Stonewall 50

June 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, three nights of rioting at an historic gay bar in New York’s Greenwich Village that is widely viewed as a turning point in the modern fight for LGBTQ civil rights.

The Center on Colfax is marking this important historic anniversary with a series of free exhibits and events exploring this history and impact of that historic night long ago. And of course, Denver Pride will celebrate the anniversary with a series of events and our annual festival and parade on June 15-16 in downtown Denver’s Civic Center Park.

Stonewall 50 - LGBTQ History Project

Day of the Dead

Honoring Our LGBTQ Ancestors

September - November 2019
Free Exhibit at The Center

Family Celebration
Sunday, October 27  |  11:00am-2:00pm
Free Event

For five years, The Center on Colfax has established a tradition of celebrating the holiday Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) with a series of ofrendas (altars) in the lobby of The Center on Colfax. The ofrendas provide context/understanding of the tradition of Dia de los Muertos and honor community members who have passed away during the previous year. We also honor people who have passed away from HIV/AIDS with a special ofrenda.  Another ofrenda honors Transgender Day of Remembrance, an annual observance in late November of transgender community members who have died in the previous year due to anti-trans violence. This year, we will create a special ofrenda honoring 50 heroes of the LGBTQ civil rights movement, including educational information about each person on the altar. The exhibit will coordinate with The Center on Colfax’s Day of the Dead family celebration on October 27.


June 28, 1969: The Spark That Lit The Fire

The History of the Stonewall Uprising

January - April 2019
Free Exhibit at The Center

The world of LGBTQ people in 1950s and 60s America was remarkably different than today. Prior to 1962, same-sex relationships were a felony in every state, often punished by lengthy prison sentences. Same-sex loving men and women met in secret, fearing the long-term consequences of exposure. Gender nonconforming individuals and cross-dressers might find themselves shunned to the fringes of society. Early efforts at LGBTQ activism had smoldered for years before Stonewall. There had been riots in other gay spaces before. And there had certainly been plenty of police raids at the Stonewall in the past. But the night of June 28, 1969 was different. The anger that erupted when police attempted to arrest patrons of the Stonewall Inn that night sparked a series of riots that would mark the beginning of the contemporary LGBTQ civil rights movement.

What happened that night? Why was this uprising different from those that had come before? How would the riots at a small gay bar in New York go on to inspire generations of activists, building to today’s contemporary movement for LGBTQ equality?

Stonewall Inn, 1969

Colfax Ave. Utility Box Project

May 11 - end of year
Local high school students commemorate Stonewall through creative public displays

In cooperation with the Colfax Business Improvement District and the National Art Honor Society at East High School, students are creating original collages inspired by the history and people associated with Stonewall. Artist Adrienne Norris and historian David Duffield provided guidance and historical context.

The collages will be printed and displayed on utility boxes along Colfax Avenue throughout the rest of the year. A QR code printed on each box will lead viewers to online historical information about each collage and the Stonewall 50 project.


Capitol Hill Historic LGBTQ Walking Tour

Available Now
Self-guided audio tour leading you through Capitol Hill's LGBTQ history produced in partnership with AARP Colorado

The Center has developed a walking audio tour in partnership with AARP Colorado. Learn about Denver's rich LGBTQ history while touring the Capitol Hill neighborhood.


Community Art Show

December 2019
Free Exhibit at The Center

Members of The Center on Colfax’s SAGE of the Rockies and Rainbow Alley communities will create original works of art inspired by our year-long celebration of Stonewall.

Stonewall 50 Project Supported By
Arts in Society

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