I was pleased to serve as one of the judges yesterday for the annual Boys & Girls Club National Fine Art Exhibition at the Laramie County Public Library in Cheyenne.
I've been a judge the past three years. Interest in this competition grows every year. This year, there was a big increase in 3-D entries in the pottery and sculpture category. Art Coordinator Michael Raper gets some of the credit for this. In December, he was a recipient of the Golden Apple Teacher's Award from Cheyenne's CBS Channel 5. Michael is assisted by Shanda Tryon.
Youth that attend programs at the Cheyenne Boys & Girls Club participate in four age categories. First-place and Best-In-Show recipients will go to the regional competition. You can find out more at www.bgcchey.org.
The library exhibit will be on display through Feb. 11. Look for the paintings and drawings on the second floor children's section and pottery and sculpture on the second floor and in the display cabinets in the library's entryway.
The Cheyenne Boys & Girls Club has received grants and other assistance from the Wyoming Arts Council.
On Dec. 29, outgoing Gov. Dave Freudenthal made this announcement about funding for Wyoming Boys & Girls Clubs:
CHEYENNE -- Gov. Dave Freudenthal has committed up to $1.3 million in federal funds for Boys and Girls Clubs around Wyoming for major maintenance and repairs on club facilities as well as the purchase of equipment.
"Boys and Girls Clubs have difficulty raising funding for their important infrastructure needs," Freudenthal said today in a media release. "It's important that we dedicate these remaining federal stimulus funds to help meet those needs."
The $1.3 million for Boys and Girls Clubs is the available balance from State Fiscal Stabilization Fund monies which had earlier been dedicated to the construction of juvenile detention facilities in the state.
"The clubs have significant infrastructure needs but they just can't raise the money to address them," Freudenthal said, "so we're dedicating federal funds to these community projects."
Jack Tarter, president of the Wyoming Alliance of Boys and Girls Club, said, "I'm very excited about the money as it not only will enlarge the scope of opportunity within the clubs but also allow for a greater number of teens to become involved in the clubs."
Boys and Girls Clubs are located in Buffalo, Casper, Cheyenne, Cody, Douglas, Eastern Shoshone Tribe, F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Gillette, Glenrock, Kaycee, Powell, Rawlins and Rock Springs. The funding will allow clubs to apply to the State Land and Investment Board to use the funds for major maintenance of the facilities and expenditures such as computers, software and educational materials to support activities within the centers.
"Boys and Girls Clubs give children a safe and affordable place to go after school and our programs help lower dropout rates," Tarter said.
Club programs that assist children with school homework or prepare them for future development could benefit from the funding.
The State will determine which projects are eligible for the federal funds, which may involve site visits in addition to the standard application process. The money comes from the State Fiscal Stabilization funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.