Lifelong learners find expression through the arts

Voices and Valley Settlement Project are working together again with the Lifelong Learning Program.
Courtesy Photo

Local nonprofits VOICES and Valley Settlement Project are teaming up for the second year, bringing art making to their Lifelong Learning students.

The Lifelong Learning Program offers free adult education in Spanish to over 100 students each year. Students learn English, Spanish literacy, math and computer skills. Through this partnership with VOICES, students discover ways to share their stories and express emotions using the creative arts, according to press release.

Angelica Breña, professor of literature from Mexico City, and Vanessa Porras, local printmaker and teaching artist, designed the workshop to explore the theme of identity and what it means to be bicultural. Breña and Porras, both of Mexican heritage, have experienced firsthand the complexity of being an immigrant.

This year, Expressive Arts Therapist Sheri Gaynor joins the teaching team and will offer tools for expressing emotions through visual journaling, experimenting with painting, drawing, collage and writing.

The workshop, which began June 26, is offered in Spanish at the Glenwood Springs Library, once a week for five weeks.

The class will include 15 adult participants. Six students will bring their teenage daughters, providing opportunities for parents and their children to bond, communicate and share their experiences, according to the release.

Reflecting on last year’s workshop, Ingrid Zúniga, assistant director of Lifelong Learning, said in the release, “Students were able to express their feelings and ideas in a different way. It was fun, and some of them worked with their children, which made it even more special.”

For more information about Valley Settlement’s Lifelong Learning Program, visit To learn more about VOICES, visit

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