Challenge Aspen, Anderson Ranch will work together |

Challenge Aspen, Anderson Ranch will work together

A partnership begun in 1997 between Anderson Ranch Arts Center and Challenge Aspen was so successful that the two groups have decided to join up on a regular basis.

This year’s program, “Let Me Tell You My Story: Photography and Collage Bookmaking for Children with Special Needs,” will be held June 21-25 at Anderson Ranch in Snowmass Village.

The program will be taught by Tory Read, a Denver-based photographer and director of community art programs. The workshop will provide exercises and tools to let children tell their tales in a personal and artistic way.

“Art is a medium for kids to express their innermost feelings and emotions that they cannot express because they don’t have the verbal or physical capabilities,” said Amanda Boxtel, program director for Challenge Aspen. “The children inspire each other.”

Kids in the program will use photography, creative writing, word games and collage to develop their personal books. Each participant will also create a page for a collective class book.

Tory hopes that the program will help the kids build self-esteem, develop trust in a group and spark ideas for future personal projects. At the end of the week, the young artists will host a show, which will be attended by family, friends and other students working at Anderson Ranch. The public will also be invited to attend.

The art class is open to children of cross disabilities. There will be kids with downs syndrome, visual impairments, cerebral palsy, and attention deficit disorder. Participants will come from across the country and the Roaring Fork Valley. The art instruction will take place in the morning, followed by outdoor activities like fishing, horseback riding and rafting.

Challenge Aspen, a nonprofit organization, provides year-round programs that integrate recreational experiences with cultural programs from people with physical or mental disabilities.

Anderson Ranch Arts Center is also a nonprofit group. It is a year-round visual arts community that promotes individualistic artistic expression and development for artists of all skill levels and backgrounds.

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