Sheridan Arts Foundation: Wild West, 6/4 – 6/8

Sheridan Arts Foundation: Wild West, 6/4 – 6/8

Monday, June 4, marked the start of Sheridan Arts Foundation’s 26th annual Wild West Fest at Telluride’s Sheridan Opera House. Three events are open to the public:

Kick-off BBQ takes place Tuesday, June 5, 5 – 7 p.m. ($6 donation for a BBQ picnic served under the white tent in Town Park).

Thursday, June 7, is the Showcase and Shindig. The event features performances from the Yellowbird Indian Dancers and the Wild West Fest mentorship groups.

Friday night, June 8, the bluegrass groups The Good Bad and Late for the Train perform on the Opera House stage. Please scroll down to read more about the groups and the benefit concert.

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 youth who will be coming to town for the WWF. However, the organization could not do it without the generous support of child sponsors. A contribution of $1,000 allows one child to participate in the Wild West Fest in its entirety. Those interested in pledging their support for the Wild West Fest can contact Ronnie Palamar at 970-728-6363 or

Another way to support the Wild West Fest is to purchase the 2018 signature painting for $3000. The image, “The Reverence of the Dance” is by artist Julee M. Hutchison of the Telluride Gallery of Fine Art.

“The Reverence of the Dance” by Julee M. Hutchison, WWF artist, 2018.


More than 25 years 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 their horizons.

The SAF celebrates its 26th annual Wild West Fest June 4-8, 2018 with a week of empowering activities for at-risk youth from Boys & Girls Clubs around the country.

On Monday, June 4, 32 underserved youth from Denver, CO, Wichita Falls, TX, Farmington, NM and Nucla/Naturita come to Telluride for a week of inspiring activities that celebrate Western arts, culture and customs.

Tuesday through Thursday, the youth, ages 12-18, will partake in the Chip Allen Mentorship Program (CAMP), the heart and soul of the Wild West Fest week. The young people will be grouped with professionals in the fields of musical theater, 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 so that everyone returns home with a greater sense of self-confidence, personal awareness and a firm grasp on some new skills.

“I can’t describe the fulfillment and the joy I feel after spending only a few days with these kids, and this is now my 23rd year,” said Ronnie Palamar, the SAF’s executive director.

This year’s mentors are Leah Nikula (musical theater); Ah Haa School for the Arts (visual arts); Joel Kirkoff, Chris Loccisano and Paul Horrigan (fly fishing); Danielle Jenkins (outdoor mentorship); and Brett Neuman/Rock and Roll Academy (music).

The CAMP groups studying music and musical theater will display what they have learned at our Showcase & Shindig Thursday afternoon in Elks Park at 4 p.m. The Shindig will also feature performances from the Native American Dance Troupe Yellow Bird of Mesa, AZ.

“Being involved with WWF has been so rewarding and just plain fun. I get to spend a lot of time with each kid, and I can honestly say I see positive growth in every one of them throughout the week,” said Wild West Fest CAMP Director Maggie Stevens.


The Sheridan Arts Foundation wraps up its 26th annual Wild West Fest with a free bluegrass show featuring West Coast bluegrass bands The Good Bad with Late for the Train on Friday, June 8, 2018. The music starts at 8 p.m., with doors opening at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public with a $10 suggested donation to go towards the Wild West Fest scholarship fund.

The Good Bad and Late for the Train were drawn to Wild West Fest by its mission. Having worked with students in similar programs in California’s Point Reyes National Seashore, both bands appreciate the incredible, indelible value such exploratory trips can have on the future of our next generation. They are thrilled to contribute to a community effort to provide a unique and enriching opportunity for kids to experience Telluride and the beautiful Rockies.

The Good Bad

Hailing from San Francisco, CA, The Good Bad have been a part of the exploding newgrass/bluegrass scene on the West Coast since 2010.

The Good Bad brings a raucous, high-energy take on the string band sound. The group has shared the stage with scene favorites like The Brothers Comatose, The Lil’ Smokies, Split Lip Rayfield, and Front Country.

The five-piece progressive bluegrass/newgrass ensemble features Aaron Lanes (mandolin, guitar), Thomas Beneduci (guitar), Paul Smith-Steward (bass), Dave Pascoe (fiddle), and Peter Domenici (banjo).

Late for the Train is the folk duo of David Pascoe and Laura Benson, two songwriters and multi-instrumentalists sharing traditional and original music. The pair will carry you on a journey through joyful fiddle tunes and bluegrass riffs to melancholic folk songs, true to the tradition of narrative songwriting and storytelling.

Both bands will play full sets.



Youth arrive from 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
6 – 8 P.M. Schmid Ranch Western BBQ for participants, supporters and sponsors (Catered by Oak)


9 A.M. – 3 P.M. WWF CAMP
3:30-5 P.M. WWF Showcase and Shindig featuring performances from YellowBird Indian Dancers and WWF mentorship groups. Free and open to the public at the Sheridan Opera House
5 P.M. Dinner at Rustico Ristorante
6-8 P.M. Pool Party at Telluride Park Pool


9 A.M. – 3 P.M. Circle K Ranch for WWF Youth; featuring hikes, games and horseback rides.
5;30-7:30 P.M. Farewell dinner at Brown Dog Pizza
8 P.M. FREE BLUEGRASS CONCERT with the Good Bad & Late for the Train at the Sheridan Opera House ($10 suggested donation)

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, CCI & Just for Kids.

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