We asked Amy Kimberly for her advice about how to raise local artists. Her answer? Just show up. As Amy’s line-up of family-friendly happenings in the local arts scene proves, we have lots of options this summer.
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
While Picasso is acknowledged as the creator of this quote, any parent could have said the same thing. As we watch our kids develop, some of the first things that attract them are colors, music, and shapes. Their minds are open books and we, as adults, get to help write that book. It is crucial that we foster the creativity within that naturally exists, instead of dampening it.
WHY RAISE LOCAL ARTISTS?
It is not easy to maneuver through this world. Whether you are a young person hearing of school shootings or an immigrant trying to make it in a strange place or a young mother feeling tired and unsure, finding comfort or an outlet to express is key to health. Art and music have been a “go-to” for many during this last year of pandemic and throughout the years of human existence. Take in Van Gough’s Starry Night and feel the vastness of the sky or listen to a song that reminds you of a happier time, and peace may infiltrate the anxiety. Art is also an important outlet for expression – speaking the unspeakable in paint, words or music can create hope.
ARTS SUPPORT INTELLECTUAL CREATIVITY
We have heard over and over that the arts enhance critical thinking, language, math, reading, and social skills. A 2005 report by the Rand Corporation about the visual arts argues that “the intrinsic pleasures and stimulation of the art experience do more than sweeten an individual’s life –according to the report, they “can connect people more deeply to the world and open them to new ways of seeing, creating the foundation to forge social bonds and community cohesion. And strong arts programming in schools helps close a gap that has left many a child behind.”
THE BEST WAY TO RAISE LOCAL ARTISTS IS TO SIMPLY SHOW UP
It’s pretty easy to dive into art in this valley. There are diverse choices to keep kids and adults plugged in and connected to creativity. This is soul-feeding stuff that strengthens us as a community in so many ways. From Aspen to Glenwood Springs and up to Redstone and Marble, creatives are sharing their talents to ensure that all youth have an opportunity to express, make, paint, draw and laugh. Here are some ideas for feeding the artist in all of us this summer.
FAMILY FRIENDLY ART HAPPENINGS THIS SUMMER:
1. ASPEN ART MUSEUM
637 E. Hyman Avenue, Aspen
AAM’s Teen Council hosts free monthly social events designed by teens, for teens. Movies. Online mixers (for now) and discussions around cultural and civic exchange. The idea is to give teens the means to design and execute programs using the museum’s space. In other words, the aspiring local artist can experience the other side of creativity by learning how to manage, promote, plan and develop arts programming. All visiting and local teens are welcome.
2. STREET MARKETS
Aspen Saturday Market
Basalt Sunday Market
Carbondale Farmers’ Market
Glenwood Springs Downtown Market
Show up at free summertime street markets where you can connect with our community’s growers and artisan makers of everything from healing salves and preserves to jewelry, soap, candles, pottery, and clothing.
3. ASPEN EMPORIUM & FLYING CIRCUS
315 E Main St, Aspen
Look for the funky little white and blue Victorian on Main Street with the vivid yard art, hand-painted signs, stone lounge chairs, and porch baubles. Go inside and find the opposite of nouveau glam – friendly, fun, and spot-on sense for curating local art at approachable prices. Featuring more than 30 local artists.
4. THEATRE ASPEN
Hurst Theatre: 470 Rio Grande Place
Theatre Aspen’s K-12 programming = weeklong full-day instruction in acting, dancing, and singing that builds toward stage productions for all-age audiences. Willy Wonka, staring students in grades 3-6; A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Peter and the Starcatcher (grades 7-12)
5. RED BRICK CENTER FOR THE ARTS
110 E Hallam Street #118
New this summer, a weeklong workshop for middle and high school students on the art and technical craft of documentary filmmaking. Participants will team up to create a short film centered in Aspen. Professional instruction from the Colorado Film School + high-production-value equipment + archival footage from the Aspen Historical Society = a unique opportunity to gain valuable real-world filmmaking skills.
6. ASPEN MUSIC FESTIVAL & SCHOOL
AMFS Meadows Campus,
near the Benedict Music Tent
AMFS’s parent-tot Sing, Play, Move class combines classical and folk music, instrumental play, nursery rhymes, games, movement, and simple composition. Join a socially distanced group OR (new this year) gather 3-5 other families to create your own private class.
7. ASPEN SANTA FE BALLET
0245 Sage Way, Aspen
Red Brick Building, Basalt
Third Street Center, Carbondale
Midland Center, Glenwood Springs
ASFB offers summer session ballet, jazz, and modern dance classes for grades K-12. Sign up now for Ballet Folklorico, a free after-school program celebrating traditional Latin American dance.
8. ANDERSON RANCH
5263 Owl Creek Rd, Snowmass Village
New this summer, kids can try Native American Beading or explore the Art of Mexico. Weeklong morning programming for ages 4-5; all-day classes for ages 6-17. A different theme every week.
9. BASALT PRINTING & ART SUPPLY
23252 Two Rivers Rd, Basalt
After learning how to stretch a canvas or mix watercolor hues through classes offered by community arts organizations, local artists can continue the creativity at home with artist-quality materials. Shop local and family-owned for paints, brushes, charcoals, pastels, sculpting supplies, even batiking wax.
10. THE ART BASE
99 Midland Spur, Basalt
With the purchase and remodel of a multi-story brick storefront on Midland Avenue, this midvalley arts organization will have a bright and airy dedicated kids’ classroom. Grand opening in June. Look for parent-child, youth, and teen classes + to-go ARTboxes.
11. THE ARTS CAMPUS AT WILLITS – TACAW
360 Market Street, Willits
The net-zero Contemporary Center opens this June with a series of outdoor evening performances. The facility features an amphitheater, indoor concert and event spaces, a teaching kitchen, dedicated rehearsal rooms for local musicians, and a café workspace + classrooms for kids programming.
12. POWERS ART CENTER
13110 HWY 82, Carbondale
John Powers was a longtime local philanthropist who brought avant-garde artists to Aspen from 1965-1970 as artists-in-residence. During this time, Powers collected many notable pop art pieces including a significant number of Jasper Johns’ works on paper. These are now housed in a building that is a work of art in itself. Free and reopening post-COVID on June 1.
13. CARBONDALE CLAY CENTER
135 Main Street, Carbondale
“Our youth programs are now in full swing, and we love seeing kiddos explore their ideas through clay,” says Savanna LaBauve of CCC. Weekday summer camps, weekend classes, workshops, date nights and Family Clay Play in an outdoor studio space.
14. THE LAUNCHPAD
76 S. Fourth Street, Carbondale
The heart of the Carbondale Creative District is a multi-use performance studio and R2 Gallery. The Launchpad is the home of Dance Initiative and Carbondale Arts.
Local and nationally recognized dancers of all genres for performances, classes, events, in-school instruction, plus after-school and summer classes.
For 50 years, the home base of the Carbondale arts scene. Host of Mountain Fair and “Green is the New Black” Fashion Show, events which spark economic opportunities for creatives, plus a lot of fun for all. Find CA’s youth programming in Rosybelle, a mobile art classroom in a retro-filled school bus.
15. RIO GRANDE ARTWAY
Rio Grande Trail Intersection of Hwy 133
The Youth Art Park is the latest addition to a one-mile interactive art installation along the Rio Grande Trail. Outdoor classroom meets guerilla art. Paint a rock and leave it in the ARTway. You never know what you’ll find. While you’re there, check out the DeRail sculpture at the park’s entrance, created by blacksmith Olivia Pevec using railroad artifacts with a nod to our bicycling culture.
16. JAMES SURLS SCULPTURE
Highway 133 roundabout at Main Street, Carbondale
One of the most preeminent living artists in the U.S. has resided and worked near Carbondale for more than 20 years. James Surls’ “Sewing the Future” stands at almost 20’ tall as a bronze and stainless centerpiece of the Town’s robust public art collection.
17. THIRD STREET CENTER
520 S. Third Street, Carbondale
A transformed former 1960s-era middle school building revamped for sustainability to offer long-term affordable office and studio space for community nonprofits and artists. Such as:
“A stage, a page, a canvas, a microphone” for women, youth, and Latino voices. Look for The Artery, a traveling stage that will present diverse performances around the Valley this summer.
STAGE OF LIFE (SOL) THEATER
Dedicated to creating an emotionally safe place for kids to explore acting. Summer programming includes singing and dancing workshops.
18. REDSTONE ART FOUNDATION
303 Redstone Boulevard, Redstone
This arts organization awarded $52,000 in scholarships this year to local high school seniors pursuing higher education in the arts. It will celebrate its twenty-fifth year this summer with an art show on Labor Day weekend. Artists may apply online for inclusion in this juried exhibit.
19. MARBLE SYMPOSIUM
474 West Park Street, Marble
Three eight-day intensive workshops in July and August for all ages and abilities. Taught by internationally renowned sculptors using rare remnants from the National Historic Marble Mill site. Learn the ancient art of stone carving, or drive up and watch artists at work.
20. COLORADO MOUNTAIN COLLEGE
Local campuses in Aspen, Carbondale,
Spring Valley and Glenwood Springs
Our regional community college offers an extensive array of continuing ed classes designed to “improve your resume, health, mind, and soul.” From sewing to painting, herbalism to photography, there is something for everyone. As well as children’s art and dance classes at the GWS campus.
21. ART ON 8TH
209 8th Street, Glenwood Springs
This fine-craft weaving studio is home to Mountain Valley Developmental Services’ Valley Weavers, a vocational textile project producing one-of-a-kind works of fiber art. Kitchen towels, cloth napkins, table runners, and gifts, along with unique items from other local artists.
22. GLENWOOD SPRINGS ARTS COUNCIL
Although this community arts council is without a permanent home at the moment, this group keeps youth arts education alive with scholarships available to residents of Garfield County ages 5-18. Applicants can request funds to support participation in classes offered by any local arts organization.