It's true. And at ArtsQuest, we feel passionately that the arts are a vital part of education (regardless of how old you are!)
That's why we have numerous arts-education programs, from our outreach programs to disadvantaged youth to our visual arts classes at the Banana Factory.
In addition, we also present supplemental arts-in-education offerings and artist in residence programs to local school districts!
Please feel free to use the links above to check out some of our amazing educations programs, or keep reading to learn how you can lend a hand!
ArtsQuest will provide access to art, culture and educational programs for the diverse residents of the Lehigh Valley and others in our community by providing education in the creative arts in areas not well represented by traditional educational institutions in the community and becoming a resource for arts education and arts-in-education for the region.
With federal and state funding for arts education vanishing, public and private schools are shrinking curricula to the basics which are rewarded through funding sources. Diminishing resources result in fewer special programs in schools, and fewer resources to pay for those programs. At the same time art teachers and artists remain available to inspire the imagination in students.
ArtsQuest has acted as a bridge between creative artists and the schools by providing in-school instructional programs and afterschool enrichment programs. ArtsQuest has served over 15 schools in 8 school districts in the Lehigh Valley in the past 3 years. However, the need is much greater.
Afterschool programs are important, especially in schools where there are a greater number of at-risk students. High quality afterschool programs have a proven track record of improving student achievement in school and are linked to significant gains in standardized test scores and work habits, improvements in school attendance as well as reductions in behavior problems among disadvantaged students.
ArtsQuest has developed a variety of programs that can be held in schools, with the collaboration of the district. In addition ArtsQuest offers the B-Smart afterschool enrichment program for middle school students in the Bethlehem Area School District. The students are transported to the Banana Factory for a snack and classes in a variety of arts offerings including glass blowing, photography and ceramics.
ArtsQuest offers classes in diverse visual arts for youth and adults at the Banana Factory. Scholarships are offered in all classes for individuals who can not otherwise afford to attend classes. Preference is given to residents of South Bethlehem, the home of the Banana Factory.
ArtsQuest is working to address the needs of individuals and schools in the region, with very limited resources.
With your contribution to the ArtsQuest Arts Education Fund, you will directly support arts education programs. In addition to providing general support to arts education initiatives, you may designate your contribution to a specific program.
Examples of what your gift will support:
For the last twelve years ArtsQuest has partnered with Career Link Lehigh Valley, to provide a summer job skills program for underserved youth called BananaWorks. The program serves a non-profit agency by developing a public art piece in collaboration with ten youth employees, the mentoring artist and the non-profit agency or its constituents. Agencies served range from the Lehigh Valley International Airport to the Easton Housing Authority, the Bethlehem Housing Authority, Penn State Lehigh Valley, and many others. During the summer the young employees learn basic job skills including respect, team work, employer expectations, proper behavior, how to dress and so on. ArtsQuest typically operates two of these programs each summer even though there is much greater demand for them.
B-Smart is an after-school enrichment program for low-income, mainly Latino, middle school students from the Bethlehem Area School District. Throughout the two (2) 10-week sessions, students are offered classes in visual arts, ceramics, digital photography, video game design, and hot glass. The B-Smart program targets at-risk youth who may not be traditional learners and offers a unique experience to achieve. The students are part of the ASPIRE program which stands for After School Partnership for Instruction, Recreation and Enrichment and the program is open to at-risk youth of low socio-economic backgrounds who are academically challenged and scoring under proficient levels. The primary purpose of the ASPIRE program is to assist schools and community partners to develop and implement comprehensive extended learning opportunities for children as a means of increasing academic achievement and building resiliency.
ArtsQuest places Banana Factory artists in area schools to conduct visual art residency programs and as well as after school programs. Disciplines include Painting, Drawing, Sculpture, Jewelry, Mosaics, Printmaking, Papermaking, Cartooning and more. Students learn to trust their artistic abilities without fear of failure.
Visual arts classes at the Banana Factory are made available to adult and youth community members who would otherwise not have access to these experiences. Classes include Painting and Drawing, working in acrylic, watercolor, pencil, pastel and pen & ink. All skill levels are welcome as students are encouraged to experiment and develop their own personal style. Sculpture students will work with all types of recycled materials to create sculptural pieces. Jewelry classes provide the tools necessary to learn wire bending, hammering techniques and stringing with beautiful beads. Mosaics students learn techniques for cutting glass, breaking tiles and grouting. Banana Factory is home to the only Hot Glass Studio in the Lehigh Valley. Other classes include Ceramics, Photography, Video Game Design, Printmaking, Papermaking, Cartooning and more.