It’s been 25 years since 1997.

(A few of us here had to take a minute to process that one, too.)

In 1997, West Edge Collective‘s Managing Director Chad Willett was a “young, trouble-making high school student” at Cheyenne’s East High School. He dug art and design, and he was good at it. 

Growing up, Chad came from a working-class background and couldn’t always afford to dream big. The idea that going to school for art, let alone working in a creative field, didn’t even register on Chad’s radar.

John Arciniega Scholarship Program. 

Enter Mr. Arciniega, Chad’s art teacher at East High.

Mr. Arciniega saw Chad’s raw talent and pushed him to enter the Wyoming Art Symposium, through which Chad was awarded a scholarship to the Art Institute of Colorado.

Not only did Chad get to go to school for art, he also made his career in the creative field—and it all began with Mr. Arciniega’s consistent support and encouragement.

Today, we’re honoring him with the John Arciniega Scholarship Program. 

The John Arciniega Scholarship Program, funded by West Edge Collective, was created to serve young individuals living in Laramie County who wish to pursue a career in graphic design, digital media or visual arts. 

This fund will go on to give students ages 16-20 the opportunity to explore, learn, grow and determine their own creative paths, with just a little help and support along the way. 


Managing Director, West Edge Collective


The scholarship program is intended to provide monetary support to students who are pursuing higher education in their related creative program at an institution of their choice.

Educational programs could include any of the following (but are not limited to): 

  • 4-year university
  • 2-year community college
  • Trade school

If an applicant feels that they have a related resource they would like to have considered for funding through the program, they should contact West Edge Collective’s Community Development Manager to verify before applying.


Application is open from February 18 to March 25, 2022

Awards will be announced at the All-City Art Show on April 8, 2022


West Edge Collective has set aside a total amount of $10,000 for this program, and will divide that amount into three awards for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. 

  • 1st place will receive $5,000
  • 2nd place will receive $3,000
  • 3rd place will receive $2,000