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Dream Catchers connects UCCS VAPA students to local arts scene

By: Stephanie Von Fange, Dream Catchers
November 3, 2015 Updated: November 3, 2015 at 8:41 pm
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UCCS students wheat pasting on the Dream Catchers building. Courtesy photo

Nonprofit News is a monthly Gazette publication featuring stories submitted by nonprofit organizations and individuals in the Pikes Peak region. Submit content and events for consideration to nonprofitnews@gazette.com.


Local nonprofit organization Dream Catchers in downtown Colorado Springs is collaborating with University of Colorado - Colorado Springs (UCCS) students to create a wheat paste mural on its building.

Dream Catchers is as a vocational program for adults with intellectual disabilities and at risk youth. Its mission is to integrate participants into the larger community through cultural arts and events.

The partnership between Dream Catchers and Visual and Performing Arts Department (VAPA) is the beginning of a continuing relationship between the two entities to connect art students to the larger arts community. The opportunity was offered to students as a project built into a current VAPA course. The project will continue as an annual production between Professor Nikki Pike’s Art and Democracy course and Dream Catchers. The project’s funding has come together from Daisy McGowan’s Galleries of Contemporary Arts (GOCA), the UCCS Visual and Performing Arts Department and Dream Catchers.

Once the wheat-paste design was finalized, students of Art and Democracy in UCCS’ Visual and Performing Arts Department, led by professor Nikki Pike, came together to realize the project on a large scale. Ian Alexandrowicz, Rachel Carpenter, Sara Cofield, Alisan Harano, Michael Teske and Antonio Castaneda are the students on the project.

“I have found students respond strongest and gain more in their education when their classroom experience extends outward into the community,” Pike said. “They thrive when given real-life opportunities. Students presented professional opportunity in the field, rise to the occasion and act as professionals. I couldn’t be more proud of the work accomplished by this group in each of the stages of this project from design to realization.”

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