Tara McMurtry

University of Colorado Denver - 2019

Producing a series of web videos focusing on Globeville/Elyria-Swansea and the I-70 expansion.

Project: I am partnering with the Sierra Club and Project VOYCE to produce a series of web videos focusing on Globeville/Elyria-Swansea and the I-70 expansion. The videos will engage with the ways in which these northeast Denver neighborhoods have been isolated, neglected, and abused for over a century, and the ways in which residents still make the neighborhood a vibrant, close-knit community.

Inspiration: I was born and raised in the Highland neighborhood of Denver, though I moved away for college and early adulthood. When I moved back in my early 20s, Denver was on the cusp of the current economic and housing boom, and the boom utterly transformed the neighborhood I grew up in. While I’m happy to see my city and my neighborhood thriving, I feel that the intense growth and development left out the low-income, minority folks who lived in Denver before everyone wanted to live in Denver. The I-70 expansion and the impact it will have on Globeville/Elyria-Swansea is a prominent example of this, and I predict it will transform Globeville/Elyria-Swansea in the same way Highland was transformed: the neighborhoods may look cleaner and safer, but they will also be richer and whiter. Meanwhile, the people who lived in these neighborhoods when they were dirty and dangerous will be pushed farther into the literal margins of the city. I am not anti-growth, but I can’t support growth that leaves out poor people and people of color.

Future Plans for Project:I hope that by showing young people, especially youth who are already looked past because of their skin color or social class standing, that their minds are a powerful tool and if they tell themselves “I can” and out in a little hard work, they can accomplish huge things in life! Maybe I will help to inspire the next president of the US 🙂