For the third year, Gary Allegretto, a harmonica virtuoso and singer, will be working with groups of students in local middle schools and Denier conducting harmonica workshops. He will teach as many as 50 students in each workshop to play four songs on the harmonica in one hour.
Another part of the Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering is to provide up-and -coming young poets and musicians an opportunity to display their talents. It is important that young cowboys and cowgirls help keep this history alive. This year the Gathering is bringing to Durango eleven young upstarts from ages 6-18. They will not only perform in area schools, but they will perform in a special two hour FREE show on Saturday, October 5, 1:30-3:20 at the Henry Strater Theatre in the Strater Hotel. The show will feature musicians Kristyn Harris (18) Texas, Mustang Mikki (17) Texas, Naomi Bristow (15) Ontario, Jeneve Rose Mitchell (13) Colorado, Leah Sawyer(12) Texas, and David Sawyer (9) Texas, and the Lyman poets from Utah: Klace (14), Brachen (12), Mackenzie (9) and Kage (6).The Poet in the Schools program is vital for teaching local youth about the Western Culture and heritage of this area. We greatly appreciate support from Durango Friends of the Arts and the Ballantine Family Foundation for making this program possible.
POETRY IN SCHOOLS PROGRAM
Cowboy Poetry and music is presented in the local Durango, Bayfield, Mancos and Cortez schools. Also at the 55 Plus Center, to Mercy Medical patients, at Sunshine Gardens Assisted Living, and in Ft. Lewis College classes. These performances are done at no charge in order to allow all ages the opportunity to listen to poets tell the story of Western culture and lifestyle in poetry and song. The poets and musicians generously perform free at these venues for two full days.
|Cowboy poet and musician Sid Hausman performed a special week-long educational program at
Park Elementary School in Durango to teach the children how to write poetry and write and
perform their own cowboy songs.
The goodwill provided by these poets is beyond compare. The history they impart gives an education about our Western Culture to many children and people in our community who cannot otherwise attend performances at our venue in downtown Durango.
|Cowboy Poet Sid Hausman with students that he taught how to write their own poetry
and sing their own songs.
|Well known performer, Gary Allegretto will teach a harmonica workshop for all ages at the Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering this year.|
FUTURE FARMERS OF AMERICA
In February each year, local FFA student leaders make a formal presentation to the Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering Board of Directors requesting funding for their Chapter. In 2010, the FFA used the grant to assist in getting the students to the State Convention and National FFA Conventions. It was also used to assist students with their SAE projects which are all agricultural in origin, such as raising livestock, starting an Ag related business or starting and Ag related job.
|Officers of the Durango High School FFA Chapter took home several awards at the National FFA Convention in 2010|
The Durango High School Chapter of the FFA was headed by teacher and advisor Robert Ortiz in 2009-2010, who was runner up for Colorado Ag Teacher of the Year. Mr. Ortiz moved to another school this fall, and the FFA students bade him a tearful farewell at their spring "Tough Enough to Wear Pink" fundraiser for breast cancer research. Their new advisor, Lisa Steinken, comes with skill and enthusiasm to keep the FFA students active and inspired as they learn ag industry business skills, public speaking, marketing and finance as well as traditional farming and ranching vocations.
|Funding from the Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering helps support the Agricultural Education program of the Durango High School FFA Chapter|
In return for the Cowboy Gathering grant, the Durango FFA students volunteer at several of the Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering events. You’ll see them ushering at the evening poetry shows and assisting with the Cowboy Parade in their distinctive blue and gold FFA jackets.
The DHS FFA chapter is dedicated to community service, leadership and promoting agriculture. Their members are becoming valuable citizens in the new Western lifestyles of America and the Cowboy Gathering is proud to assist them.
For more information about the FFA, visit their website.
|Executive Coordinator of the Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering, Linda Mannix, presents Durango High School FFA President Brittany Stevens, and Treasurer Taylor Moore, a check to support all the FFA activities|
4-H HORSE COUNCIL
The goals of the 4-H Horse Council are to develop leadership abilities, build character, and create responsibility and pride in the caring of a horse. Participants in the 4-H Horse Camp learned to work in groups, and individually, with their horse. Volunteer instructors taught horsemanship, safety and friendly competition in barrel racing, gymkhana games and Western horsemanship patterns.
For more information on 4-H activities in La Plata County go to www.co.laplata.co.us
The Board of Directors of the Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering has taken important steps to insure that the culture and lifestyles of the American West will continue through these valuable youth programs.