Adams County Arts Council – Supporting the arts in Adams County, PA

Posts Tagged ‘americans for the arts’

Support the Arts for OUR Sake: It’s as Easy as ABC

Posted on: April 22nd, 2017 by Lisa Cadigan

by Lisa Cadigan

 

As we approach the end of another school year, the Adams County Arts Council is excited to launch our fourth annual Arts Benefit Children (ABC) campaign. Be sure to join us for our 50/50 campaign beginning Tuesday, April 25 and continuing through Thursday, April 27 to raise critical funds for summer camp and class scholarships to benefit disadvantaged youth. Every three $50 donations collected during this 50-hour period will send a child to a summer arts camp.

Why is arts education so important?

In February of this year, non-profit organization Americans for the Arts published an informative and motivating Top Ten List of Reasons to Support the Arts (Cohen 2017). The list includes a variety of positive outcomes not limited to benefits to health care, improved academic performance, and a stronger economy.

In previous years, the organization has shared the following findings specifically regarding the arts in education:

  • Arts education “makes a tremendous impact on the developmental growth of every child and has been proven to help level the “learning field” across socio-economic boundaries.”
  • Arts education strengthens student problem-solving and critical thinking skills, adding to overall academic achievement and school success.
  • And arts education can help troubled youth, providing an alternative to destructive behavior and another way for students to approach learning.

Young people who participate in the arts for at least three hours on three days each week through at least one full year are:

  • 4 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement
  • 3 times more likely to be elected to class office within their schools
  • 4 times more likely to participate in a math and science fair

Young artists, as compared with their peers, are likely to:

  • Read for pleasure nearly twice as often
  • Perform community service more than four times as often (Hendricks, 2014)

Anecdotally, we all have experiences that verify these claims in our own lives. Why then does it always seem to be such a struggle to keep the arts afloat financially? Lois Hetland, professor and graduate coordinator in the art education department at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and senior research affiliate at Project Zero in the Harvard Graduate School of Education, agrees that while these correlations exist, research is inconclusive as to whether these positive outcomes are based on a direct cause and effect relationship. That said, she also doesn’t think this is where we should be placing our focus: “There are more effective ways to advocate for arts education than to rely on the glacially slow emergence of new research in this area,” she says. It is more effective to advocate for arts education as “arts for our sake,” rather than art for “instrumental purposes” vs. “arts for art’s sake.” In an interview published in Phi Delta Kappan magazine, she reminds us that “…the arts are essential tools for thinking and communicating…The arts have been created and appreciated in every culture dating back to the earliest days of homo sapiens, suggesting they are part of our basic human equipment, allowing us to express things that can’t be expressed otherwise.” As such they are equally important to other disciplines taught in school – not more important, not less important, not solely for the purpose of supporting other areas of academics, but for the purpose of allowing people to “connect the rational with the intuitive, the brain and the body…It allows (people) to express a sense of the whole human being” (Heller, 2017).

This year, the ABC campaign features local educators and administrators and their views on the importance of arts education. As we prepared interviews with these dedicated professionals, the theme of the importance of educating “the whole child” was common.

Please enjoy the next few days of articles, share them with your social networks, and consider broadening the life experience of a young person by donating toward this year’s scholarship fund. It’s as easy as A-B-C:

A. Starting at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, April 25, visit http://adamsarts.org/sponsorship and make your donation. Every three $50 donations sends one child to a summer art camp, but every dollar counts and no donation is too small.

B. Share and tweet this information with your friends on all of your social networks.  We will be sharing blog posts and stories throughout the event, so there will be many opportunities to help us spread the word and invite your friends to participate.

C. Be sure to watch our progress online!  We will update ACAC’s sponsorship page and social media outlets regularly throughout the 50-hour period to let you know how we’re doing.  The event begins at 8 AM on April 25, and ends at 10 AM on April 27.  Don’t miss out on this amazing and fun opportunity to help a child access the arts.

References:

Cohen, Randy I. “Top Ten Reasons to Support the Arts in 2017.”Blog.americansforthearts.org. Americans for the Arts, 14 Feb. 2017. Web. 21 Apr. 2017. <http://blog.americansforthearts.org/2017/02/14/top-10-reasons-to-support-the-arts-in-2017>.

Heller, Rafael. “On the Goals and Outcomes of Arts Education: An Interview with Lois Hetland.” Phi Beta Kappan 98.7 (2017): 15-20. Web. 21 Apr. 2017.

Hendricks, Karen. “The ABCs of Arts Education.” Blog post. Adamsarts.org. Adams County Arts Council, 14 May 2014. Web. 21 Apr. 2017. <http://adamsarts.org/the-a-b-cs-of-arts-education/>.

The Arts are a Gift for Future Generations

Posted on: December 17th, 2014 by Lisa Cadigan

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In the world of education, where test scores are often valued above participation in the arts, we are losing sight of the fact that academic success depends on creative thinking.  According to pbs.org and a report by Americans for the Arts, “young people who participate regularly in the arts (three hours a day on three days each week through one full year) are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, to participate in a math and science fair or to win an award for writing an essay or poem than children who do not participate.” A Gallup study on entrepreneurship concluded creative thinking is the crucial trait shared among successful entrepreneurs.  Also reported on pbs.org, “A study published in 2007 by Christopher Johnson, professor of music education and music therapy at the University of Kansas, revealed that students in elementary schools with superior music education programs scored around 22 percent higher in English and 20 percent higher in math scores on standardized tests, compared to schools with low-quality music programs, regardless of socioeconomic disparities among the schools or school districts.”

If we know the arts are responsible for building future generations of creative thinkers (not to mention, happier people), shouldn’t we invest in that endeavor?

Preschoolers work on their Hungry Caterpillar books

Preschoolers work on their Hungry Caterpillar books

In 2014, at the Adams County Arts Council provided enriching arts experiences for:

  • 246 pre-K children, who will likely be better prepared to thrive in a school environment than peers who did not participate in such programs;
  • 299 summer campers, who developed their minds and bodies with movement classes, culinary classes, painting, textiles, clay and collage;
  • 174 high school and middle school students, who enjoyed after-school classes in the new Eat Smart – Play Hard program, which teaches the benefit of good nutrition with a creative twist;
    Adult students enjoy a Paint & Wine evening with Marie Betlyon Smith

    Adult students enjoy a Paint & Wine evening class

  • 1,558 students, who enjoyed artistic experiences with Artists-in-residence; and
  • 663 adults, who continued on a journey of lifelong learning through a variety of art classes.

Twenty-two percent of the children who took classes did so on a full scholarship, thanks to ACAC’s commitment to provide access to lower income families.

These gifts given to our community by the Adams County Arts Council are trends to build upon.  So we are asking you to please give back, and pass it on.

Give Back…And Pass it On
From December 16 – 18
, ACAC will be raising funds online to ensure the continued ability to provide our community with enriching experiences, activities and educational opportunities.  Our goal is to raise $7,200 in 72 hours, and you can help.

  1. Give Back.
    There are plenty of reasons to say thank you, and your gift helps ensure the continued creative spirit that thrives in our community.
  2. Pass It On.
    Share this article with everyone you know!  Use social media accounts, and email your entire address book.  The more engaged our community becomes, the more the arts will thrive. And the more the arts thrive, the richer all of our lives become.
  3. Stay Tuned. Watch and share our Facebook and Twitter posts from December 16-18, as we track the progress of the campaign.  The more you help share the news, the more successful we will all be! Also, if you haven’t already, please subscribe to our email list (enter your email address in the upper right hand corner of this page).  Learn about all of the opportunities ACAC has for you throughout the year.
Kelly Corrigan (Photo Credit: Betsy Barnes)

Kelly Corrigan (Photo Credit: Betsy Barnes)

We thank you in advance for your gift. Donors of $50 or more will receive recognition on the blog and in a special holiday email greeting following the campaign. Givers of $250 or more will be entered into a raffle for a free class at the ACAC this January or for a ticket to our upcoming event with NY Times Best-selling Author Kelly Corrigan in March.

Enjoy this season of giving!

 

TODAY’S THE DAY!

Posted on: May 20th, 2014 by Lisa Cadigan

 

I am a believer that all of our choices – big and small – have an impact beyond our wildest imaginings.  A kind word you share today can change the tenor of a stranger’s day; holding a door open for someone can restore his faith in humanity, even if only for a moment. Grocery shopping at 9 a.m. instead of 10 a.m. can be the difference between bumping into an old friend or getting the last of the fresh strawberries. Each tiny decision (and there are thousands of them we make each day) has the potential for a ripple effect into the future.

When I was in high school, my dad took me on a road trip to tour colleges.  I was pretty sure I wanted to go to the University of Maryland at College Park – it was my dad’s alma mater, and the charm of the “south” with its beautiful campuses appealed to me (I am from NJ, so Maryland is “south”).  From College Park, we headed further south to check out the University of Richmond and the University of Virginia.  Our plan was to head home from Charlottesville, but when we found ourselves on a two-lane highway in the lovely rolling hills of Virginia, we realized we had missed an exit or made a wrong turn somewhere. Looking at the map, taking I-81 home made more sense than trying to work our way back to the I-95 corridor, so we re-routed our trip.  When we started seeing signs for James Madison University, we detoured to stretch our legs and check it out. I had never heard of JMU, and was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon the beautiful campus and talk to some folks in the theatre department.  We picked up an application on a whim and continued home.

I applied to three of the four schools we visited that weekend, including JMU, but I was still fairly set on going to College Park. However, when the acceptance letter came from JMU, my trajectory changed in a split second. I am not sure why.  Maybe the pretty bluestone buildings appealed to my aesthetic sensibilities.  Maybe it was the appeal of a theatre department that boasted several student-produced productions each year.  Whatever it was, I decided to go to JMU instead of U of MD.  My life changed because my dad and I turned left when we were supposed to turn right. (Side note: I met my husband at JMU. There are also two children who exist in the world because my dad and I got lost.)

We aren’t always conscious of the impact small choices make in our lives or the lives of others, but there are times when we have an opportunity to make those choices knowingly.

Today is a day like that.

Today, you have an opportunity to click a few buttons and change lives.  Today you can share this post with your friends and family and donate a small amount towards an art-scholarship for a child.  The children who receive these scholarships would not otherwise be able to participate in the summer camps and classes offered by the Adams County Arts Council.

Where would that dollar, or five dollars, or ten dollars burning a hole in your pocket go if you didn’t send it to ACAC?  Maybe it would go toward an extra cup of coffee late in the afternoon, which would in turn, keep you up at night and make you grumpy tomorrow and more likely to yell at your kids.  Maybe it would go towards a pack of gum that somehow ends up chewed and stuck to the rug in your car.

OR…

You can send it the Adams County Arts Council, and know that your pocket change can make our community better by strengthening and enriching its youngest citizens.  Your few dollars and clicks could be the turning point that determines where a child in our community decides to go to college later.  It could be the miniscule thing that makes it possible for the next Ansel Adams or Georgia O’Keefe to discover his or her talent.  At the very least it could be the opportunity for two siblings to find something in common that they like to do together, building family connections.  Your pocket change has infinite possibility today.

How can you get involved?  It’s as easy as A-B-C:

A.  Click here: http://adamsarts.org/sponsorship
Donate $10.  Don’t have $10 to spare?  Donate $5. Or $1.  Every dollar counts – a click and a dollar or two makes a difference with unlimited potential.

B.  Share this story with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or by email, and encourage them to play along and donate, too.

C.  Watch our progress on the blog and social media over the next 48 hours as we strive to meet our goal of $4,800 in 48 hours.  We’re hoping to reach 480 people who will donate $10 each.

“Sometimes the little opportunities that fly at us each day can have the biggest impact.” –Danny Wallace


 

 

Meet Mira and Avery

Posted on: May 16th, 2014 by Lisa Cadigan

Regardless of whether one child is the next Van Gogh or whether she just likes to draw stick people, offering children artistic opportunities serves two purposes:

  1. A child is given the opportunity to find a medium for self-expression.
  2. A child is exposed to creative ways people can connect with each other.

The result is people who practice the arts, and people who appreciate them.

Mira's birdhouse from "Dirty Hands Pottery," summer 2013

Mira’s birdhouse from “Dirty Hands Pottery,” summer 2013

Mira is seven, and she loves art.  She is also very good at it.  Last year, thanks to a scholarship awarded through the Adams County Arts Council, she and her brother Avery participated in Jack Handshaw’s “Dirty Hands Pottery” camp and Sara Little’s “Magic Art Time Machine” camp.  Their mother Heidi expressed her gratitude, as she would not have been able to send both kids to camp without the scholarship, which provided a unique opportunity for the siblings to participate in an activity together.  Upon completion of the “Magic Art Time Machine” camp, Sara Little, having seen something promising in Mira’s work, offered Mira private lessons. Mira also won a coloring contest at school and an award for a painted Christmas ornament through the Hanover Area Arts Guild.  Keeping budding artists like Mira involved in art is important.

Avery learns about Edvard Monk's "The Scream" in Sara Little's camp, summer 2013

Avery learns about Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” in Sara Little’s “Magic Art Time Machine” camp, summer 2013

Avery is pretty good at art, too, but more importantly, he loved camp. Heidi confides that Avery usually wouldn’t choose art as “his thing,” but the camps provided exposure to activities he had never tried before, and he enthusiastically produced some impressive work.  He learned about artists like Edvard Munch and his famous painting, “The Scream;” he made a birdhouse; he and his sister shared their versions of the same subjects, a flower and the tree of life – each reflecting a unique interpretation.  Keeping art-enthusiasts like Avery excited about art is also important.

Avery's flower

Avery’s flower

As human beings, we accomplish nothing without creativity.  Whether is it picking out something to wear in the morning, or assessing the quality of your morning coffee by the perfect tint, determined by just the right amount of creamer; whether it is how you will approach a difficult conversation, or how you will let a loved one know you are thinking of her on her birthday; whether it is what you will cook for dinner, or the restaurant you choose if you don’t want to cook – every decision requires a creative impulse.  Our ability to make decisions beneficial to ourselves and to the people around us is largely dependent on our experiences.  Offering a variety of creative experiences to young people promises a future generation with tools to build a rich quality of life.

Mira's flower

Mira’s flower

Beginning May 20 through the 22nd, you will have the opportunity to help children in our community experience not only a rich summer, but also plant the seeds for future creative impulses.

What is your creative impulse telling you to do right now?  I bet it’s telling you to share this post with your friends – go ahead and swirl your mouse with a flourish to the “share” button.  Mark your calendar for our online event May 20-22 (will you draw a star or a heart on the calendar square?).  We are hoping to raise $4,800 in 48 hours for kids like Mira and Avery.  We hope you’ll join the celebration.

CHALLENGEgraphic-post2

 

The A, B, C’s of Arts Education

Posted on: May 14th, 2014 by Karen Hendricks

Postcard-EPress-shadow

School is almost out, but here at the Arts Council we are gearing up for a new kind of “A,B, C’s.”

The Arts Benefit Children (ABC) is an online fundraising event, set for May 20-22, to raise critical funds for summer camp and class scholarships–to benefit disadvantaged youth.

Why is arts education so important?

Consider these facts from the non-profit organization Americans for the Arts:

  • Arts education “makes a tremendous impact on the developmental growth of every child and has been proven to help level the “learning field” across socio-economic boundaries.”
  • Arts education strengthens student problem-solving and critical thinking skills, adding to overall academic achievement and school success.
  • And arts education can help troubled youth, providing an alternative to destructive behavior and another way for students to approach learning.

Young people who participate in the arts for at least three hours on three days each week through at least one full year are:

  • 4 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement
  • 3 times more likely to be elected to class office within their schools
  • 4 times more likely to participate in a math and science fair

Young artists, as compared with their peers, are likely to:

  • Read for pleasure nearly twice as often
  • Perform community service more than four times as often

How can you contribute to arts education for the youth of Adams County? It’s as easy as A-B-C:

A. Starting at 8 a.m. on May 20, visit http://adamsarts.org/sponsorship and make your donation.  If just 480 people donate $10 each, we will meet our goal.  Every dollar counts!

B. Share and tweet this information with your friends on all of your social networks.  We will be sharing blog posts and stories leading up to the event, so there will be many opportunities to help us spread the word and invite your friends to participate.

C. Be sure to watch our progress online!  We will update ACAC’s sponsorship page and social media outlets regularly throughout the 48-hour period to let you know how we’re doing.  The event begins at 8 AM on May 20, and ends at 8 AM on May 22.  Don’t miss out on this amazing and fun opportunity to help a child access the arts.

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