Celebrating Fannie Mae Duncan's Legacy


Statue Dedication

When: Saturday, October 26, 2019 from 10:00am-2:00pm

Where: Pikes Peak Center

190 S. Cascade Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Fannie Mae Duncan/Everybody Welcome Juke Jive After Party

When: Saturday, October 26, 2019 

VIP Event: 5:30pm-7:00pm

General Admission: 7:00pm-9:00pm

Where: The Gold Room

18 S. Tejon St., Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Fannie Mae Duncan, with her jazz and food venue, the Cotton Club in the 1940’s 50’s and 60’s, awakened Colorado Springs to the music of jazz and brought here all the great names in jazz, from Satchimo to BB King to Nat King Cole to Etta James and Billie Holiday. By attracting and serving an audience of all races, mingling Black, White and others, with Fannie Mae’s motto, “Everybody Welcome,” and the art of jazz musicians, she culturally and socially integrated Colorado Springs.

With Fannie Mae Duncan, the ABE is spotlighting Fannie Mae Duncan Projects in Education and the Arts that recognized, documented, celebrated, and alerted our community to significant contributions of our cultural resources.


 First, at the PPLD video center, producer Steven Antonuccio created a documentary interviewing Fannie Mae. Antonnucio’s documentary inspired Kay Esmiol to meet Fannie Mae and in 1993 with Fannie Mae and students at Eagle View Middle School, created a Everybody Welcome, a play about Fannie Mae and the Cotton Club. The student play enjoyed a two-year running in Colorado Springs and Denver. In 2013, based on her personal relationship and interviews with Fannie Mae, Kay Esmiol wrote the biography about Fannie Mae, EVERYBODY WELCOME; a memoir of Fannie Me Duncan and the Cotton Club. Next, Kay and her FMD Statue Project committee teamed up with the Pioneers Museum to launch the creation of a life-size bronze sculpture of Fannie Mae Duncan, that will grace the front Pikes Peak Center courtyard with a dedication October 25. This is the first statue of a Colorado Springs woman, and the first of Black heritage. Shirley Martinez , for the annual Everybody Welcome Cotton Club event.  Kate Perdoni, who produced a Rocky Mountain PBS program, Colorado Experience, Fannie Mae Duncan.

Jim Ciletti added, “Giving the first Cultural Heritage Arts Award to Fannie Mae Duncan and the FMD projects sets a very high standard for the award. The award requires specific cultural heritage achievements through the arts. Fannie Mae Duncan with her Cotton Club, and the Fannie Mae Duncan projects, definitely create an eye-opening and praise-worthy new awareness of our rich cultural and ethnic resources in the arts and in education.

“We are culturally, socially, and artistically enriched by the Fannie Mae award. We hope the award with the book, Everybody Welcome, plus documentary/educational videos, and the statue of Fannie Mae on permanent display in the Pikes Peak Center Courtyard, that the contribution of Fannie Mae Duncan and the Projects will continue into the future; inspire our ethic and cultural groups and organizations to develop significant cultural arts and education projects to enrich community and thus showcase our cultural riches to visitors and to our country at large.”