By Kim Fabian
Kameron’s eyes light up as he talks about making art through the Greenville Center for Creative Arts (GCCA) Aspiring Artists program at Freetown Community Center. This enthusiastic third-grader has been a fixture in Freetown’s after-school program since he was in kindergarten, but this year, he’s been creating his own art for the first time.
His favorite class was learning graffiti-style art with Nick Burns, GCCA instructor and former Brandon Fellow. Kameron spray-painted a cap with his very own design and afterward, he couldn’t wait to share his enthusiasm. “It was really fun,” Kameron exclaimed. “I want to do that again!”
- Low-income students who are highly engaged in the arts are twice as likely to graduate college as their peers with no arts education.
- Direct engagement in the visual arts helps young people develop the critical thinking skills, innovation, and social-emotional skills needed to thrive in life and work.
Through this new program, children who would not otherwise have access to this kind of opportunity are participating in monthly hands-on activities taught by local artists in a variety of mediums. Kameron and his friends are not only gaining exposure to new cultures and learning experiences through the visual arts, they are also finding their own creative voice — a life-changing discovery.
As we celebrate GCCA’s 6th birthday, we are overwhelmed with gratitude for the many ways our community has stepped up to meet the need for quality visual arts programming. In the coming months, we are excited to expand our reach by adding new classrooms for jewelry making and printmaking, 11 affordable studios for working artists, a dedicated Community Gallery, and more.
Most important, we are providing more opportunities for both children and the young-at-heart to watch their creativity blossom.
For information on classes, outreach, and exhibitions, visit www.artcentergreenville.org.