Canyon Twilight - Richard Biddinger

America the Beautiful: A Celebration of our National Parks

Press Release - Fact Sheet - Program Details

All Programs listed are being created and presented by Imagination Celebration Fort Worth, inspired by and in collaboration with Grand Canyon National Park. Some programs are also being developed and presented in partnership with many Fort Worth arts and cultural organizations - others are completely designed and produced by ICFW. All programs have educational components with artists visiting schools or students travelling to exhibitions or performances. Many events are also open to the public; these programs are marked with the symbol *.

August, September and October 2010: ICFW Teacher Training Workshop Imagination Celebration presented our annual teacher training workshops series to teachers from throughout Fort Worth Independent School District with Arts Week. This series was participated in by arts and cultural agencies from across Fort Worth and was funded through a three year grant from the US Department of Education to the Fort Worth School District. Imagination Celebration presented a series of sessions based on our theme for the year. These included: “Creating a Museum of the Grand Canyon in Your Classroom” and “Bringing Characterizations from the Grand Canyon to Life Through Drama”- presented by teaching artists, Peg Koetsch and Judy Tiberg Klevins from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and designed for ICFW; Academic Interpreters from the Grand Canyon presented four ninety minute sessions on the archaeology, anthropology, botany, biology and geology of the Grand Canyon; nationally recognized arts educator, Elizabeth Willett, presented workshops on bringing cultures to life through hands on art activities; orchestra and band composer, William Owens, gave workshops on music as it interprets place. 200 teachers attended these workshops.

October – May 2011: Artists from the Grand Canyon’s Artist-in-Residence program will join us to visit classrooms in elementary, middle and high schools to provide hands-on workshops with students. At the end of their stay, each artist will leave a piece of art created during their time at the school. Also, during their stay with Imagination Celebration, these artists will work with student artists who have been selected to be in Imagination Celebration Fort Worth’s 21 year-old, nationally award winning Young Artist Apprenticeship Program. Students from this program are selected from high schools across the city of Fort Worth. Selection is made based on portfolio submittal. Students attend each Sunday from November through the end of May and work with nationally acclaimed master artists in varied artistic disciplines.

October – May 2011: Performing Arts Programs will be offered in schools across the city. Artists representing a wide array of disciplines will present theme-related performances to thousands of students. These will take place both in schools and in the city’s performance venues. Performance examples: Great Promise for American Indians Dance Group, Teddy Roosevelt enactor, Hopi Indian Story Tellers, Navajo Performers, and The Blue Shoe Group will present “The Blues an American Art Form” in concerts for elementary students.

November 2010: A Celebration of Nature in our Own Place… Planting of the Oaks: Imagination Celebration Fort Worth is seeking funding and has applied to the city of Fort Worth for the gift and delivery of 50 - 130 Burr Oak trees. These trees will be delivered and given to schools throughout the Fort Worth School District. Art teachers will be the leaders in each school to create an interdisciplinary team to accept the trees and create on-site planting ceremonies and a plan for ongoing care of their school’s tree. Students will create art and special poems for the Imagination Celebration America the Beautiful: Ceremony of the Trees.

November 2010: Imagination Celebration’s Annual Logo Competition and City Wide Exhibition: Thirty thousand students from throughout our city will send in their logo designs for posters and t-shirts to be created for this year’s theme, America the Beautiful: A Celebration of our National Parks. An Exhibition of the works of the most creative 150 entries will be held at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens. The top three awardees will receive awards and the winning logo will be placed on t-shirts to commemorate our year. Note cards will also be produced utilizing some of the art works from the exhibition. It is our hope to send the winner and his family to the Grand Canyon National Park.

November 2010: ICFW will partner with The Lone Star Film Festival in the presentation of a program for students connected to our yearlong theme America the Beautiful: A Celebration of our National Parks. Students from middle schools and high schools throughout Fort Worth will see the IMAX film on Grand Canyon, as well as selected excerpts from the new Ken Burns series: America’s Best Idea, in context with the Festival.

* December 2010 – May 2011: The Sid Richardson Museum and Imagination Celebration Present: A Sense of Place: Artists Explore the American West Imagination Celebration is collaborating with Fort Worth’s treasured Sid Richardson Museum to develop and present a special in-depth learning series based on a study of America’s Westward Movement and created around the museum’s collection of the paintings and sculptures of Remington and Russell. The museum is working with ICFW and the leadership from the Grand Canyon Art Collection to host a very special Thomas Moran painting of the Grand Canyon on loan from the Grand Canyon’s Permanent Collection from November 2010 through May 2011. Student groups will experience A Sense of Place: Artists Explore the American West and the adjunct educational programs throughout this period.

January 2011: The Art of Exploration: An Exploration of our Lands, Forests, Ancient Peoples and Wildlife: Six years ago, Imagination Celebration Fort Worth and Wings Worldquest (New York) created a special program which brings some of the world’s greatest explorers in the fields of air and space, water, earth, and humanities paired with artists and performers connected to the topics of their work, in a round robin of programs for students, which ignite young minds, making them aware of themselves as creators and explorers of the future.

This year, in honor of American the Beautiful: A Celebration of our National Parks our Art of Exploration program will bring the amazing Diana Beresford Kroeger to share her brilliant mind and profound knowledge with participating students. This highly acclaimed and totally unique Canadian botanist focuses on the beneficial uses of plants and trees, both as a source of medicines as well as many other general uses by societies This will help students to make the connection between discovering and using various plants from around the world while determining the specific properties that make them so valuable.

Joining Ms. Beresford Kroeger will be world explorer Helen Thayer, who was the first woman to trek solo to the magnetic North Pole without a dogsled or snowmobile. She and her husband were the first people to walk across the Gobi Desert more than 1500 miles in temperatures of more than 125 degrees. The pair also hiked above the Arctic Circle in the Canadian Yukon Territory, camping within 100 feet of a wolf den for months at a time to document the complex structure of these Arctic wolves. Thayer will present her experiences to students in order to inspire integrity, courage and how to assume responsibility for one’s actions.

Artists and performers from the Arctic Circle’s Inuit Culture, as well as Native American dancers from the Mescalero Apache tribal nation living in the San Juan Mountain National Park, will join Navajo Rug Weavers from the Grand Canyon area and will teach students about the use of natural plant dyes in their creations.

May 2011: A Month Long Celebration of America the Beautiful: A Celebration of our National Parks: Focus on the Grand Canyon. As the exciting culmination of our yearlong celebration of America the Beautiful: A Celebration of Our National Parks, Imagination Celebration Fort Worth will present an in-depth month-long focus on Grand Canyon in May 2011. The month’s activities will include special exhibitions, performances, lectures and other activities celebrating this National Treasure in cultural institutions and performance halls across our city. While many of these events will have educational components for K-12 students, they will also be open to the public.

* Opening Night Gala Event:
Fort Worth Community Art Center May 5, 2011 This special event will celebrate the opening of the month long Imagination Celebration community spotlight on the Grand Canyon National Park and the opening of Treasures of the Grand Canyon Art Collection at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center, the Grand Canyon’s Green Heart, to be presented at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens, a showing of the Ken Burn’s film America’s Best Idea, special surprise guests including leadership from Grand Canyon and other National Parks, Academic Interpreters from Grand Canyon, and Grand Canyon Resident Artists. The evening will include special performances from the Havasupai, Navajo and Zuni Cultures, as well as presentations of a newly created Grand Canyon inspired composition for cello played by Rhonda Rider. There will be special new works commissioned by ICFW, inspired by the Grand Canyon and created for this occasion. These new works will include: a piece for orchestra composed and conducted by Arturo Rodriguez, and the premier of a newly created dance piece, celebrating the return of the condor and the glory of Grand Canyon choreography by Obediah Wright. Note: We are still working on the possibility of a special composition created by the children of Fort Worth in collaboration with the Grand Canyon Music Festival’s award winning Native American Composer Apprentice Project and the string quartet Ethel.

Public Events
Three Special Exhibitions, May, 2011.
Public Opening Nights, May 6-8, 2011

*Treasures of the Grand Canyon Art Collection, May 2011
Fort Worth Community Arts Center

An exhibition of paintings from the Grand Canyon Permanent Collection and the collection of the Grand Canyon Association, called the Grand Canyon Museum Collection - will be presented by Imagination Celebration Fort Worth at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center throughout the month of May. Docent-led tours will be offered for students and the public throughout the month. This amazing collection of paintings by master artists from the late 19th century through the current time features works that have captured this treasured American Landscape on canvas. A museum which will house this extraordinary collection of art is proposed for construction on the South Rim of Grand Canyon.

Related Grand Canyon Student Education Program
Fort Worth Community Arts Center, May 2-6

This five day Grand Canyon Interdisciplinary Education Program has been created by ICFW in collaboration with the Grand Canyon Chief Academic Interpreter. Designed for students from grades 6-8, this program will inspire participating students with the glories of this treasured National Park and all of its magical elements. Program components will include: Treasures from the Grand Canyon Collections; presentations by Grand Canyon Park Rangers in disciplines of archaeology anthropology, geology, botany and biology; as well as a presentation of a new work on the cello by New York cellist Rhonda Rider; the Ram Dancers from the Havasupai Nation; and also artists from the Hopi, Navajo, and Zuni Nations. Five thousand students will participate in this program.*Possible content connections: geology, anthropology, archaeology, weaving, ceramics, traditional art forms, botany, indigenous cultures, public resources, animal life.

*Grand Canyon’s Green Heart
A special exhibition on the botanical treasures of the Grand Canyon and the science of botany. This new exhibition from Grand Canyon will be presented by Imagination Celebration Fort Worth in collaboration with Grand Canyon National Park and hosted at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens during the month of May. This exhibition includes the history of botany in the Grand Canyon, photographs, plant specimens, drawings and silk screens from Grand Canyon artists, historic botanic tools, and more. Docent-led tours and lectures will be offered during May, as well as a weeklong student education program.

Related Grand Canyon Student Education Program
Fort Worth Botanic Gardens and Botanic Research Institute of Fort Worth, May 2-4

This three day program will focus on the flora and fauna at the Grand Canyon and from Texas. Students will participate in hands-on learning experiences with Botanists from the Grand Canyon and the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens, as well as specialists from the Botanic Research Institute of Texas. American Indian artists and rug weavers from the Navajo, Havasupai and Zuni cultures, who utilize natural dyes from the plants in their creations, along with performers who tell stories of the plenty of the harvest through their dances, will present workshops and special performances as a part of this unique education program, created to bring the natural environments of the Grand Canyon to life.

Student participants will have the honor of being among the first to have a special tour of the newly constructed home of the Botanical Institute of Texas (BRIT), this is not only one of Fort Worth’s most treasured organizations, but an international treasure as well. Students will be guided through this extraordinary LEED building and over 2,000 students will participate.

*The Grand Canyon through the Lens of Adam Shallau
Central Branch of the Fort Worth Library

A photographic exhibition of works by Adam Shallau. Shallau’s work focuses on the landscape and the people of the American Southwest and the Rocky Mountains. This exhibition will present photographs made during his period as artist-in-residence at Grand Canyon National Park. In addition to his residency at Grand Canyon, Shallau was the official photographer of the 25th Annual Taos Pueblo Pow Wow and received the Luminous Landscape Endowment, among many other honors.

Related Grand Canyon Student Education Program
Central Branch of the Fort Worth Library, May 2-6

In conjunction with docent-led tours of the exhibition, The Grand Canyon through the Lens of Adam Shallau, students will also do library research on the Grand Canyon and the National Parks and see performances by Hopi Story Teller, Eldrena Douma. Eldrena’s Hopi great-grand parents were among the first to create their pottery and tell their stories as guest artists brought by Fred Harvey to the El Tovar Lodge.

In addition to the three exhibitions opening in early May, A Sense of Place: Artists Explore the American West, the exhibition presented at the Sid Richardson Museum in collaboration with Imagination Celebration, will remain open through the month of May. This exhibition opened in December 2010 and includes a major painting by the American master Thomas Moran from the Grand Canyon Art Collection.

*Public Performance Series
During the month of May, there will be a series of special concerts and performances of new works in music and dance, including many of the works presented at the Gala. This program will be held at the William E. Scott Theatre in Fort Worth, Texas. It is our hope to bring elements of the Grand Canyon Music Festival’s nationally recognized Native American Composer Apprentice Project to students in Fort Worth so that they can work with New York-based string quartet Ethel and other musicians to compose their own music, as inspired by Grand Canyon, which will then be combined and performed for both student and public audiences in the month of May at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center and in other locations yet to be determined.

*Public Lecture Series
Evening lectures from the Grand Canyon Lecture Series will be held at varied locations with dates to be determined.

*(Under Development)
Weekend with National Parks
Presenters and Performers from Texas National Parks

We are working with many of the National Parks in our state of Texas to have a focus weekend on these natural treasures in Texas.

Imagination Celebration of Fort Worth began in 1987 as a partnership between the 89,000-student Fort Worth Independent School District and the city’s cultural community. Over the years, Imagination Celebration has provided nearly 7,000,000 arts and cultural experiences for students in every grade level in schools across the North Texas Metroplex and professional development training for more than 20,000 teachers. Our mission is to transform lives and learning for students, teachers, and families through the creation, production, and presentation of an annual series of innovative programs that inspire creativity and learning in, through, and about the arts. Our school programs are prefaced by professional development training for teachers as well as specially designed curriculum guides, student study sheets called Imaginotes, and accompanying books, films and other related resources. Imagination Celebration has also created a number of special ongoing programs outside of the classroom, including the Young Artist Apprenticeship Program, the Debbie Allen Dance Institute, and the Statewide Program for the Deaf.

Imagination Celebration of Fort Worth was originally one of the satellite sites selected by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for educational festivals in the 1980s. We soon incorporated as an independent non-profit organization providing arts and cultural programming for students year-round in Fort Worth. Our work has been supported with generous grants and gifts from the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the City of Fort Worth, The Texas Commission on the Arts, the Texas Education Agency, The Arts Council of Fort Worth and many private foundations, corporations, and individuals. Imagination Celebration has received two Chairman’s Extraordinary Action Grants from the National Endowment of the Arts; a Texas Medal of Arts in 2005; and, in 2008, a Coming Up Taller award from the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.

For more information about America the Beautiful: a Celebration of our National Parks, or Imagination Celebration of Fort Worth, please contact Imagination Celebration: by e-mail: or telephone: 817 870-1141.

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