John Epps is an Arts for Colorado member residing in Denver, CO.
Can you please give me a brief overview of your work in the arts?
I just completed my 30th year in arts education in Colorado. I began as a K-12 music teacher in Calhan, then for 18 years in the Falcon School District teaching different combinations of middle school and high school choir, band and drama. The last 10 years I have done district arts coordination for Douglas County Schools and Denver Public Schools. I will be teaching vocal music at Hamilton Middle School in Denver this upcoming school year.
How did you find yourself in the arts?
I started band in 5th grade, and later took piano lessons, sang with the choir and performed in musicals. I have been blessed with supportive parents who encouraged my varied musical interests. I knew as a high school music student that I wanted to make music my life’s work. I worked with my peers and younger students discovering that I could share my passion for music.
How does Denver, CO contribute to the arts?
Denver has developed a cultural plan, Imagine 2020, that includes funding opportunities and toolkit to help grow the arts and culture in Denver. http://artsandvenuesdenver.
Denver Public Schools has also developed a strategic arts plan to foster whole child education, including high quality arts instruction and establish the arts as a career pathway for college and career readiness. http://arts.dpsk12.org/
The voters of Denver have approved Mill Levys focused to arts education for Denver Public Schools in 2003 and 2012 which has supported the hiring of arts teachers K-12.
How did you get involved in Arts for Colorado?
I was encouraged to join Arts for Colorado to help provide an arts education voice. I have worked to make connections to Colorado arts education associations, and share relevant education initiatives in general.
What is your favorite quote?
“If all the world’s a stage, I want better lighting!”
Who are your favorite artists (of any kind)?
Brahms, Copland, Sondheim
A big thanks to John for sharing his thoughts with our AFC Advocates! We’ll be featuring more of our wonderful board members in the future so be sure to visit the site!