Sheridan Arts Foundation: 25th Annual Wild West Fest, Overview

Sheridan Arts Foundation: 25th Annual Wild West Fest, Overview

Telluride’s Sheridan Arts Foundation celebrates its 25th annual Wild West Fest from Monday June 5 – Saturday, June 10, 2017 with a week of empowering activities for 48 at-risk youth from Boys & Girls Clubs around the country. This year’s Fest includes a special benefit concert featuring Nahko & Medicine for the People, a Round Up in Elks Park with a stagecoach, and more.

Nahko & Medicine for the People are live in concert on Wednesday, June 7, 8 p.m. (Doors, 7 p.m.). Please scroll down to watch Nahko in action. Tickets $30 GA floor; $40 reserved balcony. Tickets still available online here.  The show will likely sell out, so purchase your tickets now.  

Interested in pledging your support to the Wild West Fest? Contact Ronnie Palamar at 970-728-6363 or


More than 25 ago, when the Sheridan Arts Foundation was created to preserve and protect the Sheridan Opera House, the non-profit organization began bringing underserved youth from around the country to Telluride for the Wild West Fest to help broaden the kids’ horizons.

On Monday, June 5, 48 underserved youth from the various Boys & Girls Clubs of America chapters will come to Telluride for a week of inspiring activities that celebrate Western arts, culture, and customs. These groups are from Atlanta, GA, Denver, CO, Farmington NM, Nucla/Naturita, CO, Pojoaque, NM, and Wichita Falls, TX.

Tuesday through Friday, the youth, ages 12-18, will participate in the Chip Allen Mentorship Program (CAMP), the heart and soul of the Wild West Fest. The young people will be grouped with professionals in the fields of performance, fly fishing, outdoor adventure, music, and visual arts and work with them through the week to learn more about their chosen field.

The CAMP program prioritizes each child’s personal and individual needs to ensure a positive learning experience. The goal is for everyone to return home with a greater sense of self-confidence, personal awareness, and a firm grasp on new skills.

“”Watching these kids take positive risks, enjoy the outdoors, and meet new friends from different cities, all while having a fun, even silly camp experience makes for a great week for everyone involved!” said Wild West Fest CAMP Director Maggie Stevens.

This year’s CAMP mentors are Ashley Deppen (performance); Kellie Day (visual arts); Joel Kirkoff, Chris Loccisano, and Paul Horrigan (fly fishing); TBA (outdoor mentorship); and Brett Neuman/Rock and Roll Academy (music).

“We’re so excited to be celebrating the 25th anniversary of Wild West Fest! We’ve had over 1,100 kids participate and hope to continue this meaningful program for another 25 years and more. Thank you to everyone who has supported Wild West Fest with your donations and time.”

The CAMP groups studying music and performance will show what they have learned at the WWF Round Up, noon on Saturday, June 10,

The free event is in partnership with the Telluride Historical Museum and will be open to the public. Activities include old-time western photos in the Opera House, Native American dance performances, mining demonstrations, an ice cream social, and more.

The Sheridan Arts Foundation, the 501(c)(3) non-profit that owns and runs the historic Sheridan Opera House, prides itself in covering all expenses for the Boys & Girls Clubs. The organization could not do that without the generous support of child sponsors. A generous contribution of $1,000 allows one child to participate in the Wild West Fest in its entirety.

More about Nahko & Medicine for the People:

Oregon-native born a mix of Puerto Rican, Native American, and Filipino bloodlines, Nahko, considers himself a citizen in service to the planet.

Disillusioned by the world around him and inspired by vagabond Americana musicians and storytellers like Connor Oberst and Bob Dylan, Nahko left home as a teenager in search of adventure and self-discovery.

Armed with stories, a guitar, and a fierce set of ideals, he set out to bridge the cultural gaps dividing his own psyche. He began producing a public, musical journal of his journey toward personal, spiritual, and social healing: Medicine for the People was born. Nahko describes his music as a mix of hip-hop and folk rock with a world message.

Some people go a lifetime without knowing their mission in life, without feeling they have true calling, and without knowing why they even do what the do. Nahko is not one of them. And that calling and mission has never been clearer than it is on Nahko and Medicine for the People’s third full length album Hoka released in 2016.

On the album, his voice is strong; his mission is clear. The mandate has been thrown down. It’s been three years since the Los Angeles, California-based Nahko & Medicine for the People’s last record, Dark as Night. That release reached No. 4 on Billboard’s Top Alternative New Album; No. 6 on the Heatseekers album chart; No. 26 on the Top Independent Album chart; and No. 7 in Australia in Triple J’s Top 10 Roots Albums of 2013.

Nahko & Medicine for the People gathered more members of their global tribe of like-minded fans as they spread their powerful and impactful musical message on tour with such acts as Michael Franti, Xavier Rudd, SOHA, and Trevor Hal,l and at festivals including Outside Lands, Electric Forest, Wanderlust, Bumbershoot, and more.

Critics have praised the group’s worldly blend of rock, hip-hop, and alt-folk.

OC Weekly called the group –which also includes Chase Makai (lead guitar), Justin Chittams (drums), Pato (bass and kora), Tim Snider (violin), and Max Ribner (horns) –“empowering” and “powerful.”

The Huffington Post described Dark as Night (Nahko’s second album) “beautiful and stirring,” and compared Nahko to Bob Marley and a “musical prophet.”



Youth arrive from Atlanta, GA, Wichita Falls, TX, Denver, CO, Farmington, NM, Pueblo of Pojoaque, NM & Nucla/Naturita, CO


9 A.M. Elks Park Orientation
10 A.M. – 3 P.M. WWF CAMP
• 5 P.M. – 7 P.M. Wild West Fest Kick-Off Celebration and BBQ in Town Park. Hey kids, join us under the white tent for food, games and prizes! Open to public, $6 donation for BBQ.


9 A.M. – 3 P.M. WWF CAMP
5 P.M. Dinner at Rustico Ristorante
• 8 P.M. Nahko & Medicine for the People concert, $30 GA, $45 reserved seats in balcony


9 A.M. – 3 P.M. WWF CAMP
6 – 8 P.M. Schmid Ranch Western Pig Roast for participants, supporters, and sponsors (Catered by Oak)


9 A.M. – 3 P.M. Circle K Ranch for WWF Youth; featuring hikes, games and horseback rides.
5 P.M. Dinner at Esperanzas
6:30-8:30 P.M. Art workshop with Wild West Fest featured artist in the Opera House


10 A.M.– 2 P.M. WWF 25th anniversary Round Up (scattered throughout Elks Park, the Opera House, and Telluride Historical Museum- includes stagecoach rides, ‘old time’ western photos in the Opera House, Blacksmith demonstrations, performances from Yellow Bird Indian Dancers, gold panning, an ice cream social and the 12:00 p.m. Mentorship performances in Elks Park)

5 P.M. Farewell Pool Party in Town Park with pizza from Brown Dog Pizza

The Sheridan Arts Foundation was founded in 1991 as a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization to preserve the historic Sheridan Opera House as an arts and cultural resource for the Telluride community, to bring quality arts and cultural events to Telluride and to provide local and national youth with access and exposure to the arts through education. The SAF is sponsored in part by grants from the Telluride Foundation, CCAASE and CCI.

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