Hispanic Heritage Month, Speaker Series, New Exhibitions, and Much More at History Colorado in September 2023
DENVER (August 31, 2023) — History Colorado is honored to recognize the incredible achievements and contributions of the Chicano/a/x, Latino/a/x, and Hispanic communities throughout the history of the Centennial state for National Hispanic Heritage Month, which begins September 15 and concludes October 15, 2023. With everything from exhibitions to guest speakers to podcasts there are ways for every Coloradan to expand their understanding of the history and lived experiences of the Centennial State’s diverse populations and celebrate Hispanic Americans who have motivated others to succeed.
How History Colorado Honors Hispanic Heritage: Rosenberry Lecture: Fabián García’s Chili Pepper and the Botanical Transformation of the Borderlands | Denver, CO History Colorado Center | September 20, 1 – 2 p.m. & 7 – 8 p.m.
The 2023-24 Rosenberry Lecture Series kicks off on September with a discussion of Fabián García, horticultural pioneer and “Father of New Mexico Chili”, with award-winning author and public historian Dr. Peter A. Kopp. Known for his specialties in agricultural and environmental history, Dr. Kopp will explore the botanical transformation of the Borderlands and his ongoing research into the contributions of Fabián García to agriculture in the American Southwest.
Several ticketing packages and tickets are available for the Roseberry Lecture Series. Tickets for individual lectures ($5-15) are available for the 1 p.m. or 7 p.m. events. A Series Package ($70-100) is also available and includes all eight of the lectures at either the 1 p.m. or 7 p.m. events. Tickets can be purchased here in advance of the lectures, so make sure not to miss all the inspiring scholars, historians, curators, journalists, and other creatives exploring Colorado’s shared past and collective future.
Bold Women. Change History. Susan Lee Johnson & Charlene Garcia Simms | Denver, CO History Colorado Center | September 27, 7 – 8 p.m. Tickets ($10 - 15) and additional information are available here.
Librarian and genealogist, Charlene Garcia Simms, and historian, Susan Lee Johnson, discuss the fascinating life of Josefa Jaramillo, the third wife of frontiersman Christopher “Kit” Carson, and the network of women who helped her survive the turbulent times in New Mexico prior to the Mexican American War and after. Garcia Simms, a relation of Josefa Jaramillo, and Johnson, author of Writing Kit Carson: Fallen Heroes in a Changing West, have spent years researching Jaramillo’s story to ensure that she would no longer be overshadowed by her husband's famous name as they work to recover a more inclusive western past.
Tickets for this in-person lecture are available here, and complimentary onsite childcare is available for children ages 6-12. Additionally, accessible pricing is available for the Bold Women. Change History. series. Please use the discount code Access40 if you are experiencing financial hardship and the price of the ticket is a barrier to your participation (i.e. students, no- or low-income households).
Exhibitions that Explore the Chicano/a/x, Latino/a/x, and Hispano Experiences:
At the History Colorado Center in Denver, there are several exhibitions created in partnership with the Chicano/a/x, Latino/a/x, and Hispano communities in Colorado. These exhibitions include:
El Movimento explores Colorado during the 1960s and 70s wherein Chicano/a/x activists fought to end discrimination, secure rights, and gain political and social power through education, culture, and the arts. The exhibition utilizes artifacts, photos, archival video footage, and the activists’ own voices to tell about the struggle for labor rights, student activism, the Vietnam War, and more
Mud Futures is a unique installation created by architect and artist Ronald Rael, who uses modern-day innovation– 3D printing– to reimagine the 7,000-year-old technology of adobe. The pop-up display encourages viewers to think about the versatility of technology while immersing themselves in the greater story of Colorado history through adobe
Borderlands of Southern Colorado provides an overview of the shifting geopolitical history of Southern Colorado before and after the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Throughout the exhibition, artifacts, videos, panels, and photographs detail the experiences of the people from the region while paintings around the space visualize the environment that was forever changed by the Treaty
Zoom In is an exhibition with 100 stories to tell. As a historical mosaic of Colorado’s past, the exhibition acknowledges the diverse people who’ve called the plains, mountains, and mesas home for 13,000 years or more. Included in Zoom In are a number of objects which highlight the Hispanic experience in Colorado, including:
Felipe and José Espinosa’s Pistols which remind visitors of how the story of the brothers is entwined with the deeply contentious and unresolved history of land rights in the Borderlands of Southern Colorado
The double adobe brick mold made by Pablo Rodriguez which demonstrates the technological innovation of Spanish settlers in New Mexico and Southern Colorado
What’s Your Story? features Colorado changemakers and celebrates the ways they disrupted the status-quo to pass legislation, forge communities, or pioneer a more equitable future. Some changemakers include:
Polly Baca, the first woman of Color to serve in the Colorado State Senate and the First Hispanic Woman in leadership in any state Senate in the USA
Casimiro Barela, the longest serving Hispanic State Representative who advocated and helped to publish the state constitution in English, German, and Spanish
Federico Peña, a state legislator and first Hispanic Mayor of Denver who later because the US Secretary of Energy under President Bill Clinton
Emanuel Martinez, an internationally acclaimed Chicano muralist, painter, and sculptor whose work champions activism and celebrates Latino culture
Similarly, History Colorado’s Community Museums and partnering institutions across the state feature exhibitions paying homage to Hispanic Heritage. Some notable exhibitions include:
“I am Auraria” which is now on display at the Auraria Library in Denver. “I Am Auraria” is the culmination of a year-long Museum of Memory project that shares the stories of the hundreds of families who were displaced to make room for the higher education campus. In the exhibition, oral histories, photos, materials and memories are on display as well as resources for those directly connected to the Auraria neighborhood and its legacy
The Latinx Art Exhibition at the Healy House Museum & Dexter Cabin featuring everything from classical paintings to locally made stickers– and even solar powered lights! The exhibition highlights art that is uniquely Leadville while providing visitors opportunities to engage and support Leadville’s Latinx community directly
Borderlands of Southern Colorado at the El Pueblo History Museum in Pueblo which sets the histories of Southern Colorado in context. Learn how El Pueblo has established itself as crucial to greater Colorado border history – not just regional, but cultural, ethnic, religious, and industrial too
Borderlands of Southern Colorado: The Santa Fe Trail at the Trinidad History Museum in Trinidad that explores how the Trail was more than a highway for people and goods: it was the primary way to exchange ideas, religions, traditions, and understandings. Discover the rarely told and frequently forgotten stories of the Borderlands of Southern Colorado through the numerous and diverse communities that utilized the Trail and how they impact the land today
Additionally, History Colorado has several programs, online collections and exhibitions, resource guides, and podcast episodes that explore the contributions Hispanic communities have made to the Centennial State. Here’s an overview of some of those materials:
The State Historical Fund continues to fund projects that protect and preserve historical resources that are vital to the Chicano/a/x, Latino/a/x, and Hispano experience in Colorado. Recent examples include the Garcia School – which was awarded $91,628 towards transforming the school into a remote learning center for the predominantly Hispano community of Costilla County – and S.P.M.D.T.U. Concilio Superior Building in Antonito – which was awarded $245,128 to rehabilitate the headquarters of one of the oldest Hispano rights organizations in the country
La Gente: Colorado’s Mexican History features an extensive overview of the ways in which Hispanos, Mexican Americans, Chicanos and Latinos played important roles in Colorado history as ranchers, farmers, explorers, entrepreneurs, sociopolitical advocates, artists, and more. Explore this history spanning from the Indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica and the American Southwest to the Chicano Movement
The Latino History & Heritage Page hosts a rich collection of in-person and online experiences, resources, and community events across the state year-round
The Latino Heritage Collection is a repository that documents the contributions of Latinos in Colorado while celebrating Latino culture, history, and the arts. Currently featured on the webpage are ongoing initiatives as well as opportunities to contribute to the Latino Heritage Collection (oral histories, donating, filling out a questionnaire, or volunteering)
The Hispano Coloradans page hosts numerous stories of Hispano residents that have made their mark on Colorado’s rich history. From articles illuminating the female leaders in el Movimiento to analyses on the need to preserve murals relaying the stories of Hispano Coloradans– this webpage provides past, present, and future examples of the longstanding contributions Hispano residents have made to the Centennial State
Many of the Museum of Memory Initiative projects have focused on elevating the undertold stories of Hispanic communities across the state of Colorado. This initiative reanimates, centers, and amplifies histories that have long existed only in the margins and creates opportunities for communities to decide how to remember their collective pasts. Listed below are some completed projects where participants recorded oral histories, shared photographs, and detailed the collective memories of their neighborhoods:
The Salt Creek Neighborhood Memory Project which gathered the collective memories of Salt Creek residents, who are primarily Mexican-American, Hispanic, and Chicano, recalling the changes of the neighborhood throughout the 20th century
The Dog Patch Neighborhood Memory Project that unites stories of Pueblo’s east side neighborhood through the collection of oral histories and photographs from community members whose voices have been traditionally underheard
New Exhibition- Rainbows & Revolutions | Pueblo, CO El Pueblo History Museum | Open Now! History Colorado’sRainbows & Revolutions, the first state-funded exhibition covering the successes and struggles of Colorado’s LGBTQ+ community, is now on display at the El Pueblo History Museum. Exploring how LGBTQ+ people’s very existence in Colorado has been a rebellious act beyond the rainbow, Rainbows & Revolutions chronicles everything from quiet assertions of identity to loud and proud demonstrations for civil rights and equality.
Created in partnership with the Gill Foundation, and originally on display at the History Colorado Center in Denver, Rainbows & Revolutions has been expanded to include artifacts and stories collected from the LGBTQ+ community in Pueblo and shows how the regional advocates have pushed against stereotypes and transformed mainstream perceptions.
New Exhibition- The Seeds of a Nation | Denver, CO Center for Colorado Women’s History | Now On Display!
The Center for Colorado Women’s History’s newest exhibition, The Seeds of a Nation, takes visitors through an investigation of the complexities that sprouted with the development of Victory Gardens. Grown out of the necessity of war – as traditional agriculturalists dawned uniforms and marched into World War I and II – Victory Gardens allowed American civilians to contribute to the war effort by planting, harvesting, and storing their own food.
Even after the war was over, the gardens remained as symbols of resilience, unity, and self-sufficiency and contributed to the complex beliefs around what it means “to be American”– especially in turbulent times. The Seeds of a Nation informs us on the legacies constructed through these gardens – one of nationalism and another of exclusionism – and the enduring impacts they have on communities.
Exhibition Opening- Unearthed: Voices of Leadville's Shanty Irish | Leadville, CO Healy House Museum & Dexter Cabin | Opens September 15
History Colorado’s Healy House Museum & Dexter Cabin is highlighting one of the largest and most important Irish immigrant communities in nineteenth-century North America through its upcoming exhibition Unearthed: Voices of Leadville’s Shanty Irish, which opens on September 15, 2023. Created in collaboration with Dr. James Walsh, historian and professor in the Political Science department at the University of Colorado Denver, Unearthed: Voices of Leadville’s Shanty Irish traces Leadville’s growth from a small gold camp into one of the most important Irish immigrant communities in the United States and explores the persistence of first and second generation immigrant laborers as they struggled for a dignified existence.
To celebrate the opening of Unearthed: Voices of Leadville’s Shanty Irish, the Healy House Museum & Dexter Cabin is hosting a reception on September 15, 2023, from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. This opening reception features catered food from Casa Sanchez, as well as a cash bar, and speakers from the Irish community and modern Latinx immigrant community.
History Buff Day | Leadville, CO Healy House Museum & Dexter Cabin | September 2, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Join History Colorado to celebrate young History Buffs around the state! Using your free History Buff membership, learn about Victorian life and how silver mining put Leadville on the map. Explore the two historic homes, stroll through the bountiful gardens, enjoy competing in a variety of lawn games, and, of course, hang with Billy the History Buff! This event is free with general admission (and members like History Buffs are free), but plan on RSVPing in advance.
Have a Colorado fourth grader who isn’t a History Buff member yet? Sign up here for your free membership– granting you (and 5 other people) access to all History Colorado locations around the state!
Rocky Mountain Map Society presents “Economic Development Impact on Cartography from the Range Industry” with Tim Hagaman | Denver, CO History Colorado Center & Online | September 5, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Join the Rocky Mountain Map Society and accomplished Western Americana speaker Tim Hagaman for a talk exploring how the development and population growth of livestock, and adjacent agricultural industries, in Colorado has been illustrated through cartography over time. This free event is hybrid (offered virtually and in-person), but reservations are required to attend. Additionally, more information about Hagaman and his work are available here.
Tours & Treks Presents: Montclair Neighborhood Walking Tour | Denver, CO History Colorado Center | September 8, 9 – 11 a.m. Tickets ($30 - 40) and additional information are available here.
For some prosperous immigrants to the area, nothing says ‘success’ like founding a city. Located east of the crowded and polluted city of Denver, Montclair was a city touted for its clean air and fine morals. Alas, even the cleanest of air and moral compasses won’t protect from economic crashes. Now a neighborhood in Denver, Montclair retains some grand buildings with equally grand figures who lived within them. We’ll hit the sidewalks of Montclair to talk about the city that might have been and the beauty it became. From the health-giving effects of cow vapors to castles standing and castles lost, there’s much to marvel at in Montclair!
Low Sensory Morning | Denver, CO History Colorado Center | September 9, 8 – 10 a.m.
The History Colorado Center is happy to open its doors for families who prefer a lower sensory museum environment. The museum will be closed to the general public, attendance limited, and sounds in the exhibitions turned down to ensure an accessible experience for all. Come and enjoy! Admission is free and space is limited, so an RSVP is required.
Museum of Memory Workshop | Denver, CO Ford-Warren Branch Library | September 9 & 30, 1 – 4 p.m.
Join History Colorado for the opening of its latest Museum of Memory project highlighting the Whittier Neighborhood. This pair of events on September 9 and 30 are the firsts of several workshops designed to engage, collect, restore, and commemorate the histories of the Whittier Neighborhood community. History Colorado’s Engagement Manager for Black Communities, Terri Gentry, and the Ford-Warren Library invite former and current Whittier Neighborhood community members to join them for these workshops and share their experiences.
Bruja BrewFest | Pueblo, CO El Pueblo History Museum | September 9, 6 – 10 p.m. Tickets ($30 - 45) and additional information available here.
Like craft beer? Well, it tastes even better if you’re drinking for a great cause! Celebrate Colorado’s tastiest craft beverages from breweries and cideries around the Centennial state at the annual Bruja Brewfest in Pueblo. This event takes place outdoors on the beautiful gardens and placita that are part of the original site of the El Pueblo trading post, where residents and visitors traded agriculture and spirits. So come on down and enjoy a brew while being tantalized by the smell from food trucks and invigorated by jams from live performers.
Best of all, the proceeds for the event go towards educational programming at El Pueblo History Museum, and you’ll leave with your very own commemorative glass to relish the sweet feeling of donating to a great cause. Guests must be 21 or older to attend, and any designated drivers receive a discounted ticket ($10) for ensuring you make it home safe. Presale tickets are available now, so make sure to grab some tickets while they last!
Museum Basics: Oral Histories
Online | September 13, 5 – 7 p.m. Tickets ($25 - 325) and additional information are available here.
The Museum Basic Series continues with a guided example on how to complete an oral history collection project from start to finish. This essential workshop gives contemporary museum professionals expert insight into how to work with the audio formats, education on the technologies of oral histories, while also examining the ethics of working with oral history narrators. For any questions or additional information, please contact Mark Nelson at HC_Museumbasics@state.co.us.
Vecinos Community Coffee | Fort Garland, CO Fort Garland Museum & Cultural Center | September 14, 9 – 10 a.m.
Join the Fort Garland Museum & Cultural Center for some warm beverages and even better platica with your neighbors. This free event, hosted on the second Thursday of each month, provides space for community sharing and gathering. Parking is available at the back entrance. We look forward to sharing our morning coffee with you!
The Ancestors and Futurists Tour | Fort Garland, CO Fort Garland Museum & Cultural Center | September 14, 5:30 – 10:00 p.m.
Join Fort Garland Museum & Cultural Center and Warm Cookies of Revolution for a free, one-night extravaganza: The Ancestors and Futurists Tour. Part of the Future Town Tour, the Ancestors and Futurists Tour project boldly reimagines the future of the American West through inspired rural and urban partnerships, which use the arts to resurrect the spirit of civics. As such, this program features multilingual music acts, dance, poetry, visual artists, stargazing, performance artists, and open civic discourse as ways of connecting Fort Garland and the San Luis Valley to the past, present, and future. Details on the performers and additional information are available here, and any questions can be directed to Eric Carpio at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (719) 379-3512.
The Rhythm of Tea with Guest Host Risë Jones | Denver, CO Center for Colorado Women’s History | September 16, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Tickets ($30 - 35) and additional information available here.
Engage your senses– touch, taste, and smell too!-- and drink up the fruitful history of spectacular women around the Centennial State. Join the Center for Colorado Women’s History and guest host Risë Jones, owner of TeaLee’s Teahouse and Bookstore, for this “special-tea” event. Start your day off with a guided tour of the historic house onsite, and follow up your newfound knowledge with an hour-long tea service led by Jones. This event features tea sampling and treats from our neighborhood tea shop so be sure to book tickets now!
2nd Annual Culture Fest | Montrose, CO Ute Indian Museum | September 23, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Food, art, and community are undoubtedly some of life’s greatest pleasures. The Ute Indian Museum, in partnership with the Hispanic Affairs Project, is hosting the 2nd Annual Culture Fest that embraces these joys through multicultural experiences. Offerings such as food, art, storytelling, traditional crafts, and performances make this an essential event to engage with our diverse Colorado communities in meaningful ways.
Fiestas Cooking Demonstration & Book Signing | Pueblo, CO El Pueblo History Museum | September 23, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
El Pueblo History Museum is proud to host Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack, a food blogger, recipe developer, and author, for a one-of-a-kind cooking demonstration and book signing. Hailing from El Paso, Texas, Marquez-Sharpnack co-authored Muy Bueno Fiestas with her family. In her recipes, you’ll find inspirations from her grandmother’s old-world Mexican cuisine, her mother’s El Paso home cooking, and Marquez-Sharpnack’s personal favorite childhood memories shared through food.
So, join us to hear about her latest cookbook, watch the expert create the recipes first-hand, meet the author herself, and get your own signed copy of Muy Bueno Fiestas to bring the inspiration home with you! Admission to the event and museum is free to the museum with paid entry into the Pueblo Chile & Frijole Festival.
Traditional Navajo Wool Processing Workshop | Fort Garland, CO Fort Garland Museum & Cultural Center | September 23 & 24, 9:00 – 5 p.m. Tickets ($150) are available to purchase here.
Join the Fort Garland Museum & Cultural Center for this inclusive two-day workshop led by Diné Weaver, Salina Begay. Begay’s background as a traditional Navajo rug weaver makes her the perfect mentor for those seeking to learn about these centuries-old traditions. The workshops include demonstrations of shearing, processing, spinning, dyeing and weaving, and a surplus of hands-on opportunities for participants. For additional information about the workshop, Begay’s background, or any contact information, please view the event listing here.
About History Colorado
History Colorado is a division of the Colorado Department of Higher Education and a 501(c)3 non-profit that has served more than 75,000 students and 500,000 people in Colorado each year. It is a 143-year-old institution that operates eleven museums and historic sites, a free public research center, the Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation which provides technical assistance, educational opportunities, and other access to archaeology and historic preservation, and the History Colorado State Historical Fund (SHF), which is one of the nation’s largest state funded preservation programs of its kind. More than 70% of SHF grants are allocated in rural areas of the state. Additionally, the offices of the State Archaeologist and the State Historic Preservation Officer are part of History Colorado.
History Colorado’s mission is to create a better future for Colorado by inspiring wonder in our past. We serve as the state’s memory, preserving and sharing the places, stories, and material culture of Colorado through educational programs, historic preservation grants, collecting, outreach to Colorado communities, the History Colorado Center and Stephen H. Hart Research Center in Denver, and 10 other museums and historic attractions statewide. History Colorado is one of only six Smithsonian Affiliates in Colorado. Visit HistoryColorado.org, or call 303-HISTORY, for more information. #HistoryColorado