Sunday, March 7, 2010
History Channel’s portrayal
Dear _Friends________ ,
Recently, national television has misrepresented Denver’s community. On March 5th, 2010 the History Channel aired an episode of Gangland with a segment on North Denver. During the segment the History Channel producers made an erroneous claim against the community art advocate Mr. Jeremy Silas Ulibarri, aka Jolt. The Gangland episode made a heinous association between a gang called North Side Mafia [NSM] and Jolt’s trademark “guerilla-gorilla.” Without checking their informational sources, the History Channel produced a montage that borrows Jolt’s well-known guerilla-gorilla and appropriated it for exploitive, entertainment purposes.
This misinformation threatens local businesses and residents that have commissioned Mr. Ulibarri’s public artwork, who proudly display his guerilla-gorilla. Within hours of airing the Gangland episode at least one local business with Jolt’s work was vandalized . Community members and businesses that support Mr. Ulibarri and his advocacy work are now threatened by slander. But far more concerning is the potential reaction from gangs regarding the misinformation from the History Channel episode.
We are concerned that the History Channel’s portrayal of North Denver could potentially increase gang related activity by falsely associating Mr. Ulibarri’s community work with the North Side Mafia. This letter is to firmly state for the record that Mr. Ulibarri has never been affiliated with gang activity. Throughout his tenure of community advocacy Jolt has worked towards the positive ends of encouraging community engagement through art.
It is unfortunate that Jolt’s work is now being associated with exactly the opposite of his mission statement, which is to “enhance the aesthetics of the urban environment through community projects and public art.” We know that through community support the erroneous claims made by the History Channel in regards to Jolt’s work will be corrected.
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. Please feel free to contact us regarding any questions you might have.
Guerilla Garden Studios