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BWB NEWS 01/17/2018

BWB Grantee Highlight: Telluride Fire Festival in Colorado, USA

Erin Reis, Executive Director & Co-Founder of Telluride Fire Festival, writes:

“The Telluride Fire Festival was thrilled to host youth from around the region in this fall at our STEAM workshop and create not one —but two masterpieces out of found objects!

All students were schooled in safety measures and had the opportunity to create magic using welding tools, a plasma cutter and more at the Deep Creek Mine with instructor Dan Gundrum.  Clay expert Andy McKim lead students at Ah Haa School for the Arts in the creation of four unusual, gargoyle-like feet plus fairy wings. And, Brent Cain transformed the two-headed sculpture with the addition of fire.

The project started with an introductory dinner for all youth, instructors, and chaperones to meet each other and get comfortable with each other.  Then, 19 students and instructors together collaborated for two days at both The Deep Creek Mine and the Ah Haa School for the Arts to create (out of found metal objects and clay) two sculptures…one with fire effects.  The two sculptures are presently on display at The Deep Creek Mine and were formally showcased at a December Solstice Event. We plan to exhibit the finished sculptures in the communities of each collaborating group: Norwood, Saguache, Gunnison.  We look forward to producing the same workshop in 2018.

Our project brought together underprivileged youth from our region and gave them an opportunity to create, in an unforgettable setting, with creative instructors.  The kids that participated do not have this kind of opportunity in their everyday lives.  The program teaches the kids how to collaborate and use new tools and create using found objects.  Many of Burning Man’s 10 Principles were exemplified:  Radical inclusion — everyone had an opportunity to try their hand at welding, clay creation and more. Kids were different ages, race and abilities; all were welcomed.  Radical Self Expression — we encouraged all to express themselves in their creations. The result was fabulous; all ideas were welcomed.  Gifting — several chaperones came and gave their time asking nothing in return.  Communal Effort & Participation — we had much cooperation and collaboration from our community through venues for creating to lodging and food discounts.  Immediacy — everyone received the opportunity to create.  All saw the two sculptures almost completely finished in the weekend here in Telluride.

It costs quite a bit of money in a town like Telluride to host a group like this for a weekend of creative collaboration.  We can change kids lives by showing them another avenue for creativity simply not taught in public school.  We were truly grateful for the support of BWB.”



One Response to “BWB Grantee Highlight: Telluride Fire Festival in Colorado, USA”

  1. Jay says:

    Great work! Passing on meaningful skills and mindset to the next generation!