Visiting Artist Grant Funds School Mural of Pescadero Marsh

 In teacher grants, Visiting Artist in the Classroom Program

by Anita Brown, Program Officer

Philanthropic Ventures Foundation’s Visiting Artist in the Classroom Grant program offers $500 grants for teachers to invite artists (e.g. painters, sculptors, wood carvers, weavers, musicians, dancers) or art historians to visit their classrooms and lead fun, hands-on art projects. Made possible with funding by the Geballe Family, this program is working to fill a large need and makes a difference in the number of students who receive inspirational, quality arts education. Interactive workshops from professional artists in the community are motivating to students and increase both student and teacher morale.

Principal Erica Hayes requested and received funding for a local artist/muralist, Ellen Silva, to support the fourth grade classroom at Pescadero Elementary in creating and completing a “California Habitats” mural. “Ms. Silva worked with the students to research, conceptualize and bring to life a design of a mural of the underground portion of the Pescadero marsh.”


In about a week, students researched and discussed the habitat and shared ideas, Ms. Silva outlined students’ drawings of Pescadero marsh animals and plants on a large poster, students colored in the drawings, Ms. Silva transferred them to a wall outside the classrooms, and students painted the wall. There was a Dedication Ceremony to celebrate the completion of the mural.

In reporting about the impact of the grant, Principal Hayes wrote, “This project helped to reinforce the fourth grade students’ learning about California habitats and ecosystems, part of their social studies standards. In addition, they now understand the process an artist goes through to create a mural. This mural will be a daily visual reminder of their learning and beautifies the school campus.”

Visiting Artist in the Classroom Grant funding is still available for the 2017-2018 school year. Learn how to apply for a grant here.

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