DGS1 Medium

We provide free and donation-based creative writing and storytelling workshops that empower community members to find and share their voices, build confidence and resilience, and heal together.  

Word + Art


Using words and images from workshops, we publicly showcase personal and collective stories to leave behind echoes that enrich and infuse the community with collective history and art.


nature retreat 1

We offer underserved populations writing retreats in beautiful natural settings for deep immersion into creative self-expression, connection with nature, solitude and healing.


What is the impact of the creative arts on mental health, resilience, trauma resolution and stress reduction?

According to research*, using the creative arts in therapeutic ways can result in: 

  • 27% reduction in feelings of anxiety
  • 36% reduction in feelings of depression 
  • 12% reduction in sensations of emotional exhaustion 
  • 28% increase in feelings of positivity and hopefulnes

*This data is from a research study focused on the impact of creative arts therapy on healthcare professionals’ stress and turnover levels. 

Our Director, Courtney Morgan, was a creative writing instructor in the study, conducted by CORAL (Colorado Resiliency Arts Lab), a partnership of Lighthouse Writers Workshop, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, the Ponzio Creative Arts Therapy Program at Children’s Hospital Colorado, and the National Endowment for the Arts. CORAL uses creative arts programming to help providers identify, explore, and transform psychological difficulties. Read the study here. 


  • self-confidence
  • increased resilience and capacity to handle stress
  • being witnessed, heard, seen, valued
  • feeling empowered to use their voice
  • sense of ownership and pride in community
  • increased writing aptitude and skills
  • self-awareness
  • tools to cope with pain, loss and trauma


  • increased empathy and appreciation of diversity
  • enriched by story, art and individual + communal voices
  • more equitable communities where members feel heard and valued
  • access to additional tools and resources for mental health + wellness
  • sustainable, healthy, vibrant communities that value each member and enhance the vitality of the city

Current + Upcoming Workshops

Mile High Behavioral Healthcare

The Miracles Group with Mile High Behavioral Healthcare and the Denver Problem Solving Courts

Focused on self-empowerment, resilience and healing through the written and spoken word, these workshops develop participants’ ability to process pain and trauma through art, as well as tell their story and feel witnessed. This boosts confidence and self-reliance, and creates a sense of community and belonging. 

These workshops are a part of the treatment and recovery program at Mile High Behavioral HealthCare in partnership with the Denver Courts System. 

Spring Institute for Intercultural Learning

We are working with Spring Institute for Intercultural Learning and Hope Communities to offer creative writing, storytelling and art making workshops to youth ages 12-18 in the East Colfax community. 

These workshops support these youth to share their voices and stories, access mental health supports through the arts, and gain confidence and a sense of belonging.

Spring Institute provides effective intercultural learning programs and services to build brighter futures for immigrants and refugees, and to foster more inclusive, welcoming organizations and communities. 

Hope Communities provides pathways to economic and personal opportunity through affordable housing, educational programs and support services.

Ashley Mamás

The East Colfax neighborhood is home to both longtime Colorado Latina residents as well as more recently arrived immigrant and refugee families. Ashley Elementary School is the only school within the diverse and often forgotten East Colfax neighborhood and serves as a focal point for the community. 

This five-month intensive program focuses on creating community, fostering belonging and connection, and processing pain, trauma and grief, all while exploring stories through native Latinx writers, poets and lyricists. 

Spanish-speaking mothers from the East Colfax and Ashley Elementary community meet weekly to experience joy and healing together by writing and sharing their own stories of survival and growth in their native language. 

These workshops support mental health, resilience, and language equity, as well as encourage building social capital and community. Free daycare is provided to allow the mothers to fully focus on this deep personal work. 

Ashley Elementary 4th graders

Sidewalk Poets is collaborating with Ashley Elementary, a Title One school in the East Colfax neighborhood, hosting a six-week storytelling workshop with 4th grade students. 

Participants reflect on their life experiences through the act of writing and sharing their stories in community together. This includes processing trauma and pain, gaining self-confidence, finding their voice, as well as improving their writing skills. 

At the end of the six weeks, students create their own chapbook of    poems and present their work to a large audience of their peers with a reading and celebration of their work. 

RedLine Contemporary Art Center

At RedLine’s Reach Open Studio, people experiencing housing insecurity or who are in recovery can engage in a free, collaborative and inclusive open art studio program. 

The Reach Core Artist Program is a three-year program providing professional development workshops, skill-building, mentorship, portfolio development support and earned income opportunities.

We’re excited to collaborate with the Reach Core Artist program at RedLine Contemporary Art Center, hosting creative writing and storytelling workshops at the center. 

These workshops support mental health, build community, and help artists improve their writing skills to bolster their portfolios and improve their opportunities for income.

Denver Green School

We are excited to continue our partnership with the Denver Green School, using hands-on, project-based approaches to serve a diverse population of learners. 

This partnership offers young writers a chance to access professional poets and writers and explore new techniques in their writing, while sharing their voices with a larger audience. Students also discover how writing can serve them outside of the classroom. 

DPS Writing Club

We’re supporting the DPS Writing Club, where students interested in writing have the opportunity to collaborate with an older student mentor from another school, to work together to create, connect and listen to each other through story. 

This peer-to-peer partnership offers young writers a chance to access professional poets and writers and explore new techniques in their writing, while also sharing their voices with a larger audience. Students explore how writing can serve them outside of the classroom.

Contact Us

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Project of CNDC
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