Arts For All logo

How is your organization strengthening our community?

Arts for All was formed in 2016, during the national recession that caused the School District to cut art classes at Paonia Elementary School from every day to every third day. Three groups came together to fix that problem by offering after school arts programs: The Learning Council, The Mountain Harvest Creative and the Blue Sage Center for the Arts. (Blah Blah Blah boring adult stuff.)

A4A brings fun, high quality after school and summer arts classes to the North Fork. To date, we have offered Movement (dance but we call it Movement so the boys will join!), Orchestra, Circus Arts (many times), Visual Arts, Chorus, Strings Orchestra, Movie Making and Animation, Drama, and Mural Art classes. Since A4A was created, we have served almost 300 local students.

A4A also partners with World Music in Paradise and the Blue Sage Concert series to bring the music that is performed in our town directly to our students during the school day. These acts have featured Muzekiwa playing the Mbira from Africa, the 40 piece Gamelan Balinese Orchestra, Breaking Winds Bassoon Quartet and Kardemimmit, the Finnish ladies playing kantele. Over 4000 students (okay, many of you 5 or 6 times) have watched these shows. Ask your cousins in big cities if they have this kind of fun in their schools!

We also bring Master Classes to the Valley Youth Orchestra so they can hear and play music with professional musicians.

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Breaking Winds Bassoon Quartet playing for Kindergarteners at HK-8

In what ways does your organization work to empower individuals to serve their community?

Can you imagine what life would be like here if we did not have art? No Blue Sage, no Paradise Theater? Boring, right? We at Arts for All feel that the Arts make life VIBRANT and FUN. Isn’t it fun to ride a unicycle or walk on stilts in the Cherry Days Parade, or perform a play about “Why Mosquitoes Buzz in Peoples’ Ears”? What about making a stop motion video and showing it everyone at the Paradise Theatre? For your parents it is just as much fun watching these as you have performing in them.

So, A4A helps the youth of our community bring and do fun things for everyone else here in the North Fork to enjoy!

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“Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears” Fall 2018

How does your organization serve to build bridges between different people and groups in the community?

No art, no fun. It is that simple. Well, okay, other things can be and are fun like sports and travel, but not everyone can do all of those things. Most everyone can do art of some kind: your Grandma can draw, and together your Grandparents can probably still dance! Art is the common theme here.
Last Cherry Days, the A4A entry won overall Grand Prize in the parade. Why? Because art is FUN. The students had fun being in the parade, but more importantly, everyone had fun watching the performers have fun. There is something about a 6 year old, curly haired girl in sparkly sunglasses and rainbow tutu on little tiny stilts that just makes people smile. Bringing people together: ART!

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The Arts for All crew: Grand Prize, 2019 Cherry Days Parade!