Telluride's Opera House hosts 20th annual Wild West Fest

Telluride's Opera House hosts 20th annual Wild West Fest

[click “Play”, Julia Wentworth discusses Wild West Fest with Susan]


From a walk on the wild side to a celebration of the Wild West…

Wild West 2003- Ben 021 Telluride’s Sheridan Arts Foundation hosts the 20th annual Wild West Fest, June 5 – June 11, 2011. Inner-city youth, artists and performers from across the nation visit  town for a week-long immersion into Western arts, culture and customs.

An integral part of the Wild West Fest is the Chip Allen Mentorship Program or C.A.M.P.,  created in conjunction with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America

Mare and foal The Boys & Girls Clubs partner with the Sheridan Arts Foundation’s C.A.M.P. to bring groups of young people to town to work with professionals in drama, dance, horsemanship, fly fishing, outdoor adventure and rock ‘n roll. The norm is 50 students nationwide chosen by their hometown clubs for their positive attitude, good behavior and responsibility to family, school, and community. The goods news is that the  2011 Fest was able to invite more kids than ever before: 64 students and counselors, including a group from Nucla/Naturita and several kiddos from Telluride. Once in town, C.A.M.P. assesses each child’s needs and wants to ensure a positive learning experience. The goal: challenged young people return home with a greater sense of self-confidence, personal awareness, and a firm grasp on some new skill. 

In addition to C.A.M.P., the Wild West Fest also provides a number of cultural activities for everyone to attend throughout the week: live performances in music, theater, ranch tours, horseback rides, cookouts, hikes and art classes. 

New this year, the Sheridan Arts Foundation plans to host a special 20th Anniversary Shindig, free and open to the public.

The last day of the Wild West Fest 2011, June 11, the Sheridan Arts Foundation once again partners with the Telluride Tourism Board and the Telluride Historical Museum for the 3rd Annual Heritage Fest. Colorado Avenue is closed for this special occasion featuring stagecoach rides, gold panning exhibition, single jack mining demonstration, tepee building exhibition, quiz games, sheep-shearing and more fun.

The first mentorship year, the founder of the Sheridan Arts Foundation, Sandra Carradine, managed to bring about a dozen young people to Telluride from the Front Range. Baby, has the Wild West Fest come a long way. But then as now, many of the kids who visit town for the week have spent their lives on mean streets. For them, a trip to Telluride provides a much-needed blast of fresh mountain air which clears lungs and opens heart and minds.

The Sheridan Arts Foundation’s Wild West Fest is all about changing the world one kid at a time.

Want to know more about the mentorships, what’s on the program, including who’s performing when and the anniversary party? Click the play button and listen to what Sheridan’s Arts Foundation’s Julia Wentworth has to say.

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