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Inclusive “Art For All” to Showcase Students’ Work

Community members are invited to attend the Opening Reception on March 2 from 5 to 7 p.m. The event will feature student artwork from all of the district’s schools, high school and middle school orchestra performances, and refreshments prepared by students in the Durango High School Culinary Program. 

Krista Karpel, a Durango High School art teacher, is excited to use the Main Mall space for the first time. She said it allows plenty of room to showcase hundreds of works from students from elementary through high school.  

“The event is non-competitive. It aligns with our district’s goals of diversity, equity, inclusivity, and a sense of belonging for all students in the community,” said Karpel. “The ‘art for all’ theme will encourage youth to share their diverse perspectives and cultural pride.”

Karpel said the district’s teachers are excited to showcase that art – even at the elementary level – isn’t just coloring books. “It’s a place for kids to express themselves in different ways. It gives them a voice outside of academic settings,” she said. “It also aligns with the Portrait of a Graduate vision, where students show what they know around Creative Problem-Solving, Agile Thinking, and other competencies.”

Art For All is the first in a series of events that celebrate all of the arts in the district, including the DHS production of “Clue” in February and a Band Extravaganza in late March. 

Youth Art Month takes place during March across the U.S. to celebrate visual arts and encourage support for art programs in schools. Karpel said Art For All is a way to offer thanks to the district and the community for supporting the K-12 arts curriculum in all schools. 

“Our community has always had our back,” she said. “They fought to keep the arts essential to education. This is our way of saying, ‘We hear you, and we’re grateful.’ ”