English In Action and Writ Large Bring Local Immigrant Stories to the Willits Stage

On Thursday, November 30, 2017, English In Action and Writ Large team up to present Immigrant Voices, a live storytelling experience. The program takes place at The Temporary in Willits, with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. This event brings seven local immigrants to the stage to tell their stories of coming to the Roaring Fork Valley. Performing without scripts, the seven will share heartfelt stories of their personal experience of leaving home and creating a new future.

The participants hail from five different countries on three continents. The speakers are: Bernardina Bañuelos, Samuel Bernal, and Estela Garcia and, all from Mexico, plus Miguel Carballo from El Salvador, Nicholas Vesey from the United Kingdom, Shinta Damayanti from Indonesia and Kristina Mace from Hungary. Each speaker will tell the story of his or her own unique immigration experience, the challenges and successes, the roadblocks and solutions.

The speakers—many of whom have never performed on stage—have been coached and aided by Alya Howe of Writ Large, who will also curate the program. Howe established Writ Large in Aspen as a slam of true stories told to live audiences without scripts or notes. An award-winning UK born dancer, storyteller, poet and performance artist, Howe is the founder of Under Alya’s Umbrella whose performing arts programs include The Poetry Brothel, Writ Large and The Salon.

About Immigrant Voices, Howe says, “It takes courage to speak in public, imagine how much courage it takes to stand up and speak in your non-native tongue…it has been a privilege to work with all these storytellers and to journey with them to be there for opening night.”

The speakers include well-known community members, as well as adult English language learners from English In Action. “Every day we hear amazing stories of overcoming adversity and finding community in a new country,” said the organization’s executive director, Lara Beaulieu. “This event was conceived as a way to share these important stories with the community at large, and to highlight the diversity and contributions of immigrants in our Valley.

Tickets and Information
For tickets to Immigrant Voices or to get more information about English In Action, go to www.englishinaction.org or call (970) 963-9200. Tickets also available at the door.

For more on Alya Howe and Under Alya’s Umbrella, go to https://alyahowe.org.

Event Details
What:      Immigrant Voices
Where:    The Temporary, The Arts Campus at Willits (360 Market Street, Basalt)
Date:       Thursday, November 30
Time:       Doors at 6:30 pm for refreshments; Performance at 7:00 pm
Cost:       $10 at the door or at www.englishinaction.org


English In Action, the Roaring Fork Valley’s premiere organization building cross-cultural bridges, hosts its annual Fiesta de Tamales Saturday, October 14, from 5 – 8 pm at Eagle Crest Nursery in El Jebel. This joyful family-friendly event draws together hundreds of community members from different backgrounds. An authentic celebration of the diverse cultural traditions that coexist in the Roaring Fork Valley, the Fiesta presents a harmonious way for residents and neighbors who may not ordinarily comingle to socialize in an informal setting.

Now in its 7th year, the Fiesta also serves as a fun and affordable fundraiser, with all proceeds going directly to support English In Action’s mission to help adults learn English and foster a more cohesive community. Admission to the Fiesta includes a homemade tamale and pupusa dinner; entertainment by Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Folklórico and salsa dancers; a DJ courtesy of Radio Tricolor; piñatas for the kids; art activities from The Art Base, plus prize drawings for $1000 in cash and a deluxe Aspen ski vacation. Tickets are $20/adult and $7/child in advance, or $25/adult and $10/child at the door.

New this year is a contest to crown the Valley’s Best Tamale. English In Action students and tutors will prepare tamales from secret family and regional recipes from Mexico and Latin America. Guests will have the opportunity to sample and vote for their favorites.

“The Fiesta de Tamales is unlike any other event in the Roaring Fork Valley,” says Lara Beaulieu, executive director of English In Action. “It provides a much needed opportunity for immigrants and other locals to honor not only our diverse cultural traditions but, perhaps even more important, our common humanity. It’s a truly delightful event for the whole family.”

Grassroots activism and an army of volunteers make this authentic cross-cultural community event possible. Former English In Action student Alma Guzman, who now does private catering, will provide the tamale meal, with pupusas courtesy of Panadería San Miguel in El Jebel.

The Fiesta de Tamales is additionally supported by a host of local businesses and individuals, including Top Sponsor Alpine Bank, and Big Enchilada sponsors Alchemy Audio Visual, Aspen Public Radio, Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty, Aspen Times, Bethel Party Rentals, Crawford Properties, Daly Property Services, Eagle Crest Nursery, Frias Properties, Holy Cross Energy, Jaywalker Lodge, Obermeyer Wood Investment Counsel, Reese Henry and Company, Timberline Bank, Town of Basalt, Umbrella Incorporated, Whitman Fine Properties.

About English In Action

English in Action is an El Jebel-based nonprofit whose mission is building community and intercultural relationships through language development. This is occurs through one-on-one and small group tutoring programs where volunteers meet with students of all nationalities to help them learn English in an effort to improve their lives and the lives of their families.

English In Action currently serves 330 adults annually with the help of 230 volunteer tutors—a 40% increase over the last two years. There continues to be growing demand for the organization’s programs. At present, English In Action has a waiting list of more than 100 adults eager to learn or improve their English. The organization is actively seeking new volunteer tutors to help meet this need.

Tickets and information

For tickets to the Fiesta de Tamales or for the Prize Drawing (attendance not required to win) or to get more information about English In Action, go to www.englishinaction.org or call (970) 963-9200.

For photos or additional information contact: Lara Beaulieu, Executive Director, lara@englishinaction.org or (970) 963-9200.

Event Details

What:     Fiesta de Tamales

Where:   Eagle Crest Nursery, El Jebel (400 Gillespie Drive)

When: Saturday, October 14, 5 – 8 pm,
Cost:    $20/adult, $7/child in advance (by 10/13); $25/adult, $10/child at the door

For more information contact:
Lara Beaulieu, Executive Director
English in Action


International Superstar Fernando Allende to Appear in Concert at English In Action Benefit

Aspen, Colorimage1ado  (June 23, 2017) – Fernando Allende, the internationally renowned recording artist, visual artist, film and television star, will appear in concert in a benefit for English In Action, the Roaring Fork Valley’s premier nonprofit organization working to build cross-cultural bridges in our community. The reception and concert will take place Wednesday, July 12, 6:30 – 9:30 pm at Belly Up Aspen.

Aspen Peak Magazineand Gallery 1949 have teamed up to bring Fernando Allende back to the Roaring Fork Valley. The Latino superstar (and former Aspen resident) has starred in numerous Spanish-language films, in addition to enjoying a lengthy career in Hollywood. Mr. Allende will be accompanied onstage by Denver-based Mariachi Sol de mi Tierra. The evening promises to be both lively and romantic, with Mr. Allende’s repertoire including many beloved Mexican and Latin American ballads. All proceeds from the event go directly to English In Action’s programs in support of the Valley’s immigrant community. The evening includes a VIP reception and live auction from 6:30-8:00 pm, followed by a concert from 8:00-9:00 pm. Space is limited. Tickets may be purchased at Belly Up Aspen or 970-544-9800, ext.121.

Also in July, Gallery 1949 will feature Fernando Allende’s exuberant paintings, with artist receptions on July 5 and 11.

“We are thrilled to have an artist of Fernando Allende’s caliber to help showcase our efforts to extend a hand of friendship to adult immigrants eager to improve their English language skills in order to better their lives and the lives of their families,” said Lara Beaulieu, executive director of English in Action. “Fernando Allende is a passionate performer whose dynamic presence will transport us to another world.”

In addition to presenting sponsors Aspen Peak Magazine and Gallery 1949, this event is made possible by the following sponsors: Alpine Bank; Aspen Public Radio; Aspen Times; Obermeyer Wood Investment Counsel; Reese Henry & Company; and Umbrella Incorporated. Live auction items include a 7-day, 6-night stay at Secrets Huatulco Resort and Spa in Mexico, a painting by Fernando Allende and two six-month memberships at the Aspen Club and Spa.

About Fernando Allende

Award-winning actor, performer, artist, and heartthrob Fernando Allende was born in Mexico City and has family roots in Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico and Spain. One of the most recognizable faces in Hispanic television and film, Mr. Allende is credited with being among the first actors of his generation to cross over from Latin America to Hollywood.  Allende became an instant sensation among Latin American audiences when he appeared as romantic hero, “Efraín”, in María (1972), a film version of Jorge Isaacs‘s classic novel.  He went on to share the screen with such Hollywood luminaries as Joanne Woodward, Tony Curtis, Angela Landsbury, Peter Ustinov, and many others. Fernando Allende has starred in more than 32 motion pictures and has appeared in TV shows such as Miami Vice, Flamingo Road and The Hitchhiker. Last year, Mr. Allende stared in the primetime global hit, Muchacha Italiana Viene a Casarse, which aired daily on Univision.

Mr. Allende has received numerous awards, including the ACE Lifetime Achievement Award New York (2015), Harlequin Lifetime Achievement Award (2015), and the Mexican Radio Association Lifetime Achievement Award (2014).

Mr. Allende started singing mariachi in 1959, at the age of seven. He restarted his music career in 2001 and has recorded more than 250 songs, previously selling out two performances at the Wheeler Opera House. His painting career also took off in 2001, featuring a unique and vibrant style.

Mr. Allende—who also produces his own brand of Tequila—currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Mari. His youngest son, Adán—a talented singer as well—has been featured on Univision’s “La Banda.”

More at www.fernandoallende.net.

About English In Action

English In Action was founded 23 years ago to bridge the communication gap in the Roaring Fork Valley. Our mission is to strengthen the quality of life for everyone in our community by helping adult immigrants learn to read, write and speak English, and by building cross-cultural relationships. We do this through one-on-one and small group tutoring using volunteer tutors. As a result of these programs, our adult students are better able to obtain jobs, get medical help when their children are sick, support their kids in school, effectively manage their daily lives, and become more engaged members of our community. While learning English is the foundation of our tutoring program, English in Action is proud to report that our students and volunteer tutors often develop deep and enduring friendships. Breaking down cultural barriers is no small feat, but the benefits of nurturing a more integrated and harmonious community in which all members have a voice are immeasurable. More at www.englishinaction.org.

Fun in the Snow

This spring, two dozen tutors and students and their families joined English In Action staff for our 7th annual snowshoeing tour on the top of Aspen Mountain. Many of our students have worked in and around Aspen for years but had never been up the gondola. They were deeply impressed by the vast beauty of our valley, especially seen from this vantage point for the very first time.

At the top, the adventure began with heavy winds and cold Snow Kim & Itemperatures, but as the tour went on, the skies cleared and everyone enjoyed the views, gaining a new perspective of where we live. The ACES tour guides gave us an informative and fun tour in both Spanish and English, covering local history and ecology. Along the way, there was a lot of laughter. People made snow angels, had snowball fights and took advantage of the many photo opportunities.

After the tour, we had lunch at the Sundeck, giving tutoring pairs a chance to get to know each other better.  The ride down was blustery, and we made it to the bottom just moments before they closed the gondola due to high winds. Despite the weather, everyone had smiles on their faces as they exited, already talking about their next trip to the top of Aspen Mountain.

Thank you to Aspen Skiing Company for providing foot passes, to ACES for a fabulous tour, and to the Sundeck for the discounted lunch vouchers!


Video: How English In Action Changes Lives

Watch this inspiring video about how English In Action has changed the life of student, Gloria Castillo as well as the life of her tutor, Lynn Nichols.

Without you, English In Action’s work would not be possible! Annually, we rely on the support of more than 300 individuals, grant makers and local businesses. Nearly half of our annual support comes from individuals, including many of our students, who sometimes struggle to make ends meet but deeply value the opportunities learning English offers them. View our other success stories.