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Research confirms that time spent in Nature has significant emotional and physical outcomes for people of all ages and Art is like a bridge spanning different worlds, cultures and possibilities. Hands-on arts education and community engagement strengthens our ability to think creatively and problem-solve and opens us to new possibilities in our changing world. LEAP outreach, workshops, field trips and education programs bring these powerful elements together. Our education projects and community and youth art and ecology educational events offer opportunities to form new connections with the Natural world and our public lands and issues and traditions at the heart of our communities, by experiencing and creating innovative, place-based adventures that investigate relevant natural and cultural themes. LEAP collaborates with the Questa School Discrict and Roots and Wings Charter School, the BLM Taos Field Office and The US Forest Service Carson District and local community members and groups for regional field trips and education opportunities. LEAP is also expanding its education outreach by exploring STEM themes and curriculum through collaborations with Twirl, STEMarts, The PASEO and the UNM Social Media Group.

Seeds ~ Semillas Spring Education – 2017

This year’s theme is magnificent and fascinating seeds! For our Spring enrichment program, we offered social studies and science activities and themed art projects developed in collaboration with the art teacher. We also hosted esteemed local farmer and seed specialist, Miguel Santistevan to come give presentations and demonstrations to students for a day and we brought the SEED Sensorium, developed by SEED Taos, for students to experience and enjoy. Then students took these experiences with them to the art room to further delve into the theme of seeds through the creation of banners and various other visual art assignments. The banners were then installed in the RTD Blue Bus Stops in and around Questa.

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Cross-Pollination: Water, Waste and Community Field Trips – 2016

Twenty-three Questa eighth-graders – taking an “Energy and the Environment” class with science teacher, Ms. Erica Zito, joined us for two days or a multi-site field trip series, focused on themes related to water and waste issues in our local community and globally. The field trips also introduced how art, artists and the students themselves are a part of the dialogue and could affect change around these issues.

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Solar-Powered Village STEMarts Workshop
+ Event at The Paseo – 2015

In Questa, a tailings pond from the former molybdenum mine has been turned into a solar field that generates enough energy to meet 80 percent of the community’s power needs. The “Solar-Powered Village” workshop brought together Questa Junior-Senior High Students and UNM students to engage with local energy topics and community challenges. They then took their findings to The Paseo.

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“Luz es Vida – Light is Life” Field Trip
Summer 2015

Grades K – 3rd all joined together on one large, fun, summer school field trip to the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument on July 3rd. The field trip included a morning hike to the rim of the gorge with introductions to light-related earth sciences and ecology concepts. After lunch, solar-inspired art projects, painted flags inspired by international folk designsof the sun, solar prints and paper plate sundials. More….

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“Luz es Vida” Earth Day Banners + Event – 2015

LEAP’s 2015 Earth Day youth program has two parts: 1) Youth-Painted Banners in the Bus Stops; 2) Earth Day Youth Performance Café at OCHO Art + Event Space. The two related projects are inspired by the “Luz es Vida – Light is Life” theme and by Earth Day and involve students from the Questa Independent School District, Roots and Wings Community School as well as local home school students. More…

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“Seeds: Time Capsules of Wilderness” – 2014

“Thinking Wilderness” kicked-off in spring 2014 with the interdisciplinary science and art education program and exhibition, “Seeds: Time Capsules of Wilderness.” The hands-on program explored the wild world of seeds as seen through young eyes and engaged over 270 students, preschool through sixth grade, from Questa Alta Vista Elementary, Rio Costilla Southwest Learning Academy, and Arroyos del Norte Elementary schools. Learn more about this program and see these young Wilderness Thinkers at work! More: Part 1,  Part 2,  Part 3

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“NeoKite” – NeoRio 2012

In 2012, NeoKite artists and volunteers are working with classes from the Questa Alta Vista Elementary and Rio Costilla Elementary Schools, introducing them to the history and art of tethered aircraft. 3 days of kite and windsock-making workshops were followed by field trips to the Wild River Recreation Area to fly the students’ new wind-art creations. The project culminated in the fall with a short video and NeoKite exhibition at OCHO Art + Event Space in Questa, as part of NeoRio and ISEA2012, featuring colorful wind-art creations and videos by students, community members and artists. More…

“What’s in the Water?” – NeoRio 2011

In May, 2011 LEAP and Wild Earth Studio teamed up with the Wild Rivers Recreation Area staff and the Questa Schools to offer a unique program for Jennifer Vialpando’s Questa Junior High Art class, the outcome of which is the short video called, “What’s in the Water”. Created with puppet-like props, made and operated by students, the video is the result of a week-long, arts-based “study” of local aquatic species. Funded by a small grant from the Public Lands Interpretive Association (PLIA), the project culminated in a field trip to the Wild Rivers Recreation Area, where the students  brought their puppets to life in an experimental set on the rim of gorge. The video (below) was premiered at NeoRio 2011 as part of the theme, “Water Mark.”

<p><a href=”″>WHATS IN THE WATER?</a> from <a href=””>REBEL SPARKS VIDEO ENGINE</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

What’s in the Water? 2011 from John Wenger on Vimeo.

Presentations in the Schools by Lynne Hull – NeoRio 2010

Engaging youth was an important part of NeoRio 2010. Lynne visited “Roots and Wings”, a local charter school, where she gave an abbreviated version of her artists talk and invited students and their family’s to come to the activities the following weekend. Lynne also led a workshop for University of Colorado Students visiting from Boulder to attend NeoRio, in which she facilitated a group-building of a sculpture for wildlife utilizing a “dead and down” Ponderosa pine tree. She also led an Andy Goldsworthy inspired workshop, in which the UC students were given an alotted time to find natural elements and create small installations on site.

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