Denver students promote optimistic messages with city billboard campaign

Mayor Michael Hancock unveiled Wednesday the first of four billboards going up across the city.

staff photo
The "Better Together" billboard designed by Youth at Arts Street. (Courtesy of the city and county of Denver)

The "Better Together" billboard designed by Youth at Arts Street. (Courtesy of the city and county of Denver)

Mayor Michael Hancock unveiled on Wednesday the first of four billboards going up across the city aimed at infusing the city with youthful optimism in 2018.

The “Better Together” sign near 21st and California streets depicts a city unified instead of divided, according to the mayor’s office. The billboard was designed by youth at the Denver-based program Arts Street.

“While artwork on billboards isn’t the answer to everything that ails our society, the conversations and the collaboration that led to inspiring our young people to envision a future filled with peace and hope is a great way to kick off 2018,” Hancock said in a statement.

The first billboard, “Better Together,” was designed by 17-year-old Laura Carrillo.

The senior at Colorado High School said, “The concept behind my artwork was to show Denver and the elements that are iconic to Denver — its skyline and the mountains. The rainbow colors in the background were used because rainbows bring all the colors together. This represents everybody in Denver, different backgrounds, different races and different genders. Rainbows are symbols of unity and bringing people together.”

Other billboard winners include “Education Not Deportation” by Leroy Bella of Colorado High School; “We have Courage Denver” by Gabrielle Winegarner of Colorado High School; “Denver Hope” by Albany-Sydonia Reynolds of Colorado High School; and “See Me I Am Denver” by Yokabed Ogbai of East High School.

The "Education Not Deportation" billboard designed by Leroy Bella at Arts Street. (Courtesy of the city and county of Denver)

The "Education Not Deportation" billboard designed by Leroy Bella at Arts Street. (Courtesy of the city and county of Denver)

The "We have COURAGE Denver" billboard designed by Gabriel Winegarner at Arts Street. (Courtesy of the city and county of Denver)

The "We have COURAGE Denver" billboard designed by Gabriel Winegarner at Arts Street. (Courtesy of the city and county of Denver)

The "Denver Hope" billboard designed by Albany-Sydonia Reynolds at Arts Street. (Courtesy of the city and county of Denver)

The "Denver Hope" billboard designed by Albany-Sydonia Reynolds at Arts Street. (Courtesy of the city and county of Denver)

The "See Me I am Denver" billboard designed by Yokabed Ogbai at Arts Street. (Courtesy of the city and county of Denver)

The "See Me I am Denver" billboard designed by Yokabed Ogbai at Arts Street. (Courtesy of the city and county of Denver)

In addition to 21st and California streets, the billboards will be placed near  West Colfax Avenue and Tennyson Street; East 29th Avenue and Downing Street; and West 11th Avenue and Federal Boulevard.

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Business & data reporter Adrian D. Garcia can be reached via email at agarcia@denverite.com or twitter.com/adriandgarcia.

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