Wild West Fest

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Sponsor a Child

The Sheridan Arts Foundation invites you to be a part of one of the most meaningful and exciting festivals of the Telluride community, the annual Wild West Fest. The 29th annual Wild West Fest will take place from August 2-7, 2021, after being forced to cancel the event last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since 1991, the Sheridan Arts Foundation has raised more than $40,000 each year to bring 40-50 underserved youth from Boys & Girls Clubs from around the country to Telluride for a week of nurturing, child-centered mentorship programs and fascinating cultural experiences as a part of the Chip Allen Mentorship Program (C.A.M.P). Children travel from cities across the United States, including Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Farmington N.M., Dallas/Ft. Worth, and Colorado Springs. The Sheridan Arts Foundation covers all costs of the program for each child which comes out to $1,000 per child. Child sponsors donate $1,000 or more to cover the cost of the week for a child. With their tax-deductible donation, child sponsors will receive:

  • an invite to every activity during the week, including our BBQ at the legendary Schmid Ranch which includes seeing their baby animals, going on tractor rides and sampling locally grown food.
  • receive a thank-you note from their sponsored child
  • a tax letter to the extent allowed by law

We also are dependent on corporate sponsorships. If your business is not able to make a monetary donation, we are always looking for local restaurants to donate a meal, activities that help us expose kids to the western culture of Telluride and lodging companies that can donate a condo for the week.

Here in Telluride, we enjoy many privileges, and Wild West Fest is a chance to share our community with kids who can really benefit from what it has to offer. This is our chance to open our town and our hearts to kids in need. The goal of the Sheridan Arts Foundation every year is to provide an esteem-building experience for each child that allows them to challenge themselves in a supportive and non-competitive environment.

For many of these kids, this trip to Telluride marks their first time out of their home cities, their first time on an airplane, their first real vacation or first summer camp experience. Kids who come to the Wild West Fest learn about themselves, the world and the possibilities that exist.

During their week in Telluride, these kids work with nurturing mentors in the fields of drama/dance, visual arts, horsemanship, fly fishing, outdoor adventure and music, as well as take part in exciting outdoor adventures and meaningful cultural experiences.W

We welcomed 36 kids from four groups for Wild West Fest 2019- check out our schedule from last year to get a sense of what our kids get to experience during this magical week:



Youth and counselors arrive from Wichita Falls, TX, Denver, CO, & Nucla/Naturita, CO


9 A.M. Elks Park Orientation

10 A.M. – 3 P.M. WWF CAMP

5 – 7 P.M. Wild West Fest Kick-Off Celebration and BBQ in Town Park for participants, supporters, sponsors and open to the public


9 A.M. – 3 P.M. WWF CAMP

5:30 – 8 P.M. Schmid Ranch Western BBQ & Pig Roast for participants, supporters and sponsors (Catered by Oak)


9 A.M. – 3 P.M. WWF CAMP

5 P.M. Dinner at Rustico Ristorante

7 P.M. WWF Showcase & Shindig in the Sheridan Opera House:

Native American dance troupe Yellowbird and WWF youth perform for the public

8 P.M. Neyla Pekarek, formerly of the Lumineers, performs with her band at The Sheridan Opera House


9 A.M. – 3 P.M. Circle K Ranch for WWF Youth; featuring hikes, games and horseback rides

4-4:30 p.m. private screening of Scott Ransom film at the Sheridan Opera House

5:30-8 P.M. Pool party in Telluride Town Park

Here's what some of our past participants have to say about their experiences in our program:

"Wild West Fest helped me to see a part of the world I never saw before. It also made me be able to meet new people and create new friendships that hopefully will last a lifetime. It opened my eyes to a new beginning" - Marcus, Atlanta, age 15

"Everyone in the whole town treated us like we were really important, and it felt good!" - Valerie, Farmington NM, age 14

"I loved everything about our trip to Telluride. I will remember most the kindness that everyone showed me." - Heather, Denver, age 15

"It was fun meeting kids from small towns and big towns, everyone got along so well with each other. I liked the Opera House, it was fun to be able to perform on the stage." - Brandon, Atlanta, age 13

"This place made me feel like a princess!" - Alta, Atlanta, age 10


The Reverence of the Dance by Julie M. Hutchison, Please contact the Sheridan Arts Foundation staff to purchase