Time to Celebrate
In light of the difficulties of the last couple of years, we have much to celebrate. The 50th Anniversary Golden Season has been a reaffirmation of the great work and the many contributions made by the talented artists within our community and across the country. Paying off the mortgage is a tribute to our previous generations and a promise to future generations.
It only makes sense to kick off the year with a celebration of community and family. Step by step and seat by seat we have come together to build something for our future. What better way to begin the year than to remember the past and come together to celebrate our future? Since we paid off the mortgage, it must be time to burn it.
Mortgage Burning Event
On Friday, January 27, at 4 pm, everyone is invited to join us in the southside parking lot on the 7th Avenue side of the Su Teatro building for a ceremonial burning of the mortgage. We will then enter the building for a “brindis” (toast) to our community and success, we will have food and drinks, and music to celebrate.
Resisting the wave of gentrification and displacement through the Denver Metropolitan area, Su Teatro Board President Victor Vialpando-Nuñez has announced that the organization has paid off the final balance on the mortgage for the Denver Civic Theatre.
This event marks a significant achievement in the history of the company that grew from humble beginnings, from a class out of the University of Colorado at Denver and performing in parks, recreation centers, and street corners, to today at the Su Teatro Cultural & Performing Arts Center.
Denver Civic Theatre (DCT) History
Impresario Henry Lowenstein. renovated and established the DCT in 1985. Bringing theater to Santa Fe Drive once again. After Henry’s retirement in 1995, the facility passed through a number of occupants, eventually ending up in the hands of some New York producers that left it in foreclosure in 2009.
In 2009, Su Teatro had already chosen to move to the Westside, had taken the last bow at El Centro Su Teatro (Elyria School Building), our home since 1989, and had purchased a building further up Santa Fe Drive A phone call from then- Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, changed the course of events.
Hickenlooper and the city became instrumental in facilitating the negotiations with Evergreen Bank and we secured a $780,000 mortgage at the beginning of the post-2008 real estate crash market.
We began programming in February 2010 by hosting Los Pleneros de la 21, a Puerto Rican bomba and plena musical group from New York City, and signed the final paperwork on October 1, 2010.
The eventual sale of the Elyria Elementary School building in 2013, helped reduce the mortgage debt.
El Corazon de la Ciudad
The production of Northside by Bobby LeFebre, a play about the gentrification of our city, kicked off a seat naming Legacy campaign to pay off the last $250,000 left on the building. Displacement and gentrification have hit the Chicano community extremely hard by pushing them out of traditional communities.
The Legacy Seat Campaign was simple, 250 donors, $1,000 a seat, and up to 3 years to pay it off in up to 3 years for the payoff. As has been our history, our community stepped up and donated enough to pay off the building.
It is the conscious intent of this action to send the message of the significance of community support and participation. In a community with limited financial resources, a targeted and committed effort is a powerful action.
Su Teatro’s purchase assures that the organization will continue to serve the city, from el Corazón de la Ciudad (The Heart of the City) – Denver’s Westside.
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