Honoring Essential Workers – PlatteForum Coloring Book

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Bread & Roses: Honoring Essential Workers

In honor of Labor Day and the millions of essential workers who don’t have the luxury of taking a vacation today, PlatteForum presents our newest collaboration, a free coloring book honoring essential workers today and always.

Download our free coloring book here and give a donation of any size to CHOW, an organization created by and for restaurant workers in Colorado to support their mental health and wellness needs.

Drawing by Destany Rodriguez


The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed and deepened social inequities across our society, especially those that impact our workers deemed “essential” by the U.S. government. Although essential workers put in long hours caring for our children, cooking, growing, and selling our food, cleaning our homes and offices, driving our busses and trains, and keeping our society going as a whole, their wages and benefits do not reflect the value they give to society every day.

The vast majority of our essential workers do not have the privilege of earning a living wage, accessing affordable healthcare, or having abundant time to enjoy the beauty life has to offer. Essential workers are risking their lives and their health to take care of the rest of us, and often times they are only barely making ends meet. Workers who keep our society running deserve much more than they are given and this book was created to pay a small token of gratitude, in hopes for a more just world for workers everywhere.


Bread and Roses is a slogan originating from a speech given by American activist Helen Todd. She believed the right to vote would gain for working women and society “bread and roses” – that is both a living wage and life’s beauty. In turn, we believe that essential workers need and deserve both living wages and access to beauty and joy.

We invite you to help care for our essential workers in Colorado by giving a donation of any size to CHOW, an mental health and wellness support organization led by and for culinary and hospitality workers.

CHOW is a Denver-based organization of culinary and hospitality staff, working to nourish their lives inside and outside of the kitchen. We believe in a future where our community never loses another person to addiction, suicide or mental illness again. And it starts with talking.

We create safe and supportive opportunities for the industry to connect and discuss problems they’re facing with people who get it. Learn more about CHOW right here.


Image by Paloma Ayala


Very special thanks to our contributing artists, all of whom are past or present PlatteForum resident artists, staff, and/or PlatteForum’s ArtLab Interns, who donated their work to this project:

Destany Rodriguez

Paloma Ayala

Kendall Kultgen

Elizabeth Buhr

Maria Molteni

Ben Coleman

Axel Leonhardt

Katie Taft

Zaida Sever

Scott Randolph

Lisa Michot

Maria Patricia Tinajero


Image reads Familes Together Are Essential with drawing of two people and some puppies and a child

Image by Lisa Michot