I’ve spent a lot of time so far this summer getting opportunities to fulfill my goals and wishes for the summer, especially through this internship. I’ve had so many amazing chances to learn new things about art administration and I’ve gotten time to complete plenty of my own projects, all thanks to this Summer Fellowship and the McConnell Arts Center. For this post, however, I want to focus on my experience in giving back to the community.
On Mondays, the other intern and I drive to the local junior high with a tub full of art supplies to host MAC Mondays at their summer lunch program. About 30 kids from around the neighborhood come in on a bus and get to sit and eat lunch with their friends. Our job is to bring them an arts-focused activity so that we can foster whatever passion for the arts they may already have, and give them something that they can take home to use or hang up. Some of the activities from this summer have included: screen printing, stamp making, and fabric name pennants. This week, we brought them blank paper fans and watercolors paints so that they could make their own fans. We helped them learn how to handle watercolors and how it works, and it gave them something to cool them off in this intense summer heat. The fans were a huge hit! So many kids wanted to paint them that we ran out of our supplies!
Seeing how proud they are of their work is rewarding beyond compare. It’s also really funny to see how “creative” the younger kids try to get with the glue and scissors before we have a chance to catch them (we had quite a mess last week…). I believe that arts advocacy only works if you start with the youngest generations, and bringing arts projects to this summer lunch program is a way that I can advocate for the arts hands-on.