Skyland's Art: Back Alley Art Galleries and Art Walk


     In the Skyland North City Park neighborhood, we have installed two resident-created BAAG (Back Alley Art Galleries) between 2014 and 2015.  These two installations brought a cross section of neighbors together to create beautiful focal points of neighborhood pride.  This next phase of the project will introduce the history of the neighborhood to new and old residents—creating a stronger sense of neighborhood identity.  We will bring a diversity of neighbors together side-by-side, guided by professional artists and designers, to create a beautification plan for their alley.  The previous two installations were collaborations between Sustainable North City Park, the City Park Time Bank, North City Park Civic Assn, Barrett Elementary, and Voices on Canvas.

Kathleen Casteel of Voices on Canvas, Inc and Karen Derrick-Davis, Sustainable North City Park managed the first two installations.


The goal for 2017/18 is to increase Back Alley Art galleries and public art. Art instillations will incorporate neighborhood history into the designs, where art will educate passer byes. The project will bring a diversity of neighbors together to create beautiful and meaningful spaces in Skyland's under-utilized alleys.  The historic neighborhood research part of the project is headed by Voices On Canvas Inc. It's enter-generational involving students from its neighborhood schools as well as seniors form Allen Gardens and other non-profit partners. 


2017/2018 Heart & Hand Center & Venture Prep High

     Archaeology Research Club

Uncover hidden treasures of the community:

North City Park Skyland Neighborhood History Research is an effort to  develop, design and create an educating public art piece that will reflect a portion of the neighborhood's history. Each art piece will be installed in designated location contributing to the Voices On Canvas's Legacy Project.


Students taking part in this after & in-school portion of the project that requires field surveys and Saturday research sessions at the main Denver Public Library. Participants of the 2017 summer session were rewarded with Android tablets upon the completion of their work on the project.


Students selected Ben's Market to

research. They discovered the historic

significance of its role in not only has in

community's history, but also its link to

the nation's history. They hatched a plan

to not only tell the market's human story,

but also a plan to save it as gentrification

consumes the neighborhood landscape.

2017/2018 Project & Public Art will

tell the Human story of Ben's Market.

Built in 1894 and still remains a

market today. Ben Okubo's name has remained on the building for the past 63 years. 

Stay tuned for the progress of this story. 

Click here for a Map of future BAAG SkylandArt project.


Above: First BAAG Unveiling September 6, 2014 

Photo by: KCE















Above l - r:  The late Mrs. Ida Jones, former Principal 

of Montbello High

Hidden Treasure / She Touched A Lot of Lives

Below: Spring 2015 BAAG installation

In honor of Jacquline Allen 1986 - 2015



























Students retain more during lectures when the technique of "Mind Mapping" note taking is used. Visual triggers of colors changes and images connecting words to the main subject (center) improve cognitive skills. The brain is enormously elastic. The process of discovery allow individuals to grow and excel at their own pace.

Below: Example of a Structure of the subject of Mind Mapping Features

Voices On Canvas Inc’s LOGIC MODEL




Problem Statement: Students are unaware of their full potential to make positive changes in themselves and their community.


Goal: Lift youth to the level of leadership through Creative Development, creating social community activist for positive changes.



What we put in – curriculum, teachers, volunteers, peer support, and funding



Activities / What we do – recruit students, operate creative development self esteem and leadership programs, provide tutoring, provide career mentor, record progress


Stakeholders / Who we reach: students, peers, volunteers, and community.


  • Short-Term / Changes we expect to see short term- students learn new technical skills, receive additional self esteem awareness support where needed, improve presentation skills, and learn leadership skills

  • Intermediate / Changes we want to see next – increased student mastery and sense of self worth, increase critical thing skills, increase engagement in school and community goals, and increased community organizing and development around issue of concern.

  • Long-Term / Changes we hope to see over time – students and adults gain leadership skills, increase positive attitudes among students and community members, increase students’ voice in community matters, and lessen community needs & increase community assets.

  • Community: Changes we want to track in communities – students’ willingness to speak out concerning community issues, addressing standards for positive change, and creating safer, cleaner and healthier sustainable environments.


Building a good curriculum, recruitment plan and establishing parental and community involvement will improve attendance in after & in school Art programs.



Distance to program, transportation, parental and community support, and facilitation.