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Powder Skiing and Salsa

Posted By Salt Lake County ZAP
May 24, 2016

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Spicing it up. 

When people think of Alta, they envision powder skiing in the winter and endless fields of wildflowers in the summer. Moose ambling along the road and copious fat snowflakes falling on the road. They probably don’t think about salsa. Salsa making competitions and salsa dancing, that is. But those are just a few of the unique offerings that Alta Community Enrichment (“ACE”) brings into the tiny town of Alta to help spice things up for our community. Founded in 1996, ACE is a local art non-profit committed to bringing arts, cultural and educational opportunities to the community of Alta. Offering events both large and small ACE, strives to meet the needs of our mountain community.

alta wildflowers

Community is the key ingredient. 

Alta’s community extends beyond the several hundred residents and strives to reach out to the many who call Alta their home away from home in the mountains. The community is full of teachers, artists, farmers, accountants, lawyers, scientists, and of course, ski bums. Each brings a love and appreciation of arts, culture and education with a unique point of view. Those views are weaved together by a shared love of the majestic mountain environment of Alta. Our events are diverse enough to bring out folks of all ages, and no experience is required to participate in any event.

community craft night in the canyon

Beyond Salsa. 

ACE offers a diverse lineup of programming. From small events, such as craft-making classes to larger events, such as the multi-day Snowflake Festival, ACE caters to the needs of our community. Yoga with stunning views of Alta Ski Area? Check. A full day of skiing followed by kimchi-making? Check. Friendly familiar faces and friendly new faces? Check. Events at little to no cost? Check. ACE strives to offer new events and old favorites and is always asking our community about their interests and ideas for new programs.

craft examples

Giving Back.

ACE doesn’t stop at events and is proud of the support we provide for members of our community. ACE helps provide outreach for the Alta K-8 one room public classroom by hosting art, dance, language arts, science and music teachers, museum, educational, dance and theater field trips to Salt Lake City and arranging extracurricular art and dance activities.  ACE also believes in paying it forward and supports the artistic, cultural and educational endeavors of local community members by offering four grants, the Artist Grant, the WEXL Education Grant, the Young Guns Grant and the Community Service Grant.

bird craft

Want to salsa?

All of ACE’s programs are open to everyone and are either free or offered at a very low cost thanks to generous funding from organizations like Salt Lake County Zoo Arts & Parks. We love seeing new faces. Learn more about ACE and see our full list of events at, email us at, follow us on facebook and instagram too.  

An example of an ACE Craft Night 


string art how to

String Art How To

You will need a few things: an image, string, nails and wood.

  • String. We use colored embroidery floss found at craft stores.
  • Nails. Small, regular nails – colored ones make it fun!
  • Wood. Any kind of wood, any thickness – as long as it is thick enough for your nails. Have the hard ware store cut it to size for you!  We pre-painted them too.
  • Image. Words? A heart? A star? Let your imagination guide you.


Find an image or word you like on your computer and print it to size or smaller of your wood block.

Place design.

Place your printed design on the block. It can be centered, off centered, to the right, whatever makes you happy. Tape the corners.

Time to hammer the nails into wood block.

This can get loud. Following your printed image edge, place nails along edge about ¼ inch apart or as close together as you want, the more nails the more interesting!  Hammer each nail until about ¼ above the surface of the wood. Watch your fingers!

Remove the paper image.

Once all your nails are in, pull off the paper. 

Now for string design thoughts. 

Eclectic or symmetric? Different color strings or a single color? The choice is hard. 

Get tied up. 

Find the end of your string, choose a starting nail and tie a knot around that nail.

Time to weave.

Choose if you want to directly across from the starting nail or diagonal or up or down or side to side – there is no right or wrong way! Take the string on the starting nail and go to next chosen nail, wrap the string around in one loop and then choose your next nail.  Continue until you are happy with your design.  When you are at the end of the string, knot the string to the nail.

Your art masterpiece is finished!

Written in collaboration.

-Claire Woodman, ACE Board
Claire is a resident of Alta and has enthusiastically attended ACE events for almost a decade. As the newest member of the board, Claire brings her love for ACE to grant and promotional writing, as well as strategic planning efforts. Claire is a environmental and transportation planner for Parametrix, and spends her free time skiing, mountain biking, and hiking.

-Sara Gibbs, ACE Executive Director
Sara moved to Utah in 1996 for the deep powder snow. She became involved with ACE by attending events and then was asked to join the Board of Directors. In 2004 she accepted a job with ACE as the Programming and Marketing Director. In July of 2006, she was appointed the job as Executive Director and has stayed ever since. Sara loves making art, being outdoors, snowboarding, biking and Jake the dog.