Written by: Izzi Diaz
These days, online schooling has become the norm for most students. Because of this, there has been a significant decline in arts accessibility for the children in our community and across the globe.
For the entirety of October, the Academy Center of the Arts has joined forces with the Bank of the James and Centra Health to raise funds and donations through an Art Supply Drive program with a goal of supplying 1,200 of our community’s children with the opportunity to create art projects in their own homes.
On the topic of raising awareness for the lack of arts access, Tremayne Edwards, Director of Community Engagement, explains, “we know many of our kids already lack the basic supplies for school readiness, so art access is the same if not worse. When many budgets face hardships the arts are usually on the chopping block and this supply drive is a way to counter that.”
The projects supplied in the Art Supply Drive kits are age-neutral, including both basic supplies (paint, brushes, palettes) as well as unique supplies one might not typically use for art-making (tape, q-tips, cotton balls, toilet paper rolls, etc.).
Our first project, entitled “Fall Q-Tip Trees” is designed to celebrate and welcome the new season.
The Art Supply Drive is incredibly important right now, being as so much in our lives is perpetually uncertain. For kids, especially, change is not typically something that comes naturally. The COVID-19 pandemic has left many kids around the world without the opportunity to pursue their dreams and passions, their outlets seemingly being ripped away from them.
Coordinator of Curriculum Development, Adara Wright, states, “art is not only fun and enjoyable, but it is also healing and therapeutic. Almost every child likes to draw, and continuing to create as they become older is a powerful way for them to express their thoughts, feelings, and individual personalities, whether that manifests in painting, music, dance, writing, etc. I believe that each one of us has an art form we connect to. Even adults right now are turning to the arts to find a sense of hope and calm in these uncertain times.” Because of this, the Art Supply Drive is pivotal.
We must strive to remind children that their dreams can still very much become a reality, that their love for the arts will triumph over any pandemic or uncertainty. We recognize the importance of art in the lives of the upcoming generation, a stronghold for many, and we hope to remind students that it will continue to be just that.
To support the Art Supply Drive, visit this link where you will find a digital ‘wish-list’ and have the chance to purchase items online, ranging from canvases to brushes and more. Interested donors can visit a local store and drop items off at the Harrington Gallery, which will be open Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm during the month of October for supply collection.
As the drive concludes in early November, the Academy will create and package the kits while working with Lynchburg City Schools to deliver to the community through the usual school bus routes.
You can help be a part of giving our children their dreams back. Visit our website and get involved today at academycenter.org/art-supply-drive/
The Art Supply Drive is Supported by: