The Festival is supporting the Museum of Northwest Art MoNA Link Program with an $8,000 grant this year. We are thrilled that MoNA is partnering with us in our Arts at the Port Youth Art Show, showcasing work from that program. Be sure to visit the Port Transit Shed to see this show (as well as our other Fine Art Exhibits).
MoNA Link provides comprehensive art education for students in pre-k through middle school throughout Skagit County. They work with teachers to provide professional development and classroom art projects and students who visit the museum 3 times a year.
PE Instructor Val Holtgeerts teaches a 3-4 week circus unit to some of her Mt. Erie students. To enhance her passion for circus art, she came up with the idea that it would be great to add some professional training to the unit. With a grant from the Arts Festival’s Giving Back Program, she was able to offer the 4 – 6th grade students an opportunity to explore Circus Arts at a new level.
The students worked hard on their circus skills and some of them became mini-experts in their new talents. The Arts Festival Board loves to fund creative art opportunities for children and appreciates Val’s creative thinking in asking us to enhance this program.
In 2015, the Arts Festival has granted more than $80,000 to art education, art projects and public art in our community.
… Giving Back .. Grants
The Art in Bloom Auction not only brought a night of amazing art and good times, but it also brought good news for art programs in our schools. The generosity of everyone in attendance led to a very successful fundraising effort by the Arts Festival Board, Staff and Volunteers.
We were able to raise enough money through a Live Auction, a Silent Auction of vases designed by local artists, and Fine Art Sales to fund the ASD Cultural Education Program for 2015 – 2016. And, through commitments during Raise the Paddle, we funded a monumental collaborative art project that will take place in all three of our elementary schools this Fall. Stay tuned for more information about Art for the Sky. A total of almost $20,000 will be granted to art in our schools from our April Events.
The Arts Festival is committed to helping the Anacortes School District keep art and cultural education alive for our students.
… Giving Back .. Grants
The Fidalgo Island Quilters have created a Kids Quilting Program with their grants from the Anacortes Arts Festival. The program has been successful well beyond their original hopes and the success has led to the creation of a national program modeled after their efforts.
Over the last two years, the FIQ have been able to reach all fifth graders in Anacortes and children of all ages through their presence at the Festival last August.
They began their education outreach with 2 one-hour classroom visits by four volunteers. During those visits, they engaged the students in learning about quilting: what makes a quilt a quilt, the stages of construction, art concepts (color and design), math concepts (geometry and fractional parts) and US history (Underground Railroad). Next, they bussed the 58 students to their group’s quilt show in April, where they provided docent-led tours of the show, using thinking skills based on Visual Thinking Systems, a technique employed in Museum of Northwest Art student tours. Students were able to identify specific quilt blocks, color relationships, and geometric forms in the quilts. At the conclusion of the tour, each child used a sewing machine to construct a traditional 9-patch quilt block under the direction of our members. Blocks were displayed at the show, and later, the 58 blocks became 3 quilts for American Hero Quilts and Quilts of Valor.
In August they brought the project to the Anacortes Arts Festival children’s activity area. Their open invitation for kids to make quilt blocks for more patriotic quilts and the Anacortes Family Shelter led to the creation of 100 more blocks! They estimate that they reached approximately 90 kids, age 4-14, most of whom had never used a sewing machine, at the Festival.
Positive feedback abounds! Some highlights of comments they’ve received from the parents and grandparents of participating kids:
- one father thanked them, saying he rarely had a chance to see his daughter so proud of something she had accomplished
- another father thanked them profusely, telling them his autistic son never gets to take part in these kinds of activities. (The FIQ member who helped him was a retired special ed teacher with 3 certifications.)
- two FIQ members with early childhood training were able to help 2 four year-olds sew their blocks
- several kids who were initially afraid to use a machine came to like it
- one child returned to the festival booth 7 times to make more blocks
- a member of Quilters’ Anonymous, a large Seattle area guild with 400 members, commented that they do many charitable projects, but nothing like this for kids!
- many parents and grandparents thanked them for taking the time to give their children something so special, with comments like “I need to get that machine out of the closet” or ”His grandmother sews, but his mother doesn’t—so glad you are filling the gap.”
In September they accepted the invitation of the La Conner Regional Library to have the Kids’ Quilting Project be part of their special week of activities called “Outside the Lines”. 30 more blocks were completed on September 16, made by children and adults.
Overall Project Success:
- Total blocks so far – 188
- Students and adults participating: approx. 200
- 3 quilts completed with 130 more blocks awaiting completion
FIQ is having so much fun sharing their love of quilting with the children in our community. They have decided to make education a focus for this biennium, for kids and young adults.
Through our Giving Back Program, the Arts Festival is able to fund a dozen or so programs each year for the Anacortes School District. Last year’s programs included theatre trips, artists in classrooms, musical performances and theatre performances in the elementary schools. Three of the elementary schools had in-house performances of Robin Hood, presented by The Grail Theatre of Britain.