On Saturday, August 3, the McNichols Building at Civic Center Park became a mixed-use art studio for Denver youth. Hosted by Arts Street (led by Stella Yu) the free, public event invited families and youth to turn out, take in some art, and even create some of their own. In addition to Arts Street, Art from Ashes presented some poetry by truly youthful poets, VSA Colorado Access Gallery led outdoor chalk art, School of Breaking taught breakdancing, and there was a performance by integrated dance company Spoke ‘N’ Motion.
Arts Street's Youth Arts Boog-A-Loo 2013
Do a Creativity Dance
Arts Street hosts its Youth Arts Boog-a-loo, drawing crowds of kids and Denver’s arts organizations
More than 70 attendees of varying ages were treated to creative learning experiences including video editing, stop motion animation, painting, sound editing and mixing, watercolor, and live music. Each table and booth was minded by a conscientious volunteer driven to harness and nourish the creativity in Denver youth.
Gully Stanford, the Director of Partnerships at College In Colorado, was also in attendance. Gully works with Arts Street and other creative-focused organizations because Colorado has “imported” a lot of the creative people that work here, but doesn’t yet guide students from creative impulse to creative profession. He wants to end the common question “art classes are fine, but what will you do for a real job?”
Stanford and the College In Colorado program place young creatives in internships with the Denver Art Museum, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, and even the Museum of Nature and Science.
While the Boog-a-loo fought for the cause of arts awareness and expanding youth arts education to all of Denver’s diverse student tapestry, it was also a lot of fun. There was creativity in the air, a lot of smiles, face paint, chalk art and even some beautifully designed graffiti. Stella Yu’s tireless effort, to put art in the hands of creative kids who might not otherwise have had the option continues to inspire us. Seeing that same inspiration on the faces of the young people in attendance was a truly beautiful thing.
Now, let’s just hope there’s a second Boog-a-loo next year, so we can keep supporting arts, creativity and joy in Colorado kids.
- Nate Ragolia
All photos by Jon Vanderweit/Beanstalk.