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Legendary artist’s influence continues

“The experiences I had there helped further form me as a teacher and instructor of dance,” Koebel said in her thank you letter to It Only Takes A Dream (IOTAD), the organization that selects the winner of the scholarship. 

Marianne Garrah, Jasper area IOTAD director, said they hope to give the scholarship to someone who intends to bring what they learn back to the community, like Koebel did. 

Another aspect of the scholarship is the application process. It is important that everything is filled out properly. Garrah said it’s an important skill to learn how to write out applications properly when hoping to secure funding, because a simple error can cancel an application. 

“If I don’t dot an i or cross a t, my application comes back to me,” Garrah said. 

The scholarship is open to all Albertans, and the deadline for applications is fast approaching on June 1. There has been interest from outside of Jasper, and Garrah said social networking has been an integral part of getting Brooks’ legacy out there.

Eleanore Bye, a close friend of Brooks, said artists need a little help wherever they can get it in an industry that some struggle to maintain full-time. 

“The industry needs to be propped up,” she said. 

Brooks managed to live the artist life full-time. She would often trade her art work for items such as vehicles or music. The artist also gave back to the community that supported her. She taught many local artists.

“She was in the community everywhere,” Bye said, adding that her door was always open to others. 

That aspect of Brooks’ personality is why the scholarship was chosen to honour her legacy. 

“We just want to keep her living on,” Bye said. 

Her memory seems to be living on, with her work hanging all over Jasper. Bye was recently visiting the cemetery to drop some flowers by Brooks’ grave, and noticed that someone had already been there to leave a bouquet of blue roses. 

“Her name is still out there,” Bye said. 

Brooks’ work can be found at the Alberta government legislature gift shop, where MLAs shop for gifts for delegates. Her pieces can be found at the Jasper Park Lodge, in corporate offices and at the Sawridge Hotel in Edmonton. 

More information on how to apply for the scholarship can be found online at www.barbrooksartist.com

The applications received will go through a critiquing process and the winner will be based on a merit point system. An independent person will be brought in to decide should there be a tough decision to make. Bye said that last year they had a hard time choosing between two worthy recipients, and expects the same this year. 

“This town has so many creative people,” she said. 

There is no age limit for applicants and no particular medium. Garrah suggests high school students going on to higher education in the arts apply. 

The deadline for applications will be June 1, and the award should be handed out by July 1.

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