Monday, January 22, 2024

Equity, diversity concerns top American Bar Association meeting Feb. 1-5 in Louisville

Legal measures to achieve a more equitable U.S. justice system, celebrations of champions of diversity and hot-button topics such as qualified immunity and gun control are chief among legal concerns that will be explored at the 2024 American Bar Association Midyear Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, Feb. 1-5.


With several dozen top-quality legal programs, events and presentations by America’s foremost law experts and speakers, the ABA Midyear Meeting is the nation’s premier gathering of legal professionals.


The ABA House of Delegates — the association’s policy-making body — will meet in-person on Feb. 5 at 9 a.m. EST at the Kentucky International Convention Center (221 South Fourth St). For details on the proposals for debate and vote during the one-day session, click here.   

HBO Releases Official Trailer and Key Art For LIL NAS X: LONG LIVE MONTERO


HBO has released the official trailer and key art for the original documentary LIL NAS X: LONG LIVE MONTERO, produced by RadicalMedia, directed by Carlos López Estrada and Zac Manuel, debuting SATURDAY, JANUARY 27 (8:00-9:35 p.m. ET/PT) on HBO and will be available to stream on Max.

LIL NAS X: LONG LIVE MONTERO captures the creative dynamo and mesmerizing star power of Lil Nas X, the groundbreaking, Grammy award-winning rapper, singer, and songwriter, as he prepares for and embarks on his first-ever headlining U.S. tour. With unparalleled access, the film follows the genre-breaking artist on a personal journey of self-investigation and discovery as he creates, rehearses, and performs nightly in front of his legions of devoted fans.

Spanning 60 days of the “Long Live Montero” tour in 2022/2023, the verité-style film delves beneath the surface of Lil Nas X, a boy from Atlanta born Montero Hill, whose musical career exploded with his 2019 crossover hit “Old Town Road.” Mirroring the stage show, the film is divided into three acts—Rebirth, Transformation, and Becoming—and chronicles Montero’s own odyssey as he navigates the pressures of his meteoric rise to stardom, his desire to inspire his fans and accept the naysayers, and his place within the pantheon of Black, queer icons. Capturing this provocative performer at a transformational point in his life, Montero’s elaborate stage show transports the audience through the highs and lows of his life via his deeply personal music, while behind the scenes, the film reveals a sensitive young man still exploring his own queer identity, complicated relationships with family members, and his aspirations as a force for self-expression and acceptance. Vulnerable and raw off stage, dazzling and spectacular on stage, LIL NAS X: LONG LIVE MONTERO is a testament to an artist who continues to push boundaries, transcend genres, and reshape expectations on his quest to become the truest and greatest version of himself.

National and State Groups petition the UN about the Human Rights Crisis for LGBTQIA+ Texans

Today, Equality Texas, the ACLU of TexasGLAAD, and the Human Rights Campaign with the support of the Human Rights Clinic at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law submitted a Joint Allegation Letter to 17 independent experts, working groups, and special rapporteurs at the UN about the human rights crisis facing LGBTQIA+ Texans. 

After a record-breaking legislative session in Texas—over 140 anti-LGBTQIA+ bills filed, Texans are now struggling with a collection of new laws that eliminate medical freedom for trans youth, censor school libraries, ban trans athletes from participating in collegiate sports, end DEI practices at public universities, threaten drag performance, and undermine local government's already limited power. Together these laws are a systemic attack on the fundamental rights, dignities, and identities of LGBTQIA+ persons that opens the gates for discrimination by both public and private actors. 

The state's discrimination has gone unchecked to the point that state officials are now policing other states with unconstitutional laws. Just as state laws must defer to federal laws, so too the Constitution states that they must yield to international treaties that have been ratified by the federal government. 

The Joint Allegation Letter focuses on 7 bills that intentionally target or disproportionately impact LGBTQIA+ Texans: SB 14 (banning essential health care for trans youth), SB 17 (preventing public universities from maintaining DEI programs), SB 15 (preventing trans athletes from competing at the collegiate level), SB 763 (allowing chaplains to counsel school children, without any limit on proselytization or official training), SB 12 (banning public drag performances by labeling them as “sexually oriented”), HB 900 (enabling schools to ban LGBTQ+ books through a broad and vague definition of “sexual explicit” content), HB 2127 (encroaching on local power and threatening local non-discrimination ordinances). The letter spells out how these laws violate the U.S.’s obligation under the ICCPR and other human rights treaties. Specifically, they violate Texans’ right to non-discrimination, right to privacy, right to health, right to freedom of expression, and right to education. 

We fought in the legislature, we fought in the courts, we pushed back in local communities, and waited on the federal government to intervene. Now we are looking to the UN for leadership. 

In a December 2023 report on the state of human rights in the United States, the UN Human Rights Committee said:

“While noting the various legislative and policy initiatives adopted at the Federal level, the [Human Rights] Committee is concerned at the increase of state legislation that severely restricts the rights of persons based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, such as laws that, inter alia, ban and, in some instances, criminalize gender-affirming health care for transgender persons; forbid transgender individuals from using restrooms or from participating in school sports that corresponds with their gender identity; and limit discussions on sexual orientation and gender identity issues in schools.” 

Statement from the website of the Independent Expert of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity:

“Discriminatory laws and socio-cultural norms continue to marginalize and exclude lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender-diverse persons from education, health care, housing, employment and occupation, and other sectors. This environment of exclusion lends itself to violence and discrimination. Exclusion also leads to inequality of opportunity and of access to resources.”

Statement from Ariel Dulitzky, Director of the Human Rights Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law: 

“Today is a sad day for Texas. Our state has not satisfied its obligation to safeguard the fundamental pillars of freedom, equality, dignity, and rights enshrined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We hope that with the United Nations’ involvement, the rights of LGBTQI+ persons will be fully recognized, respected, and protected in Texas.” 

Statement from Ricardo Martinez, CEO of Equality Texas: 

“Failing to meet the minimum standards of international human rights treaties highlights the dire state of LGBTQIA+ rights in Texas. When state leaders fail us, we turn to the courts and the federal government, when they fail us we turn to the world. We cannot pretend to be a beacon of freedom when our state is slipping behind global human rights standards that have been in place for nearly 50 years. Our nation is only as strong as our weakest link, and right now, Texas is dragging our nation into a human rights crisis that will do more than damage our global reputation, it will harm our LGBTQIA+ neighbors at home.” 

Statement from Oni K. Blair, Executive Director of the ACLU of Texas: 

"As a former U.S. diplomat who currently leads the ACLU of Texas, I believe there is sufficient evidence for the United Nations to investigate the barrage of civil rights abuses in Texas, especially those targeting the LGBTQIA+ community. Doing so would bring international awareness, clear recommendations to rectify human rights issues, and undeniable pressure on U.S. public and private entities to ensure equality for LGBTQIA+ Texans in our state. We join a long line of advocates who have appealed to international organizations to hold U.S. institutions accountable for protecting the human rights of all people, no exceptions." 

Statement from Melodía Gutiérez, Texas State Director at the Human Rights Campaign: 

“By delivering relentless attacks on the rights, dignity, and very existence of LGBTQ+ people for years, lawmakers in Texas are sending a clear message that members of our community are neither welcome nor safe in their state. This is not only creating a dire situation for queer and transgender Texans, but it is also forcing countless families to uproot their lives and flee to other parts of the country so that their children can simply grow up safe as their true selves. This should never be the reality for anyone in the United States. More than ever before, we will continue to activate our coalition, challenge political extremism, and reinforce the fact that LGBTQ+ Americans are fighting back and not going anywhere.” 

Statement from Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD: 

“There is a human rights crisis in the state of Texas. As a result of the 2023 legislative session and other regressive efforts, LGBTQ citizens from across the Lone Star State are forced to openly wonder if they can access necessities such as health care, inclusive education, creative freedoms and more. The governor and other leaders are failing in their basic responsibilities to keep all Texans safe and free. Discrimination against LGBTQ Texans, especially in the transgender community, is of international concern. We stand with our partners in Texas and nationwide in ensuring our concerns are heard by the United Nations and to urge all voices to speak up and act to protect LGBTQ Texans from state-sponsored misinformation, discrimination and violence.”

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

One Colorado Presents "A Night for Every Body"

Join One Colorado in a celebration dedicated to raising awareness for our intersex community! This exciting and free event takes place January 31 at Sie FilmCenter and features a movie screening of "Every Body," a compelling panel discussion with intersex activist Alicia Roth Weigel, and an exclusive book signing for Alicia's latest release, "Inverse Cowgirl".

As we come together for this evening in community, it's essential to delve into the interconnected fight for intersex rights, trans rights, and queer rights. Bring along a friend and an open mind for a thought-provoking and engaging experience.

Aspen Gay Ski Week: ASPENX Beach Club Hosts Exclusive 1/17 Party for Chase Sapphire Reserve Cardmembers

Chase Sapphire Reserve cardmembers, bring your +1s and revel in Aspen Gay Ski Week at a party atop Aspen Mountain. ASPENX Beach Club opens early exclusively for Sapphire Reserve cardmembers and their guests to enjoy high-altitude glamour, breathtaking views, and beachside vibes. Local DJ Ryan Golbus will set the mood with sounds, and delightful canapés & cocktails will be served.

Simply show your Sapphire Reserve card for you and a guest to enter. Arrive early as space is limited, and attendees must be 21 or older.

ASPENX Beach Club is located at the top of the Silver Queen Gondola, next to Sundeck and ASPENX Mountain Club. A lift ticket is required to ride the Gondola. Skiing is not mandatory, but for those who enjoy it, you can ski in from neighboring runs on Aspen Mountain. Remember to dress warmly, as ASPENX Beach Club is a fully outdoor venue.

Join us for an exclusive party at Aspen’s slope-side beach club, specially crafted for Sapphire Reserve cardmembers, to celebrate Gay Ski Week. Enjoy the high-altitude experience, scenic views, and the beats by DJ Ryan Golbus, accompanied by canapés and cocktails. Arrive early, bring your Sapphire Reserve card, and get ready for an unforgettable celebration.

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Denver Art Society Commemorates Black History Month with Acclaimed Artist Dr. Thomas E. Lockhart III and Photographer Travis Broxton on Friday, February 2nd

DAS celebrates Black History Month with internationally renowned artist Dr. Thomas E. Lockhart III (pictured) and photographer Travis Broxton.

Dr. Lockhart’s process is as unique as his ability to flow between genres and techniques.  When asked what is style is, he smiles and replies with “all styles are my style.”  Starting with a blank black canvas, and using a white crayon or pencil, he sketches out what he sees in his mind’s eye. Layering elements of fabric, paper and metal, he infuses textures to match the intricate lines of his creations.


The great photographer Minor White stated, “One should not only photograph things for what they are, but for what else they are.” Travis Broxton creates images that call attention to the things we see but don’t see. He uses selective duplication and reconstruction to create unique new designs by finding an imaginative way to reassemble the subject.


Rounding out the program, DAS brings the music of Tiffany Lynn & Friends to the stage, liturgical dance by Da’Janai Smith, and the spoken word performances of Bridgette Tolbert and Volleny Bryant.  CJ’s Stick Fingers will provide soul food!


Additionally, Ellie and the Alibis and Soneffs 8 will be on stage from 5 – 6 p.m. followed by Angela Perry and PawnShop Motel from 8 – 10 p.m.

Colorado Division of Child Welfare Earns Prestigious Human Rights Campaign Recognition for LGBTQ+ Inclusion

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation has once again awarded the Colorado Department of Human Services’ Division of Child Welfare its prestigious Innovator Seal of Recognition, which recognizes the division’s leadership on LGBTQ+ inclusion. This is the third time since 2019 that the division has earned the recognition.

The recognition was announced in the HRC Foundation’s All Children-All Families 2023 Change-Makers Report, which highlights efforts to make services more inclusive for the LGBTQ+ community, including children and youth in foster care and prospective foster and adoptive parents.

“Our teams have worked diligently over the past five years to implement innovative approaches to LGBTQ+ inclusion in key policy and practice areas to help LGBTQ+ youth and families thrive,” said Mollie Bradlee, interim director of the Office of Children, Youth and Families, which oversees the Division of Child Welfare. “Working with the Human Rights Campaign is one of several ways our department is dedicated to making policy and practice changes to improve the lives of some of our most at-risk and marginalized children, youth and families.”

The agencies featured in HRC’s report provided professional development to staff and implemented ACAF’s benchmarks of LGBTQ+ inclusion, which track policy and practice changes within agencies. Agencies can receive one of three tiers of recognition, which celebrate the strides the agencies have made toward becoming fully LGBTQ+ welcoming and affirming.

Along with CDHS’s Division of Child Welfare, the Adams County Department of Human Services and Adoption Options also received the Innovator Seal of Recognition — the highest tier of recognition — placing them among the nation’s top child welfare organizations for LGBTQ+ inclusion. Another Colorado Department of Human Services program, the Colorado Sexual Health Initiative (CoSHI), was recognized in the ACAF report for taking strides in its LGBTQ+ inclusion journey.

“Adams County has been an innovator in LGBTQ+ inclusion since 2017. We are proud to be the first Colorado county to receive the ACAF seal of recognition and set our goal high at achieving the Innovator Seal in our first year,” said the Adams County ACAF Committee. “We aim to recruit and certify LGBTQ+ affirming foster homes while ensuring our policies and practices align with the affirmation we support in our families. We display our ACAF seals in all our recruitment materials to ensure inclusivity. Adams County hosted its second annual Pride event, and also kicked off its first Winter Solstice Gayla to celebrate our LGBTQ+ community. We aim to bring inclusion and affirmation into every step of our process.”

In 2019, 71 agencies across 23 states were featured in ACAF’s first edition of this report. Just five years later, a record-breaking 172 agencies across 43 states implemented LGBTQ+ inclusive policies and affirming practices. These agencies employ over 30,500 professionals and serve more than 1.4 million children, youth and families annually.  

The 10 Colorado organizations that received one of the three tiers of recognition in the Change-Makers Report are listed below:

Innovative Inclusion:

  • Adams County Department of Human Services’ Children & Family Services Division — Westminster
  • Adoption Options — Denver
  • Colorado Office of Children, Youth and Families’ Child Welfare Division — Denver

Solid Foundation for Inclusion

  • Raise the Future — Denver

Building Foundation for Inclusion

  • CASA of Adams and Broomfield Counties — Westminster
  • CASA of Jefferson and Gilpin Counties — Golden
  • CASA of the Continental Divide — Dillon
  • Arapahoe County Department of Human Services’ Child and Adult Protection Services — Aurora
  • Jefferson County Human Services’ Division of Children, Youth, Families, and Adult Protection — Golden
  • Larimer County Children, Youth and Family Services’ Foster and Kinship Programs — Fort Collins

Elton John Attains EGOT Milestone with Historic Victory at the 2024 Emmy Awards

Yesterday, world-renowned global superstar Elton John joined Hollywood’s elite group of EGOT winners after securing the EMMY Award for Outstanding Variety Special (Live) for his 2022 Disney+ special “Elton John Live: Farewell from Dodger Stadium.”  

Elton John said, “I am incredibly humbled to be joining the unbelievably talented group of EGOT winners tonight. The journey to this moment has been filled with passion, dedication, and the unwavering support of my fans all around the world. Tonight is a testament to the power of the arts and the joy that it brings to all our lives. Thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout my career, I am incredibly grateful.”  

The three-hour, historic, live-streamed concert event from Disney Branded Television and produced by Fulwell 73 and Rocket Entertainment gave Disney+ audiences a front-row seat to his electrifying and legendary performance as he bid farewell to North America. Heralded as one of the greatest send-offs of all time, artists, entertainers, and special guests, along with a packed stadium of fans and admirers worldwide, celebrated the music legend’s epic full-circle moment at Dodger Stadium, paying tribute to his 1975 performance that cemented his global success.  

Having previously won two Academy Awards for Best Original Song for Rocketman’s [“I’m Gonna] Love Me Again” and The Lion King’s “Can You Feel The Love Tonight,” a Tony Award for Best Original Score for Aida and six GRAMMY Awards throughout his career, including the GRAMMY Legend Award, Elton John tonight joined the exclusive circle of only 24 stars who have achieved Hollywood’s highest honor.   

Monday, January 8, 2024

Oscar Shortlisted: An Avocado Pit Directed by Ary Zara and Executive Produced by Elliot Page

Directed by Ary Zara and produced by TAKE IT EASY, the captivating short film "AN AVOCADO PIT" invites audiences into the intersecting worlds of Larissa, a trans woman, and Cláudio, a cis man. Ary Zara skillfully crafts a narrative that, with wit and sensitivity, portrays the collision of these two lives in a heartwarming story that is devoid of violence, yet brimming with light and hope.

Adding star power to this compelling project are Executive Producers Elliot Page, Matt Jordan Smith, and Tuck Dowrey from Page's production company, PAGEBOY Productions. The film has already garnered critical acclaim, winning OSCAR qualifying awards at Outfest and the Guadalajara International Film Festival in 2023. The AFI Festival also recognized the film with the Grand Jury Special Mention for Best Lead Acting in 2022, and it received the Best Queer Short Award and the International Student Prize at Festival du Court Métrage de Clermont Ferrand France in 2023.

Shortlisted for a 2024 Academy Award, "AN AVOCADO PIT" is a testament to the creative prowess of TAKE IT EASY, a well-established Portuguese independent production company based in Lisbon. Known for their alternative languages and passion for multi-layered storytelling, TAKE IT EASY has consistently delivered quality productions with a notable presence in national and international festivals.

The film unfolds as an empowering story of love and growth, bringing together two seemingly opposite lives for a beautiful evening of dancing and shared experiences. Executive Producer Elliot Page, a multi-talented figure in the entertainment industry, expressed pride in being part of the project, stating that "AN AVOCADO PIT is exactly the kind of project we at PAGEBOY Productions are drawn to. We are proud to board this short and it is an honor to amplify Ary Zara’s important work."

Founded in 2021, PAGEBOY Productions, led by Elliot Page, aims to develop and produce original, socially responsible stories that prioritize safety, representation, and intersectional equity. The company actively seeks creators and content from underrepresented communities, advocating for a more inclusive and equitable landscape in the entertainment industry. As they continue to pursue storytelling that challenges norms and amplifies marginalized voices, "AN AVOCADO PIT" stands as a shining example of their commitment to impactful and diverse narratives.

International Snow Sculpture Championships Return to Breckenridge

The 33rd annual International Snow Sculpture Championships presented by Toyota will return to Breckenridge from Jan. 22 – 31, 2024. Twelve teams of sculptors from around the world will convene in Breckenridge to hand-carve 12-foot-tall, 25-ton blocks of snow into intricate works of art.

Breckenridge will host international teams from China, Denmark, Ecuador, India, Korea, Lithuania, Mexico, Mongolia, and two teams from Germany. Representing the USA is the home team of Breckenridge and Team Wisconsin. With world-class snow made by Breckenridge Ski Resort, the dry, cool weather at 9,600’ of elevation, and a welcoming spirit that Breckenridge is known for, the International Snow Sculpture Championships draw the best of the best in the art and sport of snow sculpting to this Colorado mountain town.

Over the course of 94 hours, teams will sculpt day and night from Jan. 22 at 11 a.m. through Jan. 26 at 9 a.m., bringing a variety of whimsical, profound, and gravity-defying designs to life using only hand tools like vegetable peelers, chicken wire, and small saws. Power tools, colorants, and internal support structures are prohibited. Teams bring their ingenuity and dedication to Breckenridge as they compete only for the fun and glory of a win—there are no cash prizes.

During viewing week, Jan. 26 - Jan. 31, spectators can delight in the frozen sculpture garden. While the stunning white snow stands out against clear blue skies during the day, the sculptures transform each evening with ever-changing colorful lights shining upon them. Spectators can show support for their favorite sculpture with the People’s Choice Vote between Jan. 24 at noon and Jan. 27 at 2 p.m.

Winners for the 33rd International Snow Sculpture Championships Presented by Toyota will be announced during the awards ceremony on Friday, Jan. 26, inside the Riverwalk Center. Awards include Gold, Silver, Bronze, and the Lothar Luboschik Artists’ Choice Awards. The awards ceremony is free and open to the public. People’s Choice Awards are announced on the evening of Jan. 27.

The weekend of Friday, Jan. 26 - Sunday, Jan. 29, is historically the most popular time for sculpture viewing. To help ensure the best environment for visitors, timed entry reservations will be required only on Saturday, Jan. 27. There is no cost for a timed entry, but availability is limited. Spectators can sign up for a Saturday sculpture viewing at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. or 2 p.m. online at

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Performance Now Theatre Company presents Disney's "Newsies" at the Lakewood Cultural Center

Performance Now Theatre Company presents Disney’s “Newsies” January 5 - 21 at the Lakewood Cultural Center, 470 S. Allison Parkway in Lakewood. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets start at $22 and are available online at or by calling 303-987-7845.


Newsies is based on the 1992 musical film of the same name, which in turn was inspired by the real-life Newsboys Strike of 1899 in New York City. Jack Kelly and his ragtag team of newsboys make a meager living selling newspapers on the city streets. But when the prices of “papers” are hiked and the newsies are hung out to dry, there is nothing left to do but “open the gates and seize the day!” Led by charismatic Jack and independent, young newspaper reporter Katherine Plummer, the Newsies form a union and organize a strike against the greedy publisher of the New York World. Newsies contains such popular numbers as “Carrying the Banner,” “Seize the Day,” “Something to Believe In” and “Santa Fe.”


The talented cast includes Levi Randolph as Jack Kelly, Sarah Atkinson as Katherine Plumber, David Kincannon as Joseph Pulitzer, Fletcher Kim as Race, along with 21 other talented actors and dancers.

WalletHub - Denver Ranks in the Top 20 Best Cities for Christmas

Source: WalletHub
With spending over the winter holidays projected to reach record highs again this year, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2023’s Best Places for Christmas Celebrations to help consumers find the best cities to maximize their enjoyment with a minimal budget.

Celebrating Christmas in Denver (1=Best; 50=Avg.): 
  • Overall rank for Denver: 14th
  • 7th – Christmas Tree Farms per Capita
  • 1st – Number of Affordable, High-Quality Restaurants 
  • 12th – Average Beverage Price
  • 54th – Restaurant Meal Costs
  • 4th – Food Banks per Capita

Biden-Harris Administration selects Denver-based JSI Research and Training Institute to receive $50M to fund Environmental Justice projects

Today, as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, the Biden-Harris Administration announced JSI Research and Training Institute, Inc. (JSI) of Denver, Colorado, has been selected to receive $50 million under EPA’s Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Grantmaking program created by President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, the largest climate action investment in history. JSI will use these funds to serve as a Grantmaker for project applicants across EPA Region 8, which includes Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming and 28 Tribal Nations. 

This new grant program, which will make it easier for small community-based organizations to access federal environmental justice funding, responds to community feedback about the need to reduce barriers to federal funds. Specifically, the program will improve the efficiency of the awards process to ensure communities that have long faced underinvestment can access the benefits of the largest climate investment in history. Communities will be able to apply to JSI for a subgrant to fund a range of different environmental project activities, including small local clean ups; local emergency preparedness and disaster resiliency programs; environmental workforce development programs for local jobs reducing greenhouse gas emissions; fence-line air quality and asthma related projects; healthy homes programs; and projects addressing illegal dumping.  

“This Grantmakers funding will create much-needed opportunities for Environmental Justice communities and leaders to receive federal grants s for locally-developed projects that focus on improving the environment, public health and quality of life,” said EPA Regional Administrator KC Becker. “EPA looks forward to collaborating with JSI to deliver resources and support in the communities that need them most.”  

“Access to clean water and clean air is a fundamental human right,” said U.S. Senator Michael Bennet. “This investment will help remove barriers to obtaining federal funds for small community-based organizations in parts of Colorado that have long been disproportionately affected by poor water and air quality. It is important to ensure those communities receive the resources they need.” 

“Our Inflation Reduction Act gives us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to address climate change for the communities that are facing it head-on,” said U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper.  “Today’s investment will catalyze locally-led solutions for climate resilience in Colorado and other Western states.” 

“Today’s announcement represents a transformative step in our fight for environmental justice,” said U.S. Representative Diana DeGette. “Thanks to the Biden Administration, these investments will help ensure communities across the Mountain West have cleaner air and water – improving public health across the region. I’m proud that Denver will continue to be a leader in this fight. As we address the climate crisis and the harmful pollution fueling it, we’re working together to ensure a healthier, more equitable future for all.” 

EPA Grantmakers will work in collaboration with EPA to issue subgrants to community-based nonprofit organizations and other eligible organizations representing disadvantaged communities. As a Grantmaker, JSI will design comprehensive application and submission processes, award environmental justice subgrants, implement tracking and reporting systems and provide resources and support to communities.  

JSI’s team will focus on environmental, public health and quality of life improvements in the most overburdened, vulnerable and underserved communities by co-designing an equitable and inclusive grantmaking application and scoring process.  The Institute will reach out to communities across EPA Region 8, reducing burdens on subgrantees and engaging in monitoring, evaluation and reporting that ensures the integrity, compliance and impact of the program. JSI has more than 30 years as an environmental health training and technical assistance provider and grant manager. The subgrants are expected to become available by summer of 2024. 

JSI’s partners include:  

  • The Montana Watershed Coordination Council (Helena, Montana) 

  • The Oglala Lakota Cultural & Economic Revitalization Initiative (Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota) 

  • Dakota Resource Council (Bismarck, North Dakota) 

  • The Wyoming Outdoor Council (Lander, Wyoming) 

  • The Community Health Association of Mountains/Plains States (Denver, Colorado)  

  • Equitable funding Advisory/Training Partner Community-Centric Fundraising (Seattle, Washington) 

Grantmakers are expected to begin opening competitions and awarding subgrants by summer 2024. Community-based nonprofit organizations and other eligible organizations seeking subgrant funding will be able to apply for subgrants through three concurrent tiers offered by the Grantmakers. Tier One will consist of grants for $150,000 for assessment, Tier Two will consist of grants for $250,000 for planning, and Tier Three will consist of grants for $350,000 for project development. In addition, $75,000 will be available for capacity-constrained community-based organizations through a noncompetitive process under Tier One. Each Grantmaker will design and implement a distribution program best suited for their region and communities.  

The Grantmakers program is part of the Federal Interagency Thriving Communities Network and delivers on the Biden-Harris Administration’s Justice40 Initiative, which set the goal that 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution. Grantmakers will work in collaboration with the Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Centers (EJ TCTACs) to create a robust support network to assist eligible entities when applying. 

Stories on Stage presents the world premiere of David Nehls' suspenseful new musical "The Wind"

Stories on Stage presents the world premiere of David Nehls' (pictured) suspenseful new musical “The Wind,” a one-person musical, performed by Emily Van Fleet (fresh from her dazzling performance as Carole King at the Arvada Center), accompanied by Nehls, violinist Emily Lewis and cellist David Short. One performance only on Sunday, January 14 at 2:00 p.m. at the Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive, Denver. Tickets are $26 and are available at or by calling 303-494-0523


As a composer/lyricist, David Nehls is best known for the music and lyrics of “The Great American Trailer Park Musical,” and the musical, “Mommie Dearest,” which he has collaborated with Christina Crawford.


A fan of old movies, David came across the 1928 silent film version of “The Wind” stars Lillian Gish as the isolated heroine, Letty, driven insane by the endless wind. The movie was adapted from the novel of the same name written by Dorothy Scarborough in 1925.

Nehls says, “Something about the story just grabbed me. The imagery was fascinating. And the character journey… I’d been looking for something besides the typical musical to write. And I love that era: the late nineteenth century. Especially in the United States.” – from the Scen3 preview written by Mare Trevathan.