Mountain Fair includes collaborative art opportunity | PostIndependent.com

Mountain Fair includes collaborative art opportunity

Carla Jean Whitley
cj@postindependent.com

Memories may last, but during this year's Mountain Fair, you can also create something tangible. At its first-ever Mountain Fair booth, Ascendigo Autism Services will invite the community to make mosaic tiles. Those will later be assembled as part of a bench, to be installed after the fair on the Rio Grande ArtWay. That's a one-mile stretch of the Rio Grande Trail that will become a linear art park.

It's both an opportunity to give to the community and increase awareness of Ascendigo, said marketing director Susan Linden.

"We'd like for more people in the valley to know who we are and what we do, what we're all about," Linden said.

Ascendigo provides a variety of services for children and adults on the autism spectrum. It launched with its flagship program, sports camp, in 2004. Since then, Ascendigo has added Saturday Adventures Club; Adult Comprehensive Experience, which helps adults move toward self-sufficiency; Ascending to Adulthood, a summer intensive that prepares attendees to move from childhood to adulthood; outreach services; and a community living residential program.

In the weeks prior to Mountain Fair, Ascendigo participants began working with Olivia Pevec and Rochelle Norwood of Scavenger Industries. The duo provided materials for the bench, such as broken porcelain dishes and reclaimed wood.

It's an extension of the sort of partnership that has become Ascendigo's norm; its participants work at Carbondale businesses including Phat Thai and KDNK radio. Inviting Mountain Fair attendees to help create the Artway bench is one more way to make connections.

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Linden said. "[People in the area] really do embrace our program and make our participants feel like they're part of the community."