Claudia McCain on the Importance of the Arts in Our Community

October 24, 2023
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Claudia McCain

This month, we are highlighting longtime Wood River Valley resident Claudia McCain, who’s been deeply involved in so many aspects of the arts during her more than four decades here. From acting and directing on the stage to running a gallery and serving as a member and chair of many arts organizations, Claudia is one of the reasons arts and culture thrive in our community! SVMoA Curator Courtney Gilbert sat down with Claudia to talk about her history here and the many ways she’s participated in and supported the arts.


When did you arrive in the valley? How did you get involved in the arts during your early years here?

I first started to vacation here in 1965 with my family and moved permanently in 1979. My family started visiting because my mother, who had grown up in Manhattan, had a favorite teacher in boarding school, Dorice Taylor, who became head of publicity for Sun Valley Resort. My grandmother and mother came out to visit “Mrs. T” in 1946, and on that trip, my mother decided she would live here someday. My grandmother was an artist, and she enjoyed drawing and painting while she was here.

In college, I took classes through the Sun Valley Center for the Arts during the summers. I took glassblowing and a class in clay. You didn’t see as much art here at the time, but there was a group of women who painted and showed at a gallery where the Elephant’s Perch is now. When I moved back, I worked for The Center at the gallery with Mary Rolland for a number of months, and I also worked at Nancy Stonington’s gallery briefly with Wendy Jaquet, who ran it. In 1980, I started doing theater with Laughing Stock Theatre. My degree is in studio art, but I did take some theater in college, and when I started performing with Laughing Stock, I thought, “This is my creative home.” That cemented it. I quit making art and devoted myself to theater. I worked with them for years and years and with other companies, like Sun Valley Repertory and New Theater Company.


What kind of art did you make?

I studied sculpture but was more of a constructivist and interested in conceptual art. I made multimedia pieces. The last piece I made was a metal and fabric piece around the idea of women. I might go back to it someday.


Tell me about the gallery you ran.

My mother and I bought it together in 1985 and had it for twelve years. Its focus was on fine craft and mid-career artists. I was part of the Gallery Association with Minette Broschofsky, Gail Severn, and Kristin Poole. We actually wrote the first bylaws for the SVGA together.


What different ways have you been involved in theater over the years?

I got my equity card in 2000 and have acted throughout my time in the valley in at least 80 productions. I think I became involved with Company of Fools around 1997 and worked a lot with them. I directed, too, but not as much. I directed Red last year — it was a lot of fun because it combined my love of theater and art. I’ve done a reading with the Spot. I feel very blessed to have had the opportunities that I’ve been given here. They’ve been amazing.

I was at the NexStage the day it was originally purchased — an old car dealership. I saw the basement and thought, “Oh no!” But they did it and made it a theater. I’m currently the board president of The Liberty Theatre Company. I think there are a lot of exciting things happening for TLTC, especially with new Executive Director Naomi McDougall Jones. We’ve taken another leap forward. I’m grateful to the Museum for helping us launch the company and giving us the seed money to get it off the ground. I’m also on the advisory board of the Sun Valley Playwright’s Residency. I’m excited about what’s happening for all the theater companies in the valley. This community has a great passion for theater, which thrills me. There’s so much enthusiasm for theater here right now.


What are some of your favorite roles from past productions?

Some of my favorites have been Vivian Bearing in Wit, Emily Dickinson in The Belle of Amherst, Sylvia in Sylvia, and Janine in The Niceties.

Claudia McCain as Janine in The Niceties; photo credit Kirsten Shultz

Claudia McCain as Janine in The Niceties; photo credit Kirsten Shultz

You’ve devoted huge amounts of time and effort to multiple arts nonprofits — can you talk about your history with some of the organizations you’ve worked with?

I was on the Chamber of Commerce board and was the chair from 1993 to 1994. During the time I was chairing that, Wendy Jaquet and I created an arts calendar, which was the beginning of the Wood River Arts Alliance, the arts council for the valley. Hilarie Neely and I kept it going for 21 years until it was disbanded. Through all those years, Hilarie and I served on the board. We worked with the Idaho Commission on the Arts and with Sustain Blaine (now the Sun Valley Economic Forum). We put together yearly meetings and worked with organizations like Idaho Travel Council and Idaho Commission on the Arts (ICA). Around 2005 or 2006, Randy Hall, who was then mayor of Ketchum, asked me to help create an arts commission for the city. I worked with colleagues like Kristin Poole, Gail Severn, Barbi Reed, Susan Ward, and Mark Johnstone. We spent a year in discussion about the form the Ketchum Arts Commission would take and presented it to the city. It became part of Ketchum Community Development Corporation, and Jen Smith became the city liaison. Some of the early commissioners were Steve Pruitt, Adam Elias, Anne Winton, Marybeth Flowers, Trina Peters, and Nicole Brown. John Duval represented the KCDC. It was a fun group! We began to develop public art for the city. It was a learning process for all of us — an exciting journey. I’ve served several terms with them and just rolled off. The airport came to a group of us to ask about having art in the airport, so a group of us from the KAC and Hailey Arts Commission came together to launch the Airport Art Committee, which I’m still part of.

The Chamber used to give awards at a banquet every year, and I am humbled and honored to say that I was the first ever Arts Advocate of the Year in 1997.


What motivates you to work so hard to make sure the valley is a place with vibrant arts and culture?

I love this community so much, and it’s meant so much to me and to my life as an artist. Americans for the Arts says that arts should be available to every person — every man, woman, and child — and I really believe that. The more I can do to bring art to this community means so much to me. To have watched so many organizations evolve over the time I’ve been here — the Sun Valley Museum of Art and the Sun Valley Music Festival come to mind — has been so gratifying. And I’m seeing that now with theater. I want to help lift up all organizations in any way I can. My heart is with the arts in the Wood River Valley, and it will always remain so.


And finally, what kind of art do you live within your home?

I have paintings and sculptures by my grandmother and work by artists I’ve represented. It’s a wide mixture, from family heirlooms that are very special – paintings and drawings — to work by Wendy Weldon and Cie Goulet, whom I represented. Marybeth Flower’s photography. Art I grew up with as a child. None of the work I made — it was all too big!
 


 

Dirce Flores: The Arts as an Open Door for the Community & Creativity

October 10, 2023
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Dirce Flores

Dirce Flores is a professional dancer from Mexico. From a young age she was exposed to a breadth of performing and creative arts and developed a lifelong love and appreciation of the role the arts play in our lives and in community building.

With Dirce’s Mexican Folk Dance Youth Workshop ongoing and SVMoA’s Dia de los Muertos celebration and dance performance on the horizon, we sat down to discuss art, her inspiration and the intersection of community.

How did you end up in the Wood River Valley?

I initially moved to the U.S. to a suburb of Portland, Oregon, called Woodburn. We came to the Wood River Valley to visit my husband’s family for vacation. We had a baby who was then 6 months old, and we thought we loved it here. We decided to move here for a better quality of life. It felt so much like home, like our village in Oaxaca. You know when you have that feeling that you are home. It’s a small town, you can walk around, you can see nature.

Dirce Flores dancing Campeche

 

When did dancing become a part of your life?

My hometown is in Oaxaca, Mexico. And it is a very special place, a cultural center of Mexico. Early on in pre-Hispanic times it was a cultural center, and then later, there was a church, a monastery, a train station, and it was a very important place during revolutionary times. My town has a lot of cultural significance. My mother had a café in the center of downtown, and next door to her café was a place called Casa Cultura, which was a cultural center that offered classes in all the arts. My siblings and I attended dance, music, painting, and acting classes, and classes in all the creative arts. My favorite was dancing; it made me feel so good. At a very young age, I knew I was born to dance. I started taking dance classes at three years old, and by five years old, I knew.

I first took Mexican Folklorico Dance, but then I continued to do ballet. My teachers were students of Amalia Hernández, who is credited as being the greatest Mexican Folkloric dance teacher in history. Mexican Folkloric dance is considered an expression of Mexican culture that you do on holidays with your friends and family at celebrations like birthdays and Dia de los Muertos. Amalia Hernandez was a Folklorico dancer, yet she was also classically trained as a ballerina. She developed new techniques for Folklorico dancing and developed choreography that pushed Folklorico dancing, creating a new level of modern dance. She legitimized and elevated the traditional folk dance and brought it to the international stage and universities.

I eventually went to a performing arts high school in Oaxaca City, about 40 minutes from my village. I would travel every day to the big city where I continued to learn the arts and humanities, including acting, painting, drawing, art history, world history, and philosophy. But my focus was always dance. I continued to study Folklorico dancing and ballet, and it was in high school that I discovered contemporary dance. I loved contemporary dance as a form of creativity and expression.

Dirce Flores dancing Tamaulipas

What was the experience that led you to teaching?

I loved contemporary dance so much that I eventually tried out for a modern dance program in Mexico City, but I was told I was not right for modern dance. Heartbroken, I returned home, and my mother told me I had to choose something else, which led me to the humanities, although my love for dance remained. I first started teaching Mexican folk dance at age 15 in a neighboring town. While in university, I was asked to teach at a dance school, Folklorico dancing to children, and while there teaching I was able to continue my study of jazz, ballet and modern dance. Which brings me to where I am today! No matter the adversity, I continued to dance — Folklorico, ballet, AND modern dance!

Dirce Flores dancing ballet

So, you love to teach dancing, but you are also a very active member of our Sun Valley Museum of Art community. You have been a Folklorico Dance teacher with us going on two years but are also very involved in our Dia de los Muertos celebrations. Why is the Sun Valley Museum of Art important to you?

The Sun Valley Museum of Art is an open door to the community for creativity. I come from a state in Mexico that is ethnically diverse. Oaxaca is the fifth-largest state with the most municipalities — 570! And it is the state with the most ethnic groups — 16 — that includes Indigenous groups such as Mixtecas, Zapotecs, Mazatecs, Afro-Mexicans, and Chatinos, just to name a few.

Diversity, as I saw in my home state, makes the community rich; it does not divide us; it unites us.

Sharing cultural arts with the community is important. The first SVMoA workshop I taught had one Caucasian student, and the workshop after that had two Peruvian students. The current workshop I am teaching has a Caucasian student from Carey.  They are all so amazing, such wonderful dancers. I have been able to rediscover Folklorico Dancing and share Mexican culture with the community and teaching it, the community will be proud to celebrate it and not just watch it from a distance but enjoy it!

Dirce Flores teaching Mexican Folk Dance Youth Workshop at SVMoA

Forthcoming is our Dia de los Muertos celebration coming up on October 26 at the Hunger Coalition. You will be performing with your dance class. Is there anything you want to share?

Yes, our SVMoA Folklorico Dance class will be performing a few traditional dances. Dia de los Muertos is one of the biggest celebrations for Mexicans. It is the day we remember our loved ones who are no longer with us; they are the heroes of the holiday. We make the altar in our home and have a ceremony.

Dirce Flores

You mentioned your mom owned the café next to Casa Cultura. Did she do anything special?

My mom made a special Pan Muertos. The ingredients were flour, butter, egg, orange juice and zest, and anise. The special ingredients that make Pan Muertos different are the anise and the orange.

Finally, is there anything you want to say about the arts? OR Anything else you would like to share?

I just want to say that when we open spaces for each other, we will understand each other better. One way of doing that is teaching creativity and sharing cultural activities. When a human being is exposed to the arts at a young age, it changes their life forever.

Dirce Flores

 

 

Mary Tyson: Celebrating our Rich History

September 26, 2023
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Mary Tyson in a chairlift at the Wood River Museum of History & Culture

Ketchum is home to two museums! The Sun Valley Museum of Art (SVMoA) is a non-collecting contemporary art museum, and the Wood River Museum of History and Culture collects, preserves, and celebrates the rich history of our community. Over the summer, we unveiled the newly renovated galleries at SVMoA, so I thought it might be exciting to check in with Mary Tyson, Director of Regional History at The Community Library, to talk about the Library's recently reopened (and newly re-named) Wood River Museum of History and Culture.  

—Jennifer Wells Green, Executive Director of SVMoA  


Hi Mary, thanks for taking time to chat with me. Since both of our museums had "facelifts" this summer, I thought it might be fun to learn more about your project and help celebrate the Wood River Museum of History and Culture reopening. Let's jump in!

You just moved into a great new building. How is this different from the Forest Service Park location?

When we were in Forest Service Park, about 85% of our audience were tourists. Our local community didn't come to the Museum very often.

Now that we are between the Library and the Gold Mine — not to mention next to Hank & Sylvie's — we have seen our audience numbers increase, and we are seeing kids of all ages, especially teens, walk in the door. The foot traffic is fantastic! The Museum is now more kid-friendly and interactive; people love it. During Wagon Days, we had so many people visit, and they were almost all locals.

We can celebrate the history of our region in a more substantial, much more significant way. This space is new and different, refreshed and upgraded. Our installations have a lot of interactivity so people can make a stronger connection.

Wood River Museum Entrance

 

 

You have five long-term exhibitions on view. Do you have a favorite?

I'm especially proud of the installation, "A Writer in New Country: Hemingway in 1939." Visitors can use a vintage typewriter to type "One True Sentence," and there are objects and artifacts that belonged to Hemingway on display. I wanted people to connect to him as a writer and less as a hunter who drinks a lot and is hard to befriend. Sure, people ask about his character, but I was focused on his writing and sharing the objects with his DNA. Writing was so important to him, and that is what has endured.

"A Writer in New Country" Hemingway exhibition

 

 

Do you have a favorite object that visitors can see?

I do have a few favorites. One is a "cabinet card" or studio photograph of Wah Kee Lea from around 1890. We don't know his story or have more information, but we can show this photograph to highlight anti-Chinese political sentiment and activism. It was fierce in this Valley, and it feels right to bring up that history. There is a lot to talk about. It's a complex topic; we included it because we want to discuss everything happening in our regional history, including difficult topics. Another example is Minidoka, the WWII confinement camp that was just 80 miles south of Ketchum.

Wah Kee Lea at the Wood River Museum

 

 

What is your favorite museum outside of Blaine County, Idaho?

The Morgan Library in New York! It is surprising and compelling how they made a modern addition to an old building that was someone's home. The old Library, with its small galleries, is a beautiful space filled with treasures and unique objects. I once saw an exhibition about the writer J.D. Salinger, and it was so powerful. It takes a lot of work to make an exhibit about a writer. You can't just show the manuscripts. I was thoroughly intrigued.  

And where would you go if you could see any museum in the world?

The Smithsonian's Museum of African American History and Culture

And finally, what is your favorite local activity?

I like going in Frenchman’s Bend hot springs knowing that the hot water heated homes in the thirties, and it’s named after a silver prospector from France who was known as “the Frenchman.” And, of course, the Wood River Museum! We are eager to welcome the public to our new space. We are open Tue-Sat, 10am-6pm, and admission is free. Learn more here.
 


 

Nate Liles: Illuminating the Cosmos Through Art & Advocacy

September 8, 2023
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Nate-Liles---Bekka-Mongeau-Photo

Nate Liles is a seasoned professional photographer/videographer and artist who has lived and worked in the Wood River Valley for many years. Now living in Lander, Wyoming, he will return to the Wood River Valley to teach the workshop. Alongside his artistic pursuits, he has been a dedicated rock climber for more than two decades. His involvement in climbing spurred his engagement in advocacy efforts, fulfilling a crucial role in response to the escalating popularity of climbing as a sport and the surging community of outdoor enthusiasts. He is currently the Development Director of the American Safe Climbing Association (safeclimbing.org). Through astrophotography, he has merged his love of the outdoors and night sky with landscape photography, and has brought his two passions together.

With his exciting workshop on the horizon, we sat down with Nate to discuss art, his inspiration and the great outdoors.

Where is the first place you go when you return to the Wood River Valley?

The first place I go when I return to the Wood River Valley is often to a coffee shop; I love coffee! My favorite spot to go for coffee is Hank and Sylvie’s in Hailey, I typically have an Americano. They have great coffee.

 Nate-Liles---Bekka-Mongeau-Photo
 
 
 
Where are your favorite spots to climb in Idaho?

One of my favorite rock-climbing areas in Idaho is the Lost River Range. It is a breathtaking mountain range east of the Pioneer Mountains over Trail Creek and runs along the Salmon River near Challis. It is an amazing mountain landscape with some of the darkest skies in the lower 48 states, making for great astrophotography opportunities. Also, the Lost River Range offers unbelievable, unique climbing opportunities. My favorite is called The Fins, a limestone formation with incredibly high-quality rock. The quality of the rock makes all the difference: compact rock that is steep with minimal features. It is a combination of difficulty and high-quality stone not often found in this country. It’s the sweet spot — physically challenging, technically perfect rock!

Who is an artist who you have looked to for inspiration?

An artist who has been a great inspiration to me is the photographer Keith Ladzinski. He is unique in that he is one of the best extreme sports photographers as well as one of the best wildlife and landscape photographers out there. He is not so specialized, but he crosses a lot of disciplines at a high level. That inspires me.

 ID_Craters_SkeletonTree_135_NateLiles

 

 
For your SVMoA Astrophotography 101 workshop, you have chosen Craters of the Moon National Monument to be the subject for the class; why that location?

First of all, it is VERY dark. In recognition of Craters of the Moon outstanding night skies and the monument staff’s efforts to preserve and enhance them, the area was designated an International Dark Sky Park in 2017, again with some of the best night sky viewing in the lower 48! A great dark sky resource is lightpollutionmap.info, it’s a website that helps you find dark sky sites and shows you light pollution in an easy-to-understand way.

Second, the otherworldly, almost lunar landscape and fascinating, unique shapes contrasted with the skeleton-style juniper trees against the night sky present an interesting opportunity for photos. My passion for the night sky and landscape comes together in this spot! The night sky and all the elements in it — nebula, stars, and galaxies — are so detached from our reality, there is nothing in it that we recognize. Landscape gives us a sense of place from which we can view the dark sky. Bringing those two things together is my passion.

Speaking of astrophotography, what are your thoughts on the James Webb Space Telescope and the imagery from outer space?

The James Webb Space Telescope is amazing; it’s an incredible look into deep space. Astrophotography from the earth's surface is very influenced by space telescopes, and now there is radically better viewing. In the last decade, it’s become possible with longer lenses and star trackers that compensate for the earth’s rotation to take long exposure photos from Earth with fairly affordable camera gear. The new technology has enough sensitivity to allow one to view objects in deep space. New technologies are more affordable, and digital photography creates images previously impossible!

 ID_CratersOfTheMoon_AstroTowers_Nate Liles
 
Craters of the Moon is a very intimidating landscape and just seems like a lot of rock! Where do you go?

Broken Top Loop Trail, out by Snow Cave. It is on the Loop Road, and it’s a great stop! It’s one of the most outstanding trails within Craters of the Moon.  Lots of unusual volcanic rock features, lots of trees. But really, you have lots of possible compositions out there; you just have to be creative with the landscape!

ID_Sawtooths_LittleRedfishLake_AstroPanorama
 
What particular equipment and experience should students have before signing up for the workshop?

For equipment: a camera — ideally DSLR or Mirrorless with a wide angle lens or selection of lenses, tripod, remote timer, warm clothing, and headlamp — ideally with a red bulb.

For experience: basic knowledge of how to operate your camera in manual mode — advanced photography skills not required.

The skills we will develop during the class will include pre-trip planning, camera settings and ideal equipment, composition, panorama creation, and post-processing techniques.

References / Website Links

 

Nate Liles

A 21-st Century Museum Is...A Foundation for Success

February 7, 2022
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What Is a 21st-Century Museum

Glenn Janss

"At the basis of my work throughout my life has been the belief that an art education is of essential importance to the betterment of humanity. This sounds like a grandiose predication, but it is simple in its rationale. An art education and its creative teachings result in a more self-actualizing and more fully human person. The arts can be seen as the soul of a community and even the humblest of creative endeavors can yield unimagined success."

 
—SVCA founder Glenn Janss

What does success mean to you?

A stronger community? High SAT scores? More engaged students? Empathetic and involved leaders? The arts deliver multifaceted and dynamic success globally and here in the Wood River Valley.


Americans for the Arts found that on a national level, arts programs result in:
  • 4 OUT OF 5 MORE LIKELY TO VOTE: The arts make young adults more civically engaged. Seventy-eight percent of young adults who had arts-rich experiences were more likely to vote or participate in a political campaign.
  • 100 POINTS HIGHER ON THEIR SAT: Students who take four years of arts and music classes average almost 100 points better on their SAT scores than students with only a half-year or less.
  • 5–10% INCREASES WITH ARTS ACTIVITIES: Neighborhoods with more arts activities see increases in housing, population, and school test scores along with a decrease in crime.

"If it hadn’t been for my scholarship from Sun Valley Museum of Art, I would never have attended the summer program Artsbridge the summer after my junior year of high school. I would never have met Kevin Kittle, my ultimate teacher, director, and mentor. I wouldn’t have gone to Rutgers and studied the Meisner technique, and I would never have performed Twelfth Night on the Globe Stage. I am now in my last year of drama school, and I can confidently say that this scholarship profoundly altered the course of my career and my life as an artist. I could not be more grateful to SVMoA for giving me access to these incredible opportunities, and for encouraging and supporting the youth of the valley in their quests to achieve their dreams."

—Anik Zarkos, SVMoA Scholarship Recipient

The SVMoA 2022 Scholarship Application Deadline is Feb. 23.
APPLY TODAY!

A 21st-Century Museum Is A Foundation for Success

Sarah Sentilles—On the Power of the Arts & SVMoA

August 23, 2021
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Sarah Sentilles

On the power of the arts & SVMoA:

"When I visit SVMoA and attend their events, I’m reminded of the revolutionary and reparative power of the arts. Art gives me hope, and this hope is not naïve. It’s not romantic or small or abstract. It’s concrete: glue and paint, scissors and tape, words and drawings, songs and sculptures, book pages and ink and gouache and oil and canvas. It’s the certain knowledge that it’s possible to make something new."


"When we make art, we exercise the muscles we need to remake the world. The theorist Elaine Scarry calls art objects – sentence, cup, piece of lace, painting – fragments of world alteration. If individuals can make these smaller changes, she writes, if one person can alter the world in fragments, just think what can be imagined together, what might be possible in community: a total reinvention of the world."

—Sarah Sentilles, Author/Educator/Program Participant
Sarah Sentilles Writing Workshop
Sarah Sentilles Writing Workshop
Sarah Sentilles Writing Workshop

Catherine Chalmers—On the Power of the Arts

August 16, 2021
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Catherine Chalmers Leafcutters

On the power of the arts:

"New ways of thinking about and interacting with the environment are urgently needed. The arts excel in connecting different disciplines and synthesizing divergent viewpoints. They are an important means of collaboration, where new perspectives can be created and communicated."


"The arts have the power to revitalize society’s relationship to nature, and to create more inclusive narratives that help broaden the scope of our vision of the non-human world. The arts have the power to make the environment matter. And what matters to a society is what it works to preserve."


On how SVMoA helped further her work:

"Forests, Foraging and Fires at SVMoA in 2014 gave me the opportunity to produce a major new work: Colonize the Earth, a twenty-foot photographic scroll including thirty separate photographs, that merged together to create the finished work. By bringing together the work of eight artists, Forests, Foraging and Fires opened a dialogue about society’s changing relationship with the natural world. It was exciting to see this section of my long-term, multi-media Leafcutters project come together for the very first time."

Catherine Chalmers, Exhibiting Artist, Forest, Foraging and Fires
catherine chalmers - we rule
Catherine Chalmers at SVMoA
Catherine Chalmers at SVMoA

Diane Chaplin, Portland Cello Project—On the Importance of Arts Education

August 9, 2021
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Diane Chaplin, Portland Cello Project

"We’ve been able to teach some of the students at the high school. I remember one particular time when we worked with them on a variety of different kinds of music—we coached them, we played along with them, and then they joined us for performance. I think for everybody, it was such a wonderful experience. It’s exciting for us to open doors to music for young people, and I think it gives them such a feeling of being special and a feeling of accomplishment to play along with professional musicians. I can’t wait until we can do that again, and I can’t wait until the next time we come to the Wood River Valley area."

Diane Chaplin, Portland Cello Project
Diane Chaplin, Portland Cello Project

Fritz Peters—On the Value the Arts Brings to Students

July 26, 2021
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Fritz Peters—SVMoA Voices

"In such times of rapid change, global crisis and pitched battles in extremist public discourse, it is the arts that help us see the positive and meaningful side of human existence and communication. Artwork can communicate injustice on a broader level than all the talking heads on the news and in social media. Schools especially must retain the arts in every discipline as possible to help our younger generation gain greater literacy through our social-emotional contexts."


"The work your educational liaisons have done in our classes for decades has been vital for our students to gain a more meaningful understanding of a specific content area. From using recycled plastic to display a watershed in Science, to building geometric shapes in Math using specific formulas, and to enriching our lives through international music groups, SVMoA has been a guardian of the arts in our public schools. Our partnership with SVMoA has been very beneficial to our staff and students."


"There are so many highlights from our partnerships that I recall, but here are a couple that standout. With our District-wide focus on Music and World languages, two acts were game-changers for me and many students: The Latin American musicians Alfredo Rodriguez and Pedrito Martinez provided exceptional entertainment and messaging to our Dual Immersion students at the Argyros Theatre and the memorable Black Violin Concert at WRMS provided the greatest outpouring of student excitement I have ever witnessed. I thought the bleachers were going to collapse. The key with so many of your artists you bring to us, is that they always talk about their lives when they were in school. The message of focus and not giving up is so important. I hope our partnership can continue for decades to come as your work is critical in these uncertain times."

—Fritz Peters, Principal WRMS and BCSD Acting Superintendent
Fritz Peters & Las Cafeteras Performing Arts Residency

Trina Peters—In Appreciation of SVMoA

July 12, 2021
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Trina Peters, Art patron/program participant/past Board president

"To be able to recreate in the mountains AND easily partake in a cultural life of the highest caliber—well, wow. What a surprise that was, coming from big city life with vibrant arts communities."

"I’ll never forget my first visit to the Museum, and the Andy Goldsworthy installation that took my breath away. I quickly learned of the quality and access to the arts here, which allowed deeper engagement than I had ever really experienced."

Trina Peters, Art patron/program participant/past Board president
Art patron/program participant/past Board president