Moab Happenings Archive
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Non Profit Happenings May 2011
Dia de las Madres
May 10th

Cortez Birder Festival
May 11th - 15th

Documentary Film: Split Estate
May 21st

Mother’s Day / “Día de las Madres”

Photo of Dia de las Madres, or Mothers Day festivitiesThe Moab Valley Multicultural Center (MVMC) is proud to announce our annual Mother’s Day Celebration Honoring Mothers from every culture. An amazing group of children from Moab’s very own “Ballet Folklórico” will perform traditional dances from the Mexican and Aztec cultures. There will be savory dishes created by some of our famous local Latino Chefs, included homemade Mole.

Join us in honoring Mothers of all cultures, during this all ages, family event, with food, dance and celebration; Moab Valley Multicultural Center will highlight the commonalities and humanity that all cultures shares.

Mother’s Day is an annual holiday that recognizes mothers, motherhood and maternal bonds in general, as well the positive contributions that they make to society. “Día de las Madres” is an unofficial holiday in Mexico held each year on May 10 and is celebrated in a colorful festive fashion. For Mexicans, it is the time to reflect and rejoice the greatness of motherhood. A mother bears a lot of pain, trouble and suffering while bringing her child to the world and continues to sacrifice for him/her all her life. She sacrifices all her needs and wants to make the life painless and pleasing for her child. Such a day gives the child a chance to pay homage to that blessed soul. The first North American Mother’s Day was conceptualized in the U.S. with Julia Ward Howe’s Mother’s Day Proclamation in 1870. She had written The Battle Hymn of the Republic 12 years earlier. The highly traditional practice of honoring of Motherhood is rooted in antiquity. Pagan societies tended to celebrate Goddesses and symbols rather than actual Mothers.
Photo of two children
About MVMC: The Moab Valley Multicultural Center (MVMC) is a non-profit organization established in 2007. Our mission is to promote intercultural understanding and appreciation, and broaden opportunities for immigrants, indigenous and other minorities through education, family support, and community collaboration.


Birders Return To Birding Festival in May

From May 11th to the 15th, birdwatchers from as far away as Massachusetts, North Carolina and Montana will migrate to the unlikely town of Cortez for one of the region’s friendliest birding festivals. But most of the 100 or so people who register for the 7th annual Ute Mountain/Mesa Verde Birding Festival will be Four Corners regulars who return year after year for their favorite tours and tour leaders.

“We have developed a reputation as a small, friendly birding festival that welcomes beginners and more advanced birders alike,” says this year’s coordinator, Linda Raczek. “Our faithful tour leaders are what really makes it happen. Well-known Western Slope birders like Coen Dexter, Brenda Wright, and Jim Beatty have lead tours every year. All of our leaders volunteer. They do it because they love birding, and their passion comes through.”
The Ute Mountain/Mesa Verde Birding Festival started in 2005 as a fundraiser for the Cortez Cultural Center--a small museum, gift shop and nonprofit that highlights the diverse culture, arts, and natural features of the Four Corners. The City of Cortez has embraced the festival, producing award-winning posters and brochures, and organizations throughout the community donate their vans for the tours.

Each year the festival brings back its most popular tours, with names like the Owl Hoot, Bradfield Bridge Tour, Winetasting in McElmo Canyon, and Horses of Disappointment Valley. A strenuous hike into Yellow Jacket Canyon to see the only nesting Lucy’s Warbler in Colorado is always a big draw for birders keeping Colorado lists. Tours that feature the archaeological features of the area, like Mesa Verde National Park and the Ute Mountain Tribal Park, give participants an opportunity to see them from a different perspective.

2011 brings several new tours, such as Birds and Brews, a tour of Montezuma County breweries while birding along the way. “Our thinking was, all these tours have ‘designated drivers’—why not take advantage of that and showcase an emerging local industry?” says Raczek, who recruited 3 breweries, a distillery, and a popular bakery to serve locally roasted coffee with the distillery’s kahlua or rum. A local outfitter is offering a Birding by Horseback outing into the lower Dolores Canyon, where nesting falcons on the cliff walls and early warblers along the river will entice birders and horse fans alike.

Each year the Colorado Division of Wildlife sponsors the festival, allowing the offering of a free beginning birding tour and lecture. This gives people an opportunity to “try out” the festival, or to gain confidence before going on one of the regular tours, not realizing that all tours encourage learning from one another.
The high point of the festival is the Saturday night keynote speaker, banquet, and silent auction where birders have vied for anything from a birding bed and breakfast near Bosque del Apache to field guides or bird art and collectibles. This year’s keynote speaker is Tony Apa, a specialist in sage grouse recovery from the Colorado Division of Wildlife in Grand Junction.

One annual custom has been to offer an overnight trip. “We’ve seen screech owls in Bluff with Utah birder Lu Giddings, condors near Vermillion Cliffs, and cranes in Bosque del Apache. This year a night at Far View Lodge, located in Mesa Verde National Park, a gourmet dinner at the renowned Metate Room, and an early morning bird walk in MVNP will round out the week with a little high-end birding!” jokes Raczek. “Who knows, maybe Moab is next!”
To register or for more registration, go to or call (970)565-1151.

Documentary Film Screening in Moab
Photo for "Split Estate" , a documentary film screening in Moab on May 21The documentary film Split Estate will be screened in Moab on Saturday May 21st at the Moab Arts and Recreation Center (MARC) at 7 PM. This compelling Emmy Award winning film shows the dirty side of hydraulic fracturing and natural gas, an energy source the industry touts as a clean alternative to fossil fuels. Filmmaker Debra Anderson of Red Rock Pictures will attend the screening along with Calvin Tillman, Mayor of DISH, Texas and co-founder of the non-profit ShaleTest who was featured in the Academy Award nominated film Gasland. This educational event is an opportunity to answer questions you may have about how the oil and gas industry is affecting citizens’ health and the environment in Grand County.
Split Estate portrays the devastating effect that oil and natural gas drilling has on the health of families and the environment in the Rocky Mountain West. Former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson said, “This film is of value to anyone wrestling with rational, sustainable energy policy.”

The health and private property rights of the people of Mayor Tillman’s town, in the heart of the Barnett Shale in Texas, have been negatively impacted by bad industry practices. Mr. Tillman is not against gas development but he is for environmental and social justice. In March of 2011 he moved his family away from DISH after his children’s health was compromised from exposure to toxic chemicals commonly used in the industry. Last year, he co-founded ShaleTest which provides environmental testing of air, water and soil for people impacted by natural gas development who are unable to pay for costly testing services.

This event is being co-sponsored by Grand Canyon Trust, The SLC Film Center and ShaleTest. For more information please call 435- 259-8702 and be sure to mention you read about it in Moab Happenings.
Saturday May 21st 7:00 PM
The Moab Arts and Recreation Center (MARC)
217 East Center Street, Moab, Utah
Donations accepted to sponsoring non-profit orgs,,
Co-sponsored by Grand Canyon Trust, SLC Film Center, ShaleTest
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