From: James Rees
Presenting isn’t only something we want our students to engage it for their development and growth. But it’s also an essential element to strengthening relationships within your school and in your community. It both serves to strengthen students and reinforces the notion that “art matters” and that your art department is doing good things.
For years my art students have participated in the Soup Bowls for Humanity event sponsored by the Provo Food and Care Coalition. It not only provides necessary service hours for my National Art Honors Students but also, more importantly, helps them see first-hand how the arts can elevate the human condition.
We also have a team compete each year in a charity chalk art event, Chalk the Block. This year they took second place overall, which was pretty amazing, considering the number of entrants. This event is in a high traffic area and my students help draw positive attention to my program.
My students also volunteer at a local museum’s Children’s Art festival. They’re able to contribute as face painters, making balloon animals or helping with sidewalk art.
In all these events, we do our best to get media coverage. I send out press releases, and sometimes we’re lucky enough to get the story is picked up by radio or the newspaper.
All these community events provide an ongoing opportunity to help students convey meaning through various forms of artistic work (Anchor Standard #6). With a little bit of networking I’m sure that you can find similar events in your community. Visibility is advocacy.