A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of delivering the ZACC’s new 14 passenger, all-wheel drive Ford Transit van from the dealership to its new ‘home’, a parking space across the street from the ZACC donated by Boone Karlberg P.C. and Datsopoulos, MacDonald & Lind, P.C. The van is the newest addition to our toolkit of education resources and is intended to offer safe transportation to and from the ZACC for young artists who may otherwise find getting to our downtown location prohibitive. Making sure our accessibility can continue to grow as the snow sets in is more important than ever, and we want to make sure the ZACC’s new Art Academy can remain available for those who need it most.
We launched the ZACC’s new Art Academy nearly two months ago and our mission to provide a creative, engaging space for students in these unpredictable times has been a wonderful success. Our small pods of approximately 10 students spend each day exploring their creative instincts through both structured art lessons and instructor assisted projects of their own creation. They’ve painted papier-mâché pumpkins and crafted foam board haunted houses. There was even an afternoon fashion show in our Show Room, with capes and costumes built with materials from the ZACC’s sewing lab. This is all happening in addition to our more specific after school programming, where one student just created an impressive stop-motion animation film comprised of over 50 cats (each with their own unique name and clique of specific friends) and their quest to defeat the evil empire of red-scarfed, suede covered teddy bears.
While the projects change from day to day, the most consistent — and in many ways most vital — aspect of our educational programming is that children still venture together creatively as a group. While we have personally had to rewrite the ways we spend time together in almost all aspects of our lives, we’ve made it our goal at the ZACC to continue to provide children the essential experience of sharing a creative space with others in a way that is safe for all involved. With the new van, the Art Academy, and the continuation of our Young Artist After-School Program, we are striving to cultivate a bit of collective joy and artistic discovery during this difficult year that has taken from all of us in so many different ways.
See you on the road!
Joe Kirk, ZACC Education & Volunteer Coordinator