Celebrating local creativity

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— Some of the most accomplished local artists, dancers and musicians, as well as locally and nationally recognized writers, will gather next week to lend their talents to raise money for scholarships.

The event is called Celebration of Creativity. It is the Yampa Valley Business and Professional Women's Club's 20th anniversary celebration. It's also the kickoff for the 83rd annual Convention of the Colorado Business and Professional Women's Federation, which is being held next weekend at the Steamboat Grand.

Celebration of Creativity gathers locals in the art community to raise money for a scholarship program started by the women's club. For 20 years, local high school girls have received scholarships from the club, and this year, four graduating seniors received $1,000 scholarships.

Cynthia Vaida, former president of the women's club, said organizers wanted to raise money for the scholarship fund by showcasing some local talent from the art community.

"We are trying to find ways to show how much women contribute in a creative fashion," she said.

So the group gathered such locals as Karen Comeau, who choreographed a dance routine, and Jessie Burns to play Celtic fiddle with guitar player John Aviza.

Works from established local artists will be displayed as well, with 30 percent of the proceeds from art sold going to the scholarship fund. Painters Georgia Taylor, Pat Walsh, Deb Proper and Susan Schiesser will be included in that group, as well as potter Gail Holthausen and sculptor Anne Rooney.

The Routt County Cattlewomen also will present a special performance called "A Walk Through History with the Routt County Cattlewomen: From the Pioneer Woman to the Woman of Today."

This unique event is part fashion show and part educational presentation, explained Routt County Cattlewoman Marsha Daughenbaugh.

Local women walk down a runway dressed in clothes reflective of different periods in agricultural history. Even the '60s return-to-the-earth movement will be represented.

"We show that most of the (modern) women wear more than one hat," Daughenbaugh said.

A moderator explains each costume, including facts and figures about different elements of ranch life.

Celebration of Creativity also features two special presentations from writers.

The first is a pre-publication reading of "Hands And Hearts: Enduring Images Of Western Women." Marles Humphrey is writing the book, with photos by Marjory Arbogast and paintings by Suzy Holloran. It documents the stories of local women. Cookie Lockhart and Elaine Gay are included in the book, and both women will appear at the event.

Poet Rosemerry Wahtola-Trommer, the 2000 Colorado and USA BPW Young Careerist, will read some of her poems. Wahtola-Trommer is from Telluride and also was the winner of the Colorado Independent Publishers Association Award in poetry.

Celebration of Creativity is at 5:30 p.m. June 7 at the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel. Tickets are $15.

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