The Durango Arts Center offers year-round visual art programs for ages 5+, including After School Art hosted in the Durango School District 9R elementary schools, summer & winter holiday camps and specialized programs for middle school youth.

Whether engaging our local youth with professional artists in the Education Studio or reaching out to local schools, DAC aspires to cultivate creativity in learners of all ages and abilities.



The Durango Arts Center provides need-based scholarships to students of our visual arts programs thanks to generous individuals and support from the Community Foundation Serving Southwest ColoradoDurango Education FoundationDurango Friends of the Arts, Erteszek Family Foundation, George W. Hopper Foundation, Pediatric Partners of the Southwest, Martin Family Fund and Red Scarf Shots.

Easily apply for a scholarship online by clicking below, or download and return the scholarship form to Deena Carney, Visual Arts Education Director by email: or deliver to DAC at 802 E 2nd Avenue, Durango.

After School Art

Offered at all Durango 9R Elementary Schools 

The Durango Arts Center has partnered with Durango School District 9-R  for more than 24 years, providing several arts enrichment programs including after-school visual arts classes (in all 9-R elementary schools) the free docent education program (elementary and middle school presentations), and the coordination and hosting of the annual Creativity Festivity event at DAC (which includes a two-week visual art exhibit featuring K-12 student work in a professional gallery setting).


Among the Durango Arts Center’s (DAC) most impactful arts education programs is the elementary arts enrichment program – After School Art – provided in each of the 9-R elementary schools, throughout the academic year.  As the only program of its kind currently serving the community, annually DAC enrolls 751+ children in sessions to explore creative self-expression through a variety of visual art mediums including painting, drawing, ceramics, weaving and sculpture.  Repeated research illustrates the link between arts education and what we want for our children and expect from our schools: academic achievement, social and emotional development, civic engagement, and equitable opportunity.  Involvement in the arts is associated with gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, and verbal skills.  Arts learning can also improve motivation, concentration, self-esteem, and teamwork.

The After School Art program is held weekly (one-hour classes) at each of the elementary schools, the monthly sessions enroll 12 students to ensure personalized attention.  Sessions are themed (such as art around the world, architecture, folk art, impressionism), with age-appropriate art/artist history lessons and a fine art project.  All art supplies are provided by DAC and classes are led by teaching artists with curriculum aligned with district and State of Colorado standards. 

To provides arts access to every child who desires to participate, the Durango Arts Center assumes full responsibility in disbursing need-based scholarship support, made possible with generous sponsorship of the Martin Family Fund, Durango Education Foundation, Durango Friends of the Arts and the Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado.

Youth Visual Arts Education Sponsors