Sheridan Arts Foundation: Celebrating 29 years of Wild West Fest, 6/6-6/11!

Sheridan Arts Foundation: Celebrating 29 years of Wild West Fest, 6/6-6/11!

Telluride’s Sheridan Arts Foundation (SAF) celebrates its 29th annual Wild West Fest June 6-11, 2022. The initiative offers a week of empowering activities for youth from Boys & Girls Clubs around the country and the Telluride region.

The Buzz and Buffalo Commons perform on June 10, 8 p.m. on the Sheridan Opera House stage as part of Wild West Fest. Tickets are $15 general admission, with no ticketing fee. Those interested in supporting the Wild West Fest can contact Ronnie Palamar at 970.728.6363 ext. 1 or

Go here for more on the Wild West Fest.


On Monday, June 6, 17 youth from Denver, CO, Wichita Falls, TX, Nucla/Naturita, CO, and Norwood will come to Telluride for a week of inspiring activities celebrating Western arts, culture and customs. The group is joined by two Telluride youth.

“The SAF had to take 2020 and 2021 off due to the pandemic, so this year’s program is extra meaningful. We were determined to bring Wild West Fest back because we really believe in the opportunities it provides, but there’s always that worry, especially with the extent of devastation caused by Covid-19, that people will have moved on and not want to support the program. The other staff and myself were really buoyed by the overwhelming support received from the community and especially our donors who became child sponsors,” shares Maggie Stevens, PR & marketing director of the Sheridan Arts Foundation and WWF CAMP director.

Tuesday through Thursday, the youth, ages 12-18, will partake in the Chip Allen Mentorship Program (CAMP), the linchpin of the Wild West Fest. Through CAMP, youth are grouped with professionals in the fields of fly fishing, outdoor adventure, rock and roll and the newly added Life on the Ranch mentorship which explores the responsibilities and adventures of tending to the land and caring for livestock and hobby farm animals. Kids work with experts in each category through the week to learn more about their chosen field.

The CAMP program prioritizes each child’s individual needs to ensure a positive learning experience so they all return home with a greater sense of self-confidence, personal awareness and a firm grasp on some new skills. Mentors this year are Joel Kirkoff and Paul Horrigan (fly fishing); Mark Galbo (music/Rock and Roll Academy); Josh Laydon (Outdoor Adventure); and Ashley Deppen, Kayla Brack and Justin Shupp (Life on the Ranch).

“Over the past 27 years, I have watched the Wild West Fest kids who have the opportunity to participate in the week-long camp experience new friendships, independence, become more environmentally aware, and most importantly, take positive risks. At the Wild West Fest camp, you can eat your cake, flavored with a mix of fun, and eat it too!” says Ronnie Palamar, the SAF’s executive director.

The Rock and Roll Academy CAMP mentorship will display their new skills at a performance the evening of June 9 on the SHOW Bar patio at 4 p.m. Kids from the other mentorships will also get the chance to share a little of the knowledge they have gained through the program by exchanging anecdotes and personal achievements and challenges.

Friday night ends with a performance from The Buzz and Buffalo Commons, part of the Sheridan Arts Foundation’s SHOWcase at which up-and-coming bands take the Sheridan Opera House stage for a discounted ticket price.

Based out of Denver, Colorado, The Buzz is a funk/jam/psychedelic 5-piece project. Combining tasty groove-based improvisation jams with soaring guitar leads and thunderous, soulful vocals, every Buzz show is a funky live experience.

Since 2017, Buffalo Commons, a Steamboat Springs, CO-grown project, has been moving souls and feet. The band’s harmonizing vocals and tight musicianship has sling-shot them into the Colorado Music scene with huge, infectious energy and an incredibly loyal and fun-loving “Herd” of fans behind them.

Over 30 years ago when the Sheridan Arts Foundation was created as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit to preserve and protect the Sheridan Opera House, the organization began bringing underserved youth from around the country to Telluride for the Wild West Fest to help broaden the kids’ horizons.

The SAF prides itself on covering all expenses, but the organization could not do that without the generous support of child sponsors and product sponsors. While program costs continue to rise, the Sheridan Arts Foundation still sets donations of $1,000 as the threshold to become a child sponsor. (If interested, contact Ronnie Palamar as indicated above.)



Youth arrive from Wichita Falls, TX, Denver, CO, Norwood & Nucla/Naturita, CO


9 A.M. Orientation at Elks Park
10 A.M. – 3:30 P.M. WWF CAMP
4:30-7:30 P.M. Wild West Fest Kick-Off Celebration and BBQ at the Down Valley Placerville park. Everyone can join us next to the pond for food, games and prizes! Open to public, donations welcome for the BBQ. WWF youth will have the chance to paddle board in the pond.


9:30 A.M.-3:30 P.M. WWF CAMP
4:30- 7:30 P.M. Schmid Ranch Western BBQ for participants, supporters and sponsors with food catered by OAK.


9 A.M.-3 P.M. WWF CAMP
4-5:30 P.M. WWF Showcase and Shindig featuring performances WWF mentorship groups. FREE and open to the public at the Sheridan Opera House SHOW patio.
6-8 P.M. Pool Party at Telluride Park Pool with pizzas donated by Brown Dog Pizza


9 A.M.-3 P.M. Circle K Ranch that features hikes, games and horseback rides
5 P.M. Dinner at Rustico Ristorante
8 P.M. SHOWcase with The Buzz and Buffalo Commons at the Sheridan Opera House. The funk, jam and soul grass bands will perform and the Telluride Photo Booth will be set up and open to the public for a small fee.


Kids head home!

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