Now that Denver Public Library’s newest branch at ArtPark Community Hub is open, it’s time for the space to be christened.
Starting Friday, community members can begin voting on a name for DPLs 27th branch, the organization said in a press release.
The new branch, which serves the Five Points, Cole, Globeville and Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods, opened on Feb. 15. The 7,000-square-foot space offers collection services, laptop rentals and wifi. Visitors can also reserve community meeting rooms and soundproof audio recording rooms and check out the Denver Zine Library on the branch’s second floor.
The branch is part of the ArtPark Community Hub, a three-acre public space and collaboration between DPL, RiNo Art District, the City & County of Denver, RedLine Contemporary Art Center and Focus Points Family Resource Center.
Last fall, residents were asked to submit branch name suggestions. A Community Naming Committee, led by residents in partnership with Denver City Councilmember Candi CdeBaca, vetted the names and came up with four options.
The final name will be presented to the Library Commission on April 21 for final approval. Once the branch is named, DPL will host a grand opening ceremony.
The four names are listed below, along with details on each name provided by DPL.
Bob Ragland Branch Library:
Bob Ragland (1938-2021) was a prolific and well respected Black visual artist, teacher, consultant/coordinator, tv producer, and more. He authored and published “The Artist’s Question and Answer Book” and “The Artist’s Survival Handbook”, (or, “What To Do Till You’re Rich and Famous”) and is honored as an award winning artist who worked with multiple mediums. As a longtime resident of both the Whittier and Five Points neighborhoods, Ragland was an advocate for Colorado art/artists as well as art in public schools. He also taught at Emily Griffith Opportunity School, George Washington High School, and Bradley Elementary. He even had a segment during Denver channel 2’s “Montage, a look at the Arts” television show as well as a series on PBS KRMA TV6 titled “You’re an Artist.” Some of his work is publicly displayed including his 1990 sculpture, “Flute Player with Corn Row Hair”, at the Kirkland Museum of Fine and Decorative Art.
Lorraine Granado Branch Library:
Lorraine Granado (1948-2019) was a lifelong, third generation resident of the Globeville, Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods in North Denver. Inspired in part by the Chicano movements of the 60s and 70s, she co founded the Cross Community Coalition in 1987. For decades, she fought environmental degradation resulting from the existence of and attempts to expand the I-70 corridor that had physically separated the communities from the rest of the city and increased noise and pollution in a community that was minority majority. Her work throughout the largely Hispanic community north of I-70 earned her the MLK Humanitarian Award (1997), the Self Sufficiency Award (2000) from the Latin American Research and Service Agency, and the Cinco de Mayo Award (2003).
South Platte Branch Library:
The new branch is located on the eastern side of the South Platte River, which was named by the French Mallet Brothers, “Plat” meaning flat or shallow. While generally not considered a mighty river, it has been a draw for plants, animals, and people seeking sustenance for millennia. In prehistoric times, seasonal camps would be set up to sustain those hunting small game or gathering amaranth or plums. The South Platte is not considered a navigable river, but it marked the route for wagons, trains, and highways. It was the home to trade outposts and seasonal campsites for historical tribes of the mountain and plains. After gold was discovered, the city of Denver arose and the river would provide for agriculture and industry.
ArtPark Branch Library:
The RiNo Art District has developed an open green space at 35th and Arkins called ArtPark – a creative hub in the Five Points neighborhood designed to spark innovation and bring people together – in which the new branch is located. In addition to Denver Public Library, ArtPark creative and community partners include RiNo Art District, the City of Denver, Denver Parks and Recreation, RedLine Contemporary Art Center, and Focus Points Family Resource Center. These partnerships are exploring intersections of nature, recreation, and culture. For more information, visit rinoartpark.com.