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muse Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition • Volume 1 Number 5 • May/June 2017

Inside This Issue

Montbello in the News...4 & 5 Healthy Living In The Community...6 & 7 Voices In The Neighborhood...8 & 9 Youth On The Move...10 & 11 Happenings Around Montbello...12 & 13 Spotlight On Business…15


Class of 2017! Gentrification of Montbello: The Clock is Ticking...2

“Come one, come all... all are welcome.” Rev. Dr. James Fouther Jr.

United Church of Montbello 4879 Crown Blvd Denver CO, 80239 303-373-0070

Dear Readers,


This issue of the MUSE is packed with information, ideas, and connections to community resources. As usual, I have spent the better part of the last two months meeting people, attending meetings, researching information of interest to our friends and neighbors. I am always intrigued by the perceptions and ideas of people with whom I talk for the Voices from The Neighborhood and Youth on the Move sections of the paper. This month I was especially moved by the conversations with the soon-to-be graduates from Montbello. They are so heartfelt and forward thinking. I kept asking myself, “was I ever that idealistic?” My daughter who is graduating from CSU this month with a degree in Human Development, reminds me that these young men and women are right on track developmentally in that they are doing just what people in the latter stages of adolescent development are supposed to do. They are searching for themselves through an intense exploration of personal values, beliefs, and goals in relationship to the greater society in which they live. Supposedly I have settled all those questions and have developed the wisdom that comes with age. There is something to be said for having all the enthusiasm exuded by Elena, Joon, Jalon, and Peter (see Youth on the Move section of this issue). Thank goodness that they and their peers are coming along now when our world needs fresh thinking and endless drive. As always, your contributions to the MUSE are welcome. Contact me at for information on guidelines and deadlines. Respectfully, Donna Garnett, Editor Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition

“We have the power of the pen to write the next chapter, and the privilege to author the page in whatever fashion we choose. Yet, seldom do we understand the power of the pen and the privilege of the page.” — Craig Lounsbrough

The Power of US


another, trusting one another, and equally valuing and celebrating what everyone brings to the table. The eye needs the hand. The foot needs the ear. We don’t make it without each other. We may get by but never will we reach greatness. As I consider the condition of our schools I have to conclude that some of our struggles are a direct result of the inability of leadership to bring us together, to rally us around a singular cause, to leverage the strength of the whole. Too often we see and experience tactics that divide us and scapegoat different components of us. We see tactics that place us in camps that box us in to one ideology or perspective always causing us to fall short of our goals as a community. This strategy ignores the network of mutuality. It ignores that we are equal threads in a single garment of destiny. I know that I am where I am today because of the village, because of the collaboration between home, school, church, elders, mentors, barbershop, corner store, rec center, police officers, volunteers, friends, my neighbors, and my peers. I didn’t get here because of isolation. The collaboration of US…all stakeholders included….helped me. It is the solution for today’s challenges and the realization of tomorrow’s hopes! US. Vernon Jones, Jr. Denver

Editor: We do not thrive in isolation. We were born for relationship and to be interdependent on one another. I need you. You need me. Communities do not thrive when all people and parts are not collaborating. Communities cannot reach our highest hopes, vanquish our greatest struggles, or thrive across generations without an unwavering commitment to do what it takes together. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. famously said, “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. This is the interrelated structure of all reality. You can never be what you ought to be until I become what I ought to be. By the same token, though, I can never become what I ought to be until you become what you ought to be.” It is inescapable. Yet many operate as if our neighbor’s struggle is inconsequential to our existence. It isn’t. It may not be directly impacting your life but indirectly it is. We should not be able see a neighbor in struggle, beat down by life, carrying a load of pain and not provide some relief. How can you have a pantry full of food and simply just wish a neighbor well that is starving? Or have a pantry full and respond simply with I’ll pray for you? (Not minimizing prayer but elevating our responsibility to put some feet on our prayers. Be an answered prayer by acting!) I believe that our best solutions require us. I believe that great schools require us. Great communities, cities, companies, and countries require us. Everyone working together, upholding our responsibilities, encouraging one

PUBLISHER - Montbello Organizing Committee/Denver Urban Spectrum EDITOR - Donna Garnett

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS - R.J. Price, Khadija Haynes, Vernon Jones, Angelle Fouther, Nathifa Miller, Terry Liggins, Cole Chandler, Erik Penn, Daniela Young Translations by Marta Welch and Daniela Young ART DIRECTOR - Bee Harris ADVERTISING SALES CONSULTANT - Melovy Melvin

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS - Kyle Harris, Khadija Haynes, Kara Pearson Gwinn

Editor’s note: Vernon Jones Jr. is president of Live Forward Colorado, Associate Pastor at True Light Baptist Church, a Catapult Leadership Fellow and a former leader at DPS. He is a 17-year resident of Northeast Denver with his wife Jaymie and their five children. You can email him at

The Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition (MUSE) is a bi-monthly publication produced and published by the Denver Urban Spectrum (DUS) and the Montbello Organizing Committee (MOC). Contents of MUSE are copyright 2016 by Denver Urban Spectrum and the Montbello Organizing Committee. No portion may be reproduced without written permission of the publishers. MUSE is circulated throughout Denver’s Far Northeast community. MUSE welcomes all letters, but reserves the right to edit for space, libelous material, grammar, and length. All letters must include name, address, and phone number. We will withhold author’s name on request. Unsolicited articles are accepted without guarantee of publication or payment and may be submitted to the editor at For advertising information, email or call 303292-6446.

MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition - May/June 2017


Gentrification of Montbello: My first paying job which resulted

Guest Editorial By R.J. Price, PhD

in a w-2 was at the old Montbello Recreation Center, now the Boys and Girls Club. I was a pool attendant, eventually I became a lifeguard, working at the outdoor pool summer after summer. One can’t see the pool anymore. It’s been covered over with concrete and the Club parks it’s shuttle buses there. They have also put in an outdoor basketball court to add a little traditional neighborhood charm. I miss the old Montbello Rec. center. It was hard to let it go but the Boys and Girls club has made a nice addition. That was 30 years ago and Montbello was 20 years old. A few years prior, my sister bought her first home on Crown Blvd. across from Montbello High School. The mortgage was $54,000. Now the median home value in Montbello is $270,000 according to Not bad, right? Before the reader gets too excited, let’s consider that most of that growth has occurred in a very short period of time. Last year alone, housing prices in Montbello jumped an average of 27% and our community is now considered the hottest suburban real estate market in the country. While some residents welcome the local and national attention, along with increasing property values, in hopes that the community will get a face lift and an economic boost, some residents fear that those changes are a strong indication that Montbello is soon doomed to gentrification. Some even suggest that recent designation of Montbello at the top of Denver’s list of priorities for a new neighborhood plan means that the community has fallen into the bullseye of someone’s target. Being in the crosshairs doesn’t necessarily bode well for those who are vulnerable due to income status. One may be asking, “What is gentrification?” “Is that what is happening to North Park Hill and Five Points?” Gentrification has taken on different definitions, but the term was originally coined in 1964 by Ruth Glass, a British sociologist who used it to describe the displacement of low income persons by middle-income people in working class districts of London. According to Denver’s Office of Economic Development’s 2016 study on gentrification, the term is defined as “involuntary displacement.” It strikes me that Native Americans were involuntarily displaced by European settlers. From that standpoint, perhaps gentrification is nothing new. Of course, the tactics of today are different and the influx of people are not always of European descent, but regardless, the interlopers are still coming for the land. Gentrification could be characterized as capitalism at its best. In order to understand the genesis of gentrification in Denver and the nation, it’s important to take a look backward. I grew up in Park Hill during the 80s, but I remember my mom talking about the first home she and my father purchased in 1965 near Martin Luther King Boulevard on Ivy St. The purchase price was $35,000. My mom remarked that there were about eight homes on the block that were for sale and already vacant. What happened? “White Flight is what happened.” North Park Hill had been occupied by white residents, but in Denver, like many other cities beginning in the 1950’s, as black residents moved to inner cities (often in hopes of work), white residents moved out. This movement meant that the suburbs expanded while the inner city was left with high vacancies and depressed real estate values. As any student of high school economics would know this phenome

non – the law of supply and demand — is one that could be expected. As more houses were left vacant, property values plummeted. In July, 2015, Alana Semuels in the Atlantic posited that “today’s cities may be more diverse overall, but people of different races still don’t live near each other.” In the late 1960s there was a string of race riots that plagued the country. Lyndon B. Johnson, then President of the United States commissioned a group of civic leaders to determine the underlying causes of these “major racial incidents.” The Kerner Report, as it has become to be known, concluded, “Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal.” Of course, that was 1968, but the Eisenhower Foundation, which continues to conduct work and awareness around this topic reported in 2008: “America, for the most part, {has} failed to meet the Kerner Commission’s goals of less poverty, inequality, racial injustice and crime.” What does this history lesson have to do with today’s discussion of gentrification? Ms. Semuels concludes in her report, “the practices derided by the Kerner Commission, including white flight, exclusionary zoning, and outright prejudice, are continuing to create black areas and white areas {and brown areas}, but this time around, those areas exist in both the cities and the suburbs.” Unfortunately, this process of displacing people by other persons of greater affluence has become the result of a failure to address institutionalized racism in our country and only appears to have emerged as a recent phenomenon – in the guise of gentrification — across the nation. It has appeared in different ways and with different people, but in the end people who have been historically disenfranchised from the American Dream and from the benefits of the American economic machine are again being marginalized and punished for being poor and often black or brown. According to 2013 demographic data Montbello was outside of the cusp of median income levels that put it at danger for gentrification. However, as home property values continue to rise at uncommon rates, Montbello has and will continue to experience transformation. To help mitigate the negative impacts of gentrification, residents must participate in directing the flow of this energy. This window of opportunity can be used for community members to strengthen bonds among themselves and assist each other in accessing available resources. Community leaders must assist in strategies and solutions that include strengthening homeownership of its current longstanding residents. Lastly, new and current residents must reach across lines of race, class, and culture to help to continue to foster a diverse, welcoming, and inclusive community.Y

Editot’s note: RJ Price, PhD is Community Site Representative-Montbello for the Youth Violence Prevention Center-Denver which is associated with the University of Colorado Boulder. R.J. also co-chairs the Community Engagement Task Team for Montbello Organizing Committee. He lives, works, and plays in Montbello and may be contacted at

MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition - May/June 2017


La Gentrificación de Montbello: Editorial de Invitado por: R.J. Precio, Doctorado Traducido de Ingles a Español por: Marta Welch


i primer trabajo de pago que resultó en un w-2 fue en el viejo Centro de Recreación de Montbello, ahora el Club de Muchachas y Muchachos. Era un asistente de piscina- finalmente me convertí en un salvavidas, trabajando en la piscina al aire libre verano después de verano. Ya no se puede ver la piscina. Ha sido cubierto con concreto y el Club estaciona los autobuses de enlace allí. También han puesto en una pista de baloncesto al aire libre para añadir un poco del encanto tradicional del barrio. Extraño el viejo Centro de Recreación de Montbello. Fue difícil dejarlo ir pero el Club de Muchachas y Muchachos ha hecho una adición agradable. Eso fue hace 30 años y Montbello tenía 20 años. Unos años antes, mi hermana compró su primera casa en Crown Blvd. enfrente de la Escuela Secundaria de Montbello. La hipoteca era $54,000. Ahora el valor mediano de una casa en Montbello es $270,000 según No está mal, ¿verdad? Antes de que el lector se excite demasiado, consideremos que la mayor parte de ese crecimiento ha ocurrido en un período muy corto de tiempo. Sólo el año pasado, los precios de la vivienda en Montbello saltaron un promedio de 27% y nuestra comunidad ahora se considera el mercado inmobiliario suburbano más caliente en el país. Mientras que algunos residentes dan la bienvenida a la atención local y nacional, junto con el aumento de los valores de propiedad, con la esperanza de que la comunidad obtendrá un levantamiento facial y un impulso económico, algunos residentes temen que esos cambios son una indicación fuerte de que Montbello pronto estará condenado a la gentrificación. Algunos incluso sugieren que la designación reciente de Montbello en la parte superior de la lista de prioridades de Denver para un nuevo plan de barrio significa que la comunidad ha caído en el centro del blanco del objetivo de alguien. Estar en el punto de mira no es necesariamente un buen presagio para aquellos que son vulnerables debido a su estado de ingresos. Uno puede estar preguntando, “¿Qué es la gentrificación?” “¿Es eso lo que está sucediendo a North Park Hill y Five Points?” La gentrificación ha tomado diferentes definiciones, pero el término fue originalmente acuñado en 1964 por Ruth Glass, una socióloga Británica que lo utilizó para describir el desplazamiento de las personas de bajos ingresos por las personas de ingresos medios en los distritos de la clase trabajadora de Londres. Según el estudio de 2016 por la Oficina de Desarrollo Económico de Denver sobre la gentrificación, el término se define como “desplazamiento involuntario”. Me parece que los Nativos Americanos fueron desplazados involuntariamente por los colonos Europeos. Desde ese punto de vista, tal vez la gentrificación no es nada nuevo. Por supuesto, la táctica de hoy es diferente y la afluencia de personas no siempre son de ascendencia Europea, pero, independientemente, los intrusos siguen viniendo por la tierra. La gentrificación podría caracterizarse como capitalismo en su mejor momento. Con el fin de entender la génesis de la gentrificación en Denver y la nación, es importante echar un vistazo hacia atrás. Crecí en Park Hill durante los años del 1980, pero recuerdo que mi mamá habló de la primera casa que ella y mi padre compraron en 1965 cerca de Martin Luther King Boulevard en la calle Ivy. El precio de compra fue de $ 35,000. Mi madre comentó que había alrededor de ocho casas en el bloque que estaban en venta y ya vacantes. ¿Que pasó? “El Vuelo Blanco es lo que pasó.” North Park Hill había sido ocupada por residentes blancos, pero en Denver, al igual que muchas otras ciudades a partir de la década de 1950, cuando los residentes Afro-Americanos se trasladaban a las ciudades centrales (a menudo con la esperanza de trabajo), los residentes blancos se mudaron. Este movimiento significó que los suburbios se expandieron mientras que el centro de la ciudad se quedó con altas vacantes y valores inmobiliarios deprimidos. Como

cualquier estudiante de la economía en la escuela secundaria conocería este fenómeno - la ley de la oferta y la demanda — es uno que podría esperarse. A medida que más casas quedaron vacantes, los valores de las propiedades se desplomaron. En julio de 2015, Alana Semuels en el Atlántico afirmaba que “las ciudades de hoy pueden ser más diversas en general, pero las personas de diferentes razas todavía no viven cerca unas de otras”. A fines de los años de 1960 hubo una serie de disturbios raciales que plagaron el país. Lyndon B. Johnson, entonces Presidente de los Estados Unidos, comisionó a un grupo de líderes cívicos para determinar las causas subyacentes de estos “grandes incidentes raciales”. El Reporte Kerner, tal como se ha llegado a conocer, concluyó: “Nuestra nación se está moviendo hacia dos sociedades, una negra, otra blanca, separada y desigual “. Por supuesto, eso fue en 1968, pero la Fundación Eisenhower, que continúa realizando trabajo y concienciación sobre este tema, reportó en 2008: “América, en su mayor parte, no cumplió con los objetivos de la Comisión Kerner de reducir la pobreza, la desigualdad, la injusticia racial y el crimen “. ¿Qué tiene que ver esta lección de historia con la discusión de hoy sobre la gentrificación? La Sra. Semuels concluye en su informe que “las prácticas que la Comisión Kerner ridiculizó, incluyendo el vuelo blanco, la zonificación excluyente y el prejuicio absoluto, continúan creando áreas negras y zonas blancas {y áreas marrones}, pero esta vez, esas áreas existen tanto en las ciudades como en los suburbios “. Lamentablemente, este proceso de desplazamiento de personas por otras personas de mayor afluencia se ha convertido en el resultado de un fracaso de abordar el racismo institucionalizado en nuestro país y sólo parece haber surgido como un fenómeno reciente – a guisa de gentrificación — a lo largo de la nación. Ha aparecido de diferentes maneras y con diferentes personas, pero al final las personas que han sido históricamente marginadas del Sueño Americano y de los beneficios de la máquina económica Americana son marginadas y castigadas de nuevo por ser pobres y a menudo negros o marrones. Según los datos demográficos de 2013, Montbello estaba fuera de la cúspide de los niveles medios de ingreso que lo ponían en peligro para la gentrificación. Sin embargo, como los valores de propiedad de viviendas siguen aumentando a tasas poco comunes, Montbello ha y continuará experimentando transformación. Para ayudar a mitigar los impactos negativos de la gentrificación, los residentes deben participar en dirigir el flujo de esta energía. Esta ventana de oportunidad puede ser utilizada para que los miembros de la comunidad fortalezcan los lazos entre ellos y se ayuden mutuamente en el acceso a los recursos disponibles. Los líderes de la comunidad deben ayudar en las estrategias y soluciones que incluyen el fortalecimiento de la propiedad de sus actuales residentes de larga data. Por último, los residentes nuevos y actuales deben alcanzar a través de líneas de raza, clase y cultura para ayudar a continuar fomentando una comunidad diversa, acogedora e inclusiva.Y

Editor’s note: R.J. Price, PhD es el Representante de la Comunidad de Montbello para el Centro de Prevención de la Violencia Juvenil-Denver, que está asociado con la Universidad de Colorado Boulder. R.J. también co-preside el Equipo de Trabajo de Compromiso Comunitario para el Comité Organizador de Montbello. El vive, trabaja y juega en Montbello y puede ser contactado en

MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition - May/June 2017



Shade: Clyfford Still/Mark Bradford

at A+P includes an educational program that provides support services including access to housing, individualized education, and employment support as well as job training to foster youth living in LA County. The A+P concept is very much like concepts being discussed in the Montbello neighborhood around the Kresge Foundation’s FreshLo Placemaking grant awarded to the Montbello Organizing Committee. The purpose of the project is to bring the neighborhood - youth and adults together to create a plan for a cultural hub in Montbello. Input from the community suggests a desire for the cultural hub to include access to fresh food, the arts, and other quality of life needs currently lacking in the community. Bradford’s exhibit and the Montbello neighborhood are also connected through Bradford’s commitment to work with a student muralist at DCIS charter school at the Montbello campus. This unique opportunity comes under the auspices of the school program at the DAM and Mr. Bradford’s desire to reach out to the area’s African-American community. A special meeting with the student muralist and other DCIS students is scheduled for late May. Back to Shade. Every piece is stunning, but two pieces stood out for me: Mississippi Gottdam and Rebels on the Plantation. Mississippi Gottdam is comprised of debris Bradford collected in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. This piece represents his visual critique of recovery efforts in lowincome neighborhoods. The work is implanted with paper and other materials he found there. The embedded pieces evoke memories of the flotsam and refuse covering the neighborhoods after the floods. Bradford borrowed the title of this work from Nina Simone’s 1964 song Mississippi Goddam, which was an anthem for urgent social change and racial equality. Continuing with the theme of social justice, Bradford’s Rebels on the Plantation conjured deep emotions as I stood exploring it for quite some time. Images of ancestors toiling in the dirt, dying where they stood, existing in a parched, dry, dark place filled my senses. Nearby a video of the artist talking about his life and work plays across the room from a wall filled with newspaper clippings from the murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till. Maybe the unexpected rawness of the exhibit in this place, the Denver Art Museum, took me by surprise. It never occurred to me that DAM would have the courage to feature the brash honesty of an African American artist’s work in such an impressive display. Then again, it could have been the sheer scale, the hugeness of each of the paintings and the sense of light that shown through all the blackness in his work that reduced me to tears. I am confident that what our community creates in Montbello, our own cultural hub, will provide a place and opportunities for our community’s own bold, bright multi-cultural artists to create, practice, perform and share their work for all to experience. It will be a place where our folks will see themselves represented on the walls and on the stage. One of Denver’s African American philanthropists and patron of the arts, Tina Walls, contributed to bringing Bradford’s works here. She has said, “The arts help to interweave all of us together in the American mosaic.” That is one of the many things Montbello embodies – all of us interwoven into the mosaic that proudly is Montbello. Go take this journey. Shade continues at the Denver Art Museum and the Clyfford Still Museum through July 16. Y

By Khadija Haynes

Mark Bradford puts

all of himself (and a lot of our collective American and human) experiences into his artwork. Literally. He has included leftover residue, trash, fine minerals, recyclables, and the very core of earth itself in the layers of his magnificent pieces. What makes these pieces so compelling is the fact that unless you know what you are looking at, you don’t see it, you don’t know that it is there. Once you become aware of the “secret ingredients” present in his works, the level of awe you have experienced by seeing these splendid pieces grows exponentially. I was recently ‘voluntold’ to write an article for the MUSE about the new gallery exhibit being jointly presented at the Denver Art Museum (DAM) and the Clyfford Still Museum entitled Shade. Initially I thought I had been assigned a quick “UP assignment” - you know: showup at the event, chat-up the people involved, and write-up a quick article then move on down the road; mission accomplished. Instead what I experienced was an amazing, emotion-filled journey that reminded that while life is brief; it should certainly not be quick, and spending time in experiencing splendor is a must! Shade: Clyfford Still/Mark Bradford features the works of Mark Bradford at the Mississippi Gottdam Denver Art Museum and Clyfford Still’s work at the Clyfford Still Museum, next door to DAM. Bradford, a world renowned African American contemporary visual artist tributes Still’s work as inspiring his own art. Both men have created very large scale works, so large that most require an entire gallery wall each. Both infuse artifacts and pieces from their 3D lives into their 2D paintings. Although, because these entwined bits lift off the canvass, they, too, are arguably 3D in some respects - they have a physical presence. Both artists explore the use of the shade Black as a primary feature in their paintings. Bradford is quoted as saying, “Black is like Voldemort. It has fears and possibilities. Black is the most difficult color to work with; it will cause you to fail.” He goes on the describe his process, “My paintings are made up of tearing. To me it represents a process that is more of a reality than laying down perfect lines of paint. It’s raw and violent but it still comes together.” Born in South LA, Bradford has a deep sense of community. Having witnessed how a lack of educational and social resources can affect a community, Bradford collaborated with neighborhood activist Allan Dicastro and philanthropist Eileen Harris Norton to establish Art+Practice (A+P) in the Leimert Park neighborhood of LA. This community cultural hub, an arts and education facility, occupies a nearly 20,000 square-foot campus, where it directs programs and activities. Public Programs include individual artists’ talks, panels, film screenings, and live performances along with moderated art lectures, discussions, and performances. The Art programming at A+P seeks to reignite conversations about the social value and positive influence of contemporary art in the Leimert Park neighborhood. The Practice programming

Editor’s note: Khadija Haynes is a co-founder of the Colorado Black Arts Movement (CBAM), a partner organization with the Montbello Organizing Committee’s FreshLo grant from the Kresge Foundation. For more information regarding Montbello’s Cultural Hub contact

MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition - May/June 2017



$465,000 Granted to 21 Artists and Organizations Fostering CrossSector Work in Colorado

Denver, Colorado. The Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, Colorado Creative Industries, and Hemera Foundation in partnership with RedLine Contemporary Art Center are excited to announce the first generation of grant recipients for the Arts in Society Program. A 13-member panel comprised of individuals across the state of Colorado and some national representation assembled to review over 265 grant applications. Congratulation to 2017 “Arts in Society” grant recipient, Colorado Black Arts Movements for the project “My Dinner in Montbello – A Culinary Drama”. The purpose of this effort is to develop a performance, in partnership with residents, the Montbello Organizing Committee, and the Kresge Foundation’s FreshLo initiative in Montbello that will focus on food access and unity among residents through the experience of shared meals. Grants awards were assessed based on the applicant’s ability to illustrate artistic excellence, broaden the understanding of the role arts play in society, demonstrate cross-sector work, exhibit cultural relevancy, foster community engagement, and present opportunities for shared learning. This initiative responds to the growing desire of artists and arts organizations to use their creativity and talents to make a difference in their community. At the same time those engaged in issues like education, poverty, public safety and health increasingly are looking to the arts as a partner in their work. This initiative responds to the growing desire of artists and arts organizations to use their creativity and talents to make a difference in their community. At the same time those engaged in issues like education, poverty, public safety and health increasingly are looking to the arts as a partner in their work. This program is a great model for how Denver’s funding and philanthropic community can respond and financially support the growing number of artists and organizations that do not fit into one sector but rather are impacting social change through the excellent intersection of arts and society. Average grant sizes of between $10,000.00 – $50,000.00 were awarded to 21 artists and organizations and were publicly announced on April 20, 2017. The project will be presented in the community in late Fall, 2017 and will kick off a two-year initiative to create a Montbello Cultural Hub.Y MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition - May/June 2017



More Black Birthdays – The Problem and a Solution

Montbello ‘BelloTrekkers’

Several walking groups are walking around Montbello. One of those groups is the BelloTrekkers and they walk the same time same place every week. You are invited to join them in the Walk2Connect’s Montbello Same Time Same Place walk(STSP)! The BelloTrekkers are a fun group of energetic walkers of diverse backgrounds who invite you to come walk with us. Come make new friends while getting the mind, body, and spirit moving at the pace you were built to. Everyone is welcome! The Walking Movement Leader is Pam Jiner, a thirty-year resident of Montbello, who loves Colorado outdoors. Pam enjoys walking, running, biking, hiking and most outdoor sports. Mother of three sons and a grandmother, Pam now gets to enjoy spending time with people, walking and talking. The group meets every Wednesday morning at 8:00 am on the corner of Elmendorf and Scranton Street (12701 Elmendorf Place, Denver, CO 80239), location of Elmendorf Park/John Amesse Elementary School. Come prepared to walk, as no restrooms are available. We leave NO LATER than 8:10 am. Usually the walks are completed by 9:00 am. Following are a few tips for the Montbello STSP walks: Dogs are allowed. Please be sure they are well-behaved and on a short leash. No retractable leashes please. Accessibility: If you’re on a stroller or wheelchair, keep in mind the sidewalks are cracked and bumpy. We can adapt the route so you are with our group on quieter neighborhood streets. Wear/Bring: comfortable socks & clothing (preferably non-cotton), light backpack for snacks and water, gloves/scarf, head cap if cool outside, and sunglasses/sunscreen. Plan to use restroom beforehand. We usually don’t break on this one. Cancellation Policy: We only cancel in extreme weather conditions on our path, such as ice, hail, or lightening. Check with the walk leader for the most up-to-date conditions. New walkers should go online to to complete the waiver or download, print, sign, and turn in a hard copy at your first walk. Contact Pam Jiner at or call at 720.620.5735 for more information.

By Nathifa Miller, JD

Too many black babies never see their first birthday.

When a baby dies before her first birthday it’s called infant mortality. The infant mortality rate is calculated by counting the number of infant deaths that occur for every 1,000 live births. This rate is often used as an indicator to measure the health and well-being of a local community, or an entire nation. The United States has one of the worst infant mortality rates on the planet. The Center for Disease Control notes in the publication At A Glance 2016 Infant Health Protecting Our Next Generation that in 2015 the United States ranked 131st of 184 countries, falling between Timor-Lester and Thailand and far behind most countries including Burkina Faso, Afghanistan, and Ethiopia. Although Colorado has the 5th lowest infant mortality rate in the United States, the state faces glaring racial disparities in babies who die before age 1. In Denver, the ratio of black infant deaths to white infant deaths is four to one (4:1). In other words, infants born to black women in Denver are four times more likely to die within their first year than infants born to white women. Why is black infant mortality so much higher? Research points to the mother’s health before and during pregnancy, her eating habits, and prenatal care, but none of those factors examined, alone or together, fully explain the gap. The PBS Documentary, Precious Loss, established that a white woman below the poverty line has better odds of celebrating her infant’s first birthday than a black woman earning $50,000 - $75,000 a year. Kellie Teter, Denver Health Maternal Child Health Program Manager says, “unlike other health disparities, (black) infant mortality is not explained by income level or education.” Evidence suggests that a key factor may be the prolonged exposure to stress caused by racial discrimination that affects the health of black families for generations. One of the strategies being used to reduce black infant mortality in the Montbello community is the Healthy Babies Strong Families Program (HBSF), a program through the Families Forward Resource Center. HBSF provides direct services to black women and their families to assess and minimize risks for infant mortality. At the systems level is a second strategy, the Community Action Network (CAN). The CAN is comprised of a group of individuals representing health care, government, academia, business, education, nonprofits, as well as parents and community members. All are dedicated to the eradication of the disparity in the African American/Black Infant mortality rate and the promotion of positive birth outcomes. The CAN is pursuing a three-pronged approach to address the problem that black women in Denver lose their baby before their first year of life four times more often than white women. One approach is holding screenings of the PBS Documentary “Precious Loss” to raise awareness among health care professionals and others. A second approach is the “Together from the Start” program emphasizing fathers’ and other co-parents’ importance to infant and family wellbeing. Third is the More Black Birthdays Awareness Campaign (MBBA) aimed at raising visibility and awareness of black infant mortality. The MBBA campaign recently launched the website. This website provides a range of resources available for the community and families in Metro Denver to ensure that all babies have a chance to celebrate their first birthday and live a healthy life. The members of the CAN work towards the predominant goal of eliminating the racial disparity in infant mortality with only “one number” reflecting a universal infant mortality rate for all people. The CAN stands on the principle that “every child deserves a first birthday.” Y

Montbello Walkability Assessment

By Terry Liggins The Montbello Organizing Committee’s Transportation Task Team (T3) has been diligently working on transportation issues on behalf of the community for the last three years. The goal of the task team is to ensure the transit needs and interests of Montbello residents are included and addressed in all planning documents and implementation activities. In 2015 and 2016, T3’s work focused on preserving bus routes in the face of RTD’s plans to open the A Line Commuter Rail. Task team members, residents, and RTD staff and board members worked together to determine a plan that would address transit user’s needs to get to work, school, home, and other destinations. Further, the efforts focused around safety in that first and last mile. T3s advocacy was significant in getting the word out to users regarding the imminent changes to bus schedules, the closing of the Montbello Park and Ride, and the establishment of needed routes and services. It was the outcome of the work that brought Montbello to the attention of WalkDenver. WalkDenver is a nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to making Denver the most walkable city in the U.S. Late last summer, WalkDenver, in conjunction with T3, embarked on an extensive walkability assessment of the Montbello neighborhood. This project explored existing conditions, identified walkability gaps as well as provided recommendations through ten individual reports covering the entire landscape of Montbello. Reports included statistical data, photos, and exhibits. WalkDenver collaborated with urban planning graduate students at the University of Colorado Denver to perform walkability assessments of Montbello. Under the guidance of Professor Ken Schroeppel, the students

Editor’s note: Nathifa M. Miller, JD is the Collective Impact Coordinator for Families Forward Resource Center located in Montbello and Green Valley Ranch. For more information about More Black Birthdays and Community Action Network contact her at

MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition - May/June 2017



Montbello community. Walkability improves a city’s environment, public health, and economy, but most importantly, walkability improves quality of life. Y

Editor’s note: Terry Liggins is Executive Director of Montbello Organizing Committee and led the Transportation Task Team’s efforts to advocate for residents’ needs and interests as RTD closed Montbello PnR and modified bus stops and schedules. For more information regarding MOC, T3, and the Walkability Assessment contact her at

Healthy Living In Montbello: Groceries for Montbello A

By Cole Chandler

ccess to healthy food is an essential building block to ensure the wellbeing of all Coloradans, but as many as 1 in 8 Colorado residents struggle with hunger and face times when they don’t know when or where they’ll get their next meal. This problem is particularly difficult in a community like Montbello, where the absence of a full-service grocery store means that healthy food access is not only a matter of economic resources, but of time and transportation as well. Many Montbello residents who have the economic resources to purchase food, still have to work twice as hard as most Denver residents to get to the grocery store to buy the food needed to reach their potential and fully contribute to the community. Still, there are numerous residents of the Montbello community who count upon the assistance of food stamps to meet their basic nutritional needs. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP or food stamps, provides individuals and families with the buying power to purchase healthy food that gives students the energy to excel in school, reduces the risk of chronic disease in adults, and keeps seniors stable and independent. In turn, food stamps strengthen the larger community and stimulate the economy. The economic stimulus of food stamps in Denver County alone is an estimated $241 million per year, and yet, an estimated $67 million is left on the table because of unutilized benefits. Hunger Free Colorado is a statewide anti-hunger advocacy organization that is working in Montbello to ensure that members of the community have access to the food they need to thrive, while reducing the amount of economic stimulus that is left on the table. Ninfa Drago is a bilingual food assistance navigator who provides food stamp outreach at the Montbello WIC Clinic on the first and third Tuesday of every month from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. According to Drago, many clients have transportation issues that prevent them from going to the county office, or have difficulty navigating the online application system. To that end, the Hunger Free Colorado outreach program makes the food stamp application process more approachable, streamlined, and client-centric. As Drago said, “Clients prefer to spend 10-20 minutes applying with us instead of spending 1-4 hours going to the counties.” Even if you can’t make it down to the Montbello WIC Clinic, Hunger Free Colorado will still happily connect you with food resources or begin your food stamp application over the phone. Just call 855-8554626 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. All calls are confidential and can be made from the comfort of your Montbello home.Y

collected demographic information and interviewed residents about their walking habits, challenges, and needs. Then the graduate students split into teams to walk the community to identify “walkability gaps.” With large amounts of information to work from, they proposed possible infrastructure improvements and policy changes to the pedestrian environment in Montbello. The entire project study area was bordered by 56thAvenue to the north, Peoria Street to the west, Chambers Road to the east, and I-70 and 40thAvenue to the south. Students were assigned to a census tract along either the Peoria Street or Chambers Road corridors. Among the findings was verification that Montbello was developed as (and continues to be) an auto-centric suburb which directly conflicts with walkability. With over 30,000 residents in the neighborhood, many whom are commuting daily, this is a serious issue. This situation favors cars over people and creates a series of conditions causing a less pedestrian friendly environment. Some of the most prevalent concerns are: •Many sidewalks have obstructions that crowd pedestrians off the sidewalk and into the street. These items included unmanaged shrubbery, cars parked on curb, etc.; •Less than 3 feet rollover curb; •Sidewalks too narrow for two people to walk side by side; •Cross walks along resident streets were almost non-existent and in many cases crossings lacked necessary markings; •Long blocks; •No direct routes; •Open drainage ditches; •Lack of bus route or stops; •Multiple locations of mid-block crossings; •Access and connectivity gaps throughout the neighborhood. Though Montbello was developed in this form, it is home to a significant population who rely on walking and transit. Montbello has a relatively young and less affluent population and the community’s more vulnerable are particularly impacted and put at risk by poor walkability. WalkDenver concluded that Montbello requires great effort to achieve walkability. Despite the significant gaps in walkability, MOC’s transportation team plans to embrace the recommendations of WalkDenver. These are: •Work with the community to reduce barriers; •Work with RTD to improve alternative transportation use; •Advocate for improved bus stations; •Advocate of priority repairs for sidewalks in poor condition; •Work with local government to implement enhanced pedestrian crossing zones; •Join the table for implementation of policies updating the drainage ditches in the city. Carefully targeted improvements could be of substantial benefit the

MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition - May/June 2017


Montbello Graduates? Where Are They Now?


dance with us. It was all fun and games until we had 10 seconds to get from one side of the building to the other for gym.” What are your hopes for Montbello students graduating in 2017? “I hope more students return to Montbello and help shape its future. I have seen a few Montbello graduates throughout the years and at various events but I would love for them to dedicate sometime to making a difference and using their unique skills and talents to serve the community. A lot of the kids in my graduating class have gone on to do amazing things. If we all came back, even for just a short time and dedicated some time for intentional work, imagine all that we could do!” Ollie Williams graduated from Montbello High School in 1989. He was active in high school playing football and basketball. Ollie graduated with honors and was heavily involved in church activities while in high school. After high school, he was accepted to University of Colorado Boulder where he studied business. Continuing his love of football, Ollie played for the CU Buffs where he played in the National Championships in 1990-91. In the summer of 1994 he began working in the finance industry and is now an underwriter for USAA Mortgage. Married for 20 years, Ollie lives in nearby Green Valley Ranch with his wife and four sons and a daughter. Read more in the Spotlight on Business section of the MUSE about his work as a partner in M & T Bryant Construction and Inspection Services, L.L.C. and the homes they are building in Montbello. What is one of your favorite memories from high school? “The highlight of my high school career was playing quarterback for the Warriors and going to state championships my last year. Unfortunately, we lost to Pomona. Even so, graduating from Montbello with the pride of being a Warrior was the highlight.” What is your advice for Montbello students graduating in 2017? “My advice to new graduates – keep your pride about where you are from. Never forget where you came from – where you came from will never forget you! My hopes for Montbello is that we get back to the PRIDE we all felt for our community – let’s get that back. Then, everybody not from this community will see it and not the stigma. Let’s grow back to where we were.”Y

By Donna Garnett This issue and next, the MUSE will feature a few residents who graduated from Montbello High School before it became the Montbello Campus. These past graduates have gone on to accomplish feats that benefit their community, Denver, and even the state. To a person, all expressed their deep love and commitment to Montbello. They are proud of where they come from and offer words of wisdom to those young people from Montbello who will be graduating from high school in 2017. Here are a few snippets from each of their biographies and their answers to two questions posed by this author. Scott Gilmore has lived in the Montbello since 1976 when he moved here with his family while he was in junior high school. Scott attended Montbello High School on its opening day in August of 1980 and graduated in 1982 in the second graduating class. He was the first individual to ever play a varsity sport at the high school, playing golf against East High School that first year. He was active in the school serving on student council, playing golf, baseball, and competing on the swimming and diving teams. Scott is currently the Deputy Executive Director of Denver Parks and Planning where he oversees planning, design, and on-going maintenance of all existing and future park acreage in Denver. He serves on numerous community boards and works with youth in the community through Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK), the nonprofit that he and his wife, Councilwoman Stacie Gilmore founded 20 years ago. They have three amazing children, Sterling, Samantha, and Serenity. What is one of your favorite memories from high school? “I was out behind the school one day with some of my friends. I remember looking east at areas of Montbello that had not been developed and were still large expanses of short grass prairie. I distinctly remember seeing a hawk flying over the prairie and thinking ‘nothing will never be built out here.’ That exact location is where the house I live in now with my wife and kids. It was an omen of what was to come as I did eventually become a wildlife biologist.” What are your hopes for Montbello students graduating in 2017? “My hope for the youth is that they all get every opportunity to attend high quality and high performing schools. This will allow them to pursue paths to higher education that some of their parents might not have had. My hope is also that individuals that live in the community stop thinking or saying that our community is something less than it is. Our neighborhood is a vibrant, exciting, growing, diverse part of this city and we as residents of this community should embrace and be proud of that fact.” Mayra Gonzáles is a proud 2010 Montbello High School graduate. She holds a B.A in sociology with a double minor in Social Justice and Women and Gender Studies from the University of Colorado at Denver. Currently, she is the Program Assistant for the Latino Community Foundation of Colorado (LCFC), an initiative at Rose Community Foundation. Prior to joining LCFC, Ms. Gonzáles was the community organizer for the Montbello Organizing Committee (MOC), a nonprofit focused on grassroots organizing. She advocated alongside resident leaders for equity in services and opportunity around transportation, economic development, and community enhancement. Mayra enjoys searching for the best eateries in Denver, riding her bike and crafting. She will be returning to University of Colorado Denver in the fall of 2017 to pursue a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning. What is one of your favorite memories from high school? “Eric McGlothen, James Brunt and I would somehow meet during passing periods, stop, and have a 10 second dance break. Erick and James are great dancers, I was the awkward one. Kids who were passing by would sometimes stop and

Montbello 20/20 Report

By Erik Penn Montbello 20/20 is a registered neighborhood organization (RNO) dedicated to improving the Montbello neighborhood. The RNO hosted a community meeting on April 6, 2017. Guest speakers at the meeting included Commander Thomas and J. Casillas with Denver Police Department District 5, Floyd Jones with Colorado Affordable Legal Services, Lacey Champion with Northeast Transportation Connections, and Pam Jiner with Girltrek and Walk2Connect. We were surprised to learn about the large number of evictions in and around Denver County and were thankful for the information that Mr. Jones presented including encouraging tenants and landlords alike to utilize the Homeless Prevention HELP-Line (303.996.0010) to help mediate problems that arise and for both parties to understand their rights and to access resources in the community. We also heard of previous and planned walking audits that are part of helping to develop more walkability in Montbello, performed by Walk2Connect and Northeast Transportation Connections. Cooperative Community Schools also discussed their plans to open a new charter school if approved by the Denver School Board. Councilwoman Gilmore announced the District 11 Day of Beauty on May 20. Everyone was encouraged to attend the Economic Summit on April 29 at the Evie Dennis campus. We are also happy to announce that we are continuing to make progress towards gaining our 501(c)3 status to expand on our community based services. We are working cooperatively with Be Well with the Stapleton Foundation to host a growing number of healthy happy hour events.Y

MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition - May/June 2017


A Foundation Supports Community Voice


Cuando Una Fundación Apoya La Voz De La Comunidad

By Daniela Young For the last year, the Colorado Latino Age Wave program, an initiative of the Latino Community Foundation of Colorado, has been partnering with the Montbello community to learn about the experiences of Latino older adults (65 years old and up) as they age in the community. What started with one promotora walking up to residents to ask them about their experiences has grown to a team of four community leaders – Mari Coronado, Rosario Mendoza, Angela Tzul, and Aurelio Avalos – hosting a series of events and visiting older adults in their homes. In May 2016, the Foundation hosted two community meetings at Montbello’s Ascension Church to share with the community what was being heard through community conversations with Montbello’s older adults. Concerns of these older adults circled around six themes: the need for programs, healthy food, affordable housing, access to transportation, childcare (several older adults described the challenges of caring for their grandchildren) and access to health services. A request following these meetings was to continue to provide a space for these conversations to continue. As a result, a monthly community meeting for Latino older adults, their family caregivers and additional Latino residents is held in the Community Room at Villages at Gateway Apartment Homes located at the corner of Peoria and Albrook. As many as 47 Latino residents have attended a single meeting. By late summer, the group had identified three priority areas to focus their efforts on: access to medical services, access to dental and vision services and social activities. Access to medical services have proven to be the most challenging. Navigating the closely-linked public health and social service systems has left many Latino older adults without regular access to either set of services. A connection made with University of Colorado’s School of Dentistry has provided a way for program participants to have access to an affordable dental resource not far from Montbello. In January of this year, dental school faculty, staff and students attended a community meeting to pre-screen and register families for dental service, as well as schedule their initial appointments at the school. Several families have taken advantage of this resource. Social activities have been the area which has become most popular. Adriana Vega, a Montbello resident, wanted a way to bring together Latino older adults living at Montbello Manor, a Volunteers of America older adult housing complex, by playing Lotería, a Mexican game akin to Bingo. This monthly gathering over a game has been so successful it has grown to include the participation of Black, African-American, and Chinese residents. To assist Latino residents, get back to their gardening roots, Villages at Gateway has allowed residents participating with Age Wave to adopt their fifteen raised garden beds for the season. This project is set to get started by the end of April. Other resident led projects set to start soon include a monthly “cafecito” (coffee) and a group for “manualidades” (crafts). The impact of these activities is best captured by Montbello Manor resident Cipriana Trejo who recently shared how for the first time in over 30 years, she felt “absolute joy and happiness to be a part of something.” Most recently, Age Wave was selected as a project site for California’s Latino Health Access (LHA) to use civic participation as the method for policy change. Over the next two years, LHA and Age Wave will support Coronado, Mendoza, Tzul and Avalos to collect data on Latino older adults and their family caregivers and use the data to advocate for changes their community wishes to see.Y

By Daniela Young Durante el último año, el programa Colorado Latino Wave, una iniciativa de la Fundación Comunitaria Latina de Colorado, se ha asociado con la comunidad de Montbello para aprender sobre las experiencias de Latinos de la tercera edad (por lo menos 65 años de edad) a medida que envejecen en comunidad. Lo que comenzó con una promotora iniciando conversaciones con residentes para preguntarles sobre sus experiencias, se ha convertido en un equipo de cuatro líderes comunitarios - Mari Coronado, Rosario Mendoza, Ángela Tzul y Aurelio Avalos – sirviendo como anfitriones para una serie de actividades y visitando a los adultos mayores en sus hogares. En mayo del 2016, la Fundación organizó dos reuniones comunitarias en la Iglesia de la Ascensión de Montbello para compartir con la comunidad lo que se escuchaba a través de conversaciones comunitarias con Latinos de la tercera edad de Montbello. Las preocupaciones de estos Latinos de la tercera edad circundaban alrededor de seis temas: la necesidad de programas, alimentos saludables, vivienda asequible, acceso al transporte, cuidado de niños (varios adultos mayores describieron los retos de cuidar a sus nietos) y acceso a servicios de salud. Una solicitud después de estas reuniones fue continuar proporcionando un espacio para que estas conversaciones continuaran. Como resultado, una reunión comunitaria mensual para Latinos de la tercera edad, sus cuidadores familiares y otros residentes Latinos se lleva a cabo en el Centro Comunitario de Villages en Gateway Apartment Homes en la esquina de Peoria y Albrook. Hasta 47 residentes Latinos han asistido a una sola reunión. El verano pasado, el grupo identifico tres áreas prioritarias para enfocar sus esfuerzos en: acceso a servicios médicos, acceso a servicios dentales y de visión y actividades sociales. El acceso a los servicios médicos ha demostrado ser el más difícil. Navegar por los sistemas de salud pública y servicios sociales complicados ha dejado a muchos Latinos de la tercera edad sin acceso regular a cualquiera de los dos grupos de servicios. Una conexión hecha con la Escuela de Odontología de la Universidad de Colorado ha proporcionado una manera para que los participantes del programa tengan acceso a un recurso dental asequible no lejos de Montbello. En enero de este año, la facultad, el personal y los estudiantes de la escuela dental asistieron a una reunión de la comunidad para preinscribir y registrar a las familias para el servicio dental, así como programar sus citas iniciales en la escuela. Varias familias han aprovechado este recurso. Las actividades sociales han sido el área que realmente ha despegado. Adriana Vega, una residente de Montbello, quería una manera de reunir a los adultos mayores Latinos que viven en Montbello Manor, un edificio de Volunteers of America para adultos mayores, y lo hizo jugando Lotería. Esta reunión mensual ha sido tan exitosa que ha crecido para incluir la participación de afro-americanos y residentes Chinos. En un esfuerzo por ayudar a los residentes Latinos a volver a sus raíces de jardinería, Villages at Gateway ha permitido a los residentes que participan con Age Wave adoptar sus quince camas de jardín levantadas para la temporada. Este proyecto está listo para comenzar a finales de abril. Otros proyectos dirigidos por los residentes, que comenzarán pronto, incluyen un cafecito mensual y un grupo de manualidades. El impacto de estas actividades puede ser capturado por la residente de Montbello Manor, Cipriana Trejo, quien recientemente compartió cómo, por primera vez en más de 30 años, sintió alegría y felicidad de ser parte de algo. Recientemente, Age Wave fue seleccionada por Latino Health Access (LHA) en California como sitio para utilizar la participación cívica como el método para el cambio de pólizas. Durante los próximos dos años, LHA y Age Wave apoyarán a Coronado, Mendoza, Tzul y Avalos para recolectar datos sobre Latinos de la tercera edad y sus cuidadores familiares y utilizar los datos para abogar por los cambios que su comunidad desea ver.Y

Para más información sobre Colorado Latino Age Wave, contacta a Daniela Young, Program Manager, a 303.398.7447 o La Fundación Comunitaria Latina de Colorado es una iniciativa de Rose Community Foundation.

Editor’s note: Daniela Young is the Program Manager for Colorado Latino Age Wave, an initiative of the Latino Community Foundation of Colorado. For more information on this program contact Ms. Young at

MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition - May/June 2017



Noel Community Arts School presents the Graduating Class of 2017

2017 Montbello Graduates: Where are they Going?

January as well as the school’s sit-in to support the protestors fighting against the Dakota Pipeline. Her goals for the student body this year were to get more students involved in social and political issues. Another goal was to institute a recycling program in the school cafeteria. She has helped with school dances and other social activities and has played on the school tennis team. Elena has lived in Montbello since eighth grade when she moved here with her family from Mexico. She has been accepted to University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Colorado State University, and Cornell University. She prefers Cornell, but everything hinges on the financial aid package. She plans to study Environmental Science. One day she intends to return to Mexico to study political science and then to run for President of the country! When asked about highlights of her high school experience, she says, “My friends are the highlight – we have been friends since freshman year. We are so connected that we can sit down and within a minute we know if something is wrong with the other person.” She also mentions her gratitude to one of her teachers, Ms. Gillette. “She encouraged me to go out and do something. She’s always there for us.” As for her hopes for Montbello – she wants to see the campus be more united. “They (administrators) have to stop making the schools be competitive. It’s not good for students. We need more support from the community. It needs to be one Montbello High School again.” Jalon Gordon is a Montbello resident who attended elementary school in the neighborhood. In eighth grade, he auditioned for Denver School of the Arts (DSA) and began high school there as a major in Voice Performance. He sings bass in the performance choir and, at this writing, was preparing for his Senior Recital. Jalon has already had a stunning vocal career afforded to him, in part, because of his opportunities at DSA. One of the highlights was his participation in an international competition in Hawaii where his school won first place in the Pacific Basin Music Festival. Another highlight was performing the opera Carmina Burana at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. He has performed at Dazzle and the Five Points Jazz Festival. Jalon is actively involved with Muzik Youth Inc a nonprofit serving Far Northeast Denver neighborhoods. The organization is dedicated to helping youth and their families enhance life skills and leadership, and provide community advocates to assist with other resources. Asked why he joined Muzik Youth, Jalon talked about how the organization has helped him with community involvement and communication. “They encourage and uplift youth.”


By Donna Garnett

eter Lubembela walks in the door with an air of excitement and pride. He is wearing a Colorado State University t-shirt as a sign of his pride at being a new CSU student – “Go Rams” practically his first words to me. Readers may remember Peter from the fall issue of MUSE. He and several classmates were interviewed regarding their call for action for the community to better support the school. Still an activist, Peter has spent his senior year of high school serving on Noel Community Arts School Student Council as Senior Class President. His issues range from inequities in education and concerns about the school to prison pipeline for youth of color, youth mental health, and communicating with youth about marijuana usage. In his spare time, he played starting leftback for the school varsity soccer team. And, of course applying to universities. The final decision came down to between CSU and Howard University. The financial aid package and desire to be close to his family was the decision point. He plans to study Political Science and Business Administration and will be living in Corbett Hall as part of Key Civics where he wants to expand his leadership skills. After college, Peter plans to come back to Montbello where he has political aspirations. He wants to serve as a Councilman for District 11. Asked to describe a highlight of his high school career, he tells of the day after the DPS Board tabled the resolution to close NCAS Middle School. “I was instrumental in helping to inform that decision. I worked super-hard on the issue – I was so excited that we won! The next day at school everybody was congratulating me. We had a big celebration at Student Council.” Meet Elena Martin-Hernandez, NCAS Student Body President. She is 18 years old and already focused on changing the world. This year she has served as Student Body President and has been involved in the Women’s March in

MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition - May/June 2017



Last summer he participated in an internship on urban issues. Part of the internship involved identifying a problem impacting Montbello. For the assignment, Jalon chose the implications of gentrification on the Montbello community. His fifteen-page paper takes a studied and insightful approach to the potential for gentrification to significantly change the look and feel of this neighborhood. This young man is college bound, with his choices narrowed to Waverly College in Iowa and University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Like most of his peers, the final decision will come down to financial aid. He plans to study either nursing or voice. His hopes for Montbello are that “people will be more aware about what’s happening in the community so that we get the resources, support, and supplies to make the right changes.” Joon Baang was recently selected as the only Daniels Scholar from FNE this year. He is humbled and excited by the honor and feels a great deal of responsibility for representing his school and the neighborhood. Joon is originally from South Korea and moved here with his family twelve years ago. He attended Maxwell Elementary, Rachel B. Noel Middle School, and Noel Community Arts School. Among his many activities are playing viola in the orchestra, coaching the girl’s tennis team, volunteering as a science interpreter at Denver Museum of Nature and Science, treasurer for NCAS Student Council, participant in Peers Against Drunk Driving (PADD), and volunteer for Boys and Girls Club. This fall, Joon will be attending University of Colorado Boulder where he will be studying Education and Business. His goal is to return to Montbello and, ultimately, open a public high school that focuses on raising the economic aspects of the community. He wants his school to be able to make changes nimbly. Interestingly, Joon also points to one of the highlights of his high school career the efforts undertaken by Student Council on behalf of the NCAS Middle School. “We convinced the DPS Board to change their decision about closing the middle school. It was a win for all of us.” Hopes for the community – he hopes the community stays inclusive. He wants to help change the stigma portrayed by the media about Montbello. “Get rid of the negative connotation associated with media bias.” At the end of the interview, Joon reiterates that his success in high school is the result of support and belief in him by family, others in the community, and his teachers. He gave a special shout out to Ms. Gillette “who has stuck with us.” To these young people, we wish you the best. May you never lose your energy, enthusiasm, and vision. You are our hope for Montbello and the world..

Editor’s Note. Do you know of young people in Montbello who are making their mark in a positive way on the community? Send us their names and contact information ( for possible inclusion in this section of MUSE.

MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition - May/June 2017



Visioning, Planning, and Building Montbello for the Future Colorado Trust and Denver Planning Office Convening

By Angelle C. Fouther Many Far Northeast community members and stakeholders gathered over breakfast in early March at United Church of Montbello to share their perspectives and visions for the future of the neighborhoods that make up one of Denver’s most densely populated area. The meeting was presented in partnership between Montbello Organizing Committee and the Colorado Trust. Facilitator Candace Johnson, Community Partner-Region 7 at The Colorado Trust, laid the groundwork for a two-way information-sharing opportunity providing the Trust with key information about community assets as well as the priority issues facing Far Northeast, and a wider, broader context of the amazing work being done at the non-profit/business level. In turn, the community members learned about The Colorado Trust’s Community Partnership philosophy and how it relates to Montbello and a potential partnership with residents to initiate a community-driven funding strategy to address health equity. Currently, there are nine Colorado communities who are participating in the Community Partnership program with the Colorado Trust: Antonito, Avondale, Dove Creek, Lago Vista Mobile Home Park near Loveland, Manzanola, Olathe, Parachute, Saguache, and San Luis. The goal of this grantmaking initiative is to encourage and strengthen resident- and community-led solutions and funding initiatives. Visit for more information.

Colorado Trust

Helping Colorado communities be healthy and thrive. Montbello Residents - What would make the place you live the best it can be? Colorado Trust - Ayudando a las comunidades de Colorado a estar sanas y a prosperar.


The multicultural, multi-generational group of convening attendees included representatives from nonprofit and service organizations, registered neighborhood organizations, elected officials, grassroots leaders, teachers and administrators of area schools, churches, advocacy groups, and small businesses. Facilitators encouraged participants to consider three questions: What makes Montbello a great community (assets), what are the issues that residents of Montbello face (challenges), and what types of solutions are in the works? Dialogue among participants revealed a broad range of community assets, including its diversity, accessibility, and affordability. Other identified needs included quality education, food access, retail development, youth employment, and affordable transportation among others. In the second half of the convening, Courtland Heyser, Principal City Planner for the City and County of Denver, updated participants about the Small Area Development Plan process (See MUSE Jan/Feb 2017 Issue), sharing that Far Northeast Denver was the first of 19 neighborhoods to be prioritized to go through the process. The FNE process will be conducted over approximately 18 months and will be heavily weighted toward engagement of residents in the planning process. The process for gathering input will vary from community to community, according to Heyser. It will include traditional and nontraditional meetings and convenings as well as online information gathering opportunities. While the city will provide assistance in the implementation phase, in-neighborhood contractors potentially get first “dibs” on related contracts through the City’s Purchasing Division. Search for contract consultants is underway and the FNE process is expected to kick off late summer, 2017.Y

Editor’s note: MUSE will provide updates on the Small Area Development planning process and share information about how residents of Far Northeast Denver can give input. For more information, visit

Visión, Planificación y Construcción de Montbello para el Futuro

Convocación de Colorado Trust y la Oficina de Planificación de Denver

Por Angelle C. Fouther Traducido de Ingles a Español por Marta Welch Muchos miembros e interesados de la comunidad del Lejano Noreste se reunieron durante el desayuno a principios de marzo en la United Church de Montbello para compartir sus perspectivas y visiones para el futuro de los barrios que conforman una de las áreas más densamente pobladas de Denver. La reunión fue presentada en asociación entre el Comité Organizador de Montbello y El Colorado Trust. La Facilitadora Candace Johnson, Socia Comunitaria-Región 7 en El Colorado Trust, sentó las bases para una oportunidad de intercambio de información en ambos sentidos, proporcionando el Trust con información clave sobre los bienes de la comunidad, así como los asuntos prioritarios que enfrentan el Lejano Noreste, y un contexto más ancho y más amplio del increíble trabajo que se está realizando en el nivel de organizaciones sin fines de lucro/negocios. A su vez, los miembros de la comunidad aprendieron acerca de la filosofía de la Asociación Comunitaria de The Colorado Trust y cómo se relaciona con Montbello y una potencial asociación con los residentes para iniciar una estrategia de financiamiento impulsada por la comunidad para abordar la equidad en salud. En la actualidad, hay nueve comunidades en Colorado que están participando en el programa de la Asociación Comunitaria con el Colorado Trust: Antonito, Avondale, Dove Creek, Lago Vista Mobile Home Park cerca de Loveland, Manzanola, Olathe, Parachute, Saguache y San Luis. El objetivo de esta iniciativa de subvenciones es animar y fortalecer las soluciones e iniciativas de financiamiento dirigidas por los residentes y las comunidades. Visite a para obtener más información. El grupo multicultural y multigeneracional de convocantes incluía representantes de organizaciones sin fines de lucro y de servicios, organizaciones de vecindarios registradas, funcionarios electos, líderes de base, maestros y administradores de escuelas del área, iglesias, grupos de defensa y pequeños

MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition - May/June 2017



negocios. Los facilitadores animaron a los participantes a considerar tres preguntas: ¿Qué hace que Montbello sea una gran comunidad (bienes), cuáles son los problemas que los residentes de Montbello enfrentan (desafíos) y qué tipos de soluciones están en marcha? El diálogo entre los participantes reveló una amplia gama de activos comunitarios, incluyendo su diversidad, accesibilidad y asequibilidad. Otras necesidades identificadas incluyeron educación de calidad, acceso a alimentos, desarrollo comercial, empleo juvenil y transporte asequible, entre otros. En la segunda mitad de la convocatoria, Courtland Heyser, Directora de Planificación de la Ciudad y Condado de Denver, actualizó a los participantes sobre el proceso del Plan de Desarrollo de Pequeñas Áreas (Vea al MUSE publicado en Ene/Feb 2017), compartiendo que el Lejano Noreste de Denver fue el primero de 19 vecindarios a ser priorizados para pasar por el proceso. El proceso de FNE se llevará a cabo durante aproximadamente 18 meses y estará fuertemente comprometido con la participación de los residentes en el proceso de planificación. El proceso de recolección de información variará de comunidad a comunidad, según Heyser. Incluirá reuniones y convocatorias tradicionales y no tradicionales, así como oportunidades de recopilación de información en línea. Mientras la ciudad proveerá asistencia en la fase de implementación, los contratistas en el vecindario potencialmente obtendrán primero “reclamación” en los contratos relacionados a través de la División de Compras de la Ciudad. La búsqueda de consultores de contrato está en marcha y se espera que el proceso FNE comience a finales del verano de 2017. Y

food, music (and some occasional dancing), and a plan, this enthusiastic group of people ranging in age from 2 years to 70 years and above almost magically transformed a parking lot into usable space where families from around the neighborhood will be able to play, exercise, enjoy each other’s company, and maybe even grow some fresh vegetables and fruits. Fresh Mob Activations are happening around the community benefitting hundreds if not thousands of residents, young and old. An initiative of Montbello Organizing Committee and funded, in part, by Colorado Health Foundation, local nonprofits and businesses collaborate with residents to identify needs and interests in activating public places so that they are more appealing and accessible to children and their families. The idea is to improve health and wellbeing through physical activity and promotion of healthy eating. The next Fresh Mob Activation will be the May 20 Day of Beauty event at Falcon Park. For more information on becoming a Fresh Mob Activation site, contact

El MUSE proporcionará actualizaciones sobre el proceso de planificación de Desarrollo de Pequeñas Áreas y compartirá información acerca de cómo los residentes de Lejano Noreste de Denver pueden dar su opinión. Los lectores también pueden visitor a para más detalles.

True Light Baptist Church Salutes Dr. William T. Golson, Jr and Mrs. Melvia Golson

Fresh Mob Projects Activate Places and Spaces Throughout Montbello

By Vernon Jones Jr. True Light Baptist Church was founded in 1988 with humble beginnings in the Copper Mountain Room at the Holiday Inn at I-70 and Chambers. Since that time the church has grown and thrived under the faithful leadership of Dr. William T. Golson Jr. On March 12, 2017 after several celebratory services which included some of Denver’s leading Pastors and congregations, Dr. Golson officially retired from Pastoral service at True Light Baptist Church. For twenty-nine years Dr. Golson, has not only grown True Light but has been involved in helping to meet the needs of the Montbello and Denver community. His service and leadership extended globally as True Light actively supported those doing work in countries with great needs. He received several recognitions during the celebratory services. For the month of March, Bolling Drive was renamed Dr. William T. Golson Jr. Drive. He received recognition from Mayor Michael Hancock, who presented him with a rare coin to signify the great impact that Dr. Golson had made in Denver. The Denver City Council recognized him and issued a proclamation celebrating his service and honoring his retirement. There were many personal words of appreciation shared as members of True Light and the Denver community said thank you to Pastor and Mrs. Golson. Pastor Golson was honored by the True Light congregation with the designation of Pastor Emeritus. Such an honor is extended by a congregation to an individual that has done more than found a church but has been faithful in serving, sacrificing and sharing the seasons of life with the congregation. Pastor Golson truly has been that type of individual. He has given his life to helping the membership of True Light become all that God desired them to be. He leaves a legacy of leaders at True Light that will continue to move the church forward as a continuing light within our community. Pastor Golson will continue to aid the church as it transitions to new leadership. Y

What is a Fresh Mob one might ask? It resembles the popular Flash Mob concept where scores of individuals descend upon a location and engage with unsuspecting people who just happen to be in the right place at the right time. Flash mobs range from dance troupes to orchestras to Zumba devotees—just regular people bringing culture, and whimsy to light. Add food, physical activity, a willingness to work, and a special focus on outreach to low-income families to create places and spaces in under-utilized public venues and you have a Fresh Mob! That is just what took place on Saturday, April 22 at Academy 360 when an enthusiastic troupe of about 60 showed up to activate a large play space by constructing a mini farm on top of the asphalt parking lot. With nutritious

MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition - May/June 2017



Dear Montbello Neighbors:


Empowering families with resources to Aid in restoration with a fresh new perspective on life


•A Support Group •Open Forum •Resource Referrals •Fellowship with other families


For more information and support group time, call:

Dianne Cooks at 720-276-4611, Michael Hope or Francella Baker at (720) 767–5901 or email f.a.v.a57@hotmail .com


4840 N. Chambers Road, Unit A Denver, 80239


“Aggressively seeks to mend the hurting hearts of families affected by a violent act”

As your School Board representative, I am committed to great schools in every neighborhood and to help fulfill this pledge Denver Public Schools is implementing for the first time a community-driven evaluation and placement process to help the Board of Education decide which school should restart Amesse Elementary. In December 2016, the Denver Public Schools Board of Education voted unanimously to restart Amesse Elementary, one of the lowest performing elementary schools in the District. The decision to close a school is always difficult for affected communities but this decision was made to help ensure every student in every community throughout the district has access to great schools. “Restart” means the school will be phased out and a different, high-quality school will phase in starting in 2018. After releasing a request for applications (the “Call for New Quality Schools”), three applications were submitted to restart Amesse: The Montbello Children’s Network, STRIVE Prep Elementary, and University Prep. Each application will need to pass a rigorous quality review to determine if the applicant has a proven model and financial plan to successfully operate a school in the district in order to be eligible for restart. Quality decisions will be made by the Board of Education on May 18. Following the initial quality review phase, each eligible application will be reviewed and evaluated by a group of current Amesse parents and community members, the “Community Review Board,” which will make

a recommendation to the Superintendent about which school is the best fit for the needs of the Amesse community. Final decisions will be made by the Board of Education on June 15.

Rachele Espiritu Denver, CO Editor’s note: For more information about starting new schools in DPS, visit en/new. For information about the school matching process, visit If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to email or

Looking For a Job

Montbello Residents Are You Looking For A Job? Look HereAttention Jobseekers! Retail and Hospitality Job Fair being held Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 10am. Confirmed employers include Brown Palace, Sodexo, Elitch Gardens, Concessions International, Tommy Hilfiger, Walgreens, Stonebridge Companies, IKEA, Goodwill Industries, and more! Full-time, part-time, permanent, and seasonal positions available! Employers are looking for entry-level and managerial staff. If you’re interested in pursuing your career in Denver’s rapidly growing retail and hospitality industry, come meet your next employer. Assistance with online applications and resources on training opportunities will also be available for those interested.Wednesday, May 17 at 10am: Hampton Inn & Suites / Homewood Suites by Hilton Denver Downtown Convention Center - 550 15th Street, Denver, CO 80202.

4848 Chambers Road Aurora Colorado 80239 303.371.8531

Services: Cuts • Shampoo • Designs • Shave/Line-up • Texturizer

Charles Sagere

Barber Chief Operating Officer 720.298.1911

Gregory E. Allen, PMP, MS

Chief Executive Officer 303-587-6567 MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition - May/June 2017



M & T Bryant Construction and Inspection Services LLC By Donna Garnett

Saturday afternoon in April. Letting go of their original intention, M&T Bryant Construction and Inspection Services, LLC started the buildout of homes in January 2017. The first three houses have already been sold and will be ready for move-in by summer. The homes have been purchased by current Montbello residents. In fact, as we stood on site, one of the soon-to-be residents of these lovely homes drove by slowly as Mark and Ollie waved and pointed to the construction. The average price of the houses under construction — $385,900. The next phase of development will start in about 5 months. Preparation of the lots is already underway as fill dirt is being brought in to build up the elevation of the lots. Houses in the second phase will likely be in the $400,000 range. Nine homes are projected to be occupied within the next 13 months. When all is said, and done, Montbello will realize 24 new “good, solid” homes in the Shell Heights Development on East Andrews Drive. Mark and Ollie are developers going against the grain. They stand out from other developers moving into Montbello in that they are residents of this community (Ollie is a graduate of Montbello High School). “We are so concerned about the people in our community. These are our families, friends, our neighbors. We are proud of our community,” Mark added as we finished the interview.Y

Editor’s Note: For more information on Shell Heights Montbello contact Mark Bryant at 720-429-1122.

As you drive east on Andrews Drive just past Montbello Central Park, you may have noticed two large houses going up on the right side of the street in an area that has been vacant and for sale for quite some time. If you are like me, you probably have wondered who the developer might be that is constructing houses on that vacant area and what is the vision for the remainder of that property? Turns out that the property is owned by M&T Bryant Construction and Inspection Services, LLC. Mark Bryant and Ollie Williams are partners in the development of Shell Heights Montbello at 14400 East Andrews Drive. The hometown guys have owned the land since May of 2015 and have endeavored to realize their dreams of building affordable housing in their own community. At the outset, Mark and Ollie had intended to build good quality homes for affordable prices. Across the U.S., housing costs are considered “affordable” if the monthly rent or mortgage, plus utilities, add up to no more than onethird of gross household earnings. In Denver, the 2017 Area Median Income (AMI) is $56,100 for a one-person household so affordable housing costs would equal about $1,550 to be spent on housing each month. Montbello’s AMI is much less than Denver as a whole. When speaking of the challenges of affordable housing, those affected are not just people who are homeless and those with extremely low income, we are also talking about a wide range of people who may be earning up to $50,000 yet struggle with basic monthly bills for housing and utilities. Those who struggle to afford housing include young working families (many with college degrees), low- and middle-income families, older adults, or people with disabilities who do not have the income that is needed to keep up with the rise in housing costs and the scarcity of availability. The need for more affordable housing in Montbello is growing as the economy continues to boom and more people are moving into the Denver area. Despite their good intentions and the overwhelming need for affordable housing in this community, Mark and Ollie were stymied in their attempts to work with the government offices that are set up to help close the gap for affordable units between developer and bank financing, by helping developers to access local and federal dollars to make their affordable housing projects doable. Unfortunately, the partners were met with too many roadblocks within government to achieve their initial dream. “It was frustrating that we couldn’t get returned calls. Our push to do affordable housing was defeated. We were paying $10,000 per month for 9 months while we were trying to pursue the affordable housing financing option. Finally, we had to make a business decision,” the men recently shared with this writer on a sunny

Citywide Bank of Montbello

For more than 50 years, Citywide Banks has been focused on supporting job growth and business expansion in metro Denver. The bank remodeled an old tire shop on Colfax Avenue in Aurora to open its first branch in 1963. Since then, the bank’s family ownership and local commitment has remained constant and created a unique employee culture. The bank’s core philosophy is centered on impacting the local community and helping it move forward. That means supporting local businesses with financing, giving a hand-up to local neighbors in need, and protecting the financial assets of customers. For more than 50 years, local philanthropy in Montbello and across metro Denver has been a core value at Citywide Banks. The largest focus remains on supporting mental health wellness across Colorado. Vince Schmitz, the banks’s co-founder, played an instrumental role in the development of Aurora Mental Health Center. Today, Citywide employees are active board members with several area mental health organizations. The bank is regularly recognized as one of the area’s top corporate philanthropists. Montbello State Bank, now Citywide Bank of Montbello opened in 1969, which was the first bank in the Montbello community. Citywide Bank of Montbello was a Bronze Sponsor for the Montbello 50th Birthday Celebration last year! “Staying connected to our Montbello neighbors is important for our bank,” commented Joan Chandler, branch manager at Citywide Banks location near I-70 and Peoria. “Our bank is very active in finding ways to help move our local communities forward.” Citywide Banks is now preparing for a major expansion later in 2017. The bank has announced plans to merge with Heartland Financial USA, Inc., a holding company that currently operates 17 Centennial Bank and Trust locations throughout Colorado. Pending final regulatory approvals, the Citywide Banks brand will expand to 29 locations in Colorado. The bank’s location in the Montbello neighborhood will continue to be an important banking center serving both businesses and families. The planned merger will also enable Citywide Banks to offer an expanded lineup of banking services to the Montbello area.Y

Editor’s note: Visit or follow Citywide Banks on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn to stay connected with the bank’s move forward.

MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition - May/June 2017


May/June 2017 May 4 - 4 to 6 p.m.

Reunión Comunitaria para personas de la terceraedad y sus familias en el Centro Comunitario de Village Apartments (en español)Village at Gateway Apartments Community Room 12175 Albrook Dr. Denver For information contact Daniela Young at 303-398-7447 or

May 9 - 6:30 to 8 p.m.

MOC Retail Development Task Team - Montbello Organizing Committee, United Church of Montbello, 4879 Crown Blvd. For information, email

May 10 - 6 to 7:30 p.m.

MOC Community Enhancement Task Team Montbello Organizing Committee Academy 360, 12000 East 47th Ave. - For information contact

May 10 - 9 to 10 a.m.

Cafecito en el Centro Comunitario de Village Apartments (en español) - For information contact Daniela Young at 303-398-7447 or

May 13 - 10 a.m. to Noon

Office Hours with Councilwoman Stacie Gilmore - Green Valley Ranch Library - For information, call 720-337-7711 or email

May 15 - 6 to 7:30 p.m.

MOC Transportation Development Task Team - Academy 360 12000 East 47th Avenue - For information, email

May 25 - 10 a.m. to noon

Office Hours with Councilwoman Stacie Gilmore - Arie P. Taylor Building Council District 11 Office - For information, call 720-337-7711 or email

May 28 - 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Mile High Shootout - Athletics & Beyond, Northfield 5500 Central Park Denver 80238 - For more information, call 303-725-0811 or email

June 1 - 4 to 6 p.m.

Reunión Comunitaria para personas de la tercera edad y sus familias en el Centro Comunitario de, Village Apartments (en español) Monthly Meeting of Latino Seniors and families, Latino Community Foundation of Colorado, Village at Gateway Apartments Community Room, 12175 Albrook Dr. For information, call Daniela Young at 303-398-7447 or email

June 1 - 6 to 8 p.m.

Montbello 20/20 Community Meeting - Montbello 20/20, Montbello Recreation Center, 15555 E 53rd Ave, - For information contact

June 3 - 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

STEAM FAIR Families Forward Resource Center, Evie Garrett Dennis Campus – GVR, 4800 Telluride St - For information email

June 10 - 10 a.m. to Noon

Office Hours with Councilwoman Stacie Gilmore - Green Valley Ranch Library - For information, call 720-337-7711 or email

June 12 - 6:30 to 8 p.m.

MOC Retail Development Task Team, Montbello Organizing Committee, United Church of Montbello 4879 Crown Blvd. For information, email

June 14 - 9 to 10 a.m.

Cafecito en el Centro Comunitario de Village Apartments (en español) - For more information contact Daniela Young at 303-398-7447 or

June 14 - 6 to 7:30 p.m.

MOC Community Engagement Task Team, Montbello Organizing Committee Academy 360, 12000 East 47th Ave. For information contact

June 19 - 10 a.m. to Noon

Montbello Office Hours with Councilwoman Stacie Gilmore - Arie P. Taylor Building Council District 11 Office For information, call 720-337-7711 or email

June 19 - 6 to 7:30 p.m.

MOC Transportation Development Task Team - Academy 360 12000 East 47th Avenue - For information, email

June 24 - 1to 6 p.m.

11th Annual Heal The Hood Free Community Fair Families Against Violent Acts Village Place Park Albrook & Anaheim For information call Dianne Cooks 720-276-4611

If you have a Save The Date activity to be listed in the July/August issue of MUSE, send details to MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition - May/June 2017


MUSE May/June 2017  

MUSE, Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition is packed with information, ideas, and connections to community resources.