Giving Back

When Adam was a young man, he had many wonderful opportunities to express himself creatively through art. This included working with professional artists who volunteered time for youth programs. In the spirit of 'paying it forward,' Adam gives his time working with youth programs, especially for those representing kids from underserved communities.

Adam Schallau working with kids from the Stewart L. Udall Parks in Focus program and the Grand Canyon Field School. June 2019.

Since 2010 Adam has been volunteering with the Stewart L. Udall Foundation’s Parks in Focus® program, which connects middle school youth to nature through photography, environmental education, outdoor recreation, and creative expression. During the summer months, Adam often works with 3 to 4 different groups of kids, most coming from underserved communities, sharing my passion for the outdoors and the art of photography.

Giving an introduction to composition.

Adam has also worked with the Grand Canyon Field School’s Artists as Ambassadors program providing mentorship and guidance to high school-aged artists. Together with park rangers and river guides, they took a group on a 4-day river trip rafting the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. During this time, Adam provided photography instruction to the students, and they had conversations about what it means to be a professional artist. They also discussed the influence artists have had on the creation and shaping of our national parks. The completion of this program resulted in the student's art being featured in an exhibit at Grand Canyon National Park.

Ranger Mitch points out some of the geologic features of the canyon while I prepare for my morning class.

"As I reflect on the opportunities I had as a young person, I see the importance of continuing these programs, especially as the arts are slowly phased out of our public education system. It has been an incredible experience to see the impact these programs have on the kids." ~ Adam Schallau

Kids from the Stewart L. Udall Foundation's Parks in Focus program.