Architecture for Humanity-Denver is seeking to raise money for the transformation of a museum parking lot into an outdoor classroom for children in need. The goal of Denver's Museo de las Americas is to educate the community about the diversity of Latino Americano art and culture from ancient to contemporary through innovative exhibitions and programs, but the museum is lacking the necessary space for its increasingly popular youth summer camp.
Read more about the project and how you can help after the break.
Research shows that students exposed to arts education are 4 times as likely to succeed academically, but the reality is that 29,000 Denver youth have no access to such art programs. Because 85% of the disadvantaged youth in Denver are Latino and the dropout rate for Latino youth has reached a whopping 37%, the Museo de las Americas decided to create and host a summer camp to "teach art as a tool for fostering self-esteem in children and as a vehicle for encouraging understanding of Latino culture among all." During the camp, children learn about and participate in dance, music, theatre and visual art activities that they then enjoy sharing with their community.
The parking lot is arguably the most attractive area of the museum, with its fresh air, openness to the sky and mountain views. Therefore the goal of the new design is simple: to construct a new permanent fence, gate and surface and a temporary overhead canopy for shading the classroom in the summertime. The space will be flexible enough to still accommodate parked cars when not being used as a classroom and will also be able to host other community events such as movie screenings.
The majority of the materials used for the outdoor classroom are salvaged from a building currently being demolished that would otherwise go to waste. Some of the necessary components, however, could not be repurposed and that's where AfH-Denver needs YOUR help! Rewards for those who donate to the project are made from the same materials as the classroom, only in the form of earrings, bracelets, rings, necklaces and even fake mustaches - unique keepsakes to remind you of the gift you have given Denver and its disadvantaged youth.
To learn more about the campaign and to donate to the cause, click HERE.