Protect • Promote • Preserve
Community Murals of Colorado
The Legacy of Community Murals
Inspiring Impactful Contributions
The Chicano/a/x Murals of Colorado Project (CMCP) mission is to Protect, Promote, and Preserve the ongoing legacy of community murals within the state of Colorado. The project is designed to be a grassroots community effort to preserve this critical component of Colorado’s visual heritage in response to the threats presented by the murals’ increasing age, as well as the ongoing urban development and gentrification in neighborhoods and cities tied to the history of Colorado’s population. The project will offer opportunities for collaboration between artists, archivists, activists, students, and community members, as well as the broader population across the state. In addition to preserving and promoting the murals themselves, the project will provide a mechanism to learn a more inclusive history of the important contributions of individuals and communities.
Tree of Life by Arlette Lucero, 2017, Museo de las Americas, destroyed
Momentum Towards Preserving Community Murals Grows!
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National Trust for Historic Preservation
Names Chicano/a/x Community Murals of Colorado One of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places
The National Trust for Historic Preservation, the only non-profit with a national mission to preserve places that are central to the heritage of the United States, recognized the critical significance of Chicano/a/x Community Murals of Colorado. The Trust named to their 11 Most Endangered Places list 2022 an act intended to raise awareness about the threats facing some of the nation’s greatest treasures. The list has identified more than 300 important national heritage sites over three decades, and only a handful of sites listed have been lost.
Although the exact number is unknown, it is believed that more than 40 historic Chicano/a/x community murals exist across the state of Colorado, including the Great Plains, the Denver Central Region, The Southern Rocky Mountains, The Colorado Plateau, and the Wyoming Basin.
Please consider supporting this initiative by FILLING OUT THIS FORM of the Chicano/a/x Murals of Colorado Project. If you would like to make a donation at you will find a link at the top of this website.
CALL TO ACTION!
Ways We Help
The Focus of Our Efforts
Tezcatlipoca, Carlos Fresquez and MSU Denver Students, 2012
721 Santa Fe Drive, Denver
The CMCP aims to protect existing community murals through an evaluation of each mural’s current location to determine the likelihood of future damage or removal. Those murals deemed to be in the most danger will be prioritized for documentation and may be targeted for applications to designate landmark status via local governing bodies.
Promotion of murals involves both documentation of murals (and their artists) and dissemination of the information gathered via multiple platforms that may include, but are not limited to: digital maps and archives; public events and exhibitions; and/ or publications in various formats. Community engagement and awareness are of particular concern and efforts will be made to tie every aspect of the project back to the grassroots model first promoted by the Civil Rights Movement and the muralists themselves, including the creation and sharing of a public archive of community art in Colorado.
Staff of Life, Emanuel Martinez, 1976,
Colorado Community College of Denver
Section of Our Lady of Guadalupe mural, Carlotta Espinoza, 1977, Denver, photo by Joe Beine
While documentation is the first step to preserving the murals and any associated records and archives, further efforts may be made to solicit funding for the continued preservation/conservation of extant murals; particularly those damaged by graffiti, construction, or the natural elements.