“Las Adas”: A Joint Endeavor with Museo de las Americas

This year, we are excited to announce our partnership with Museo de las Americas in Denver. The museum, dedicated to educating our community through collecting, preserving, interpreting and exhibiting the diverse arts and cultures of the Americas from ancient to contemporary, through innovative exhibitions and programs, will launch its exhibit, “Las Adas”, in October 2017, and we hope to display the art of survivors, advocates, and allies at the museum to commemorate the opening of this powerful exhibit. We will collect pieces from those willing to share their work throughout the next year (through mail, at region meetings, etc), to be used in an installation display at the Museo de las Americas next October!

Butterfly: A Story of Survival and Rebirth…and Art

The butterfly is a symbol of hope, joy, new beginnings, and a transformation or change.  Every butterfly is unique and beautiful in its own way, and  we have chosen the Monarch Butterfly as the focus of the 2016-2017 art project. Monarch butterflies fly up to 6,000 miles round-trip between their summer homes in North America and their winter homes in South America and Mexico. It takes them up to two months to travel each leg of the journey. Each butterfly only makes the trip once, and then its great-grandchildren make the trip the following year. 
More on the Monarch Butterfly

Together, let’s create a “kaleidoscope” (yes, that is the collective name for a group of butterflies), reflecting the journeys of survivors throughout Colorado. Using the examples below, feel free to create your own butterfly using words, colors, and shapes to express your experience and process of healing. And then create a short message of transformation to share, too! It will remain anonymous. Click here to find out how.

Questions for reflection (if using this exercise in a group setting):

  • How have my experiences transformed me?
  • What hopes do I have for myself and my children
  • What are my greatest and most beautiful strengths?
  • How do I envision my new beginning?

Ideas/templates for butterfly art activity and project. You can use this in survivor support groups, staff meetings, children’s groups, at awareness events, and other times throughout this next year. Of course, feel free to be creative and make a butterfly out of materials of your choice.

Step One: Print and cut out templates






Full-size butterfly
Medium-size butterfly
Small-size butterfly

Step Two: Trace the template onto card stock (we used file folders!)


Step Three: The fun part…use colored pencils, tissue paper, markers, quotes, drawings, etc. to make the butterfly your own

Step Four: Display.

Display the butterflies that you can keep in your lobby, conference room, office, etc. Feel free to share a picture of your butterfly, a piece of your story, a thought, a quote on Violence Free Colorado’s Facebook page (use #DVAM2016), on Instagram @ccadv1 (don’t forget to tag us!), or email them to apohl(at)violencefreeco.org to post anonymously.






When you’re done, we want to collect them by August 25, 2017! Box them up and send them to Violence Free Colorado, or keep them to deliver to Violence Free Colorado staff at a training, Region Meeting, or annual CAIA Conference. We’ll take it from there. They will be displayed at the Museo de las Americas in October 2017 to open the “Las Adas” exhibit!

Creating Your Message to Share

Transformation Message PDF

Record or submit in writing your message of transformation and it will be featured in “Las Adas,” an exhibit at the Museo de las Americas in Denver for Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October (You can record it yourself with a smartphone using the recording and submission tips
OR you can submit a written message which will be read and recorded by Violence Free Colorado Survivors’ Caucus.
Throughout the process, any personal identifying information will be kept confidential.)

Recording Tips
  • When recording, try to find a quiet space that is on the smaller side, to minimize echoing effect.
  • Hold the phone microphone about 6 inches from the speaker’s chin.
  • Begin by pressing record and let the app record silence for 5 seconds. Say your message. Before ending your recording, record another 5 seconds silence. Press stop.
  • Take a moment to review the recording with headphones on. Feel free to re-record if there was an interruption, overwhelming background sounds, or it is difficult to hear you speaking.
  • Rename your recording First Name, Last Initial.
  • Get ready to send to ccadv.dvam@nullgmail.com!