Denver Public Library Plaza Program
The Plaza Workshops offered at various branches of Denver Public Library provide informal participatory two-hour art experiences to inter-generational audiences. Professional artists lead courses in specific media such as drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, and photography. Targeted libraries are located in high-immigrant, low-income neighborhoods where families may not have the capacity and resources to provide their families with access to the arts. The collaboration is geared towards challenging participants of all ages to create their own art, experiment with new techniques and materials to harness the many cultures of the Denver community.
In acknowledgement of this collaboration the Art Students League of Denver and Denver Public Libraries received the Mayor’s Awards of Excellence in the Arts.
This program is offered at ten libraries in the Denver Metro Area. To find one near you, click here.
After School Programming
CMS Community School & Castro Elementary
The program offers free after school art courses that encourages students to express themselves creatively. Each week, students are provided with a healthy snack and engaging art activity. At the end of the term, students visit local art museums or gallery exhibits. For many of these students this is their first experience in a formal art setting.
ASLD’s after-school arts enrichment program at the CMS Community School offers at-risk children access to arts education as part of the school’s efforts to offer safe, free, educational opportunities as an alternative to gang activity prevalent in the neighborhood. CMS Community School is a Denver Public School serving low-income, at-risk children in grades 1-5. The first year of the program 18 youths were served. Each session meets weekly and serves up to 20 students. In 2014, we launched a similar after-school program at Castro Elementary. Students are co-taught with a teacher from each school to enable integration of the school curriculum – keeping the children engaged in an academic life of their classrooms.
The Gathering Place Art Project
The Art Project at The Gathering Place provides an opportunity for women and transgender individuals experiencing homelessness and poverty to work on different art fundamentals over the course of a month (meeting weekly) with a professional artist in a safe and supportive environment.
Teen Studio Night
Understanding that our community’s talented youth are the future of our region’s flourishing arts scene, ASLD launched weekly Teen Studio Nights. The Friday night program provides the area’s teens with a welcoming and safe creative space to share ideas, create and share dinner with like-minded peers. Guided by individual instruction, teens learn to think creatively and critically about what inspires them and how to communicate and express ideas visually.
Facilitated Painting Program with VSA Colorado
In partnership with Rocky Top Middle School, this program offered a series of workshops to children with autism or other disabilities who attend this Adams County magnet school, providing customized services for youths with special needs. This project allowed youths to increase their connection to art education with free access, one on one interaction, culminating in an exhibit, allowing the broader community and other students at Rocky Top Middle school to experience the creative potential of youth with special needs.