Art Is For Everyone
By Savannah Lira, Program Officer
PVF’s Visiting Artist in the Classroom Resource Grant program, funded by the Geballe Family offers grants of up to $500 to TK-12th grade teachers at low-income public schools in Alameda, San Mateo, and San Francisco counties to bring a painter, sculptor, wood carver, etc. to their classroom.
These are visual and material artists who would complement the lesson plan. Teachers who might not have expertise in the art form presented by the visiting artist, are often able to use what they learn during the visiting artist’s presentation to model future lessons!
Martin Luther Middle School Art Teacher Louise Paige was awarded a grant to bring muralist, community activist, and educator Edythe Boone to help the students create a mural based on the ideals of their school’s namesake.
Louise shares: “Edythe believes that art is for everyone, not just professional artists. Her mission is to empower individuals and transform communities through art. Whether she is working in a diverse collaborative of women artists on the MaestraPeace project, putting paintbrushes in the hands of Richmond seniors unfamiliar with art, or giving teens from rival groups a lesson in non–violent communication, Edythe uses art as a tool to foster empathy and compassion, change perceptions of the “other” and promote cross-cultural/interracial/intergenerational healing. She has taught thousands of students to find their creative voice, filling the Bay Area with colorful murals designed to bring dignity, pride and empowerment to the communities they grace.”
Edythe and her assistants visited classes to lead students through an art project designed to elicit their thoughts about the ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and about issues in our community and world that matter to them. The student artwork inspired the mural artists to create a large mural depicting the students‘ values and hopes for the world. Then all the students and families were invited to join in and paint the mural alongside the muralists.
This program is working to fill a large need, and makes a difference in the number of students who receive inspirational, quality arts education.