Launch Yale Blue Green Chapter in Colorado

14 APRIL 2019 | 3:00 - 5:00 PM

Join Samantha Lichtin ’16 and Michael Totten ‘72 for libations and lively discussion on the merits, means, and mission of starting a Colorado chapter of Yale Blue Green! All Elis interested in the sustainability space are invited Sunday, April 14, 3-5pm at the Wynkoop (1634 18th St, right across the street from Union Station + free street parking).

Yale Blue Green (YBG) is a recent initiative of the Yale Alumni Association (YAA), led and supported by Yale alumni to serve as a hub for thought leadership, collaborative action, lifelong learning, and social impact relating to the environment and sustainability. YBG is building a network of local chapters and a digital community through online programming, webinars, monthly calls, and social media. Chapters currently exist in New York City, Boston, D.C., Chicago, San Francisco, and London and are intended as an opportunity for alums living in major cities to connect with fellow Yalies where they live and work and to engage with environmental and sustainability issues that are unique to their area.

The official goal of YBG is to facilitate three levels of connection and community-building:

  • Alumni-to-Alumni: organize sustainability-related civic projects, lectures, social events, outdoor excursions, advocacy efforts, etc
  • Alumni-to-University: support (and instigate) the Yale Office of Sustainability and University sustainability efforts
  • Alumni-to-the-World: support alums working on the frontlines who are building new organizations and institutions, and pioneering innovative approaches to public engagement and climate action

The real question we want to ask is what could (or should) Yale Blue Green look like in Colorado? What unique opportunities does the wealth of knowledge housed within the Yale network present? What value is there in explicitly convening our sustainability community locally, but also connecting with fellow Elis across the world.

Please RSVP to Samantha Lichtin,


Take A Spring Break with CYA!

22 - 23 MARCH 2019

The vernal equinox kicks off a number of alumni club events, starting with the Jordan Casteel exhibition at the Denver Art Museum. While students are having their spring break, CYA has three informal gatherings, which offer Yalies an opportunity to kick back — even if it isn’t on a warm beach. The three free events are hosted by Bob Bonds ’71, Associate Director of Yale clubs in the alumni office. So you’ll be able to chat with Bob about what’s happening on campus as well as about alumni initiatives.

Boulder: Friday, March 22nd, Happy Hour @ St. Julien Hotel, 900 Walnut Street, Boulder, starting at 5:00.

Colorado Springs: Saturday, March 23rd, Lunch @ Wild Goose Meeting House, 401 North Tejon, Colorado Springs, noon.

Denver: Saturday, March 23rd, Pizza, Marco’s Coal-Fired Pizza, 2129 Larimer Street, Denver, starting at 6:00 pm.

Please RSVP, if you plan to attend, because we need to know how many alumni to accommodate: Stephanie Grilli,


Private Viewing of “Jordan Casteel. Returning the Gaze” with Artist Jordan Casteel MFA ’14 and Curator Becky Hart

20 MARCH 2019 | 5:30 - 7:30 PM

CYA is excited to announce a private alumni viewing of Jordan Casteel. Returning the Gaze at the Denver Art Museum with the artist and Vicki and Kent Logan Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Becky Hart, on Wednesday, March 20th, 5:30-7:30 pm (doors open at 5:00). A Denver native, Jordan received her Yale MFA in 2014, and DAM is the first museum to honor her with a one-person show, which has received national attention and praise. So let’s give a rousing homecoming to a fellow Yalie, who has been “deemed one of the rising stars of her generation.” At this special event, attendees can see the exhibit with the artist and curator available for questions, and at 6:30 there will be an informal discussion.

Comprising nearly thirty works, it showcases the New York–based artist’s large-scale oil-on-canvas portraits of friends, family, and neighbors. Often translated from photographs taken by Casteel, these portraits evoke a sense of casual, familial intimacy. They are almost self-consciously plainspoken. As the exhibition’s title suggests, Casteel’s subjects frequently look directly at the viewer, as if beckoning us to join them. But—more intriguing—many of Casteel’s sitters look past us, as if lost in a worry that we are not invited to share.

Jordan says it was her mother who showed her “how to use your voice actively in the world.” [Jordan’s mother Lauren, who is president and CEO of the Women’s Foundation of Colorado. Her maternal grandfather is Whitney Young, president of the National Urban League during the 60s.] It was her mother who encouraged her to apply to the best art graduate program, telling Jordan she would reimburse the $100 application fee if she didn’t get accepted. As painter in the humanist tradition, Jordan uses portraiture to lend presence and dignity to the overlooked, coming to know her subjects and serving as their advocate.

The shop will be closed. You can purchase the catalog online. In the comments section, add : “Please hold for Yale tour on 3.20”  They will be distributed at the viewing. If you order online and don’t add the comment, it will be shipped to your address.

After the viewing, those interested can gathering at a nearby establishment to-be-determined. The event and admission are free, but you must RSVP:  Jordan is looking forward to meeting with alumni, and turnout is expected to be high. So don’t miss this major art show with the opportunity of meeting the artist.

Jordan Casteel, Charles (2016); Photographs courtesy of the Denver Art Museum


Discussion with Artist John Boak ’70 at His 808 Projects One-Person Show

24 MARCH 2019 | 3:00 - 5:00 PM

John Boak, Shimokitazawa (2018)

The oil and digital paintings of past CYA president John Boak are available for viewing in a one-person show at 808 Projects, Denver, beginning First Friday, March 1st. The official opening is the following Friday, March 8th, from 5 to 8 pm.  Yalies will certainly want to celebrate with John that evening. If you plan to attend you might let him know: On Sunday, March 24th, starting at 3:00 pm, you can join fellow alumni and John for a discussion, a Colorado Yale Association and a Yale Alumni Art League event. Please RSVP to Stephanie Grilli:

John brings forth the flux of life by freezing movement with his camera. By moving his camera, he creates indistinct imagery in which light effects form otherworldly spaces and abstract designs. “His recent oil paintings explore the position of the photograph in our perception of ‘real’ images. His use of paint to render his blurred source photos creates a realism of the unconscious.” Working over a period of time, John moves away from the captured moment, when he makes his initial drawing on a surface. Adherence to the photograph or what it depicts slips away, as he applies pigment and develops the painterly relationships that emerge. His digital paintings “use photographic focus, along with brushwork to join disparate imagery and to release the viewer from the photographic sense of a specific place in the world of things.”


Reception with New Colorado Public Radio President, Stewart Vanderwilt

14 MARCH 2019 | 6:00 - 8:00 PM

Yale alum and Colorado Public Radio board member, Michael Dowling ’74 MFS ’82 MPPM ’82, invites CYA members to a private reception to meet Stewart Vanderwilt, CPR’s dynamic new CEO, on Thursday March 14th, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.  Vanderwilt is a national public media leader who joined Colorado Public Radio in July 2018 after a successful 18-year tenure as the head of award-winning news and music stations in Austin, Texas. At a time when news outlets are slashing staff, Vanderwilt has a vision for CPR that Yalies will want to know about, and there will be an opportunity for Q&A.

Michael says, “I served on the search committee that hired Stewart from among a very strong group of national candidates.  He is CPR’s first new leader in 40 years and is making many forward-looking changes to our programming line-up and to increase news reporting and production capabilities.  Stewart is deeply committed to community engagement and is reaching out to many listeners and leaders during his first year in Colorado.  He is a thoughtful and dynamic executive with a passionate commitment to public media–you will enjoy meeting him!”

The event is free, but attendance is limited to 35 CYA members and guests (up to one guest per member).  Please RSVP to Stephanie Grilli:  Shortly before the event, Michael’s address will be shared with those on the final attendance list. Drinks and light bites will be served.


“Destination Freedom” Presents “Black,” Directed and Produced by donnie l. betts Dra ’90 at the Newman Center

22 MARCH 2019 | 7:30 PM

With his radio series, Black Radio Days, donnie l. betts Dra ’90 honors the first nationwide African-American radio drama produced in Chicago 60 years ago. Having aired the historic program Destination Freedom, Betts continues its spirit with all new scripts, and recently he began a year-long look at gun violence, immigration, gender identity, and social justice with an audio voice. On Friday, March 22nd, Black by Lamaria Aminah directed and produced by betts will be performed in the Hamilton Recital Hall at the Newman Center. In keeping with the tradition of radio drama, a conversation tales place between a  black mother and a white mother who meet at a vigil for a young black man who has died at the hands of police.

After the live show, the audience will be able to enter into a discussion led by betts with a panel of community leaders, including Aurora Police Chief Nick Metz,  Black Lives Matter 5280 activists, Warm Cookies of the Revolution members, Dr. Deb Ortega of the Latino Center for Community Engagement and Scholarship at the University of Denver, and City Council member Angela Lawson. This topical one-night event should be of interest to many alumni.