Denver Arts & Venues to honor recipients of Mayor’s Awards for Excellence in Arts & Culture

Oct 02 2013

Mayor Michael B. Hancock, Denver Arts & Venues and the Denver Commission on Cultural Affairs are pleased to announce the 2013 recipients of the Mayor’s Awards for Excellence in Arts & Culture. The 2013 honorees are Wonderbound Artistic Director Garret Ammon, filmmaker Darla Rae, Café Cultura and the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival.
An awards reception and presentation will take place on Thursday, Nov. 14 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Studio Loft located in the historic Ellie Caulkins Opera House, with performances by Alexis Vigil, the Colorado Chamber Orchestra, Curious Theatre and The Spirituals Project. The event is free and all are welcome.
Additionally, the People’s Choice Awards for Unique Collaborations and Creative Neighborhoods will be announced at the Nov. 14 event. Voting is open to the public through Oct. 31 on the Mayor’s Awards page on
“It’s an honor to present these awards and recognize the creative people and organizations that make Denver a more beautiful place to live,” Mayor Hancock said. “Cultivating artistic talent and an appreciation for arts and culture in people from all walks of life brings communities together and builds upon the burgeoning ideas economy here in Colorado’s capital city.”
2013 Awards:
Youth Arts – Café Cultura

Café Cultura is an award-winning arts, culture and youth development organization that promotes unity and healing among indigenous peoples through creative expression while empowering youth to find their voice, reclaim oral and written traditions and become leaders in their communities. Café Cultura hosts an open mic night every second Friday at Denver Inner City Parish linking spoken word, visual art, dance and music with community involvement, education and healthy living. Their Xpress Yourself spoken word workshops continue to be among the most sought after for youth conferences and programs throughout Colorado.
Arts Innovation – Garrett Ammon, Artistic Director, Wonderbound
Under Ammon’s direction, Wonderbound moved to a 1920s post office garage on the north end of downtown Denver in March 2013. In a short amount of time the collaborations and projects led by Ammon have made an astounding impact on the neighborhood and on the Denver community as a whole. Ammon’s collaborative approach re-imagines dance and makes it accessible to all. From opening up the garage doors during rehearsals and inviting the public into the artistic process to collaborations with musicians, poets and visual artists, Ammon believes that dance is a part of who we are as people and should be incorporated into our everyday lives.
Impact Arts – Colorado Dragon Boat Festival
For the last 13 years the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival has celebrated the arts and culture of Denver’s many diverse Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities, and entertains, engages and educates festival guests with the richness of those communities. The Festival is a showcase of traditional and contemporary performance, visual and culinary arts, all filtered through the lens of building bridges among AAPI populations as well as with the broader public. Collaboration is emphasized throughout the festival, and participation from as many ethnic groups as possible has always been a priority. There are nearly 30 AAPI ethnic groups in the Denver area, and in 2013 more than 20 were represented at the festival.
Global Arts – Darla Rae, Film It Productions
Rae and Film It Productions have been contributing to the arts through filmmaking in the Denver community for more than 10 years by creating jobs, working with kids for free, producing and directing. In a medical documentary she raised awareness before the U.S. Congress about children with a rare brain malformation. Her most recent project “Spirit of Love” is a film about deaf and hard-of-hearing kids at a basketball camp and has been receiving national accolades while bridging the gap between deaf and hard-of-hearing populations and all ethnicities. The film was shot in 14 days in Denver and surrounding cities. The film, cast and crew have received numerous awards and proclamations.
Special thanks go to the 2013 Mayor’s Awards partners: Kevin Taylor Restaurant Group, Wave Audio Visual and Zerosun Pictures.
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