Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Art for Everyone

Last year, I co-wrote a grant along with a librarian from Adult Services. We were fortunate enough to win an Emerging Grant Writers' Grant from LSTA and we used the grant funds this summer for our Art for Everyone series. The idea was to hire local artists and purchase all supplies so that patrons could come in and try their hand at an art form they might not otherwise have been able to try. It fits it nicely with our Master the Art of Reading summer reading club theme. We booked three adult programs and three children's programs and I'd like to talk about the children's programs for just a bit.

At the beginning of the summer we hired a lady to do a family workshop on face painting. She brought all the paint, mirrors, brushes, etc. and families had a great time painting themselves and each other.

In June, we brought in an art teacher from our local school district to do a program about Chinese ink painting for grade-school kids. Not only does this tie in with the upcoming summer Olympics, but my library currently has on loan a pair of Chinese lion statues. With the funds from the grant we were able to purchase ink sticks, bamboo brushes, ink stones, liquid watercolor paint, and more so that the kids could create a really unique project. It was tons of fun and the kids were really creative.

In July, we brought in an art teacher from a local art school and she did a program with acrylics for preschoolers. Each child got a square of stuff canvas and used these little metal tools to put paint on their canvas and spread it around. We got some really colorful masterpieces and the kids got to try a different art form that they may never have gotten to try otherwise.

It's been a great series and I've gotten some great experience writing the grant and the subsequent reports that go along with it. One big thing that I took away from this experience is to use your local resources. The art teachers we booked for the programs were great. They had experience working with kids and brought really fun projects for them to do. It's been a great addition to our summer programming!