Art News

Denver Announces Urban Arts Fund's 2018 Grant Recipients

A collaborative mural between Fin Dac (left) and Kevin Ledo at Cheltenham.
A collaborative mural between Fin Dac (left) and Kevin Ledo at Cheltenham. Kenzie Bruce
The Denver Arts & Venues Urban Arts Fund, which started ten years ago as a graffiti prevention program, has announced its 2018 grantees.

In the mix are such locals as Anthony J. Garcia Sr. and Birdseed Collective, national artists like Shepard Fairey, and international artists including Ahmad Alwazzan, aka Balance.

The grants are divided in two categories – the traditional Urban Arts Fund Grants and the Urban Arts Fund: Engage program, now it its second year, which is designed to build community and work toward social change.

“We are excited to see the Urban Arts Fund continue to grow and expand,” says Denver Mayor Michael Hancock in a statement announcing the grantees. “The Urban Arts Fund: Engage projects are perfect examples of how Denver is dedicated to incorporating diversity, equity and inclusiveness values through our work.”

The Engage projects include a partnership with Re-Imagining Arts Worldwide (RAW) that has brought dozens of artists from Denver and around the world to paint murals at Eagleton, Cowell and Fairview elementary schools.

In 2018, the partnership expanded to include Garden Place and Cheltenham elementary schools (see Westword's photos of the 2017 RAW murals here and the 2018 murals here).

Other UAF: Engage projects involve work at methadone clinics, youth service centers, homeless shelters and more.

“Through community partnerships, UAF: Engage supports our agency’s diversity, equity and inclusiveness initiative. These efforts go beyond merely outreach,” says Tariana Navas-Nieves, Denver Arts & Venues director of cultural affairs. “It’s about commitment; it’s about engagement; it’s about amplifying the voices of the community.”

Here is the full list of Urban Arts Fund grantees:

Melanie Kerwin, Denver
Ahmad Alwazzan, aka Balance, Kuwait
Eulalio Alvarez, aka Scotch, Manitou Springs
Yulia Avgustinovich, Lakewood
Leslie Minnis, Denver
Katerina Vuletich, Broomfield
Jerry and Jay Jaramillo (father and son), Thornton
Jason Garcia, Boulder
VSA/Access Gallery, Josiah Lopez and Javier Duran, Denver
Youth Employment Academy students, Denver
Annie Holyfield and Miguel Robledo, aka MPek, Denver
Victoriano Rivera, Centennial
Casey Kawaguchi, Denver
DINKC Galicia, Centennial
Daniel Chavez, Denver
Anthony J. Garcia Sr./Birdseed Collective, Denver
Seymon Gurule, aka UcSepia Ozjuah, Thornton
Chad Hasegawa, San Francisco
Elle Street Art, Netherlands, Australia
David Louf, aka mr.JUNE, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Mari Shibuya and Ashley Foreman, Seattle
Gina Franco, Greensboro, North Carolina
Rahmann Barnes, Chicago
Donald Rissler and Kara Higgins, Seattle

And here are this year's UAF: Engage artists:

Jonathan Lamb, Denver
Pipsqueak Was Here!, Amsterdam
Shepard Fairey, Los Angeles
The London Police, Amsterdam
David Louf, aka mr.JUNE, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Trek 6, Asheville, North Carolina
Luis Berros, Miami
Amanda Valdes, Miami
JC Rivera, Chicago
Otto Schade, Concepcion, Chile
Bikismo, Arecibo, Puerto Rico
Birdo, Toronto
Jazz Guetta, Los Angeles
FL Mngo, Miami
Dean McKeever, Boston
Kevin Ledo, Montreal
FinDAC, London
Word to Mother, London
Eric Skotnes, Los Angeles
INO, Athens, Greece
Paola Delfin, Mexico City
Dale Grimshaw, London
Zeus, London
Kai, Los Angeles
Santiago Rubino, Miami
Belove, Denver
Frank Garza, Denver
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Kyle Harris has been Westword’s Culture Editor since 2016, writing about the arts, music and film.
Contact: Kyle Harris