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About Tesoro Cultural Center

Most Tesoro Events and Education Programs are held at The Fort, 19192 Highway 8, Morrison, Colorado – in Southwest Denver “Red Rocks Country”

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Our Mission

The Tesoro Cultural Center (Tesoro means “Treasure” in Spanish) is committed to protecting and making available to the community the artistic treasures of our American past. All Tesoro events are inspired by Colorado’s rich history and shared experiences with Southwest, Spanish, Mexican, Native American, African American and Early European cultures. From art to cuisine to historical re-enactments and music, the Tesoro Foundation’s mission is to create community based events and educational outreach programs designed to enrich and celebrate our cultural heritage.

a clock on the side of a building

Land Acknowledgement Statement: American Indian Nations who call Colorado home

Since its founding in 1999, the Tesoro Cultural Center’s Mission Statement has recognized and celebrated Native American Indian Cultures. Tesoro’s signature annual June event, created in 2000, is the Indian Market & Powwow, celebrating today’s American Indian nations and featuring award winning artists and intertribal Powwow competitors. American Indian patriots who fought bravely in American wars, and many of Colorado Indian nations are honored at this event. The public event reaches thousands of visitors.

Tesoro acknowledges the four bands of Ute Nations, the Kiowa, the Southern and Northern Cheyenne, the Southern and Northern Arapaho, the Pawnee, the Lakota and many other Indian Nations that call this beautiful land home. In Colorado’s history, many injustices impacted our American Indian Nations that called this land home, including the removal of most tribes following the Sand Creek massacre on November 29, 1864.

Consistent with Tesoro’s commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, understanding the historical and current experiences of Native peoples will help inform the work we do; collectively engaging in building relationships through academic scholarship, and collaborative partnerships, acknowledging our past, our present and future Native Nations. We gratefully acknowledge the Native Peoples on whose ancestral homelands we gather, as well as the diverse and vibrant Native communities who make their home here today.

Non-Profit Designation

Organized under the Colorado Non-Profit Corporation Act, Tesoro Cultural Center has received tax -exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) Internal Revenue Code. Tesoro received its first Letter of Determination in August 2001. In May 2010, Tesoro met the 60-month support test and was then designated by the IRS as a full public 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Tesoro Cultural Center is a membership based, cultural institution with government, corporate and individual donors. Proceeds from all events directly benefit Tesoro’s programming. Click here to see the IRS Letter of Determination.

Strategic Plan and Board of Directors

Tesoro Board of Directors and Advisory Board created a Strategic Plan, to strengthen the organization.  Today, we have expanded our Board of Directors to include nine members and 12 Advisory members. Three board meetings occur annually.