Art News

P.S. You Are Here 2021 Grantees Focus on Community

Markus Puskar will create more "Mural Coloring Books" with new funding from Denver Arts & Venues.
Markus Puskar will create more "Mural Coloring Books" with new funding from Denver Arts & Venues. Urban Arts Fund
Denver Arts & Venues has announced the 2021 grantees of the P.S. You Are Here program, which was created in 2014 to fund community-led, neighborhood-based projects that beautify Denver. The fourteen awarded artists and organizations will use the individual grants, which range from $5,000 to $10,000, to complete projects that focus on fostering community through the arts in the Denver area.

Grants were not given out in 2020; instead, the money was donated to programs supporting artists and organizations that were in financial difficulty during the first year of the pandemic. This year, a total of $120,000 was given to recipients.

Edica Pacha is one of the artists awarded this year. In partnership with Motus Theater in Boulder, she is creating a series of murals titled "UndocuAmerica," which will highlight the stories of real undocumented Colorado residents. The murals will "use beauty and inspiration as a means to open people up and then [drop] information about issues in the real world," Pacha says.
click to enlarge Mural by Edica Pacha at 2347 South Street in Boulder. - EVAN SEMÓN
Mural by Edica Pacha at 2347 South Street in Boulder.
Evan Semón

Motus Theater will dramatize monologues crafted out of true stories depicted in Pacha's murals, which will be tagged with a QR code that provides videos of the monologues. The teaming up of artists with organizations and multiple mediums of art is just the kind of project P.S. You Are Here looks to support.

Other projects include an installation on the University of Denver campus by artist and DU staff member Genevieve Waller that will focus on the queer history of the university; an interactive Mural Coloring Book designed by Markus Puskar to create community via chalk drawings; and the Art District on Santa Fe's creation of public art highlighting the Chicano and Indigenous history of the area. The complete list of grantees is available online.

The use of the funding will vary from project to project. It may buy supplies for some or pay for time and effort of others. For Pacha, the financial gain is outweighed by the access the grant allows: With the Denver Public Art program, she will also be installing her murals on six to eight walls around the city.

"I get to install in underpasses, in bike paths. These are places artists can't put art unless they have approval with the city," Pacha says. "As an artist who puts art on the streets, this is super helpful and exciting, because not only am I going to be able to install art in places I wouldn't normally get to, but I get to further the project through their help and support."

For more information on P.S. You Are Here, visit the Denver Arts & Venues website.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.