On Saturday, Families Belong Together will hold a day of action to protest the immigration policies of the Trump administration. Over 710 demonstrations are planned around the country; Denver's rally is slated to start at 10 a.m. June 30 in Civic Center Park.
But there will be action at the park well before that. From 6 to 9 p.m. tonight, June 29, Artists for Immigrant Families, an art auction organized (quickly) by Kaitlyn Tucek at the McNichols Building, will raise money for the Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network. The fundraiser came together very fast: After coming up with the idea for an art event on Monday, Tucek contacted two artist friends, Molly Bounds and Diego Rodriguez Warner, who helped get the word out. Soon artists across town and beyond were contacting Tucek; she now anticipates that 150 to 200 pieces will be available at the silent auction, ranging from fine art to furniture.
And others stepped up, too. RMIAN "was over the moon" when Tucek contacted the nonprofit, and Shanna Shelby of Denver Arts & Venues returned Tucek's call within an hour. "Do you think we can pull this off?" she asked the artist. When Tucek assured her that they could, the first floor of McNichols was turned over to Artists for Immigrant Families for the one-night-only event. Conveniently, the building was already set to host Giving Voices, an evening of performance art, so food and drink will be available for sale, and the Denver Heritage Jazz Band will perform.
"It's a pretty incredible rally, from so many people and organizations," says Tucek. "We have a great community here. We spread the word through a web of social media, and then almost everybody came to me."
And how: Artists who've donated work include Sarah Bowling, Andrea Floren, Kimothy Joy, Katy Zimmerman, Julia Rymer, Kim Morski, Max Kauffman, Travis Hetman, Matt Tripodi, Meredith Feniak, Anthony Garcia, Kristen Abbott, Daniel Granito, Corianne Wells, Kristopher Wright, Thomas Scharfenberg, Doug Olsen, Ian Cinco, Angela Craven, Beck Wareing Steele, Natalie Beale Esquival, Koko Bayer, Anna Hetman, Doug Spencer, Eric Nord, Drew Austin, Risa Friedman, Rodriguez Warner, Bounds and Tucek herself.
Admission is $5 (you can get Giving Voices tickets in advance here), and all proceeds from the art sales will go to RMIAN; two of the organization's boardmembers will speak. The pieces will be displayed on tables and easels (which means that Tucek and her fellow volunteers have a lot of work to do before 6 p.m.). The setup is a "silent auction with an option to buy at the artist's value," Tucek explains, adding that many artists lowballed their work's value to encourage sales, which means there should be plenty of good values. But the evening is also for a good cause, so ante up!
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As for tomorrow's protest, here are the details: From 10 a.m. to noon on June 30, over a dozen local organizations and thousands of Coloradans will gather at the Greek Amphitheatre at Civic Center Park to demand immediate reunification of separated families; an end to family detention, Trump’s "zero tolerance" policy and the Muslim ban; and the abolishment of ICE and CBP, and an end to the Muslim ban.
Speakers include 2017 Time Person of the Year Jeanette Vizguerra, family members and children of people who have been deported, local Dreamer Laura Peniche and Muslim community activist Nadeen Ibrahim. The Flobots will perform, as will an African drumming group. The rally will be followed by a march down the 16th Street Mall.
Organizers include AFSC Coloradans for Immigrant Rights, the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, Colorado People’s Alliance, Mi Familia Vota, OFA - Colorado, Padres y Jóvenes Unidos, United for a New Economy, Denver DSC, ACLU of Colorado, Metro Denver Sanctuary Coalition, Indivisible Denver, AFSC, Colorado Organization for Latino Opportunity & Rights, Indivisible Front Range Resistance, Denver Democratic Socialists of America, Mujerr, and J Street Colorado.
There will be other rallies across the state, including in Glenwood Springs, Montrose, Boulder, Durango, Vail Valley, Pueblo, Colorado Springs and Yuma. Find updated details on the Families Belong Together Facebook page.