New program connect artists to schools throughout Routt County |

New program connect artists to schools throughout Routt County

— With a mission to enhance the arts in Routt County, the Steamboat Springs Arts Council is in the process of developing a new visiting artist exchange program at area schools.

By connecting Routt County teachers and local artists, the arts council hopes to spread creativity and resources for the benefit of area students.

If an art teacher is in need of assistance, he or she will have access to a contact list of artists participating in the program. Teachers will have the opportunity to work with these artists to create plans for art project ideas to be used in the classroom.

“Art to me has such capacity to teach things that are not teachable like self-expression, tolerance and that it’s ok to be different,” SSAC Executive Director Kim Keith said. “The approach to learning with art is hands-on and allows you to make mistakes and figure things out to see what works.”

Although programs similar to this have been done in the past, like the Artist Mentoring Program with Center for Visual Arts and an Advanced Placement art class at Steamboat Springs High School, the visiting artist exchange program will connect all schools in the county with artists who specialize in a wide variety of mediums.

“As long as teachers know they have a resource, that is just one more extra benefit for having a strong local art community,” said Linda Laughlin, owner of Center for Visual Arts.

A few months ago, the SSAC sent out a survey to the community, and the results indicated there was a need for this specific type of program.

The SSAC also hopes to become a resource center for schools and artists by having a program that incorporates recycling and upcycling of art materials from the community, said Wendy Kowynia, SSAC board member and education liaison.

Only 15 artists responded to the first “call for artists” the SSAC sent out last week. Keith said artists can still sign up to participate in the program.

For those who would like to be placed on the contact list, email and provide name, email and phone number and type of medium. Interested artists who respond are asked to type “Visiting Artist” in the subject line.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1

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