Students asked to submit art for 10th Mountain Division documentary | VailDaily.com

Students asked to submit art for 10th Mountain Division documentary

Chris Anthony wants to keep kids busy during this time home from school

Kids, how would you feel about having your artwork featured in a movie?

Parents, how would you like to have an art project that keeps kids occupied during these days away from school while they are also learning a valuable history lesson?

All elementary school students are invited to draw their version of the 10th Mountain Division, the winter warfare unit created by the United States Army during World War II that trained just south of Vail at Camp Hail and is credited with creating the outdoor industry, especially area ski resorts, as we know it today.

The art contest was thought up by long-time local Chris Anthony, who is a professional skier-turned-filmmaker. Anthony played a big role in “Climb to Glory,” a documentary about the 10th Mountain Division and is currently working on “Mission Mt. Mangart” which explores the time frame of what the 10th Mountain Division was doing after the end of the battles in Italy during World War II.

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With kids home from school due to the coronavirus and parents looking for ways to keep them busy, Anthony figured he’d host an art contest and feature the winner in his documentary. “This film will ultimately be used for educational purposes. The story of the 10th Mountain Division is a wonderful way to share American and world history,” Anthony said. 

To get the word out, Anthony posted about the contest on social media last Friday with the help of friend and iconic ski racer, Mikaela Shiffrin. Mikaela starred in a video made at her home that outlined the rules for the contest.

“Mikaela and I have talked about the history of the 10th Mountain Division in passing and she was intrigued enough to be part of the documentary I am working on. Mikaela also understands the importance of creative education,” Anthony said. “I pitched her the idea and she thankfully wanted to be part of it. It’s very special to have her involved.” 

“Mission Mt. Mangart” is a passion project for Anthony, who said that people kept on coming to him with stories about what the 10th Mountain Division was doing after the battles in Italy during World War II.

“The story goes that on June 3, 1945, a ski race was held in the former Yugoslavia. It was hosted and put together by the men of the 10th Mountain Division and nowhere in our libraries is this ski race documented, yet they celebrated it over in Slovenia,” Anthony said.  

Anthony believes that the story of the 10th Mountain Division is an entertaining way to inspire youngsters to take an interest in history. He has been working with kids for the past 20 years through a partnership with Colorado Ski Country. Seven years ago, he started his own nonprofit to elevate youth through educational enrichment activities in and out of the classroom with the Chris Anthony Youth Initiative Project.

The contest deadline is May 1. All elementary students who are participating are being asked to showcase the spirit of the legendary ski troop. This can include the mountains, the men, the women, the skiing, Camp Hale or their time in Italy.

“Mission Mt. Mangart” is a work in progress. Anthony is in post-production right now with a deadline in June. The premiere is supposed to take place in Bovec, Slovenia during the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the ending of WWII as well as the 75th anniversary of the first post-WWII ski race held on Mt. Mangart. “Hopefully the premiere in Slovenia will still happen,” Anthony said. “It all depends on the status of the coronavirus.” Look for the Colorado premiere in Denver this fall.

To enter the contest:

  • Draw an image that embraces the spirit of the Army’s first light infantry mountain ski troop, the 10th Mountain Division. 
  • The most creative drawing will be featured in the opening prologue of the documentary “Mission Mt. Mangart.”
  • Submit your drawing and get more details at chris@chrisanthony.com 
  • Open to all elementary school students
  • Deadline is May 1st, 2020

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