There are 15,000 children in Chatham County – providing an incredible opportunity for 15,000 souls to be nurtured, creative minds to be sparked, and budding artists to be encouraged. As the school year comes to a close, the Chatham Arts Council is launching a local campaign, I He(art) Art for Kids, in an effort to raise money to help nurture creative thinkers and educate kids through the arts in Chatham County.
The goal of the campaign is to support arts in education for every child in Chatham County. But the Chatham Arts Council is focused on community participation, rather than a financial target. “We realize that $15,000 won’t cover the programming we have planned next year,” explained Cheryl Chamblee, Executive Director of the Chatham Arts Council. “Our hope is that with robust local participation, we will elevate the value of art and continue to build a strong community through the arts, benefiting all families in Chatham County.”
The proceeds from the campaign will help fund the Chatham Arts Council’s programming, including Artists-in-Schools, an initiative that has been bringing professional artists to Chatham County schools to support math, science, language, and history curricula since 2015.
Through interactive, engaging workshops taught by theatre actors, performance artists, dancers, mural painters, African drummers, and strings musicians students have unique opportunities for a deeper engagement with learning objectives. Next school year, the Chatham Arts Council will expand the program to bring professional artists to every elementary school in the Chatham County School System, reaching nearly 3,000 children.
Research shows that students involved in the arts are four times as likely to be recognized for academic achievement and four times more likely to participate in a math and science fair. “I’ve seen the benefits first-hand of incorporating art into our curriculum. Every child should have the opportunity to be exposed to art in some fashion at an early age,” noted Carla Murray, Principal at North Chatham, a school participating in the Artists-in-Schools Initiative. Beverly Browne, Principal at JS Waters, went on to say, “In our school, the resident artists have engaged our students, challenged them to try something new, and in the process, created stronger retention of core subjects in a very meaningful way.”
For more information on the Chatham Arts Council or to donate to I He(art) Art for Kids, helping raise money to nurture creative thinkers and educate kids through the arts, visit www.chathamartscouncil.org/i-heart-art-for-kids/donate/.