Residents look at future of art in school | SteamboatToday.com
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Residents look at future of art in school

— A committee has been formed to develop a plan for improving fine and performing arts in Steamboat Springs schools.

On Friday, community members concerned about arts in the schools met with district officials and School Board members.

Some concerns include a lack of safety in the theater at Steamboat Springs High School and teachers’ experience and expertise in the arts.



“We want to see all of the needs of our kids met,” said Denise Connelly, Steamboat Springs School Board member. “We want to raise the expectations and want everyone to attain and do their personal best.”

Some of the challenges identified during the meeting were the lack of funding, scheduling issues, bureaucracy concerns and the importance of the arts in relation to sports.



“Kids can feel like a million bucks in performing arts when everything else in their lives are haywire,” parent Lisa Harner said.

There have been countless studies that prove the benefits inherent in the performing arts, said Nancy Kramer, executive director of the Steamboat Springs Arts Council.

She thinks the issue can be addressed with a three-prong concept that deals with curriculum, extracurricular activities and professional development.

“It sounds like we have things to work on in each of those areas,” Kramer said. “And, despite the sense of urgency we feel, it is imperative that we take the time that we need.”

Superintendent Donna Howell said there are rich resources in the community to draw from, including Strings in the Mountains, Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp, and individuals such as Ernest Richardson.

“We just need to tap into that,” Howell said. “I don’t believe the resources are going to be an obstacle.”

The subcommittee is expected to put together a recommendation for the School Board. Howell said she supports the effort.

“I have a personal commitment to this and see the value of it,” Howell said. “We are all on the same page. It’s all a matter of where do we go from here.”

– To reach Allison Plean, call 871-4204 or e-mail aplean@steamboatpilot.com


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