Community Art Groups Support Schools

Community art groups reinforce what the schools’ teach, good citizenship, and a sense of one’s importance in the order of the universe and of course a dedication to the arts and to a wholesome lifestyle in general. In other words, community art groups take over where academics leave off.

Many lower funded schools in poorer neighborhood cannot afford the extra expense of art programs and depend upon community involvement to fill in the voids; it’s left to dedicated leaders to see that art classes—painting, sculpture, writing workshops, photography, acting, public painting projects, dance and music programs are available.

Schools can only offer so much to students and at best, where gifted and talented students are concerned, they only introduce them to art. To extend what’s learned in school extracurricular classes are scheduled after school, and on weekends and during the summer. Depending upon the circumstances of the sponsoring groups, these may be free or if there’s no money allotted for them, they may need to charge a modest fee.

Which institutions are most valuable to fine art students?

Local museums dedicate themselves to extending art classes to youngsters and families should be acquainted with programs that further their child’s artistic talents.  All age groups are welcome and there’s usually something for everyone from toddlers to college students and beyond.

As an example, The Renaissance Art Gallery, a Huntington West Virginia art group, is only one of many artist supported community efforts in the tri state vicinity of West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio. A group of artists who wanted to showcase their work and to be an inspiration for their community set up shop in a classic old building that had been a high school for students for over eighty years. This group has classes, or can schedule classes for any age group that wants to learn the basics of painting.

In the same building, Arts Resources is a dedicated bunch of community spirited individuals who offer acting lessons, ballet, music, photography and much else to local students. By their foresight and their hard work they are making a difference in the community. From the Renaissance group: “Our Mission is to promote art and art education in the community and among its members. To encourage and promote a public interest and understanding of art; to create and develop a closer relationship between art and the community and further the education and artistic development of its members.”

Why is art education important?

Children need to learn about art and how it affects their life. Having them experience its value in their life at an early age means they will accept it as something that is theirs to value as they mature. Art is the main stay of pre-school programs. Without crayons, play-dough, and blocks to stack and wheels to roll what would the wee ones do at day care and nurseries?  Art is a part of their life and unfortunately, it’s too often abandoned when regular school begin; arithmetic, writing, reading and science having done it in. This is where community groups enter in to keep them interested.