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Non-Profit in the Spotlight

Every month, Aspen Public Radio picks a non-profit in the Roaring Fork Valley that is focused on service and improving the community for all. Each week, you'll hear a different aspect of our Non-Profit in the Spotlight as they explain their mission, challenges, and successes.

The Wyly Community Art Center is going through some big changes.

Genna Moe is the Executive Director of the Wyly and just a few months into the job, she's excited to announce new programs, projects, and goals for the Basalt-based art center, including a name change.

With the support of the Wyly family, the Wyly Community Art Center will re-brand as The Art Base - alluding to its role as a base of operations for emerging artists in the Roaring Fork Valley. And, the main exhibitions space will be named the Charles J. Wyly Gallery at the Art Base. 

Jocelyn Murray has been working in the arts for years - she's the Exhibitions Manager at the Wyly Community Art Center and is an abstract painter. She says the Wyly offers something unique for artists throughout the Roaring Fork Valley.

Murray discusses exhibitions, working with artists, and the Wyly's two gallery spaces: the main Wyly Gallery and the Wyly Annex, a temporary gallery space in downtown Basalt. 

Currently, the Wyly Gallery is showing The Wyly Open, and the Wyly Annex is showing Works by Tony Prikryl​. Both shows are up until November 21st. 

Holly Gressett, the Associate Director and Programs Director at the Wyly Community Art Center, is a big advocate for art and encourages everyone to try a workshop at the Basalt-based arts center. Gressett discusses the adult, children's, and partner programs the Wyly offers. 

Learn more about workshops, classes, and programs at www.WylyArts.org

Deb Jones is the founder and former Director of the Wyly Community Art Center. Today, is she a full-time working artist, but reflects on the beginning of the Wyly and its evolution over the years.

Learn more about the Wyly Community Art Center and their programs at www.WylyArts.org.   

The Aspen Poets' Society was founded nine years ago with the mission to bring the written and spoken words of poetry to audiences in the Aspen area and beyond. The organization currently hosts monthly live poetry readings at Victoria's cafe in Aspen and works with local schools. Audiences are steadily growing, but as co-founders Kim Nuzzo and Lisa Max Zimet explain, it's time for the next phase of growth and expansion. 

Learn more about the Aspen Poets' Society and their monthly live poetry readings at www.aspenpoetsociety.com or 379-2136.  

Poet Cam Scott moved to the Roaring Fork Valley eight years ago. He writes a poem every day, and has been doing so for decades. He said that his first order of business after moving was to find a local poetry group. He found that in the Aspen Poets' Society.

Scott discusses the evolving poetry movement on Colorado's Western Slope and how poetry has helped shaped his life. Kim Nuzzo, co-founder and president of the Aspen Poets' Soceity, also contributes. 

A few years ago, the Aspen Poets' Society published A Democracy of Poets of the Roaring Fork Valley and Beyond, a book that features poems by local poets. Marjory DeLuca, member of the society and owner of Aspen Graphic Solutions, helped design and publish the book. She says the response has been great and they're onto their second printing. DeLuca shares the process of creating the book, and the expansion of poetry in the Roaring Fork Valley. 

Kim Nuzzo, co-founder and president of the Aspen Poets' Society, and Cam Scott, member of the society, also contribute. 

Learn more about the Aspen Poets' Society and their monthly live poetry readings at www.aspenpoetsociety.com or 379-2136.  

Lisa Max Zimet and Kim Nuzzo are the co-founders of the Aspen Poets' Society. Celebrating its 9th year anniversary this month, the organization was formed after Zimet, who was doing marketing for the former Zele Cafe in Aspen, had the idea of bringing live poetry readings to the cafe after a series of successful evening events with music. 

Zimet and Nuzzo share the history of the organization and the power of poetry. The Aspen Poets' Society hosts live poetry readings every month at Victoria's Cafe in Aspen. To learn more about the organization and their events, visit www.AspenPoetSociety.com or (970) 379-2136. 

English in Action Executive Director Lara Beaulieu discusses the challenges facing the organization, as well as her goals for the future. English in Action has a waiting list with almost 100 individuals waiting for tutors - the organization will host a fall volunteer tutor drive in hopes of recruiting almost 80 new tutors.

Learn more about the fall recruitment HERE, and find out more information about English in Action at www.EnglishinAction.org.   

Julie Goldstein is the Board Chair of English in Action. She joined the organization in 2009 when she became a volunteer tutor. She shares her personal experiences in education and as a tutor, and examines the changing trends of immigrant communities in the Roaring Fork Valley. 

Visit www.EnglishinAction.org to learn more about how you can become a volunteer tutor. 

In the 1980's, an increasing number of immigrants - predominantly from Mexico and Central America - became a vital part of the Roaring Fork Valley. Some of these new immigrants struggled to learn English and in some cases, cultural divides developed.

English in Action was created in 1994 when the Basalt Regional Library launched its Adult Literacy Program - committed to fostering a diverse community. In 2008, the initiative became a fully independent non-profit organization known today as English in Action.  

Executive Director Lara Beaulieu discusses the organization's history and importance in the Roaring Fork Valley. 

  Tim McFlynn is the founder and board chair of Public Counsel of the Rockies - he humbly refers to the organization as more of a "non-profit in the candlelight". And he has good reason for that - the organization is small, elusive, and tends to fly under most of our radars. But, he says it's time to bring more awareness to the public interest firm and its work. Chelsea Brundige, board trustee and head of the Counsel's Smart Water Program, says that they hope the younger generation of professionals and activities will continue this work. 

In 2006, Public Counsel began the process of challenging the 1963 Colorado Oil & Gas Act, that allowed the owner of a property's underground mineral rights to pump and dispose of groundwater to access the gas, with no permit, despite the protests of the surface owner.

In 1969, the Atomic Energy Commission used a nuclear bomb 8,000' below the ground in Rulison, Colorado, to crack a fracture zone to release natural gas. Thirty-five years later, a small Texas energy company applied to drill wells in the area. Chelsea Brundige, board trustee of the Public Counsel of the Rockies, and Tim McFlynn, founder and board chair of Public Counsel, discuss the case and outcome. 

 Chances are, you've never heard of Public Counsel of the Rockies...until now. This little organization is based out of the Benedict Building in Aspen, and has no staff, but is a heavy hitter when it comes to making big changes on issues of public interest. Tim McFlynn is the founder and board chair of Public Counsel. He shares the organization's history and his inspiration for creating it. Chelsea Brundige is a trustee on the board of Public Counsel, and runs the Counsel's Smart Water Program. She also joins the conversation. 

Renee Solari is the Program Manager for Education Services at SunPower, a solar company that designs and manufactures high-efficiency photovoltaic cells and solar panels out of California. The company has a mission to provide tools and promote education to students around the country. Energetics Education, based in Carbondale, is a recipient of donated solar panels from SunPower. These panels are used by high school students in the Roaring Fork Valley to design and build solar-powered cars, or Solar Rollers. 

Jon Fox-Rubin is on the board of Energetics Education, a non-profit focused on inspiring kids to study, learn, and develop new methods of clean energy today and in the future. Fox-Rubin shares his personal history in engineering and his passion for Energetics Education.

Visit www.EnergeticsEd.org to learn more about Energetics Education and the Solar Rollers program.   

Noah Davis is the Executive Director of Energetics Education, a non-profit organization that brings energy education to high school students through the Solar Rollers program. High school teams comprising of six students sign up to participate in Solar Rollers. The teams are given a solar-powered car kit which they must design and build, and eventually race against other teams. The third annual race was held in the Big Horn Toyota parking lot in Glenwood Springs in May 2015. 

Energetics Education is a young non-profit organization based in Carbondale that works to bring energy education programs into high schools. Established in 2014, the organization has one program - Solar Rollers - that gives solar car kits to high schoolers and hosts a competitive race for the school teams in the spring.   

Noah Davis is the executive director of Energetics Education and shares his personal history in energy and education, and what inspired him to start the organization.

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