Friday, September 04, 2015

Things to do when you're not writing but your brain won't let go

Presenting a few suggestions on what to do when you're crossways with your muse, or stuck mid-page, or just lacking ambition.  Give it a rest, get out of the house.  For example:

For you writers who also happen to be gardeners, chile cooks, salsa experts, and/or Chicano music aficionados, how about a weekend trip to Nick's Garden Center and Farm Market in beautiful Aurora, CO?  Nick's is a great place for all kinds of stuff.  This year's crowd at the Chile Fest will be entertained by Denver music legend Johnny Rodriguez y los Diamantes.  Here's more info, or visit Nick's website. 

Nick's:  2001 South Chambers Road * Aurora, CO 80014 * (303) 696-6657 


Sometimes checking out a creative superstar at the top of his game is what's needed to kick out that old writer's block. It doesn't get any better than Carlos Frésquez and his Chicanismo exhibit.  Now on display at the O'Sullivan Art Gallery on the Regis University campus. 

Cool Couple Series #10

Carlos Frésquez  -- "Chicanismo"

August 25 - October 1, 2015

Opening Reception - September 3, 4:30-7 pm

Gallery Talk by the Artist - September 10, 7 pm 

3333 Regis Boulevard, C-4, Denver 80221  - 303-964-3634


Also at Regis, the Inspired Thinker series presents Daniel Valdez. 


"Origins . . . Discovering Self-Identity"

Regis University’s Department of Fine and Performing Arts is proud to host 2015 Inspired Thinker playwright, actor, and musician Daniel Valdez at 7:30 p.m., September 16 in the Claver Recital Hall.

Nationally acclaimed for his original works, Valdez is a founding member of El Teatro Campesino, an American theater group widely recognized for its role in furthering the Chicano Civil Rights Movement. Valdez will deliver his lecture recital, “Origins: Discovering Self-Identity,” followed by a reception. Both events are free and open to the public, though reservations are encouraged. Reserve your seat online through the Department of Fine and Performing Arts at

For more than 30 years Valdez has been originating political entertainment, music, and plays that chronicle the drama and humor of a generation of Latinos that sparked the United Farmworkers Union organizing movement in the 1960s. In 2014 Valdez was Artist in Residence at Su Teatro, a multidisciplinary cultural arts center in Denver.


More Regis - an exhibit and talk by a photographer who captured Chicano history with his camera -

Juan Espinosa
Chicano Movement 1971-1974 One Man’s Perspective
Fireplace Lounge, Dayton Memorial Library
September 2 - October 15
Opening reception: Tuesday September 15, 4:00-6:00 pm 


Stimulate the brain with a series of talks and presentations about U.S. history and culture -  



El Movimiento: Looking Back, Looking Forward is a series of community dialogues sponsored by AARP. Join us as we hear from panelists about El Movimiento and where we are today.
All programs begin at 6 P.M.

Cost: $5 nonmembers; $4 History Colorado members; $3 AARP members

Art and Culture of El Movimiento
Wednesday, September 16
Explore the art, music, poetry and dance of El Movimiento and how the arts were important to the movement. Panelists include Dr. Ramon Del Castillo, renowned poet and Chair of Chicana/o Studies at MSU Denver, Flo Hernandez Ramos, founder and past CEO of jazz station KUVO; nationally acclaimed artist and founding member of the Crusade for Justice Emanuel Martinez; and artist Carlos Santistevan, who founded the first Chicano art gallery in the country. Moderated by donnie l. betts.

The Latino Experience in Vietnam Wednesday, October 21  
The Vietnam War and the Chicano Movement are inextricably linked. Latino soldiers died at a disproportionately high rate during the war, and many came home wondering why the democratic ideals they fought for abroad were denied to them at home. Join us for a discussion that looks at the Latino experience in Vietnam and the Chicano and Anti-war movements.

Chicano Teatro Stereotypes, Icons and Other Contradictions
Tuesday, November 10
Su Teatro, Denver's nationally acclaimed theatre company, will present Luis Valdez's Los Vendidos as well as I Think I'm Turning Mexican by Tony Garcia. Artistic director/playwright Garcia will host an evening of performance and discussion examining the role of Chicano Theatre as a political and social tool for criticism and community engagement. The discussion could include any or all of the following; collective rantings, reflections and reasonable responses.

History Colorado

1200 Broadway
Denver, CO 80203
(303) 447-8679 

(This always works for me) You could drink beer and support a good cause -

The Bruja Brew Fest, featuring Colorado craft breweries and cider makers, will be held on Saturday, September 12, 2015, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. in conjunction with the Sister Cities International Tasting Festival. The event will take place outdoors in the beautiful gardens and placita of El Pueblo History Museum. The museum marks the original site of Fort Pueblo where residents and visitors traded agriculture and spirits. The Bruja Brew Fest celebrates this rich southern Colorado culture and history while increasing awareness of Colorado's agricultural tourism and products.

** All proceeds from the event will provide scholarship opportunities for local children to attend the museum's Hands-On History after school program. Hands-On History is an interactive after school program that provides a safe and engaging learning environment for elementary level children with programs such as pottery, folklorico dancing, modern homesteading, and archeology. **

301 North Union
Pueblo, CO 81003

 Get lost at the "largest Latino-themed environmental festival." 

Colorado to Host Largest Latino-themed Environmental Festival for the 3rd Year 
DENVER — Speakers and events are being finalized for the 3rd Annual Americas Latino Eco Festival (ALEF) taking place in Denver, October 15-17, 2015. With its theme, A Climate of Hope: Where Conservation Meets the Future, ALEF is co produced by Americas for Conservation + the Arts (AFC+A) and Sachamama, and is co presented with Earthjustice, Great Outdoors Colorado, GreenLatinos, Conservation Colorado, and Climate Reality. ALEF, the largest multicultural event of its kind, establishes a home for advocates and leaders from leading organizations with Latino constituencies and environmental mandates.
Over 300 presenters and participants, and an audience of over 7, 000
October 15 Metro State University
October 16-17 Denver Art Museum, History Colorado & Denver Public Library
ALEF convenes Latino advocates and leaders from across the country to celebrate Latino culture and history and advance an integrated local and national conservation agenda. ALEF 2015 will launch an authoritative climate-training program and call for action on climate stewardship, land conservation, and the transition to renewable energies. There will be 3 days of presentations, workshops, concerts, films, readings, art, family activities and more.

I have a feeling that this next event might be of interest to only a few, myself included. Seems appropriate though.

The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes

October 23, 2015 - January 31, 2016
The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes will test your powers of observation. Science and history combine, bringing to life the Victorian era vividly portrayed in the beloved Sherlock Holmes stories, masterminded by physician-turned-author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The game is a foot! Work side by side Sherlock Holmes, testing your powers of observation and interpretation. Conduct forensic tests to unlock a message from Sherlock himself to shed light on a mysterious crime scene. 

Denver Museum of Nature and Science
2001 Colorado Blvd
Denver, CO 80205

Museum open daily
9 am - 5 pm 


(This is obvious, no?) For you PEN members, how about spending some time with a few of your favorite authors at a great bookstore to get the creative juices worked up again?

So much happening.  Soak it all up.


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