Press Release – Kids Curate, May 2022

Friday, May 20, 2022
Contact: Heidi Hagemeier, director of communications, 541-382-4754 ext. 166,

New Museum Exhibit from the Hands and Hearts of Student Artists

BEND, OR — The High Desert Museum is excited to celebrate the 10th anniversary of one of its signature educational programs. Kids Curate connects Museum educators and resources with Central Oregon elementary school students and culminates in an exhibition. Kids Curate: The Power of Process is now open at the Museum.

Kids Curate is a yearlong program that integrates art, culture, science and history into classroom and field-trip experiences over the course of the school year. The Museum partners with a different Central Oregon school every year to provide hands-on learning for students. Caregivers and families celebrate the students’ work in an exhibition opening event at the end of the school year.

Fourth graders from Hugh Hartman Elementary’s Dual Language Program in Redmond created this year’s project. Months of effort have culminated in an interactive, multidimensional and bilingual mural display created by the students. Each student contributes to the gallery wall a representation of themselves, as they are part of the High Desert. There also is an intergenerational art project that caregivers and family members helped build during the private exhibition opening in mid-May.

“Immersion in the art process has sparked learning on multiple fronts,” said the leader of this year’s program, Associate Curator of Community Engagement Carly Garzón Vargas. “Students see themselves reflected on our gallery walls and know that their stories are valuable and important.”  The exhibit is an external representation of the internal process.

In addition, Kids Curate provides participating students with the pride of publicly and prominently displaying their artwork and the tools to continue their artistic practice.

Kids Curate students bring new perspectives and stories to our gallery walls every spring,” said Museum Executive Director Dana Whitelaw, Ph.D. “The art-centered approach develops social-emotional skills, empathy and more as individuals contribute to a collective project in the hope of growing their place in the community.”

More information about the High Desert Museum and Kids Curate program can be found at Kids Curate: The Power of Process is on exhibit through Sunday, July 10, 2022.

This year, Kids Curate is made possible by Dogs Limited, Harvest Foundation, Lonza, Oregon Arts Commission, Storms Family Foundation and TC Energy with support from The Bloomfield Family Foundation and the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation.


THE HIGH DESERT MUSEUM opened in Bend, Oregon in 1982. It brings together wildlife, cultures, art, history and the natural world to convey the wonder of North America’s High Desert. The Museum is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, is a Smithsonian Affiliate, was the 2019 recipient of the Western Museums Association’s Charles Redd Award for Exhibition Excellence and was a 2021 recipient of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.