public performance.

First Friday Youth Performance

FirstFriday-postcardJoin us every First Friday in Denver’s Art District on Santa Fe for youth spoken word performances:

The first performance is at the Denver Art Society, 734 Santa Fe Dr. at 7 pm.

Starting in June 2015, the All Sacred Foundation Fundraiser will be held every First Friday at Green Spaces, 1368 26th St in Denver. Come for Tattoos & Poetry (or just poetry. whatever. :D). All proceeds from the tattoos that evening go to three organizations, including Art from Ashes, plus our youth poets perform!

All Sacred Foundation is a fundraising collective made up of different personalities, professions, preoccupations, and personal pursuits. Drawn together by a core set of values and principles about the community, our world, and our place and purpose within it. We share and collectively embody an unrelenting passion to improve and enhance our community, effectively making it a better place for one and all.

Currently All Sacred is composed primarily of tattoo artists who donate their time and expertise to fundraising for local nonprofits once a month. Please support Art from Ashes when you get a tattoo by going to their Facebook page and making an appointment!

Contact Art from Ashes for more information.

First Friday Youth Performance

FirstFriday-postcard 2015Join us every First Friday in Denver’s Art District on Santa Fe for youth spoken word performances:

The first performance is at the Denver Art Society, 734 Santa Fe Dr. at 7 pm.

Starting in June 2015, the All Sacred Foundation Fundraiser benefitting Art from Ashes will be held every First Friday at Green Spaces, 1368 26th St in Denver. Come for Tattoos & Poetry (or just poetry. whatever. :D). All proceeds from the tattoos that evening go to three organizations, including Art from Ashes, plus our youth poets perform!

Please support Art from Ashes when you get a tattoo by going to their Facebook page and making an appointment!

Contact Ashley Cornelius at Art from Ashes for more information.

Interview-9News

COCOTune in to Channel 9 Colorado & Company on Dec 30th between 10 and 11 am and catch an interview with Art from Ashes Executive Director Catherine O’Neill Thorn and youth poet and board representative Khalid El-Shabazz!

 

Boulder International Film Festival

C2A circle logo_shadowArt from Ashes has been selected as the first Nonprofit Partner in the Call 2 Action program of the Boulder International Film Festival 2015! A collaboration of Boulder International Film Festival, Philanthropiece Foundation, the Twisted Foundation, and committed local leaders, Call 2 Action offers concrete ways for filmgoers to take the energy and passion inspired by film and move from concern to action. Because of our agency’s connection with the Jimmy Santiago Baca film “A Place to Stand,” Art from Ashes has been provided a platform “to raise awareness for the incredible service that [you] provide for our community by introducing the power of poetry and art to transform lives.”
Art from Ashes will introduce the film at 10am on Sunday, followed by the screening.

Post-screening, there will be a TalkBack (Panel discussion) in the “TalkBack Cafe” just across the street from the Boulder Theater on the Pearl Street Mall. The TalkBack is open to anyone who wishes to find out more about the film and our work with youth, and will feature Jimmy Santiago Baca, Art from Ashes Executive Director Catherine O’Neill Thorn, and Art from Ashes youth poet Prinjastin Sykes.

Download the program here. (we’re on pages 15 and 35 :D)
 Boulder International Film Festival March 5-8 in Boulder and the film “A Place to Stand,” based on the life of Jimmy Santiago Baca, at 10am on Sunday the 8th!

Buy tickets here!

Tattoos and Poetry

Get tattooed for a cause on Feb 7! All proceeds from the All Sacred Foundation fundraiser are donated to 4 amazing organizations: Art from Ashes, Art of War, Phoenix Multisport and Planned Pethood International.

Between the hours of 5 and 11 pm, there will be DJ’s; youth performances and writing/art prompts by Art from Ashes; prints and shirts for sale; and donation based massage! Drop in and hang out with us, have a good time, and learn about All Sacred Foundation and the organizations they support.

(check out the All Sacred Foundation Facebook page to book a specific tattoo artist or just drop in!

        allsacred-8allsacred-3allsacred-2 allsacred-5

Tattoos and Poetry: All Sacred Foundation Fundraiser

AllSacred-Sept16Get tattooed for a cause! All proceeds from the All Sacred Foundation fundraiser are donated to four amazing organizations: Art from Ashes, Phoenix Multisport and Planned Pethood International and Colton’s Crusade.

On Sept 3rd, there will be a huge blowout event at The Oriental Theater! Save the Date and check out the All Sacred Foundation Facebook page to get updated information and to book a specific tattoo artist on the big day!

allsacred-8allsacred-3allsacred-2allsacred-5

First Friday

FirstFriday-postcard 2015Join us every First Friday in Denver’s Art District on Santa Fe for youth spoken word performances at different venues on Santa Fe Dr. between 6.30 and 7 pm (during summer we will be performing on the corner of 9th and Santa Fe).

Much more than a public performance, youth gather at Art from Ashes at 4.30 for a FREE one-hour Phoenix Rising writing wordshop, followed at 5.30 by a FREE 45-minute performance workshop, featuring a local performance poet. All youth are welcome; pizza provided.

AfA facilitators and local artists/performers guide the youth through poetry writing prompts and spoken word presentations to prepare them for their community performances.

Contact Courtney Chandler, Director of Programs at Art from Ashes for more information.

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: