Especial Blog: November 2021

November 30, 2021

Comunidad Guest DJ: Isabel Faulkner

Isabel Faulkner
Photo courtesy of guest

I met Isabel a few years ago now, both of us supporters of local music. Since that time, Isabel has launched her own photography business, which captures local musicians in performance and out, as well as portraiture and more (see my head shot for her work!). Isabel is also just one of the sweetest humans possibly in Denver? Also this playlist is too good - read more about Isabel and check out her tunes below!

What do you do in the Denver community:
I am a local photographer working as Isabel V Photography. I specialize in portrait photography, for example professional portraits, family photos, engagement announcements, and lifestyle. I also love to do concert photography any time the opportunity arises. 

Tell me more about your background:

I’m from Aurora, CO, born and raised. I’ve always had a passion for music and am constantly in attendance at the local shows in Denver.  Couple that with my love for photography and you can see where my heart lies. Currently, I am actively trying to showcase the new and emerging music talent that our beautiful city hosts by capturing the artists during their performances.  I like to provide them with professional photos at little to no cost so they can promote themselves. You can view most of these on my website! I also just officially launched my photography business at the beginning of 2020, (I know, bad timing) and have been connecting with our community of not only artists, but families, professionals, and anyone in between. 

Tell me more about your Latinidad:
I am of mixed decent, but my mom is half Spanish and half Mexicana. She raised us with her culture as equally as my dad did with his and I feel extremely grateful for all that cultural exposure. I have such a love for my Latinidad because it greatly defines a huge part of who I am.  Simply put, without it, I wouldn’t be me.

FUN FACT: The “V” in “Isabel V Photography” is actually the roman numeral for five, because I come from a long line of Isabel’s dating back to the early 1800’s. It was a Spanish tradition to name your first born daughter Isabel in my family and I proudly own my title of Isabel the fifth. 

Why does representation matter in your community work:
Growing up multi-ethnic, I had people constantly question my Latin identity and I absolutely hated it, because I knew who I was and couldn’t understand why others couldn’t see that part of me. Because of this, I think representation is so crucial to my community work because it allows others to be exposed to all types of various Latinidades. I am a photographer, through and through. Thus so, this gives me a grand opportunity to visually showcase those in front of my lens. I can help by allowing my community to be literally seen. 

What is one way the community can uplift Latin work/voices/art:
Support them! Go to their shows, showings. Listen to their music or poetry. Buy their art, writings, food, etc. Share and highlight whatever endeavors they’re working on. Be a friend. 

Follow Isabel V. Photography on Instagram here.

November 8, 2021

Comunidad Guest DJ: Manuel Aragon

Manuel Aragon gives updates on the Northside all the time, specifically on sunrises and sunsets, and it is the content I am here for. In actuality, Miguel is a major community player and leader, who works with and supports Denver youth and beyond. He helps with Lighthouse Writers, fostering the next wave of poets, authors, and storytellers - honestly he can explain it better. And you can hear some of his favorite tunes below!

What do you do in the Denver community
I’m a husband and father of four. For work and in the community: I build relationships, connections and help build cool collaborations. In terms of a day job, I work with Lighthouse Writers Workshop, as the Community Engagement Manager. In this role, I work with communities who have not traditionally been given access and prominence within the literary community to establish long-term relationships that center around writing. So much of my own work is around creating space for work from historically marginalized communities that need to be heard and haven't been given prominence. Through my work, I also want to make sure that I'm treating communities with dignity and giving them the time/space/resources/opportunity to tell their own stories. 
In addition to that, I’m a writer and filmmaker, photographer, activist, and more. It’s hard to think about these things in isolation from one another since they're all so innately tied together.

Tell me more about your background: 
I'm a Northsider, born and raised. So many of my connections to Denver and this community are with people I went to elementary, middle school, or high school with. Now we’re all over the place and, in a lot of ways, trying to fight for access and opportunity for our community. I like being able to navigate Denver through those relationships and that credibility that we've established with one another through our years of shared history. 

Tell me more about your Latinidad:
On my mom’s side, we’re Mexican-American or Chicano and on my dad’s side, we're Chicanos from Las Vegas, New Mexico. So, it’s very much that mix of Southern Colorado, Northern New Mexico Indigenous roots, tied in with the Mexican roots. I think you look at my family and it’s very much that mix of people who’ve been here for generations and those who are "new" to the country but not new to the land. 

Why does representation matter in your community work:
I think it’s for the next generation of Latinx creatives to be able to see themselves in art, music, writing, and more. Growing up, I think my parents did a great job exposing us to all sorts of Latinx and Chicanx art. I think that's why so much of my artistic and community work is dedicated to capturing our stories and establishing us in film and writing spaces where we've been erased. I also think part of my responsibility is to be a cheerleader for that next generation, giving them opportunities to read at events that I curate or share their photos/films whenever I'm invited into a new space. 

What is one way the community can uplift Latin work/voices/art:
I think it’s important that if you love Latinx art within the community, buy it, share the hell out of it online, introduce your friends to it, display it proudly. Even just showing up to an event. I think we have a communal obligation to lift one another's work up.