The Arts Council of Mendocino County’s Get Arts in the Schools Program (GASP) provides funding for professional artists to deliver arts enrichment to K-12 students at no cost to schools. This program gives children hands-on creative experiences with many kinds of art while paying local artists to share their skills. Classroom teachers also benefit.
With core funding from the Mendocino County Office of Education and the Community Foundation of Mendocino County’s Hudson Family Fund and Arts Education Endowment, the Arts Council is pleased to announce this year’s awards, totaling $28,400, to pay Mendocino County artists to bring a variety of art forms to schools throughout the county. Many of the arts projects integrate in some way with existing topics already in the students’ curriculum.
This school year, students will experience mask-making with artist Alexa Armenta; understanding and writing poetry with Jasper Henderson and Hunter Gagnon; dance and creative movement expression with Mendocino Dance Project; multi-media art with Nori Dolan; explorations in combining science and art with Viviana Field; art history presentations by Gary Martin; separate information-enriched ballet and symphony performances by Mendocino Ballet and Symphony of the Redwoods; video poetry-making, clothing “upcycling” and a multimedia approach to poetry with Blake More; mosaic-making with Elizabeth Raybee; separate mural projects with Lauren Sinnott and Laura Wiecek; multiple art projects for Special Education students with Colleen Schenck; and a Carpathian Basin instrument and participatory music experience with Ferenc Tobak and Lilla Serlegi.
Teachers consistently give rave reviews about the artists who visit their classrooms. Feedback from last year’s Get Arts in the Schools Program included: “Song and dance combined with our curriculum benefit the whole child!” “The music and instruments were wonderful! Thank you!” “We love this poetry program, and so do the kids.” “This made me more aware of students’ talents and emotions. Please continue, as it gives students a new voice and medium to express themselves.” “I was inspired to always set a high standard for the students.” “We created poem videos. Also, we published a poetry book. I learned a great art lesson to teach fractions. The poetry lessons gave me great ideas too.” “Great project! Thank you!” “We love guest artists!” “Keep paying artists well. Please keep being involved in our communities.”
The students themselves felt the same way: “I learned that I can draw better than I thought.” “I was proud of my poem because it said what was in my head.” “Art is very cool.” “I learned that everyone knows how to draw, if they can believe in themself to not let themself down.” “I learned that yellow mixed with red is orange. I liked doing art.” “I like art because it’s fun, and you can never usually get it wrong.” “I love art! I want to be an artist when I grow up.”
General donations are welcome to support the Get Arts in Schools Program. Donations (marked “GASP”) may be sent to 309 East Perkins Street, Ukiah, CA 95482. More information and news about this program may be found on the Arts Council’s website at www.ArtsMendocino.org (Programs tab), or by contacting the Arts Council Executive Director Alyssum Wier: firstname.lastname@example.org or 707-463-2727.