Miles and Bancroft Award

Miles and Bancroft Award

History Colorado is pleased to announce the winners of the 2022 Miles and Bancroft Awards, presented annually to some of the most exemplary and impactful historical projects across the state.

Staff of the Denver Office of Storytelling accepted their awards as winners of  Xican Indie Film Fest XXIV in April 2022 for the film Chicanas: Nurturers & Warriors.
Jane DeDecker sitting with two of her statues.
A snow sculpture of a house, with one corner carved into the face of a bearded man: Barney L. Ford
Two brown oxen with long horns haul a replica covered wagon down a street. On the wagon is a prize ribbon. The oxen are being led on leads by someone just out of shot. The oxen are in a parade, with tractors behind their wagon.
A bedroom display at a house museum. There is a collection of antique furniture, including a bedframe, in a small room.

2022 Awardees

Breckenridge History - Barney L. Ford Legacy Project
This $1,000 award is given to projects in communities with a population of 50,000 or less. 

The Barney L. Ford legacy project was a year-long celebration of the 200th anniversary of Ford’s birth, an escaped slave who went on to become a wealthy entrepreneur and civil rights leader in Colorado. The legacy project included a new exhibit at the Barney Ford Museum in Breckenridge; community events at local schools, restaurants and museums; a Barney Ford-inspired snow sculpture at the 2022 Breckenridge International Snow Sculpture Championships; and a proclamation signed by Governor Jared Polis declaring February 1, the first day of Black History Month, as Barney Ford Day.

Denver Office of Storytelling - “Chicanas: Nurturers and Warriors” Film
This $1,000 award is given to projects in communities of any size.

“Chicanas: Nurtures and Warriors” is an inspirational film told exclusively from a Chicana perspective chronicling what it means to be a woman born in the U.S. with strong Mexican and Indigenous roots. The film profiles multiple women who have dedicated their lives to social justice and made transformative political, social and cultural contributions to Denver. The documentary premiered at the 2021 Denver Film Festival and screenings have been held at museums, cultural centers and universities across the state. 

Estes Park Women's Monument Plaza Committee
This $500 award is given to projects in communities of any size.

The collection of bronze sculptures is one of the few examples of public art dedicated to women in the county. 12 sculptures, created by local artist Jane DeDecker, highlight the trailblazing women, both past and present, of the Estes Park community. The committee selected the 12 women who represent the diverse local voices in Estes Park’s history and collective memorialization of so many influential women from the community.

Who are some of the past awardees? What projects have they done?

The 2021 Miles and Bancroft Awards were given to three spectacular winners for their unique, engaging, and community-focused projects advancing Colorado history: 

Caroline Bancroft Award - Lafayette Arts & Cultural Resources Department, Racism and Discrimination at the Lafayette Swimming Pool - 1934 Exhibit

The Racism and Discrimination at the Lafayette Swimming Pool exhibit is an outstanding example of a community driven project that fosters both self reflection and inspiration in how the public approaches Colorado history. The exhibit was organized by the City of Lafayette Arts & Cultural Resources Department and focused on the story of Rose Lueras, a Latina woman who legally challenged the city’s white only restriction on the local swimming pool in 1934. Although the case brought against the city was unsuccessful at the time, this story of defiance against institutional racism survived within the local Latino community for years. The research and planning that went into the project involved Lafayette locals, descendants of Rose and families involved in the case, and both city and state institutions on almost every level. Their collaboration produced an exhibition at the Collective Community Arts Center in Fall 2020, a wealth of research about both racism and activism in the community in the 1930s, and a plaque recognizing Rose’s efforts at the community pool she was barred from using. The project not only highlighted an important and overlooked chapter of Lafayette’s history, but allowed community members to shine in telling that story for all to hear and recognize.

Josephine Miles Award - Eagle County Historical Society and Eagle Valley Library District, The Alfred Borah Journals, Digitization and Transcription

The digitization of the Alfred Borah Journals by the Eagle County Historical Society and Eagle Valley Library District demonstrates that even one primary source can have a great impact on a community. Alfred Borah was a homesteader in Eagle County who first settled in the Brush Creek area in 1882. Between 1880 and 1905, he kept detailed journals of his experiences, highlighting places visited, relationships, activities like hunting expeditions, and significant events such as mining accidents. The journals, totaling 300 pages, are now in the collection of Eagle County’s historical society, and are more accessible to the public than ever before. The COVID-19 pandemic slowed much of the process, but through collaboration with Borah’s descendants, research of the society archives, a series of grant applications, and careful scanning and transcription work, the project was steered to completion. The journals have been utilized in several research requests already, and have even been used to verify building sites on Eagle County Open Space lands. The Eagle County Historical Society hopes to continue using the journals in history hikes and a future exhibit to further reflect Colorado history through Alfred Borah’s life.

Honorary Josephine Miles Award - Broomfield Veterans Memorial Museum, 2020 Volunteer Museum Projects

The Broomfield Veterans Memorial Museum kept itself busy throughout 2020 with many different projects, almost all of them implemented with help from their amazing volunteers. The museum has long involved veterans in Broomfield in their activities, but the pace at which they assisted in its programs despite the pandemic was noteworthy. They organized several educational initiatives for local schools to teach Colorado military history, including a history night at Prospect Ridge Academy and self-guided museum tour booklets for 7th to 12th grade students. They were also instrumental in developing a new Cold War fallout shelter exhibit, and engaged the community in heavily attended (and socially distanced) veterans activities such as a Women of World War II panel and a Veterans Memorial Day program. These initiatives continue to highlight the history of Colorado veterans while making volunteer involvement and leadership a key part of the experience. 

How do I apply?

See below for guidelines and a nomination form.  Send completed forms and documentation to:

History Colorado
Stephen H. Hart Research Center
Attn:  Miles Bancroft Awards
1200 Broadway 
Denver, CO 80203


Email to  Please put “Miles & Bancroft Awards” in the subject line.

Nomination material must be postmarked or emailed by June 1, 2023.   

Note: Projects must have occurred, been presented, or been completed between August 1, 2022 and May 1, 2023 to be considered for an award.