Letter: Museum shunned ‘Valley Kids’
Museum shunned ‘Valley Kids’
Reading all the letters about how big and how ugly the Aspen Art Museum is has reminded me of what happened to “Valley Kids.” About a decade ago, one of the first things that Ms. Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson accomplished when coming to Aspen was the abolishment of the Valley Kids Art Show.
The popular Valley Kids Art Show, a fixture every spring at the Aspen Art Museum for more than a quarter-century, was a tradition for pre-kindergarten artists to 18-year-olds. Children from the entire valley worked hard in their art classes for this annual event and were so very proud to see their work displayed in the Aspen Art Museum. It was a beautiful community event where the public admired the work of children from the whole valley, and one could see the themes explored by the art teachers and their students valleywide.
When Ms. Zuckerman Jacobson cancelled this event, the art teachers and parents of the valley petitioned Aspen Art Museum for months trying to convey the depth of the loss to the community. People were outraged and questioned why public funding was still being provided to the art museum given the disdain evidenced towards the feelings and needs of the community. One of the founding board members of the art museum in the 1970s, local inventor and politico Nick DeWolf, also reacted with outrage over the changes at the museum saying, “What it’s really all about is a new director thinking she knows more than we do.”
Recently Ms. Zuckerman Jacobson is quoted as saying, “Eventually people will forget,” referring to the process of how this new building came to be built. I fear this is true, as not too many people still recall the callous attitude displayed towards the concerns over the loss of “Valley Kids.” It was so sad and the children of this valley lost something very important which was irreplaceable. As did we all.
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