Café Cultura's Open Mic
As our most well-known program, Café Cultura’s monthly open mic usually takes place at our home at 910 Galapago St, where we consistently attract 150 to 250 people the second Friday of every month. We take pride in featuring amazing poets, musicians, and visual artists from the Denver area as well as those from outside the state. Our open mic links spoken word, visual art, dance, and music with community involvement, education, and healthy living. For March, see Rise Up. For June, July, and August, see Art in the Park.
Xpress Yourself Spoken Word Workshop
Our spoken word/poetry workshops continue to be among the most sought-after for youth conferences/programs throughout Colorado. With more than a decade of facilitation experience making poetry come alive, Cafe Cultura's unique, culturally relevant, and engaging framework supports Language Arts curriculum (4th through 12th grades). Either taking place in our space the last Saturday of every month or upon request, these workshops encourage Chicana/o, Native, and other underserved youth to use spoken word to give voice to our stories of love, struggle, injustice, and celebration. (click here for detailed information sheet)
Telling Our Stories Spoken Word Class
Our spoken word class/workshop series builds long-term relationships with young people and their communities in an effort to provide opportunities for creative expression often not offered in schools. In addition to developing students’ confidence in oral and written expression, Café Cultura’s workshop series also encourages participants to have greater appreciation for their culture and ability to excel. We work to empower participating youth to identify themselves as leaders with the intent of increasing student engagement and community involvement. Through guidance from our accomplished poets, we publish the finalized poems, lyrics, and art from participants in a book specific to each community (for example, La Academia Speaks!). We are proud to have published over 25 youth-written books that continue to inspire a sense of accomplishment among the youth who participated (see below). Café Cultura hosts an event for the surrounding community to showcase participants, share food, and perform our poetry.
Art in the Park
For three nights during the summer, we transform La Alma/Lincoln Park Amphitheater, a space often plagued by graffiti, alcohol/drug use, and other negativity into a positive, enjoyable, and family-friendly creative outlet.
Café Cultura works with several organizations to host an annual showcase at the Denver Indian Center to educate the Denver community about HIV/AIDS and the preventive measures available to them. In honor of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day and National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, we offer free HIV testing, a community feed, and door prizes. This highly successful event celebrates those living with HIV/AIDS, commemorates those we have lost to the disease, and honors those who work to combat this disease. Click here for more details.
Words to Actions
This Indigenous (Chicana/o, Native American, Latina/o) youth leadership program provides an opportunity for participants to gain confidence, cultural awareness, and leadership skills to strengthen their family, community, and/or tribe. Activities include workshops, guest speakers, creative expression, community outreach, and the creation of a mural. Each youth has the option to continue their involvement by taking on responsibility within the Collective throughout the year until they can fully participate and gain leadership in the functioning of our organization. Contact us if you know a youth who would be interested.
Community Speaks Project
With our experience in creating chapbooks, we publish books of poetry from interested participants. In our publication, we accept submissions from poets, emcees, artists, and storytellers throughout the Denver metropolitan area and produce a chapbook reflecting their collective voices. We published our first perfect-bound book in 2012, entitled Café Cultura Collective Compilation, which features spoken word poetry, visual art, and a documentary from our artists. We received praise for the final product. We distributed 1000 copies to schools, community organizations, and individuals throughout the Denver Metro area through donations and sales.
Café Cultura in the University
Cafe Cultura collaborates with colleges and universities throughout Colorado to host our open mic on their campuses. Our goal is to provide a culturally relevant space for creative expression while connecting Chicana/o & Native American youth to institutions of higher education. We have organized performances at the University of Colorado at Denver, University of Colorado at Boulder, University of Northern Colorado, Colorado State University at Ft. Collins, Metropolitan State College of Denver, University of Denver, and Colorado State University at Pueblo.