Steamboat Springs Arts Council to introduce new art resource program with donation day

If You Go...

What: Create Space Donation Day

When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 30

Where: Depot Art Center, 1001 13th St.

— There’s a new room at the Depot Art Center designed with artists of all ages in mind.

Anything from a guitar to sewing machines and yarn to paint and handmade paper can be found. Most of the items are considered dormant art projects found in garages or closets.

If You Go…

What: Create Space Donation Day

When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 30

Where: Depot Art Center, 1001 13th St.

But now, the wide variety of items will serve a new purpose as art projects for the community.

Through the Create Space program, headed by the Steamboat Springs Arts Council, local arts educators will now have access to recycled or donated art supplies.

“Those things you’ve been holding on to creates a sense of incompleteness a lot of times for artists,” said Kim Keith, executive director for SSAC, who is spearheading the Create Space program. “But for them to be able to give it to the Create Space program and know that it will turn into something is very rewarding. It’s about giving new life to things you’ve been holding on to.”

The first donation drive for the Create Space program will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Depot Art Center. Community members, artisans and art enthusiasts can drop off new or gently used art supplies and tools that they no longer use or need.

Keith said she hopes the supplies and tools donated to Create Space will become an unexpected, interesting form of expression by being reused by the community in four ways. The first of those is through direct donation art projects for local artists or kids who are working on individual projects and need various materials.

Another is the visiting artist piece, in which a visiting artists will incorporate specific supplies for a new project. The artists will then go into one of the schools and act as resources for teachers by implementing the project with the resources provided by Create Space.

The third is public art projects like a tile mosaic created by community members.

Lastly, are the project kits, which are created by volunteers who will go to Create Space once a month and “mine the resources” together in a bag. This bag will include specific art supplies, tools, an instruction sheet and whatever else the artist may need. Volunteers will then take those kits into schools, elderly centers or camps to teach the new art projects.

Originally, the idea came into being when Keith went through training at the Change Leader Institute via Colorado Creative Industries. One of the projects she had to complete dealt with addressing community’s need within the arts.

She and others from the SSAC held small focus group meetings in town and spoke with teachers, parents artists and students. One of the things they said stood out was a need for art supplies and resources.

“So many teachers go out and buy their own supplies for art projects, so there is definitely a need that is getting filled through this,” said La Bourgeois, administrative support for SSAC. “It’s really exciting to give out this kind of a resource to the community.”

The original idea has blossomed into Create Space. The Yampa Valley Sustainability Council has also caught an interest in the program.

“We’ve been doing this for four years, and we’ve struggled with finding a good use for the art supplies,” said Sarah Jones, executive director for YVSC. “Not being that creative myself, the volunteers will be able to sort through the supplies and come up with something to use it for. With their creativity, I know those items can be put to something of use that we couldn’t quite grasp.”

For the annual Classroom Cleanup Day — where a majority of the school supplies are donated to the Boys and Girls Club and Discovery Learning Center — volunteers will help sort through boxes to separate art supplies and donate those to Create Space for community use.

“It brings to life all of this stuff and puts it into the hands of people who may not have the opportunity to get creative very often or for those who may need additional resources because they can’t provide it themselves,” Keith said.

The SSAC Create Space program is currently looking for volunteers to help put the Project Kits together. In addition, local artists who want to get involved may do so by becoming part of the artist registry. For more information, visit the

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

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