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         "The Desert Was Brilliant and It Was Hard":


A Learning and Travel Course from Brooks Center for Spirituality   about Colorado and the Mountain Southwest

Come into a whole new vision of who and where you are!

During the coming growing season—through films, videos, an interactive, colorful, image-illustrated website, brief online readings, and lively, informal meetings—explore the surreal rendezvous of Europeans of assorted origins, Indians of various tribes, and African Americans in a difficult time and place. Then travel with us in the fall to see the landscape and cultures with new eyes! This learning/travel adventure, facilitated by Jane Kopp, Ph.D., a native of the region, looks into the sometimes exhilarating, sometimes terrible, but always astonishing story of the American Southwest. "It couldn't have happened that way"-- but it did.

Format: A combination of online presentation,  bimonthly in-person  meetings (optional), and a four-day trip to New Mexico in September.  Both the trip and in-person meetings are optional (in other words, the whole course can be done as online distance learning), but if you can help it you won't want to miss lively informal group discussions and socializing!


Location: In Denver, near the intersection of Colorado Blvd and I-25. (Participants will be sent the exact address.) .


First (Preliminary) Meeting: Early May.  (For exact date, time, and location, phone or email: see below. ) Even if you're undecided, come for FAQ. At this meeting, we'll can decide together on future dates and times.  (We'll do our best to accommodate everyone involved.)


Cost: $250 over the six months duration of the group. May be paid in installments, but pay upfront and receive a $50 discount.  Not included: travel, food, and lodging during the travel portion of the course (these will be left to individual preference, though we will provide suggestions).


space limited to 10 participants,so let us know as soon as possible!


                or 303-759-5985 


               People say about this course . . . (scroll down)


"You can be familiar with a place for years and never know some very important things about it! This was really a very rich experience."—Mary Duell, Denver


“This class broke open my preconceived notions of the Southwest, the Pueblo Indians, and the tragic but fascinating influence of the Spanish and Anglo cultures as they penetrated the region. The course material and discussions were always enlightening and paced just right to give us time to absorb the information and consider how historical events have affected contemporary culture, art, and literature. As an English teacher and writer, I was thrilled to discover regional authors I had not yet read, especially Gloria Anzaldúa.”      

—Rebecca Snow, author of Glassmusick, Ft. Collins


"The desert was brilliant, and we had fun!"—Stephanie Frank


"A vibrant, bloody, brutal yet compassionate and reflective view of the desert of the Southwestern United States and the people who have inhabited and do inhabit the region."

                                                                        —Joe DeRose, Denver


"New to the Southwest, my wife and I found this class to be a multi-faceted introduction to the rich history and culture of the area. Jane Kopp, a long-time resident, brings a wealth of knowledge and skills to the table. Course readings (and videos, etc.) are thoughtfully selected, and support wide-ranging discussion. The culminating four-day group excursion to New-Mexico is immeasurably meaningful. It’s one thing to read about the people, places, and events of the Southwest culture. But to actually visit some of these sites and travel some of this territory makes it all the more moving and powerful. A wonderful experience."

                                                 —Chuck and Susan Semple, Castle Rock


The deep, often tragic, history of the Southwest from the Ancient Puebloans to the present explored through the prism of historic journals, European conquests, westward settlement, art and the reflections of contemporary native voices, fosters a rich appreciation for the myriad influences which have shaped and continue to shape this part of the country.  

                                                             —Cat DeRose, Denver

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