Local nonprofit organizations Creative Plains Foundation and CHARISM share a similar missions to improve the quality of life of local youth and their families in our community.
Over the summer, the organizations have teamed up to create Art Club, a series of eight visual arts classes that teach kids how to work with a variety of media including paint, clay, printmaking and mixed media.
“We had not previously worked with CHARISM and so we are excited to have an opportunity to partner with them on developing a summer art program for their kids,” says Creative Plains Foundation Executive Director Christine Jaeger.
Creative Plains Foundation was connected to CHARISM through their relationship with the Community Trust Division of the Fargo Police Department.
Through Art Club, which started in June and runs through August at Creative Plains Foundation, children learn valuable skills in creativity, communication, critical thinking and collaboration from local teaching artists dedicated to helping children reach their full potential.
By using these skills while learning new art techniques, the students are able to flex their creative muscles while building their confidence, Jaeger says.
“This program differs from our regular programming in that it was specifically designed for kids that do not have access to art opportunities,” Jaeger says. “There are so many barriers that prevent kids from having access, with the biggest being cost and transportation issues.”
All 40 students participating in Art Club leave each week with a completed project centered around a specific medium. The complete list of media includes abstract paint pouring, printmaking, fabric stamping, botanical watercolor, collage mixed media landscape, 3D sculpture and art journaling.
Jaeger says the best part of the program has been “watching how art breaks down barriers and allows kids to believe in themselves.”
“There are countless studies that show how art helps kids develop their cognitive skills, problem solving abilities and helps them (express) themselves in ways they cannot verbalize,” she says. “Working out a partnership with CHARISM and the Fargo Police Department meant that these kids will have access to art education, and that is a big deal.”
Creative Plains Foundation hopes to host another Art Club in the fall. For more information about the foundation or to learn how you can support the program, visit creativeplains.org. More information about CHARISM is available at www.charism.org.
All photos are courtesy of Creative Plains Foundation.