Cindy Olsen first traveled through Guttenberg right after finishing her undergraduate studies. She was awed at Guttenberg’s beauty as she first came down the north hill and wondered if she would ever come to Guttenberg again. Cindy has her M.S. Degree in counseling and has over 25 years of experience working with kids, families, and individuals. She also worked from 1986-1996 developing and operating health clubs in Dubuque. Cindy began private practice in Guttenberg fourteen years ago with a partnership and support from Kim Gau and Guttenberg Municipal Hospital. She currently practices in Riverside Wellness. Her work with kids led her to develop the Creativity Center in order to provide after school art programming to kids and encourage self-expression through creativity. Cindy put forward the original seed money to start the Creativity Center and has logged hundreds of volunteer hours in promoting, operating, developing, marketing, and managing the studio and gallery.
Today, the Creativity Center carries out Cindy’s vision of providing an after school art program to local youth at no cost to families, schools, or the community. Participants in the after school program get to work in a variety of media, including wheel pottery, kiln fired glass, stained glass, mosaic, acrylic, watercolor, and oil painting, photography, jewelry, precious metal clay, resin, and much more. The center is a great resource to the community - offering a place to participate in and learn more about the arts.
Shepherd Gallery, which features a large variety of locally made art works, exists to help fund the after-school program and to support local artists. Shepherd Gallery and Creativity Center offers artist exhibits and receptions, classes and workshops, and artisan retail, and is capable of hosting other special events. The studio is also open to the public to experiment in a variety of media. All of these avenues help to provide funding for the after school program.
The organization’s goals are long-term sustainability and to increase the number of youth served. Staff hope to achieve these goals by opening their in-house Artisan Café and Courtyard this summer. The organization is currently competing in a national competition for a $15,000 grant through the Isle of Capri’s Community Aces Challenge. This grant would provide longevity for the after school art program for two to three years. Facebook users can vote for the Creativity Center here once a day through March 20.
February 13-14: Eagle Watch & Cabin Fever Weekend
March 8: GD&T and G&G Living Center Talent Show, 2pm at the Municipal Building.
Check www.guttenbergiowa.net for workshops, fundraising dinners, performances, and more.