It has only been two weeks and already ArtsAltoona’s ASAP is a huge success! Students that came to Meet the Artist Night have returned and were excited and ready to learn new skills. We have even added some younger students to the ASAP group. The dedication of the ArtsAltoona team has not gone unnoticed. A woman that works with low income and disadvantaged families had this to say about ASAP:
“I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for bringing the arts program to Evergreen. As I had said before, and I am sure that you are realizing, this population of kids comes with some challenges that require us as adults, to kind of ‘go with the flow’ and allow for some accommodations. I am so pleased with how you and your artists are interacting with the kids and are building a positive rapport with them; this means more to the kids and to me than you could ever know, as they all need more positive adults in their lives. I have seen over and over again how the smallest amounts of acknowledgment, praise, and encouragement can and does make the biggest difference in the lives of these kids. In addition, I know that providing the kids with opportunities such as the arts, can provide the spark for them to look past life at Evergreen and realize that there is a bigger world out there where they can be and do anything!
I know that the program may not YET be exactly how anyone may have imagined it to be…BUT…..I believe that it is imperfectly perfect….just like each one of the kids….And…not unlike any other beautiful work of art! From the bottom of my heart, thank you for all that you are doing for these kids!”
Introduction to the Arts
In our first class, a general overview of “art” and our program was given. We asked students questions about what art is, what art means to them, and what makes a good after-school arts program. One heartbreaking answer to what makes a good after-school arts program was “getting help that you can’t get at home.” From our other questions we also learned that students didn’t know there is more to art than painting and drawing. School art classes were boring; positivity and respect were important.
After students shared their answers, we were able to share our thoughts on art and ASAP. We explained that the arts include a wide range of jobs and that the purpose of ASAP was to help students find purpose, joy, and friendship through art. Following our discussion, students participated in a challenge to draw a picture of what art means to them. Out of those drawings, a winning design will be selected and featured on the official ASAP t-shirt.
Cartooning with Cory Geishauser
Cory Geishauser, a local cartoonist with a big heart and a big personality, was the first of many volunteer teachers at ASAP. During the second week of ASAP, Cory guided students through cartooning basics such as using geometric shapes to create bodies, faces, and features. According to Stephenie Schroth, Director of Education, “the students were applying what they had just learned in only 45 minutes and creating unbelievable masterpieces! Even more, they were helping and praising one another for their works of art.” In the coming weeks, Cory will continue to work with the students on their cartooning skills, including learning how to letter their cartoons like the professionals do.
The team at ArtsAltoona is eager to continue the success of ASAP. Your support and donations will help us continue! This week, Stephenie Schroth and other ArtsAltoona members will be featured on the Jim Gregory Show. Tune into 1240 AM or online at http://wrta.com/ Tuesday, 1/30/2018, at 8 am to catch the full interview!