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

Posts Tagged ‘arts 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/>.

Girls’ Night Out: Cutout Canvas Wall Art

Posted on: October 19th, 2016 by Karen Hendricks
lori-nelson-cut-canvas

Lori Nelson’s cut canvas wall art: Make you own during Friday Friday, Nov. 4!

There’s a twist to the ACAC’s next “First Friday” event: Attendees will not only be able to enjoy a great night on the town with gallery exhibits and refreshments, but they will also be able to create a stunning piece of artwork at the ACAC.

“Girls’Night Out: Cutout Canvas Wall Art” is a new class debuting on First Friday, November 4, 6-8 pm. Girlfriends are encouraged to round up a friend or two, put in their RSVPs now, and with the help of instructor Lori Nelson, and no experience needed, have a fun evening creating a gorgeous piece of artwork.

“The idea for this class actually originated with my own daughter going to college and wanting artwork for her walls,” Nelson explains. “I love working with an Exacto knife, cutting out designs.”

lori-nelson-cut-canvas-series

Lori Nelson’s cut canvas series, created for her daughter

“Cutout canvas wall art is something fairly simple, and I think everyone who attends will come away with a piece of artwork they can be proud of. I have a very practical approach to art—I like seeing people being able to use their art, to hang it up, and enjoy it.”

“Not to put down ‘paint nights’ at all, but that takes a certain set of skills, and not everyone goes home with a piece of artwork they’re proud of hang on their walls—a lot of times people enjoy the process of creating the art more than the end result,” Nelson explains.

All proceeds from the First Friday class benefit the Arts Council.

Nelson, a longtime ACAC instructor (she’s one of the original instructors going back to the ACAC’s former location on Carlisle Street, when classes were first offered through the ACAC), says she enjoys sharing her love of the arts with both adults and children. Although pottery is her main focus, Nelson says she enjoys switching gears and putting her fine arts degree to work by dabbling in other art forms.

Most days, she works in her home-based pottery studio. Two days a week, she works for Fitzgerald Pottery. The Dillsburg-based business mentored her start with pottery, and she has enjoyed working for them for the past 30 years.

“Even though I’m an artist by trade, I’ve always had a passion for teaching art so that people can enjoy it and appreciate it better,” she says.

 

Click here to register for Girls’ Night Out: Cutout Canvas Wall Art. Cost is $30 for ACAC members; $33 for non-members.

Explore Lori Nelson’s Pottery online

And click here to visit Fitzgerald Pottery

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.

Marc-thumb

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.

PresidentRiggs2015_thumb

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

FB

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.

Marc_seededtwist

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.

ABC-Med-Blog-640w

Ed Clark: Gettysburg is an “Arts Destination”

Posted on: April 7th, 2016 by Karen Hendricks
Ed W Clark GETT - March 2014

Ed Clark, Superintendent of the Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site. Photo Courtesy: Gettysburg National Military Park

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

Today’s article is the first in this community-based series, featuring Ed Clark, Superintendent of the Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site.

The Adams County Arts Council’s mission is to cultivate an arts-rich community. We believe the arts have the ability to transform lives, to touch everyone’s daily life. As a community leader, what role do the arts play in your daily life?

Clark:  New and expanded arts programming is helping us find ways to connect with new audiences in our communities and across the country.  Our vision at Gettysburg and Eisenhower national parks is to provide memorable experiences for our visitors so that when they leave, they tell others to come here, and tell their sons and daughters how important these places are.  We can’t preserve these parks for future generations all on our own.

Artwork, in the form of sculptures and monuments, surround you at Gettysburg National Military Park. Do you have a particular sculpture or sculptures that you find especially inspiring? Share any stories or personal insights you’d like.

Clark:  While I don’t have a favorite monument, I do have one that stands out for me as a transformational moment, and a memory I’ll always have.  I can remember standing in tall grass near the Virginia Monument, staring out past the Emmitsburg Road, listening to my father wondering aloud about General Lee’s fateful decision to launch the frontal assault of July 3, 1863. I was transformed.  Through the fences and expansive fields, I could picture what my ancestors must have seen at the copse of trees.  As I crossed that field, I was walking in their footsteps.  That’s a moment for me, rooted right at the base of a Gettysburg monument, helping to form a deep appreciation of history and its modern connections and importance.

I understand Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site have a number of upcoming art-related events such as the Artists-In-Residence program, and the June 2016 opening of the temporary exhibit, “With Brush, Mold, Chisel, and Pen: Reflections on Civil War Art.” Why is it important to integrate art with your programming?

Clark:  We’ve joined more than 50 Artists-in-Residence programs in national parks across the country.  By focusing on arts programs we can find new expressions of the park experience and find fresh perspectives that showcase the meaning of the parks.

Throughout 2016, the Centennial year for the National Park Service, we’re creating events and programs that engage with and create the next generation of visitors, supporters, and advocates.  Our exhibit, “With Brush, Mold, Chisel, and Pen: Reflections on Civil War Art,” opening June 29, is a big part of the effort, as is our First Friday events at the Train Station and the popular “Presidential Paint and Wine Night” programs at the Eisenhower site.

Sketch book by Ted Walsh / Photo Courtesy: Gettysburg National Military Park

Sketch book by Ted Walsh / Photo Courtesy: Gettysburg National Military Park

The Arts Council is holding an online fundraiser this April, to support a scholarship fund to help Adams County children attend summer arts camps. What role do you feel arts education plays in children’s development?

Clark:  Our parks are a great place to come to learn about history of course, but you can also learn lessons in communication and arts (Gettysburg Address and monument dedication speeches, for example); about character education (leadership, citizenship, courage etc.); and about science and nature (geology at Devil’s Den, engineering etc.).

At Gettysburg, the arts are all around us through the monuments, as well as the paintings and photographs and poems that the landscape and its history has inspired.

As far as its role in children’s development, art is about connecting on an emotional level, expression and creativity.  The monuments express all kinds of sentiments that the veterans wanted future generations to remember.  Children learn how to create and express through art, and also how to see and interpret the art of others, thereby improving their critical thinking skills. Art can make difficult, or more complex concepts accessible.

Do you feel that history and art face a similar uphill battle today, trying to remain relevant and alive? 

Clark:  Art is a fundamental way that people connect with the parks.  The lessons of leadership, bravery, conduct, recovery and resilience that can be learned on the battlefield at Gettysburg, in the cemetery, and at the Eisenhower farm are lessons that have value in our lives, from the first grade, right on through.  We’re overflowing with inspiring stories – our challenge is always to continue to work on making the connections to our audiences.  Arts programming helps us make those connections.

Cyclorama painting / Photo courtesy: Bill Dowling

Cyclorama painting / Photo courtesy: Bill Dowling

Feel free to share any additional thoughts on the “power” of the arts…

Clark:  Just as Gettysburg is a civil war destination it is also really an arts destination – with everything we have from the monuments, to the Cyclorama painting, to the incredible works of art in our collection and President Eisenhower’s dedication to art in his later years.

We often talk about Gettysburg as having the “power of place.” I’ve seen that power: people visibly, emotionally moved while looking at the Cyclorama painting, for example.  We’re excited to be using multiple media and techniques to create memorable experiences that visitors will take with them, hopefully transforming them.

We hope you join us online, to transform and enrich the lives of area children, April 26-28, for ABC: 50/50 (Arts Benefit Children). This is the 3rd annual ABC event, which has proven to be a successful event with great community support for which we (and many area families) are extremely thankful. It has also proven to be an essential event, supporting scholarships that have allowed dozens of area children to attend summer arts camps as well as arts classes throughout the year. Stay tuned for more details on the upcoming 2016 event!

ABC-Med-Blog-640w

NYE: Gettysburg Style

Posted on: December 28th, 2015 by Karen Hendricks

12363048_10153359222182449_6479196797616507991_o“Spirits are high and everyone is hopeful”

This is an excerpt from an article published in Celebrate Gettysburg magazine, Nov/Dec 2015:

The grand finale to Gettysburg’s holiday season attracts about 2,000 people to Lincoln Square on New Year’s Eve. Organizer Chris Glatfelter, Executive Director of the Adams County Arts Council (ACAC), says the key to Gettysburg’s New Year’s Eve Celebration is its universal appeal to people of all ages and the community partnerships it produces. Gettysburg Borough, ACNB Bank, and the Majestic Theatre are just some of the collaborators.

The ACAC is mainly responsible for entertainment, including a DJ on the square starting at 9 pm, followed by a live music stage from 9:30-11:30, free arts activities at the ACAC’s Arts Education Center, a free family movie at the Majestic, performances and entertainment at Christ Lutheran Church, then a countdown to midnight program led by Major William Troxell at 11:30, culminating in fireworks lighting the midnight sky above Lincoln Square, sponsored by ACNB Bank.

“The ACAC is involved because of the arts… When you can add an arts element to a program or event, you make it better,” Glatfelter explains. “The music adds to the downtown atmosphere, a balloon artist fascinates the kids… It’s important for us to be in the public eye stressing the value of the arts.”

“The thing with New Year’s Eve that always strikes me,” Glatfelter continues, “I’ve seen close to 2,000 people of all ages, enjoying themselves, dancing, shivering together… but spirits are high and everyone is hopeful for a new year and what will come.”

Click here for a full listing of NYE events

Click here for the full Celebrate Gettysburg magazine article, The Heart of the Holidays

The Heart of the Holidays

 

Jewelry to Spark A Memorial Scholarship Fund

Posted on: November 12th, 2015 by Lisa Cadigan

By Caroline Johnson

Wendy Heiges Jewelry Show Fund Raiser

An Event to Benefit the New
Noreen Neitz ACAC Scholarship Fund for Young Adults

Thursday, November 19, 4:30-7:00 pm, ACAC Arts Education Center

Sparkling stars dust tail

“Creativity is a spark… it can be intensely satisfying when the flame catches and a new idea sweeps around the world.” –Jonah Lehrer

Isn’t this true? How satisfying does it feel to receive recognition for initiating a new idea? I think that this feeling could be applicable to many triumphs in life where inspiration is a driving force. In this case, a very special someone has motivated the Adams County Arts Council to create a scholarship fund that will enable young adults to enrich their lives through arts education.

IMG_2961

Noreen Neitz

There is no better way to establish this opportunity than by naming the fund in honor of the ever inspiring, Noreen Neitz. Noreen passed away in 2013 after a long battle with breast cancer. She lived a full, engaging, and faithful life in which she made a significant impact on those who were fortunate enough to know her. She was an advocate for the arts but most importantly, a staunch advocate for youth in the community.

I had the opportunity to speak with her dear friend Caryl Schmitz who is helping to coordinate this scholarship. Caryl spoke of Noreen’s presence of leadership in the community, her encouraging and caring nature, and her tenacity to seek out new opportunities in which to learn and gain new experiences. This last characteristic in particular provides an example of what an individual might expect to gain from an education at the Arts Council. This scholarship will be specifically geared toward young adults in the community who wish to take classes at the Arts Council but are not able to due to financial limitations.

Considering Noreen’s history of involvement with youth in the community, it is safe to assume that she would be fully supportive of this scholarship. It will provide a new and enriching educational experience for young adults in the community, a chance of which she might have taken advantage herself!

Wendy Heiges, Program Coordinator at the ACAC and freelance jewelry designer, felt supported and touched by Noreen’s vivacious and thoughtful spirit. Noreen seemingly loved Wendy’s jewelry, and could be seen more often than not sporting a pair of her hand-designed earrings! Caryl mentions that Noreen enjoyed expressing herself creatively and typically couldn’t resist indulging in pair of “fun” earrings!

For her love of creativity, education, and beautifully made jewelry, Wendy’s Jewelry Show Fundraiser is the perfect event to help raise awareness for this scholarship.

You will be sure to find something that is perfect for the special people in your life. Wendy’s hand IMG_8068designed jewelry will be on display offering an exciting variety of collections from which to choose. This display will include a limited edition pink quartz earring in honor of Noreen Neitz.

All proceeds will benefit the Noreen Neitz ACAC Scholarship Fund for Young Adults.

Stop by and shop for a great cause!

 

 

Artist Spotlight: Melissa Swift and the Recyclable Art Contest

Posted on: March 30th, 2015 by Lisa Cadigan

20150327_152842_resized“If you can see beauty in everything, you are an artist.” –Anonymous

Melissa Swift has been teaching art at Fairfield Elementary School since 2007, a position she filled after Adams County Arts Council (ACAC) Board Member Louise Garverick retired. Melissa credits Louise with connecting her to ACAC and introducing her to the Recyclable Art Contest and Exhibit, an event sponsored by the Gettysburg Recycling Committee and McDonald’s, which invites students across Adams County to submit pieces constructed entirely of recyclable materials. This year marks the show’s 20th year, making it the most long-lived event at the the ACAC.

Before inviting her students to showcase their work at ACAC, Melissa holds her own contest at Fairfield Elementary. Participation is voluntary – it’s not a graded project. The children work on their recyclable art projects at home, but the kids look forward to participating every year. She does set aside one day of class time to talk about why it’s important to recycle and to show examples of past projects, encouraging students to think about how they can turn someone else’s trash into an aesthetically pleasing treasure. This year, she discovered students had already started their projects before she even announced the contest. Fairfield Elementary’s contest boasts 48 entries this year, all of which will be invited to participate in the exhibit at ACAC. “There were actually fewer entries this year than last,” Melissa said, “but they are all of high quality, so they will all be invited to participate.” Melissa works hard to teach the children how to transform their work to its highest potential, worthy of aesthetic appreciation.

For the ACAC contest and exhibit, each student may submit one work of art that does not exceed a size of 36 inches in any direction, and that is constructed entirely of recyclable materials. The projects are rated by a panel of judges based on the following criteria:

Flowers

Claudia Bricker (2nd grade) points to her garden collage constructed with all recycled materials. Claudia received First place in 2014 in the Fairfield Elementary Show.

  • integration and transformation,
  • creativity, individuality, originality and uniqueness
  • and presentation.

Cash prizes are awarded to the top four entries in each of the following categories:

  • Grades K-2
  • Grades 3-5
  • Grades 6-8
  • Grades 9-12

One piece will be selected as
best in show.

Artists are invited to submit their projects on March 31 and April 1, and the show will open to the public for First Friday on April 3. Awards will be presented on Saturday, April 18. A People’s Choice award will also be presented – be sure to visit the show to cast your vote, and reinforce the message that if we stop to look long enough, there truly is beauty in everything.

Some photos of the Fairfield Elementary entries for 2015:

2015pieces

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!

 

In the Spirit of Gratitude

Posted on: December 15th, 2014 by Lisa Cadigan

artisagift

grat·i·tude (noun) the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation and to return kindness.

Holiday traditions encourage us to take pause and to appreciate the many gifts we receive throughout our lives, so often taken for granted.

As you reflect on the things for which you are thankful this year, and make your list of gifts to give, please remember the organizations in our community that add so much to our lives, like the Adams County Arts Council.

Why should I be thankful for ACAC?
In 2014, ACAC provided our community with educational opportunities like camps, classes and brown bag lunch seminars.  Artists-in-residence shared their expertise providing creative experiences for over 1,500 students. There were social opportunities like the Masquerade Ball, the summer fiesta and Tea with Mamie. There were exhibits throughout the year, both at the Center and throughout the community in places like the Farmer’s Market and Hauser’s Winery, as well as a Juried Art Exhibition at Schmucker Hall, which attracted more than 100 artists.  There were community partnerships like the AOK summer musical, Tarzan, and the evening with scholar and retired  Rhode Island Chief Justice Frank J. Williams, whose Lincoln stories were coupled with a lovely culinary experience, thanks to a partnership with Wendy Allen of Lincoln into Art.

2014 was a year of giving for the Adams County Arts Council, which is constantly evolving with new ways to cultivate an arts-rich community.

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.

Give Back…And Pass It On.
Acknowledging the treasury the arts provides to our community, can you give a gift back to the arts this time of year? It’s simple to ensure that the arts will continue to thrive in Adams County for years to come: just give back, and pass it on. Both steps are important, and we appreciate your support.

1. Give back.
Beginning tomorrow, and continuing through Thursday, ACAC is hosting a special online fundraising event. Make your gift of $50, $100, $250 or in any amount you have to give by clicking here. We are hoping to raise $7,200 in 72 hours, but we need your help!

2. Pass it on.
Share the gift of giving with your friends through your social media accounts or by email. Passing this post on to as many people as possible will build our creative community, ensuring future success.  Click the icons below and share, share, share!

3. Stay tuned. If you haven’t already subscribed, please sign up to receive emails from ACAC (Enter your email address at the top of this page, on the right.) Learn about all of the opportunities ACAC has for you throughout the year. And watch our Facebook and Twitter feeds, as we update progress of this fantastic online event!

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.

10600452_1438923096396163_1820215587162587821_n-1

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!

 

Three Cheers for A-B-C

Posted on: May 27th, 2014 by Lisa Cadigan

thankyouAPPLAUSE ALL AROUND
A huge “thank you” to all who contributed to our Arts Benefit Children (ABC) Online Fundraiser  May 20-22.  We did it together!  We didn’t even have to promise you Christmas wrapping paper or junk food – all we did was ask, and you answered. Thanks to your thoughtful generosity, we collected $2,763 in 48-hours to be used for camp and class scholarships.  A majority of our donations were received in $10 and $20 increments, proving that our small actions do indeed carry great impact.  If you missed out on this particular online event, you can always make an online donation to the Adams County Arts Council and share our sponsorship page with your friends.  No amount is too small.

MORE GOOD NEWS
Prior to the ABC fundraiser, ACAC staff also reached out to Adams/Hanover social clubs for scholarship assistance; an effort that resulted in $3,470.  Thanks to both of these efforts, the summer will be brighter for many children.

Ella - Eric Carle Collage CampCHECK OUT OUR CAMPS!
Summer is right around the corner, and ACAC’s camp schedule promises something for everyone.  From preschoolers to teens, the variety of offerings include pottery, sculpture, painting, music, drama, dance, cooking, photography, sewing, weaving, comic book art, collage, mixed media and more. If you haven’t checked out the summer camp offerings yet, click here.  Click on the camp of your choice to register online today! Camps are filling up fast.

Do you need financial assistance?
Fill out this simple form (click here for Spanish) to determine whether you qualify for a scholarship.  Children who qualify for the school lunch program are eligible for scholarships.

The Adams County Arts Education Center is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with friendly staff available to answer your questions, and art on the walls for you to explore.  If you have questions, would like to become a member, or would like more information about summer camps, call (717) 334-5006 or stop in for a visit.

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


 

 

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.

css.php