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

Posts Tagged ‘art education’

Arts Benefit Children – 2017

Posted on: April 28th, 2017 by Lisa Cadigan

 

Thank you for your generous donations to the 2017 ABC Campaign!

The final results are in! We raised the equivalent of 43 $50 donations! We are grateful to announce that a grand total of $2,135 was donated to enrich the lives of area children. Thanks to your generosity and support, 15 children will be able to attend summer arts camps with scholarships.

Donors for this year’s campaign include:

Anonymous
Mary Jo Bennett
Margy Borock
Tom Bricker
Judie Butterfield
Lisa Cadigan
Dennis Cadigan
Carmen Cordiano
Michael Flaherty
Lana Gowin
Geoff Grant
Jack Handshaw
Rebecca Harris
Janet Hikes
Sharon Hoke
Holahan Studio

Fran Ingram
Gerald Maloney
Eileen Mathias
Holly Purdy
Ladonna Reading
Sacred Lotus Yoga Studio
Dennis Steinauer
Susan Swope
Peggy Talbot
Lawrence Taylor
Susan Thomas
Kimberly Van Deusen
Sylvia Weaver
Mark Wesling
Elizabeth Zaic

 

2016 Camps

Last year, we served 380 campers, and 140 scholarships were awarded. 2016 was also the first year of our Annual Encouragement Awards.  Five campers received this award for their work during a summer arts camp. Your support truly makes a difference in the lives of children in our community.

Enjoy these photos from 2016 Summer Camps:

Photography Camp – Summer 2016

Ballerinas and Bears Camp – Summer 2016

Drawing Camp – Summer 2016

Cooking Camp – Summer 2016

Sewing Camp – Summer 2016

Introducing Wesley Doll: Superintendent of Upper Adams School District

Posted on: April 26th, 2017 by Lisa Cadigan

by Elle Lamboy

As superintendent of Upper Adams School District, Wesley Doll is a busy man. He barely had time for this interview but went out of his way to accommodate our schedule, which is a testament of his support for the Adams County Arts Council’s (ACAC) efforts to provide creative programming to local youth. Finding the time for art is not always easy, or valued, in education. Luckily, there are educators like Wesley Doll, who also goes the extra mile for the students of Upper Adams School District.

While he recognizes that one of the challenges he faces as a district leader is finding the resources to provide valuable artistic experiences, Wesley also understands the invaluable role arts play in the educational process stating, “The visual arts provide outlets for expressing feelings and ideas. The production of visual arts enhances creativity and problem solving, while utilizing components of science to produce a work of art. During the creative process, students sometimes find they are learning about themselves, and in many cases, they learn they are successful at creating a work, and that they are proud to be recognized as the artist.”

Student artwork from the Upper Adams school district

Wesley learned first hand how critical the role of an educator is in introducing art into a student’s life when he met his mentor in the seventh grade. “It was in Mr. Eric Miller’s art class at New Oxford Middle School, where I learned I may have a special interest and talent,” Wesley explains. “Mr. Miller became a mentor throughout my education at New Oxford and later at the University of Maryland, College Park. At Maryland, I started studying architecture and later focused my college studies on education, with a concentration in art. When I can find time today, I still enjoy my experiences with art and architecture as a result of the wonderful experiences I have been afforded throughout my life.”

While the demands of his job inhibit him from practicing his own art as much as he would like, he enjoys watercolor painting and finds inspiration in nature and architecture. He uses his free time to work with his two young daughters when they are inspired to create artwork.

Wesley supports the Adams County Arts Council’s (ACAC) effort to provide enriching programing through our summer camps, stating “The ACAC art summer camps provide opportunities for students to extend their current experiences in the arts. Additionally, the camps also provide people new learning experiences about the arts, while utilizing local talent to help provide creative and individualized opportunities in a comfortable environment.”

We hope you’ll be inspired by Wesley and the other educators in our series, and support the ACAC today. Your donations help to enrich the lives of local children who may not have the opportunity for an artful summer otherwise. Click here to learn more about our ABC campaign and donate now. We can’t succeed without your support. THANK YOU!

 

 

Introducing Donna Harrison: Principal at James Gettys Elementary

Posted on: April 25th, 2017 by Lisa Cadigan

By Lisa Cadigan

I had the pleasure of interviewing Donna Harrison, principal at James Gettys Elementary School in Gettysburg, and I asked her how she thinks studying the arts in school enhances learning.

She had a twinkle in her eye and a warm smile as she recounted tales of children who are able to “shine” when given an opportunity to express themselves creatively, particularly in the annual Fine Arts Night at James Gettys Elementary, which showcases student performances of songs and dance choreography learned in music and physical education classes. She noted similar observations in the music program for older students, “I see kids in orchestra who may struggle academically, but who thrive on an instrument.” Students involved in music and the arts are able to set and meet goals through the practice of creative expression in ways that translate to success in other areas as well.

Artist-in-residence Ellen Ehlenbeck worked with students to create a permanent autobiographical mobile installation in the lobby of James Gettys.

Mrs. Harrison shared stories of artists-in-residence who have spent time at James Gettys, like Ellen Ehlenbeck, whose program last year resulted in an installation of student-produced “self-portrait” mobiles that adorn the school’s lobby, and the National Circus Project (http://www.nationalcircusproject.com/) that visits every other year, teaching students to master a brand new performance skill over the course of just one week. The students love these opportunities, and look forward to them each year.

Art projects in each classroom help students to absorb concepts and express themselves.

But it’s not just visiting artists who are bursting with creativity in the halls of James Gettys. Mrs. Harrison commended an imaginative staff who often incorporate the arts into classroom teaching. The Action Based Learning (ABL) program uses a multi-sensory approach to help kindergartners learn letters and their sounds with whole-body movement. Art projects directly related to science, social studies and reading ensure that new concepts and ideas are being fully absorbed. Many teachers use songs regularly in class to instill good habits with lining up, washing hands, math facts, etc. Mrs. Harrison shared a story of one student who passed his test on the preamble of the Constitution by singing it—it was the only way he could remember all of the words.

Mrs. Harrison’s anecdotal observations are supported by multiple research studies, including the ideas presented in the article cited in our earlier ABC campaign blog post (http://adamsarts.org/support-the-arts-for-our-sake-its-as-easy-as-abc/) referencing Dr. 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. In that interview, while Dr. Hetland says using art as a “vehicle to teach other academic content” is often “appropriate and useful,” she also warns that this should not be seen as a substitute for arts instruction, which places a unique emphasis on the “Eight Studio Habits of Mind.” Her research on this topic suggests that art instruction impacts students’ abilities to think meta-cognitively, even at early ages. This further reinforces the idea that arts education is key in helping to develop not just a student, but a human being. Dr. Hetland says, “The real product of art education is not the works of art, but the child.” The eight steps include these tangible skills:

  • Developing Craft
  • Engage And Persist
  • Envision
  • Express
  • Observe
  • Reflect
  • Stretch And Explore
  • Understand Art World

My conversation with Mrs. Harrison supported these ideas. We discussed the importance of creative expression and instruction in an academic setting, and how it allows students to set goals and reach their own great expectations in ways that may not always be possible in other areas. “We can’t just focus on test scores. We need to keep the whole child in mind,” says Mrs. Harrison.

You can help a child develop important skills like practicing a craft, engaging and persisting, expression, observation and reflection by making a donation to our ABC campaign. Every three $50 donations sends one child to a summer arts camp.

Thank you for your support!

Donate now!

 

References

“A Look at Lois Hetland’s Eight Studio Habits.” Every Art, Every Child | Studio Habits. Northeastern Illinois University, 2012. Web. 24 Apr. 2017. <http://www.everyarteverychild.org/assessment/studiohabits.html>.

Cadigan, Lisa C. “Support the Arts for OUR Sake: It’s as Easy as ABC.” Adams County Arts Council. Adams County Arts Council, 22 Apr. 2017. Web. 24 Apr. 2017. <http://adamsarts.org/support-the-arts-for-our-sake-its-as-easy-as-abc/>.

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.

 

Introducing Sarah Auld: Art Teacher at Gettysburg Area Middle School

Posted on: April 23rd, 2017 by Lisa Cadigan

by Polly Patrono-Carlson

 

Sarah Auld is everything one would expect from an art teacher. She is positive, creative, and extremely thoughtful. Her room and the various cases around the school—full of student work—show how proud she is of her students and their accomplishments.

A 2016 graduate from Millersville University, Sarah started her new adventure at Gettysburg Area Middle School (GAMS) far from her hometown of Easton. She says the best part of teaching is the unexpected, “There is never a boring day.”

For Miss Auld, the importance of arts education is giving students an opportunity to create, to problem solve, and to feel accomplished. Arts education is not just about the end product, but more importantly, it is about the journey to reach it. In her classes, students have a chance to create from their own vision, learning along the way that there may be more than one way to get there.

Currently, her class is working on creating art using exacto knives. Scary…yes, but the projects so far have been amazing. When tuned in to a mindful process, students have produced animals, everyday household objects and even the Eiffel Tower out of cardboard, using just a knife and a little imagination.

Sarah encourages her students to interpret the word “connection” as they develop their own inspiration for project ideas. Once they create their own vision in their minds, they are given a practical tool to express themselves through their ideas. This process of challenge, creation and accomplishment summarizes the importance of arts education in school.

Sarah knows that with the demands of testing and their many obligations, kids often feel like they have the weight of the world on their shoulders. She hopes that art and her classroom offer students the necessary place to connect, solve problems and create. Art is a haven she is happy to provide for the students at Gettysburg Middle School.

There are many students who shine in the art classroom, and who deserve a place to pursue those interests further outside of school. Like any skill, art requires practice, and the more opportunities we can offer students to explore, create, and problem solve, the better. With this in mind, we hope you will consider a donation to the Adams County Arts Council’s Arts Benefit Children (ABC) campaign, where every three $50 donations sends a child to a summer arts camp. Every dollar counts – thank you for your support!

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/>.

Holy Incognito! It’s the Adams County Arts Council’s 16th Annual Masquerade Party

Posted on: October 12th, 2016 by Lisa Cadigan

article by Elle Lamboy

PostcardFrontDate (2)Ever wish you could escape inside your favorite comic book or comic strip? Now’s your chance!

On Friday, October 21, the Adams County Arts Council (ACAC) hosts the 16th Annual Masquerade Party at the Gettysburg Hotel. This year’s theme is ComicsZone!!! and festivities begin at 8:00 p.m.

Gettysburg Times Editor Alex Hayes will preside as Master of Ceremonies for a magical night of dinner, dancing, and fun in the ComicsZone!!!

We look forward to seeing a hopping dance floor of superheroes, villains, cartoons, and other larger than life characters from a myriad of comics, dancing to the tunes of the eight-piece Colgan Hirsh Band with the Slammin’ Horns. You may also wear formal attire with a mask or wig.

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Colgan Hirsh Band with the Slammin’ Horns

Cast members from the GCT production of Rocky Horror Picture Show

Cast members from the GCT production of The Rocky Horror Show

The Arts Council’s thriving partnership with Gettysburg Community Theatre (GCT) continues as GCT Founding Executive/Artistic Director Chad-Alan Carr is the Party’s chair. Chad and cast members of GCT’s upcoming production of The Rocky Horror Show will perform during a “time-warping” floor show.

In addition to fabulous costumes and bumping dance floor, the ACAC will again present one of the most talked-about silent auctions in the area featuring authentic works from artists and community members. Jewelry, event tickets, artwork, and an array of gift and culinary items round out this year’s auction; setting the tone for a fun and fierce bidding scene.

Heather Entwistle Roberts will lead local attorneys as judge and jury for the Conga Line Costume Contest which is always a fun and competitive aspect to the party.

A new addition to the party this year is a palm reading by Julie Pellegrino.

You may select a Dinner & Party option at $75 per person which begins with a full course dinner at 7 p.m. Party-only tickets are $30 for a reserved seat or $20 general admission (no seat.) Tickets are available at the Arts Education Center at 125 S. Washington St., Gettysburg, by calling 717 334-5006, by clicking here to purchase online, or at the door (party-only).

The ACAC thanks the Party’s sponsors including Danny Sebright, L & H Services Group Inc., Fresh Boutique, Grace Kelly Salon, Rice Fruit Company, and Wellspan Gettysburg Hospital.

Event proceeds support arts education programs at the Arts Council’s Arts Education Center in Gettysburg and across the county.

The stylists at Grace Kelly Salon along with owner Kelly Kaiser (right) were Lady Gagas at last year’s Masquerade Party with a Rock Star Theme. ComicsZone!!! is the theme for this year’s party.

 

It’s HERE! Arts Benefit Children (ABC) 50/50
April 26-28

Posted on: April 25th, 2016 by Lisa Cadigan

by Lisa Cadigan

In preparation for our exciting online event, ABC 50/50, we have spent the past few weeks introducing you to prominent members of our community who have one thing in common: they all recognize the importance of creative thinking and aesthetic expression in connecting us to each other in community, which consequently maximizes our quality of life as human beings.

Ed W Clark GETT - March 2014

Ed Clark

In our first article, you met Ed Clark, Superintendent of the Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site, who explains the importance of using the artistic and aesthetic aspects of our town to teach its rich history to generation after generation. An understanding of history informs our treatment of others, our politics and our plans for the future both as a local community and as a united world. The artistic monuments, books, paintings, plays, and museums are just a few examples of how that history has been shared in Gettysburg with people from all over the world.

Marty Qually

Marty Qually

Next we introduced you to Adams County Commissioner Marty Qually, who creatively thinks of our county as “a canvas, and there are 100,000 people with paintbrushes.” He says, “My job is to help all of them paint this county into something better than it was.” Commissioner Qually reminds us that to do a good job at whatever your career may be, one should find a creative “niche” from which to do it.

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Marc Jalbert

We introduced you to baker and entrepreneur Marc Jalbert, a successful business owner in the Gettysburg area for over 20 years, who began his career with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree in painting from the University of Southern Maine. Jalbert’s arts education still informs decisions he makes with his business every day, and we as a community reap the benefits when we visit his beautiful bakery and sample the artisan breads and pastries he offers in service.

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Janet Riggs

In a political climate where liberal arts degrees are often discounted, Gettysburg College President Janet Riggs recently offered her thoughts in an editorial in the Miami Herald: “Politicians are doing a disservice to us all by blasting the liberal arts. Residential liberal arts colleges prepare students not only for professional success, but also for lives of civic impact. Our world needs more people — not fewer — with this kind of preparation.” She goes on to emphasize that an education that focuses on creative thinking in a variety of disciplines produces citizens who “go on to have rich and diverse careers in human services, marketing, business, research, human resources, consulting, and education,” noting that her own liberal arts education and major in psychology eventually landed her a position as the president of a prestigious college.

I wish we could profile 100 more people in this series – We are so blessed to live among a diversely creative group of people in this community, each of whom makes a lasting contribution to the tapestry of our lives. I know I am not alone in my desire to continue improving upon our quality of life while preparing the next generation of creative thinkers and community leaders. We all have an opportunity right now to help make that happen.

Join us April 26 through the 28th and make your donation to the ABC 50/50 campaign.

Why “50/50”?

We are asking for $50 donations over a 50-hour period, from Tuesday April 26 at 8 a.m. through Thursday, April 28 at 8 a.m. It takes three $50 donations to send a child to a summer arts camp. Will you help us send kids to camp and classes this year?

Can’t spare $50? We will be so grateful if you can make a $50 donation (or more) toward this campaign; however, if $50 seems too steep, every $0.50 counts, too. Remember the success of our 2014 campaign? We were able to send 20 kids to camp with your $1 to $10 donations. It all counts, so make your donation today!

How can I help?
It’s as easy as A-B-C:

ABC-LOGO-webA. Visit adamsarts.org/sponsorship on April 26 and make your online donation.

B. Share, email and tweet this information to all of your contacts on social media. Your sharing is essential to the success of this campaign.

C. Be sure to watch (and share) our progress online! How many $50 donations can we receive in 50 hours? We will keep you posted on the sponsorship page and on Facebook and Twitter throughout the event.

This event was made possible by the volunteer efforts of the Adams County Arts Council’s Marketing and Development Committee:
Lisa Cadigan, Chair
Anne Cherry
Carol Cook
Joyce Ettenger
Chris Glatfelter (executive director, ACAC)
Nanette Hatzes
Wendy Heiges
Karen Hendricks
Elle Lamboy
Polly Patrono-Carlson

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Marc Jalbert on How to Be an Entrepreneur:
Major in Art

Posted on: April 22nd, 2016 by Lisa Cadigan

by Lisa Cadigan

This spring, we turn to a number of community leaders to explain how the arts intersect with their work. This series leads to the “ABC 50/50” campaign set for April 26-28. Look for exciting details to come regarding Arts Benefit Children (ABC)!

Marc

Marc Jalbert

Today’s article is features Marc Jalbert, entrepreneur baker and owner of the Gettysburg Baking Company, which is nestled in the corner of Lincoln Square in Gettysburg.

Adams County residents as well as visitors from near and far are familiar with the Gettysburg Baking Company, its baker/owner Marc Jalbert, and the beautiful and delicious artisan breads and pastries the bakery offers. (If you’re not – go visit and buy a seeded twist!) Jalbert has been a successful small-business owner in Adams County for twenty years. During that time, various incarnations of his bakery/café have seen success thanks to high quality products, impeccable customer service, and beautifully designed, well-managed spaces.

How did Marc Jalbert come to be such a successful entrepreneur and fixture in the Gettysburg restaurant scene? Was he a business major? Did he study hotel and restaurant management as an undergraduate? These are answers one may expect from a successful restaurateur, but Jalbert actually began his career with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from the University of Southern Maine.

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Marc’s famous seeded twists

After teaching art briefly at a private school following graduation, Jalbert realized he “wanted to do his own thing,” so he started freelancing as a graphic designer. Sitting behind a desk all day soon grew tiresome, so he followed his curiosity to learn how to bake – a job that allowed him to be up and about while working with his hands to create an aesthetic and delicious product. “I naively thought baking would be easier than cooking,” Jalbert confesses. But he also feels that his naiveté kept him in the game to keep learning. He took a few classes at King Arthur Flour in Norwich, Vermont after working as a self-taught baker for about six years, and moved to Gettysburg in 1995 with the intentions of establishing a bakery business and storefront.

How did his fine arts degree prepare him for running a business? “Every challenge that comes up can be thought of as a design problem,” says Jalbert. “Whether it’s marketing and designing logos and communications materials, setting up a space that is an efficient and user-friendly place to work and visit, or managing a staff, an artist is trained to look at the whole as well as its parts and how they fit together.” Jalbert had the additional benefit of being raised in an entrepreneurial environment – his dad owned a barbershop in Maine. An avid reader, he continues to read and learn as new challenges arise, but he says he uses his fine arts major every day.

Marc_bakery“Artists are trained to be mindful and pay attention,” says Jalbert. “As an art student, you are trained to stop and look at things – it’s a more open-ended means of problem solving, which may be more suited to ‘jobs of the future.’ Who ever heard of a webmaster 20 years ago?” Rather than education that strictly trains for a task, Jalbert suggests we consider focusing more on education for creative thinking as jobs that didn’t even exist in the not-so-distant past continue to evolve in our society.

If you visit his shop and pay attention, it’s easy to notice the details of the artist in the space, from the warm and welcoming color scheme, to the use of space; from the accessories carefully chosen to display his wares, to the beautiful details in the shape, texture and color of each loaf and pastry. And don’t forget the taste. Everything is delicious.

Marc_stickybunsAs we kick off our Arts Benefit Children (ABC) 50/50 event on April 26 to raise scholarship funds for children to attend arts camps and classes at the ACAC, remember fellow community members like Marc, whose business contributes so much to the quality of life in Adams County. It is largely thanks to art education that Jalbert is able to contribute so much to our community as a small business owner and entrepreneur. Help us continue to foster new generations of creative thinkers and doers by participating in ABC 50/50. Stay tuned for more news on this exciting event.

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From Summer to Fall …

Posted on: September 1st, 2015 by Lisa Cadigan

There’s been a crispness to the mornings recently, signaling the transition from summer to fall. Fall is my favorite time of year. I often bound forward into the autumn without looking back. However, this year seems a bit harder — How do you leave behind such a wonderful summer? ACAC Education Coordinator Wendy Heiges orchestrated a phenomenal summer of creative camps for our community. With all of the offerings, ACAC received glowing evaluations and cheers for wonderful teachers and projects. We’re so grateful for the treasures created and shared with the ACAC by our community of teachers and students. ACAC hosted 35 camps this summer for students ranging in ages from 3 to 15. Offerings included work with clay, paint, textiles, performing arts and culinary arts.

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The pace in the halls of the Education Center will change with the seasons, of course. The mornings might be a bit quieter with children in school rather than cooking in our kitchen and dancing in the studio, but there’s plenty in store at ACAC for the fall, too. If your kids are back at school and you have some free time during the day, or if you need a break in the evening, you may want to check out a painting class. Can’t commit to a class over several weeks? Drop in for yoga on a Friday morning, join us for a paint and wine night, or register for the upcoming culinary event featuring Food 101’s Chef, Jennifer Williams, the local produce of 5 Points Market, RelishThis, Wine pairings by Caryl Schmitz and dessert by Beeman’s Bakery. This farm-to-table class and celebration, scheduled for October 8 from 6-8 p.m., is sure to be a deliciously fun evening, and it’s just one of many special events ACAC has planned for the fall.  Call 334-5006 or keep checking the web site for more information.

And of course, the halls will be bustling after 3 pm with plenty of after-school opportunities for our younger students. There’s never a shortage of creative activities to engage the kids after school. Click here for a list of after-school offerings.

As we transition from summer to fall, we thank you for your support and participation in the community treasure that is the Adams County Arts Council.

Onward!

Artist Spotlight: Sally Becker

Posted on: April 23rd, 2015 by Lisa Cadigan

sally beckerWhile exploring the gully and stream behind her childhood home at the age of five, Sally Becker found clay. Over 50 years later, her Iron Blue Gully Studio sits above that very clay deposit. The iron-rich, bluish clay is a reminder of her first experiences with nature and art, inspiring her work, along with the memories, landscapes and history of her childhood home.

Sally’s mother was not a professional artist, but believed in the importance of art, and shared that belief with her children. Sally took art classes outside of school, and developed the philosophy that art is good for everyone from an early age. Later, she took many courses in clay, as well as drawing, painting and photography, while working toward her BFA at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She went on for a Masters in Education from Penn State, which she credits with improving her effectiveness as a teacher. An elementary and high school art teacher for 40 years, Sally describes herself as the jack of many trades, working in a variety of media.

Sally retired from teaching two years ago, which has opened up opportunities to work in her studio. Ten years ago, she began exploring Encaustic painting, a medium of hot wax and pigment, which originated in ancient Rome. She was able to study this medium with Michael Campbell at Shippensburg University.

Sarah_M_Becker_Memory_Bank_Barn_frontThere’s a lot of clay in her studio, too, but she often mixes media: clay sculptures often have images carved into them, or she will draw with colored slips. She also enjoys drawing with pastels, ink, pencil and graphite. “When I retired, I thought I would start this studio for the fun of it,” Sally says. “But I’m beginning to think there’s more. I am continually drawn to what’s around me where I grew up, landscapes, memories, animals, historical aspects of the farm. I want my family to see these things and remember from my point of view. I want to find a way to get people to think; to make them stop and look.”

fish plateIt makes sense that this urge to inspire people to notice the beauty around them is still with her after 40 years of teaching. Fortunately for our community, Sally continues to share her inspiration and skill teaching classes at the Adams County Arts Council. This session, she is teaching Beginning Drawing and Introduction to Soft Pastels. This summer, she will offer two camps: Turn Songs into Paintings, for ages 8-10 from June 8-12, and 3D Architectural and Figurative Sculpture, for ages 11-14 from June 22-26. Her work can also be seen at numerous ACAC Exhibits and Instructors’ Shows throughout the year… including clay pieces inspired by a 5-year old’s delightful discovery.

 

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Artist Spotlight: Anna (Fetter) Robison

Posted on: March 2nd, 2015 by Lisa Cadigan

Anna-fettucine-handsCulinary Arts Instructor Anna (Fetter) Robison Shows How Food Is Art, Appealing to All of our Senses

I first met Anna (Fetter) Robison when she was the head chef at Pomona’s Woodfired Bakery Café (now Fidler & Co. Custom Kitchen) in Biglerville.  From the beginning, her talents in the culinary arts were obvious: the restaurant was always filled with people and delicious smells – the aromas were just a teaser to the tastes that followed. It was also impressive to watch her craft beautiful and tasty dishes while managing a kitchen staff often made up of her siblings. The oldest of six, Anna grew up in Cashtown with a strong sense of family. Watching her run a kitchen, it was obvious she and her brothers and sisters hold each other in high regard and with mutual respect. She runs a tight ship, but acknowledges, “Yelling isn’t good for anyone. Respect is a two-way street.”

Anna left Pomona’s to focus on time with her family, and she approaches parenting in the same no-nonsense, fun-loving, mutually respectful way she runs a kitchen. Mom to a precocious and adorable five-year-old who also loves to cook, once a week Anna encourages her daughter Emily’s creative exploration by allowing “experimental soups” for dinner, which Emily makes and serves to the grown-ups. Anna respectfully tastes whatever is served. After all, if Emily is expected to eat what is in front of her, Anna feels it is important to offer the same respect. That said, Anna admitted with a smirk that when her daughter’s “soups” are too difficult to choke down, she and her husband might creatively distract Emily before cleaning their plates in the sink. Some day they will all laugh about this together.

Cooking adventures with her daughter have inspired many of the children’s classes Anna teaches for the Adams County Arts Council. Earlier this year, she offered a Mommy & Me Frozen-themed cooking class, inspired by the popular movie. This summer, she is excited to offer a Princess Cooking Camp, where students will be introduced to cuisines paired with the appropriate princesses, including dishes like New Orleans-style jambalaya, inspired by Tiana of The Princess and the Frog and a sea-foam smoothie and shell pasta salad, inspired by Ariel of The Little Mermaid.

pasta-dishIn addition to her wonderful work with kids, Anna is also a culinary artist with much to offer adults. Her specialties include fresh pasta and seafood dishes. These evening classes can be a great alternative to a typical night at a restaurant – students enjoy a social evening of learning, interaction and great food. The experience offers food that is not only delicious, it’s also beautiful. Tantalizing smells fill the classroom-kitchen. The culinary arts allow students to experience food with all five senses, making it a uniquely appealing art form.

Anna is thoroughly enjoying her teaching experiences at ACAC, and she aspires to teach full-time some day. A graduate of the Gettysburg High School Tech Prep Culinary Arts program, she had all good things to say about her experience there, and would ultimately love to return as a full-time instructor. In the meantime, you can find her working at Hickory Bridge Farm, a family-style restaurant in Ortanna, and teaching all she can at ACAC.

A Taste of Anna’s Talents

Anna-pastamachineIs this article making your mouth water? Come see Anna on Tuesday, March 10 at 6 pm, when she offers Pasta, Pasta, Pasta! Students will learn to make delicious pasta dough for ravioli and lasagna, as well as a collection of sauce recipes. Register here!

Anna has also graciously volunteered to coordinate the catering and food service for the ACAC’s upcoming event, Glitter and Glue: An Evening with Kelly Corrigan on March 20. This promises to be an exciting evening of good food, live music, and a wonderful presentation and book signing by NY Times best-selling author Kelly Corrigan. The event is part of Corrigan’s “Glitter and Glue for Good,” (#ggforgood) benefitting a variety of non-profits across the United States. Register here!

The Arts are a Gift for Future Generations

Posted on: December 17th, 2014 by Lisa Cadigan

GiveNow

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!

 

Time Well Spent with Paint and Wine

Posted on: September 25th, 2014 by Lisa Cadigan

10494637_1438922073062932_4388369497265544773_nAs the passing days of my life turn into months and years, I realize I am running out of time to become the next van Gogh.  I have been pretty busy raising children and working over the past several years, and I haven’t taken much time to practice painting.  Yet I have always wanted to know how to paint. I often find myself viewing the world in watercolors, imagining beautiful sky-scapes on canvas, wishing I knew how to capture the beauty of a fall day in a painting. I have also always wanted to win an Oscar for best actress, but we’ll stay focused here and keep it real.

Last fall, I registered for a watercolor class at the ACAC. Committed to cutting out a little time just for me, I impressed myself with my ability to carve out the three hours a week to attend the class, only to experience a head-slapping V-8 moment when I was reminded that if one wants to become fluent in any creative process, she has to practice, preferably daily.  I hadn’t cut out the time to practice.  I had literally budgeted my time to the minute just to be able to attend the class.  Our instructor suggested we set up an area in our homes where our paints were always accessible, which sounded wonderful, but I knew with a heavy heart from day one that this was not a class I would be able to continue with any success at this season in my life.

Although I highly recommend the class and the instructor, I confess my paints have remained in the closet for the most part since last year. They come out every now and again on a random Saturday when my daughter and I have a few hours to play with paint together.  Now that it’s fall again, Sunday afternoons leave us a few hours clear of distraction while the boys in our house watch football, so maybe we’ll paint then, too.

I had resolved to put my dreams to master painting aside for the time being, when another opportunity presented itself.  I was intrigued to hear about the Paint and Wine Nights hosted at the ACAC, taught by instructor Marie Betlyon Smith.  During these monthly evening classes, the ACAC provides paints, easels and brushes, while Marie supplies a sample painting, accessible instruction, and music. Students are invited to munch on snacks and enjoy the beverages of their choice, while Marie leads the class through a complete work, from start to finish, in just a few hours.  No experience is necessary.  Seriously.  Absolutely none.  I went to my first class on August 7, and painted this: mypainting

 

There are a variety of people who come to the class – regulars committed not to miss a class, dabblers like me who will fit it in when we can, people who have never touched a brush, and some avid painters who may not even paint the subject matter presented, but who enjoy the opportunity to paint in community.  The result is a truly lovely evening of relaxation and creativity with interesting people, complete with the satisfaction of a finished painting to bring home.

Marie leads her students through the process of her sample painting, but artists are free to vary the palette and subject as they wish.  I pretty much followed the example during my first class, but next time I might branch out a little more, like my classmate, Jim McCabe, who decided to zoom in a little closer to the moon.

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Left: Marie’s sample painting for the evening
Right: Jim’s interpretation of the subject

I enjoyed the opportunity to work with a new medium (acrylics), to see how Marie was able to break down the painting into simple steps, and to discover what I could do.  I was able to practice painting without any worry about when I might get to practice again, thanks to a meaningful starting and ending point during an evening I can commit to one month at a time.  I enjoyed food and wine with friends, new and old, while listening to good music.  The energy of the room that evening was pretty magical.

August Paint Night

The October paint night is already sold out, but there are more scheduled. Not available evenings? ACAC is also offering some daytime offerings.  So grab some friends, or come out for a solo-adventure to meet new friends.  Set aside some time one evening or afternoon to let your inner-Picasso come out to play.

Upcoming classes are:

Thursday, November 6 from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m.

Thursday, December 4 6:00 to 8:30 p.m.

Monday, December 8 from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m.

All classes are held at the ACAC Education Center on 125 S. Washington Street, Gettysburg.  You can register for the November class here or call (717) 334-5006 for more information.  Links to register online for December should be available soon.  Cost for the class is $36.

This is the lovely painting being offered for the December afternoon class, taught by Marti Yeager:

 Moon-at-SunsetHope to see you there!

 

Adventures in Abstract Art

Posted on: July 22nd, 2014 by Lisa Cadigan

Robyn Warren - DaveLisa VinoOpportunities for adventure are endless with abstract art.  Whether you claim to “like it” or not, abstract art invites an audience to participate in the creative process.  Because the pieces often do not represent identifiable objects, viewers are taken on an adventure of the senses, drawing on individual experiences and emotions: Does that shade of purple evoke the soft color and smell of flowers in your grandmother’s garden?  Do those undulating blues remind you of a trip to the beach with a long-lost love, making you melancholy? Or do they remind you of a vacation you took last week with a new love, evoking a sensation of bursting happiness?  Whatever you are feeling, the person standing next to you may be simultaneously on a different, but equally relevant emotional adventure.

This phenomenon only allows the adventure to continue.  Once we have processed our own feelings about a piece, we can discuss our impressions and feelings with a friend… or a stranger.  Will you bond over the experience of the piece with the person next to you, or will you engage in a debate, so moved are you by the feelings that no other interpretation seems possible?

Continuing the adventure still, we can imagine the motives of the artists who created the pieces.  Is Arlyn Pettingell’s “Night Ocean” a peaceful sea or a harrowing one? Is there a storm threatening a lovely sky, or are the soft yellows and pinks glimmers of the calm that follows the storm?Pettingell

If you would like to find out, join us for the ACAC’s Abstract Show adventure, which peaks on Friday, August 1 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. with a First Friday reception at the Adams County Arts Council’s Education Center, 125 South Washington Street, Gettysburg, PA, and will continue throughout the month of August.  The show offers a diverse range of style and subject matter in a variety of media, including paintings, photography, sculpture, and mixed media.  Artists will be in attendance at the reception to discuss their work, and all pieces are for sale.

Handshaw

 

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

 

Once upon a time…

Posted on: May 7th, 2014 by Lisa Cadigan

Arts Benefit Children - An Online Event - May 20-22Once upon a time, there was a middle-aged woman.  Every Monday, she woke up, made coffee, woke her children, made breakfast, nagged at them to brush their teeth and put on their shoes, and then drove them to school to start their day.  She continued on to her workplace, where she usually spent the first ten to fifteen minutes of her day checking email and perusing Facebook; a comforting routine to ease herself from the role of mother to the role of employee, ready to tackle the tasks on her to-do list.

One day, as she sat at her computer, a beautiful, brightly colored-image danced across her Facebook newsfeed.  “Arts Benefit Children!” it said.  “Well, of course the arts benefit children,” she thought to herself, and so she clicked. Here is what she read:

Postcard-web“SAVE THE DATE!  On May 20-22, you will have an opportunity to help the Adams County Arts Council raise $4,800 in 48 hours!  We are harnessing the power of the internet to reach out to thousands of people, who can change the lives of children and make the world a better place with just the click of a button!”

“Hmmm…I’m a little skeptical,” she thought to herself.  But she read on.  It turned out that an old friend of hers was involved in the fundraiser, and had posted the colorful image.  She clicked the “donate” button, sent in ten dollars, and then shared the link on her Facebook page, in an attempt to reconnect with her friend.  Her donation surprisingly brought on the sense that she had already accomplished something helpful and important that day, and it was only 8:45 a.m.  “Huh,” she thought. “Simple mouse-clicks do have the capability of affecting people.  But why would anyone want to donate to an organization with which they may not have a personal connection?”

The answer came to her surprisingly quickly.  She suddenly remembered a painting class she took as a third grader.  She had just moved to a new city and school where she hadn’t yet made friends.  She was lonely and worried she would never adjust.  At the beginning of the class, she couldn’t think of anything to paint, so she decided she would just choose colors to paint “lonely.”  The result was a beautiful painting in blues and greens, and her teacher shared it with the rest of the class.  At the end of class, another student approached her and told her how much she liked the painting.  The girl was still her friend thirty years later.  Art had changed her life in that moment.

A man in another state, who knew the woman in college, saw the brightly colored image pop up in his newsfeed.  Seeing her name attached to the post unexpectedly flooded him with college memories. He recalled a meeting with his freshman advisor, who told him he was required to take an art class.  “I don’t want to take an art class,” he had thought at the time. “I’m a mathematician, not an artist.”  But his advisor explained that the art class was a requirement for graduation.  So he decided on an acting class.  He realized he had been using principles from the class every day in his classroom as a math teacher. Thanks to that acting class, he was comfortable in front of a crowd and better able to read the faces of his students.  Not to mention, he met his wife in that acting class.

He called his wife, and nostalgically recounted the memory of their meeting place, telling her about the post on Facebook.  “I am sharing it with you right now,” he said.  “You should share it with your artsy-friends and donate a dollar or two.”  She laughed, because she and her husband often playfully debated the differences in their educations; his was much more math and science-based, while she had been a music major with a minor in English.  They were both highly intelligent people, and both were teachers now, touching the lives of future generations with skills polished at least partially, if not entirely, by their experiences with art.

She shared the Facebook post, too, and donated five dollars.  As she read the stories across shared posts, she was deeply touched.  She had been the recipient of a music scholarship in the fourth grade that allowed her to take violin lessons.  Her family could not afford the instrument rental without that scholarship, and if she had not taken those lessons, she would never have tapped into the musical part of herself that filled her heart and life so significantly.  She realized the scholarship was the reason she taught elementary orchestra now.  She tweeted and emailed the fundraiser information to all of her colleagues.

This is how it works. 

Every day, we connect with people, and the common source of our human connection is creativity.   Whether it is telling a joke, watching a movie, writing a business memo, or writing a novel, the source of human connection requires a creative thought and a medium through which it can be expressed.

In the coming weeks, we will share real stories of kids who have benefitted from scholarships. You can be part of giving them the tools to creatively contribute to their relationships, careers and to the quality of life in our communities.

Do you have an art story?  Will you share it, along with this invitation to help others write theirs?

If just 480 people donate $10 each, we can offer scholarships to more than thirty disadvantaged young people.  We can unleash the creative potential in children who may not otherwise be able to tap into such a venue.

Don’t have $10 to spare?  Donate just $5.  Or $1.  Every dollar counts – a click and a dollar or two makes a difference with unlimited potential connections

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

A. Visit our donation page between May 20 and 22nd
http://adamsarts.org/sponsorship
Donate a dollar.  Or $5.  Or $10.  Or more, if you feel so inspired.  But know that every dollar counts.

B. Share this story with your friends, and encourage them to play along and donate, too.

C. Come back to the blog to hear stories about past scholarship recipients who have enjoyed classes and camps here, and track our progress.

We look forward to hearing from you soon!

lisaandkaren

 

 

 

Lisa Cadigan is a director on the Adams County Arts Council’s board and the chair of ACAC’s Marketing & Development Committee. She is also the sole proprietor of Cadigan Creative, where she offers graphic design and marketing services.  You can  find out more about Lisa on the Cadigan Creative website, and see samples of her writing on her blog, Daily Presents.

Karen Hendricks is a volunteer on the Adams County Arts Council’s marketing and development committee and the owner/president of Hendricks Communications, LLC.  Karen demonstrates a love of writing and communicating in all she does; it’s the common thread linking all of her current and past experiences.  Her communications firm provides compelling public relations and marketing services to a select but varied group of clients. You can find out more about Karen on the Hendricks Communications website and see additional samples of her writing on her blog, Off the Merry-Go-Round.

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