Arts-Kids appoints Krompel as executive program director | ParkRecord.com

Arts-Kids appoints Krompel as executive program director

In 1999, Pat Drewry Sanger founded Arts-Kids, a nonprofit youth-development program that uses art as a tool to teach children life skills.

The model program featured performing and visual artists hosting after-school sessions to kids who have a hard time fitting in to other clubs or groups, said Sanger, an Advanced Practice Psychiatric-Mental Health Registered Nurse and Child/Adolescent Specialist.

Currently, Arts-Kids works with nine schools in Summit County and two in Wasatch County. In addition, the Arts-Kids model has been adopted by a school in Salt Lake County and serves children on the Uintah and Ouray Reservation in Fort Duchesne, Randlette and Whiterocks, Sanger said.

"We’re not trying to develop art techniques," she said during an interview with The Park Record. "We’re trying to help kids become happier and develop strong life skills to become constructive citizens for the future."

After 16 years, Sanger felt it was time for Arts-Kids to look toward the future. On July 1, Sanger will become a consultant for the organization and will hand the reins to Jenny Krompel.

"The Arts-Kids facilitators and artists are very pleased she will become the executive program director," Sanger said. "They all love her.

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"I was planning to do this later in the year, but I’ve got some health concerns that have accelerated the decision to now," she said. "I really think it’s the right one and feel good about it."

Krompel who has served as Arts-Kids’ program director since last year, comes to the new job with a background in psychology, filmmaking, voice-over work and is a host with KUER radio in Salt Lake City.

"Before I joined Arts-Kids, I didn’t fully understand what the organization did for the community," Krompel said. "I did some research and completely fell in love with what they were providing, something that lacks in a variety of communities.

"I love that the model gives kids who just couldn’t fit in with a club or group an opportunity to build some important skills such as self-confidence and the ability to work with others," she said. "As I started to get more acquainted with the program, I realized I needed to get more involved in and seemed like an opportunity to use my background in psychology and my experiences in the creative arts as well."

Some of those experiences include working with Peace House and Community Abuse Prevention Service Agency (CAPSA), two nonprofits that deal with domestic violence and sexual assault victims.

Sanger knew there was something special about Krompel the moment they met.

"I couldn’t stop being excited in my heart, because this was the first time I had ever met anyone whom I thought could be me," Sanger said. "She met with the board and we hired her."

Krompel is both humbled and a little overwhelmed with the new job, but knows what she needs to do.

"I know I have some large shoes to fill, and my biggest goal will be to increase our community’s understanding about what Arts-Kids really is," she said. "We need to get the message out and clear up some misconceptions."

While Krompel finds new ways to take Arts-Kids into the future, Sanger will expand her own psychological practice.

"I’m putting out the word to different doctors’ offices and insurance companies so I can continue to make a living and live in Park City," she said with a laugh.

In all seriousness, Sanger recently received a service award during a celebration at Sugarhouse Park from the Utah Psychiatric Nurses Association for her work in Arts-Kids.

"It was really a surprise," Sanger said. "I’m on the board of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association Utah and someone nominated me because they were impressed with Arts-Kids. So, I’m honored and it’s great that Arts-Kids is getting recognized."

For more information about Arts-Kids, visit http://www.arts-kids.org.

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