ASAP Meet the Artist Night

By January 15, 2018 Uncategorized
Cory Geishauser drawing caricatures of students.

Cory Geishauser drawing caricatures of students.

One of the privileges I have as Arts in Residence is teaching art. My first opportunity to teach is for ASAP, ArtsAltoona’s After-School Arts Program. This program seeks to reach teens in grades 7th to 12th by setting up classes in their neighborhoods. Going directly to the teens allows them to participate in a space where they are comfortable and not be burdened with the worry of transportation and financial commitments. ASAP will provide classes covering a vast array of subjects such as: acrylic painting, beading (jewelry), cartooning, ceramics, drawing, flash fiction, guitar, performing arts, photography, poetry, pottery painting, sculpting, sewing, and songwriting.

Meet the Artist Night

We had our first Meet the Artist event this past Friday at Evergreen Manors. Potential students were able to meet the artists, participate in small activities, and look at examples of the artist’s work. We also provided pizza, soda, and an assortment of snacks. Some of the artists that were able to come out were:

  • Rogan Allen – Music
  • Phil Baskin – Music
  • Paula Ford – Beading (jewelry making)
  • Cory Geishauser – Cartooning
  • Shasta Langenbacher – Graphic Design, sewing, writing, photography
  • Aubrey Lidwell – Writing
  • Brian Miller – Poetry
  • Rue Moyer – Music
  • Lucy Nickerson – Juggling
  • Kendyl Rasmey- Portraits
  • Stephenie Schroth – Theatre
  • John-Michael Werking – Guitar
  • Tyisha Williams – Dance
John-Michael teaching guitar to two teens

John-Michael Werking teaching guitar.

Personally, one of my favorite moments of the evening was watching John-Michael interact with a brother and sister. When the siblings first arrived they did not seem to be interested and I was worried they would leave. However, John-Michael, a guitarist, started talking to them and thirty minutes later, those siblings were completely engaged. They were learning chords, strumming, and other guitar basics. They were so excited to come back and learn more.  I thought my heart would burst with joy.
Stephenie Schroth, our Director of Education, echoed my feelings. “I am amazed and overwhelmed at the receptiveness to and yearning for the arts. In only two hours, the teens felt an intricate and handmade quilt; practiced juggling skills and techniques; read published poetry; strummed a guitar; and touched beautiful and handmade jewelry – many of them for the very first time! And, they even took home a personalized cartoon drawing of themselves! I have always been around young people and have taught for several years, but never have I experienced something as emotional and touching as seeing these teens connect with each of the adults, not only as an artist but more importantly as a friend.”
ASAP Agenda for This Week 

ASAP’s first class will be this Tuesday from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm.  Students will be able to provide feedback on what is art, what does art mean to them, and what about the arts excited them or peaked their interest. There will be a discussion about the many different types of art. Finally, students will be given the challenge to design a t-shirt for ASAP!

In Conclusion 

Personally, I feel that ASAP is one of the most important projects of ArtsAltoona. Evergreen Manors is just one of the neighborhoods that desperately need this program. ASAP provides hope and love that many of these teens do not have. If you would like to donate art supplies, snacks, or funds please email Stephenie Schroth, our Director of Education, at: Everything helps! Even a simple gift card to Hobby Lobby, Michaels, or any arts and crafts shop would be awesome in helping to reach these teens! Together, we can show these teens what art can bring to the community!