AIE program features Sled Dogs


DARKE COUNTY — Darke County Center for the Arts’ Arts In Education series presented something entirely different to fourth through sixth grade students throughout the county Oct. 24-28. DCCA brought back former teacher and current musher Tasha Stielstra along with her sled dogs to present the interactive program “Pulling Together,” centered around the values of teamwork and being kind and responsible citizens. “DCCA is quite pleased to bring Tasha and company back to our community; her previous residency here is still fondly remembered by educators and students alike,” said DCCA Artistic Director David Warner.

Tasha and her husband Ed own Nature’s Kennel Sled Dog Racing and Adventures in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula; Ed has participated in the Iditarod eight times, many times placing among the top 25 racers. The husband and wife team have received numerous humanitarian awards for their outstanding care of the dogs. Tasha runs the touring and outfitter part of the business, and travels across the county as an educator and popular speaker. However, when Tasha visited the community a few years back, her accompanying sled dog was the hit of her presentation. “Students and educators are thrilled and surprised at the positive traits displayed by the animals, who are usually not huskies and do not look like what one expects from a sled dog,” explained DCCA Executive Director Andrea Jordan.

DCCA’s Arts in Education program annually presents artists who perform for students in all grades of every local school district. Sponsors for DCCA’s Arts In Education series are Park National Bank, Bach to Rock, Greenville Federal, Maid-Rite Sandwich Shoppe, Darke County Foundation, Edison State Community College, Jordan Insurance Agency, Gordon & DeSantis Orthodontics, Family Health, Greenville Rotary, the John R. and Miriam H. Knick Fund of the Darke County Foundation, Ami McClurkin Fund of the Darke County Foundation, the Ketrow Foundation, Lydia E. Schaurer Memorial Trust, and the Harry D. Stephens Memorial. The Ohio Arts Council helps fund this program with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. These engagements are also supported by the schools and Darke County Endowment for the Arts, an organization working to keep the arts alive forever in our community; additionally, DCCA membership fees support all of the organization’s programming.

DCCA’s performance schedule for Arts In Education programs is arranged in cooperation with the schools; for more information, contact DCCA at 937-547-0908 or online at

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