New Mexico Distinguished Public Service Awards 2004
Recognizing Those Committed to Making a Difference
Denise Chavez
Ms. Chavez is a native of Las Cruces, New Mexico. A novelist, short story writer, playwright, actress and teacher, Chavez considers herself a Performance Writer. She has presented readings and workshops for multi-cultural, multigenerational audiences of all ages including students K- 12, college students, the elderly as well as men and women in prison.
She is the founder of Sin Fronteras, Writers Without Borders as well as the Cultural Center of Mesilla/EI Centro Cultural de Mesilla "C.C.M.," a multi-cultural arts center based in Mesilla, New Mexico.
Chavez is the 2003 Hispanic Heritage Foundation Award Honoree in Literature. The award is given to Hispanic role models whose professional achievements and contributions have touched national life and culture. as well as given back to their community.
Chavez's recent honors also include the 2004 Literary Award from the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque. In May 2004, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Letters from the University of New Mexico. Chavez has been named the 2004 Distinguished Alumni in the College of Arts and Sciences at New Mexico State University.
Chavez serves on the National Advisory Board of the National Hispanic Cultural Center. From 2000-2003, Chavez was awarded a Lila Wallace Reader's Digest fellowship to present writing workshops in the Las Cruces community. She is the recipient of the 1998 Papen Family Arts Award, given by the Dona Ana Arts Council for her significant contributions to arts in the Las Cruces area through lengthy service and leadership.
She is the author of several articles. books and plays and is currently working on a new novel set on the border.