Founders Blog - "I wish we had six more hours to do art"

Last week, at an after school program, a young student sighed,

I wish we had six more hours to do art.

I wish that for him and all of our children as well.

At Art Works we believe in the value of art and artists to create the world we are imagining. A world where every child is valued and every teen and adult can realize their most creative dreams.

At Art Works we teach art because it’s our passion. We teach art because we believe in its power to change lives. We teach art because we see how students are able to synthesize their learning in other disciplines through meaningful art making.

With the support of our corporate partners including Target, Pizzeria Paradiso, and Kitchen Tech, our volunteer board members, and so many individuals in our community, Art Works is able to provide access to meaningful art education for toddlers, elementary aged children, teens, and adults regardless of their ability to pay. Our programs are making a difference:

  •   Toddler Time drop-in program serves over 1,000 children annually.
  •  At School After School programs will serve 5 elementary schools and over 500 children this school year.
  •  Kids Create after school classes are on track to serve over 1000 kids this school year.
  •  Creative Community Actions reached hundreds of our neighbors and through our partnership with, hundreds of thousands of people experienced the 10,000 bones we created and displayed on The National Mall this past June.

The number of people we serve certainly matters. But so does the quality of education we provide. This past year we have expanded our faculty to include teaching artists from Pratt Institute, The Maryland Institute College of Art, and Kutztown University. One of our teachers was featured in Craft in America this summer! These young teaching artists have joined our existing team of caring and talented professionals to create dynamic and innovative art experiences for our community. And each one of them has a heart as big as the Wyoming sky.

Our curriculum is developed by a team of artists and educators, with the support of Dr. Marilyn Stewart, 2012 NAEA National Art Educator of the Year. Our focus on enduring ideas and social justice in our curriculum provides depth to our programs while our commitment to joy helps make learning so much fun.

Every day I am inspired and humbled by our students. Our children are curious, creative, and they make connections so quickly. Our adult students are stretching beyond their comfort zones and learning new ways to explore their creativity.

We need your support now.

Please join us Saturday, October 5th as we raise funds to support our programs and our building fund for our new home in Hyattsville. You can make your reservation for the evening online.

If you are unable to join us, please consider making a donation

Thank you from the bottom of my heart,
Barbara Johnson,
Founder and Executive Director
Art Works Now