The Americas for the Arts, Inc



A Latina-led and founded nonprofit, Americas for Conservation + the Arts (AFC+A) is a environmental organization founded in 2011 committed to powering inclusive environmental and cultural workspaces. We do this through our award winning main programs:
  • The annual Americas Latino Eco-Festival ALEF -now in its 10th edition- (leveraging the arts and Latino American leadership for conservation gains)
  • Our indie publishing arm, Mandel Vilar Press MVP  (advancing diversity and conservation in publishing)
  • Our community nature health workers Promotores Verdes (growing outdoor recreation based environmental literacy and green workforce development by elevating the economic, conservation, and health benefits of human-nature connections and an outdoor recreation economy)
  • Our youth leadership training camp, United Cultures for Arts + Nature U-CAN (building a more diverse generation of environmental stewards), and
  • Journey for Climate Justice (raising climate change awareness and advocacy thorugh outdoor adventure). All programs aim at environmental and multicultural education and an anti racist conservation and cultural agenda.
AFC+A is the only Puerto Rican American founded and led environmental organization of its size and mission in Colorado (our home base) and one of only a handful of Latina founded and led enviros in the country addressing BOTH of these breakdowns in equity and inclusion:
  • Brown citizens make up 40% of the US population but only 8% of environmental organizations.
  • Less than 1% of what the average US citizen reads is from a book in translation vis a vis most of the social democracies of Europe (Norway, Germany, France, etc) which are reading above 35% in translation. Only 4% of what is being published in the United States is from a minority voice/writer.
We could actually measure the health index of a democracy by looking at this segregated environmental and cultural production workspace. A healthy democracy cannot thrive when inequity of this magnitude prevails.
Supporting organizations like AFC+A is a direct action to bridge these gaps and assure those sitting at the decision making table regarding the stewardship of our natural resources and cultural assets needed for advancing healthy communities reflect equity and inclusion.
As a BIPOC non profit organization we are, in the face of COVID 19 & the systemic barriers undermining inclusion the Black Lives Matter movement has unveiled, in much need of support to help safeguard this threatened and most fragile ecosystem of a diverse and equitable non profit sector. Founder Ireve Vilar Bio
We have received multiple awards, most recently the 2020 SHIFT AWARD for Non Prodit Leadership. 2020 SHIFT AWARD | 2018 Colorado Environmental Education Innovation Award | City of Denver Mayor's Awards for Excellence in Culture Imagine 2020 | City of Denver Office of Sustainability Community Builder 2016 Love This Place Award | Governor John Hickenlooper Colorado Proclamation | NEEF 2018 National Public Lands Day National Initiative Showcase | City of Denver 6th ALEF Monarch Pledge
Audubon Magazine: What Three Days in Denver Taught Me about Hope and Climate Change
Confluence Denver: Americas Latino Eco Festival: Celebrating the Next Generation of Climate Activists
Grist: Latino eco-festival hosts big stars, bigger ideas
Huffpost: A New Shade of Green Collaborations Taking Shape in Boulder
Smithonian Magazine: Latinos Are Suffering the First Effects of Climate Change, Their Voices Need to Be Heard Americas Latino Eco Festival
EDF: Annual festival reinforces strong Latino connection to the environment
NBC: Americas Latino Eco-Festival Aims For Action On Environment
Earthjustice: Latino Leaders Unite to Demand Climate Action at ALEF
Boulder Weekly: We’re all in this together! Americas Latino Eco Festival explores the path to environmental victory | Americas Latino Eco-Festival leader is on a mission to brown the green movement
Westword: Americas Latin Eco-Festival Builds the Latino Environmental Movement
KGNU: Bringing More Diversity to Environmental Stewardship
EFE: Festival Ecológico reúne a artistas y líderes ambientalistas en Colorado
The Wall Street Journal: Review: A Refugee From WASPworld Returns to ‘Where We Lived' Mandel Vilar Press
Times Union: The 2020 Skipping Stones Honor Awards: Check Them Out! Mandel Vilar Press
Florida Book Awards (2018): 1st Place Young Adult-Tara Lynn Masih, St. Augustine, “My Real Name Is Hanna” Mandel Vilar Press
MLA Book Awards (2017): Fenia and Yaakov Leviant Memorial Prize in Yiddish Studies Winner for Ellen Cassedy and Yermiyahu Ahron Taub for their translation of “Oedipus in Brooklyn” and Other Stories, by Blume Lempel Mandel Vilar Press
International Latino Book Awards (2020) “Best Book in Political Science and History” for Charles Kamasaki's "The Corpe That Would Not Die" Mandel Vilar Press
Foreword Indies Awards (2019): INDIES Book of the Year Winner Juvenile Nonfiction for Theodore Bikel’s The City of Light By Aimee Ginsburg Bikel Illustrations by Noah Phillips Mandel Vilar Press
Foreword Indies Awards (2019): INDIES Winner Humor for Bob Mankoff Roz Chast's Have I Got a Cartoon for You! Mandel Vilar Press
Foreword Indies Awards (2018): INDIES Winner Historical Fiction for Tara Lynn Masih's My Real Name Is Hanna Mandel Vilar Press
Foreword Indies Awards (2016): INDIES Winner Science Fiction for Pedro Cabiya's "Wicked Weeds" Mandel Vilar Press
Washington Post: Wicked Weeds,’ and other science fiction books to read this month Mandel Vilar Press
Los Angeles Review of Books: “Kill the Ámpaya!”: On Latin American Baseball Fiction | When Israel Was Socialist Mandel Vilar Press
The Times of Israel: Got a Jewish novel in your drawer? Now might be the time to pull it out | It’s not all sun and fun in Miami Beach Mandel Vilar Press
Jerusalem Post: Introducing children to the Holocaust-Bikel’s story seeks to inspire emerging from the darkest of places Mandel Vilar Press
Valley News: Light remains: Late author Theodore Bikel, who fled Nazis, will be honored at Solvang book signing Mandel Vilar Press
Forward: ‘Oedipus In Brooklyn And Other Stories’: Dark Themes And Complex Women Mandel Vilar Press
Jewish Week: 38 Books To Read This Fall Mandel Vilar Press
Hadassah Magazine: A Different Vision of a Jewish Homeland Mandel Vilar Press
Foreword Reviews Mandel Vilar Press
Today Magazine: From Diversity to Holocaust-Nonprofit Publisher Spotlights Underrepresented Literary Voices Mandel Vilar Press
Brooklyn Daily Eagle: Brooklyn book ties childhood with Jackie Robinson Mandel Vilar Press

Mission Statement

Advancing healthy communities through environmental and cultural stewardship that can best bridge the outdoor and creative inclusion gaps and serve the most underserved.

Program Details

AFC+A's AGENDA FOR 2021 builds on our shared views on social and environmental justice,  including advancing equity and diversity in both the conservation and book culture workspace, climate change literacy, healthy forests and ecosystems, and helping reconnect underseved communities with nature and outdoor recreation. We will contnue to advocate for women's rights and for the integrity and well-being of children and families raising awareness of the interdependence of our health and that of our natural resources and the biodiversity of our environment.
TOGETHER, WE ARE STRONGER. In 2018-2020, with little funding and through much social capital including dozens of innovative partnerships and collaborations in Colorado, Puerto Rico, and Mexico, AFC+A achieved the following:
  • 12 published books though our publishing arm, Mandel Vilar Press (for a total of 30 since the Press' launch in 2015) | Eight book awards and six finalists | The acquisition of the prestigious Moment Books, now an imprint of MVP and publication of its 4 first titles: ELIE WIESEL: An Extraordinary Life and Legacy –Writings, Reflections, Photographs, edited by Nadine Epstein | THE CITY OF LIGHT by Theodore Bikel with Aimee Ginsburg Bikel, illustrated by Noah Phillips | HAVE I GOT A CARTOON FOR YOU! The Moment Magazine Book of Jewish Cartoons ( compiled by Bob Mankoff, Cartoon and Humor Editor for Esquire and former New Yorker Cartoon Editor) | Can Robots Be Jewish? Edited by Amy E. Schwartz (Foreword by Rabbi Irving (Yitz) Greenberg Afterword by Rabbi Shira Stutman)
  • 4 ALEF editions (1 Colorado, 1 Puerto Rico, 2 Mexico) reaching an audience of over 20,000 including the largest bioblitz conducted in Puerto Rico-and during our festivals' signature bioblitzes) with 32 schools and 8,000 students
  • 103 community events advancing environmental and cultural literacy
  • 5 environmental leadership summer camps | 132 Promotores Verdes-UCAN youth graduates (Estes Park, Colorado-Jamestown, CO-Jayuya, Puerto Rico-Orocovis, Puerto Rico-Taxco, Mexico)
  • 24 Promotores Verdes-Puerto Rico teachers training graduates with accreditation from the University of Puerto Rico Department of Continuing Education
  • 68 + Families Trained and Engaged as Promotores Verdes
  • 2 concept designs (an adventure eco park & a resilience and food hub center) for municipalities in Puerto Rico in partnership with the School of Architecture and Planning of the University of Denver
  • 119 OutdoorRx events
  • 28 Presentations and Trainings
  • 20,441 People Reached
Our work has been recognized by the Hispanic Federation Amanece Fund, the Annenberg Foundation, USDA, The Nature Conservancy, Milton A. & Charlotte R. Kamer Charitable Foundation, The Morning Star Foundation, Maine Community Foundation, The Oscar & Evelyn Overton Charitable Foundation, Puerto Rico Unidos, among many other national and international entities. AFC+A is a member of the United Nations Association’s Council of Organizations and works with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, building strategic partnerships with private and public partners to advance sustainable social, ecological and economic solutions.
Our Mission Americas for Conservation +the Arts is an environmental nonprofit advancing healthy communities in the face of climate change through environmental and cultural stewardship that can best bridge the outdoor and creative inclusion gaps and serve the most underserved. Our Vision All communities must have equal access to education and a healthy environment. Arts grow and sustain healthy communities and social justice. Intersectionality is the foundation for transformational change. Our Core Values JUSTICE, demands equality of opportunity RESILIENCE, overcomes adversity INCLUSIVENESS, advances justice collaboration, powers intersectionality INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS, grow resilience and transformational change AUTHENTIC LEADERSHIP, speaks Jemez Principles EMPOWERMENT, stems from all our Core Values
501c3 TAX EXEMPT July 2012 IRS: 32-0261204 | State of Colorado: 20143025925 | Puerto Rico Hacienda: 412997 Registration: 1079786-0026  Tax Exempt: 2018-1101.01.370 
2020 Guidestar Platinum Seal of Transparency

Primary Issue
Climate Change
430 west 9th avenue
denver, CO 80206
United States
Social Media Links