5x5 Art Show raises money for Rising Star Riders


April 27, 2024


Rising Star Riders, in conjunction with Tehachapi Arts Center Co-op, presents our second annual 5x5 art show and sale on May 3.

In keeping with 5x5 tradition, doors will open at 5:55 p.m., all art is sized 5 inches by 5 inches and will be sold for $55.55! This annual fundraising event provides area artists a chance to display their talents and allows the community to purchase a quality piece of artwork at an affordable price. Snacks and beverages will be served as part of the First Friday celebration.

Kelly McBride, LCSW founder and now executive director of Rising Star Riders, a 501(c)(3) organization, explains, "Rising Star Riders is an organization dedicated to serving the needs of children and adults with physical and/or emotional challenges. Since last year's 5x5, Rising Star Riders moved locations, resulting in some extra expenses. In August 2023, Rising Star Riders relocated to a new venue at Cummings Valley's Wild Wind Ranch, owned by Pete and Terri Sturn. This move was prompted by the previous property owner's health concerns. We are deeply grateful for our new home, where our program continues to flourish. However, transitioning to a new location presented its own set of challenges, particularly the need to secure funds for essential ranch supplies to support our students' needs."

She continues, "Since our relocation, we've welcomed three new instructors: Terri, Ashleigh and Haley. This expansion allows us to offer lessons seven days a week, weather permitting. And, of course, this is Tehachapi, so we've had our fair share! Despite encountering several storms since the move, impacting our lesson schedule, we remain dedicated to our mission."

The program is made up of 35 current participants, five instructors, 10 volunteers (and they could always use more) and six horses.

One parent wrote this past year, "Rising Star Riders is my child's savior. When the depression and darkness took over, Rising Star Riders brought back the light. There is now happiness and a meaning to life. It has awakened a desire, a purpose to go on. He can be himself with no judgment. He is confident and proud of his accomplishments with working with the horses. He has found something to love in those incredible, gentle and beautiful horses. Rising Star Riders has given me my happy child back."

Sara Dickenson is the mom of two participants. When asked about the impact of Rising Star Riders, Sara wrote:

"Rising Star Riders means a lot to me as a parent of two boys with autism. This program has done so much for both of my boys. Wyatt is able to complete a whole lesson without a meltdown or giving up with lots of work and encouragement from the volunteers. Colton just absolutely loves horses. Both boys have learned how to respect the animal and the equipment they use. They sometimes have difficulty understanding that horses are living beings, too. The boys groom and ride the horses and clean up afterward, becoming more empathetic toward others, learning more responsibilities as they grow.

"Additionally, the volunteers are absolutely amazing with my boys. My boys are very different and different approaches are needed. As a parent I am always proud watching them grow through the program. I'm very lucky to have found such a great program for my boys!"

In addition to the official 5x5 artwork for sale, art created by the Rising Star Riders participants and horses will be available for purchase (at $5.55 so as not to minimize the donation/work of the main art pieces). The Rising Star Riders participants will work with instructors and volunteers to create 5x5 projects, some including the use of the program's horses.

"We extend our heartfelt appreciation to the community for their unwavering support, particularly for the upcoming 5x5 art show fundraiser. We invite everyone to attend this complimentary event and contribute by donating or purchasing art!" McBride said.

Join the fun at the Tehachapi Arts Center Co-op, 116 E. Tehachapi Blvd., at 5:55 p.m. on Friday, May 3.


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