Art alumnus awarded funding for Southern Colorado Mural Project


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On December 5, National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Rocco Landesman announced that Adams State University (ASU) is one of 153 not-for-profit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Challenge America Fast-Track grant. ASU Community Partnerships is recommended for a $10,000 grant to support a collaborative mural project between ASU Community Partnerships, ASU alumnus-Ian Wilkinson, interim chair of the Art Department Eugene Schilling and the San Luis Valley Museum Board of Directors.

In this FY 2013 funding round, the NEA received 393 eligible Challenge America Fast-Track applications, requesting a total of $3,930,000. The NEA will award 153 Challenge America Fast-Track grants totaling $1.53 million awarded to organizations in 41 states, Washington, DC, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. These include 49 first-time Arts Endowment grantees. The Challenge America Fast-Track category offers support primarily to small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to populations whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability.

“We partnered with Mr. Ian Wilkinson, an ASU alumnus, for this project for many reasons” said Mary Hoffman, executive director of ASU Community Partnerships. “He has impressive experience from working with the Ashville Mural Project in Ashville, North Carolina. He is successful with obtaining community involvement and the quality of his work is outstanding.” The mural will be on the San Luis Valley Museum’s exterior wall, located on a well-traveled street in Alamosa, Colorado.

“We are so proud of our Adams State alumni and especially happy when they come back to the Valley and share their expertise” said Lori Laske, director of Alumni Relations.

"The NEA was founded on the principle that the arts belong to all the people of the United States," said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. "We're proud that Challenge America Fast-Track grants bring more opportunities for arts engagement to underserved communities." See the complete listing of projects recommended for Challenge America Fast-Track grant support at

ASU Community Partnerships’ mission is to link ASU resources to the San Luis Valley community of South Central Colorado in order to raise the standard of living for all Valley residents. They do that through three main activities: community organizing, business development and cultural arts support.