America 250 - Colorado 150 Commission Encourages Statewide Participation in Colorado's "Sesquisemiquincentennial" Commemoration
Twin anniversaries of America and Colorado line up in 2026 for an opportunity to honor what makes the Centennial State unique
DENVER — January 24, 2024 — The America 250 – Colorado 150 Commission is gearing up for the twin anniversaries of the nation – which is turning 250, our Semiquincentennial – and the Centennial State – turning 150, our Sesquicentennial – in 2026. Dubbed the “Sesquisemiquincentennial,” these twin anniversaries represent an opportunity for Coloradans to pause, reflect upon, and honor Colorado’s shared history while also collectively imagining our future through community events, educational opportunities, statewide celebrations, and more.
Created by the State Legislature, and housed within History Colorado, the America 250 - Colorado 150 Commission is charged with guiding Colorado’s Sesquisemiquincentennial program in ways that empower every Coloradan to participate. These efforts include a number of signature initiatives including:
Creating Memorable Public Experiences: the twin anniversaries will feature opportunities for communities to come together to honor what makes Colorado unique
Commemorating Our Shared History: the Commission will support a variety of educational efforts that engage inclusively with our shared history and create a lasting legacy well beyond 2026
Supporting Colorado Communities: the Commission will support local communities in a variety of ways as Coloradans create moments of unity and lasting impacts throughout the Sesquisemiquincentennial
Efforts to celebrate and build knowledge around the history of marginalized communities in Colorado are of particular importance among the work supported by the Commission. This will include emphasizing and centering the histories of Black communities, Indigenous communities, and communities of color, as well as the historic contributions of women, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQ+ community.
“It’s vital as we move forward with these twin anniversaries and beyond that we commit to recognizing how the experiences of all who have called Colorado home contribute to the unique character of the Centennial State,” said Katie Roach, Program Director of America 250 - Colorado 150. “Equally important is understanding that while this commemoration is a uniquely Colorado moment, our stories and impacts do not end at the borders of the Centennial State, but are in fact part of the broader American story.”
To ensure all Coloradans can make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, the America 250 – Colorado 150 Commission will work with communities to coordinate commemorative events, plan activities, create new scholarship and educational opportunities, and identify new sites for historic preservation.
As part of the America 250 - Colorado 150 Commission rollout, the Commission has launched their website – www.am250co150.org – to help Coloradans interested in participating in the Sesquisemiquincentennial connect with the Commission. This website hosts a statewide events calendar for community groups and organizations planning events and programs.
Additionally, the Commission is also working to foster community and organizational efforts by:
creating Regional Advisory Panels and Local Organizing Committees in communities throughout the state to coordinate commemorative efforts across Colorado
supporting communities statewide by connecting them to varied funding opportunities for local planning efforts and directly assisting with commemorative programming where possible
uniting statewide commemorations through a shared visual identity via its logo
One way that History Colorado is working to tell a more complete history, in line with the vision of the America 250 - Colorado 150 Commission, is the Colorado Heritage for All Initiative. An intentional effort to address the lack of representation of all Colorado's diverse communities on the State and National Register of Historic Places, the Colorado Heritage for All Initiative will support nominations and the listing of 150 currently unrecognized historic resources that tell the stories of marginalized communities by the end of 2026.
“This moment is a unique chance to explore, document, and preserve the diverse and intersecting stories of our state,” Roach said. “We hope all Coloradans will participate in this commemoration, assist us in telling a more complete history of our nation, and join us in collaboratively shaping the future of the Centennial State.”
About the America 250 – Colorado 150 Commission
Housed within History Colorado, the America 250 - Colorado 150 Commission is charged with guiding Colorado’s Sesquisemiquincentennial program in ways that empower every Coloradan to participate. The Commission consists of 15 members who represent Colorado’s diverse communities and several state agencies. The Commission was created by the Colorado General Assembly with the support of Governor Jared Polis and works closely with members of an Advisory Panel representing communities throughout the state.
All Coloradans are encouraged to engage in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity by coming together to coordinate commemorative events, plan community activities, create new scholarship and educational materials, identify opportunities for historic preservation, and show our fellow Americans what makes the Sesquisemiquincentennial uniquely Colorado. Visit www.am250co150.org today for more information and to get involved!
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 144-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