Gila Valley Arts Council has brought the performing arts to Graham and Greenlee Counties for more than 30 years. Their priority is education. Through their school residency program, the Council is able to capture the interest and celebrate the talents of students in every form of performance: instrumental, vocal music, dance, and stage. They make a difference in the lives of students on various levels, raising appreciation of the performing arts through performances for students, improving skills by offering workshops to students who have chosen the arts as electives, and coaching young performers through master classes to improve their craft.
The Safford Middle School students thoroughly enjoyed the Everything Fitz workshop. As their teacher, I was very impressed with the educational components of the workshop. My students learned about the main pillars of fiddling and folk music—the reel, jig, and waltz. The musicians answered all my students’ questions in a very engaging way.
- Chip Cheney
Strings Instructor for Safford Middle School
During 2016-2017, the Gila Valley Arts Council reached 3,517 students from 19 schools through its residency program that featured Angela Cheng and Alvin Chow, duo pianists; Ocotillo Winds, a woodwind ensemble; James Tormé, singer; and Everything Fitz, musicians and dancers. The Council is the only agency in the Gila Valley offering performing arts opportunities to all schools in both counties. The Arizona Community Foundation of the Gila Valley has supported their work through grant funding and its endowment program.