Cultural and heritage tourism is gaining in importance along the Highway 50 corridor and La Junta is at the forefront of providing a unique and quality experience for its visitors. La Junta is in the process of working with the Colorado Council of the Arts to provide a forum for artists to express themselves and highlight their work as we strive to reconnect the communities along Highway 50 to form a cooperative network that would not only benefit the residents of the communities but the visitors that travel to them.
La Junta supports its artistic community. From special art exhibits and showings, art galleries, community concerts in the Park, Picketwire Playhouse, and Ed Stafford Theater on the OJC Campus, plus a wonderful community theater program, La Junta has it all.
Otero Fine Arts League
The Otero Fine Arts League, sponsors a National Art Show that showcases local artists. They hold this juried competition each May at the Otero Museum and it is open to all local artists.
Otero Arts Festival
The Otero Arts Festival is sponsored each year by Otero Junior College, Department of the Arts. This popular event is open to all students, grades seven through twelve. The Festival provides incentive and recognition in the expression of the arts in the Arkansas Valley and Southeastern Colorado. The Otero Arts Festival offers many students a venue for their first public exibition of their work.
Koshare Indian Museum
Many visitors are astounded when they discover that for the past 75 years a group of kids have been collecting artwork created by noted artists from Taos, Sante Fe and the West. The link between the Koshare dancer program and the Museum began when the youth met noted artists during their tenure as Koshare dancers. They gained an appreciation of Native American and Southwestern art and soon began collecting and purchasing works of art for the Koshare collection.
Today the Koshare Indian Museum has one of the premier exhibits of Native American and Western Art in the nation - including the largest collection of Ernesto Zepeda paintings and the second largest collection of Joseph Imhof artwork.
The Picketwire Players have been performing in the Picketwire Theater since 1968. It has become a La Junta community tradition to attend the Fall, Spring and Summer productions of these talented local performers. One of the most popular plays to be produced recently was “Frank Baum's Wizard of Oz” in Spring 2009. What made it extra special is that it was based on Baum's original classic and written and produced by local Picketwire player Chad Evett.
For a schedule of performances and ticket information visit the Picketwire Players web site or call (719) 384-8320.
The Otero Players is an independent project of the Otero Junior College Department of Arts. The Otero Players are a consortium of faculty members, students, college staff, and community volunteers who produce live theatrical events, stage plays, and mediated performances for a variety of venues. The primary mission of the Otero Players is to educate students and audiences through the performing arts, and to enhance the community's understanding of social issues and the human condition.
La Junta Children's Theater is designed to give students a professional theatre experience. This means a professional, personal, and the creative perspective on the crafting of theatre. The La Junta Children's Theater program strives to create an environment where both the creative process and a professional performance experience are spotlighted. This can help promote development of imagination, independent and critical thinking, social growth and ability to work with others, improved communication skills, knowledge of self, and a fun introduction to theatre.
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