Raizado Festival is back in Aspen to celebrate and uplift Latinx people. Plus there’s a free Los Lobos concert

· Aug. 24, 2023, 3:31 pm
Raizado Festival Monica Ramirez AspenRaizado Festival Monica Ramirez Aspen(DVL/The Latinx House)
Mónica Ramírez, center, co-created the Raizado Festival, which took place over three days in Aspen in August and September 2022.

The Raizado Festival, celebrating the Latinx community, is back in Aspen today through Sunday for its second year.

“Aspen is considered such an important place for thought leaders and changemakers to convene,” organizer Mónica Ramirez told CPR News last year. “It was really important to make sure that we were positioning the Latinx community the same way.”

This year’s iteration includes panel discussions, musical performances and film screenings. A new addition to the festival – a fashion show – exemplifies what Ramirez wants to accomplish.

“When we made the decision to add fashion, I said, ‘These are artists in our community, and they aren't always elevated as artists in our community,’” she said. “So it's important that we celebrate them as leaders, so people can get to know more about how Latinx people are really contributing to fashion.”

Some free tickets are available to most events.

“For the people who are here locally, we didn't want cost to be a barrier. We really wanted to figure out how to get as many people to be in this space as possible,” Ramirez said.

The capstone is a free event on Sunday in Rio Grande Park in Aspen featuring Los Lobos. It’s  open to the public, and you don’t need a ticket. The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority, RFTA, is also offering free transportation to and from the event.

“There are folks who are setting up tents, and there are folks who are working in the hotels and restaurants who are supporting [the festival], and we didn't want them to just hear about it. We wanted them to experience it and be part of it and to feel like it's theirs, too,” Ramirez said.

The panel discussions, as well as some of the other events, will be livestreamed for people who can’t attend in person. They focus on things like the power of local organizing; how to increase economic security; the community’s role in environmental sustainability; and what Ramirez calls “impatient activism,” featuring Hispanic Heritage Foundation President and CEO Antonio Tijerino. 

“I think that's really an important conversation because we're coming out of COVID. And really what that conversation is about is that we can't always anticipate what's coming,” Ramirez said. “In leadership, we have to be flexible and nimble enough to be able to move, to be able to meet the moment.”

The group that puts on the festival, The Latinx House, has already booked dates for its return in 2024.

“I’m just thrilled that we’re able to not just be welcomed back to do this festival, but to see it grow,” Ramirez said.