It was an early-morning arrival for 400 arts lovers Feb. 13, but they were ready to Celebrate Youth in the Arts.

They were treated to a breakfast serenade at Hotel Elegant?by the Colorado Springs Children's Chorale, the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony and the Pikes Peak Youth Ringers and entertained by The Ballet Society of Colorado Springs and Performing Arts for Youth Organization performers.

Jan Martin said it was evident to everyone present that the arts are important to those young people "and we're here to make it happen for more youth."

Supporters learned there are 450 musicians of different skill levels and interests in the nine different music programs of the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony Association (, according to Executive Director Debi Krause-Reinsch.

The Children's Chorale, whose executive director is Marcia Hendricks, has five choirs and a beginner's music prep class for grades K-2. (

There are two auditioned groups of handbell musicians in the Pikes Peak Youth Ringers directed by Susan Hedgpeth (pikes

The Ballet Society (info@ teaches children as young as age 31/2.

PAYO ( has provided performing artists for children's programs for more than 40 years; the program director is Sylvia Hutson.

And why are the arts important? Young poets from Widefield Elementary School sent a message to Celebrate Youth in the Arts:

"Art whispers a dream of adventures

Throwing us a paintbrush of magic

We swirl rainbow paint in the sky

We catch ideas and run wild with joy

Expressing everything in our hearts

Skipping into dances, poems, songs, performances, drawings ...

Where we begin a new story

Our story - Art!

Widefield Elementary Poets