Tezcatlipoca, Carlos Fresquez and MSU Denver Students, 2012, 721 Santa Fe Drive, Denver

The mission of the Chicano/a Murals of Colorado Project (CMCP) is to protect, promote, and preserve the ongoing legacy of Chicano/a/x murals within the state of Colorado. The project is designed to be a grassroots community effort to preserve this key component of Colorado’s visual heritage in response to the threats presented by the murals’ increasing age, as well as the on-going urban development and gentrification in neighborhoods and cities tied to the history of Colorado’s Chicano/a population. The project will offer opportunities for collaboration between artists, archivists, activists, and members of the Chicano community, as well as the broader population across the state. In addition to preserving and promoting the murals themselves, the project will provide a mechanism for recognizing the important contributions of Chicano/a individuals and communities to the history of state. The threefold mission of the CMCP can be further broken down into the following areas:

  1. Protect: The CMCP aims to protect existing 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.
  2. Promote: 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 Chicano Movement and the muralists themselves, including the creation and sharing of a public archive of Chicano/a Art in Colorado.
  3. Preserve: 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.