10th Anniversary Celebration: A Parent’s Perspective

Remarks from a parent, during our 10th Birthday Bash April 6, 2014:

Every time I drop my son off at Fairmount Art Center I know that the teachers will have something new for him to do that has been well thought-out before he arrives. They are pro-spontaneity – it is Art after all – but they are never “winging it”, it’s not just talk – it’s putting ideas into activity in a safe environment with energetic and engaged teachers. And, not only do they have a plan, in my opinion their plans include EXACTLY what you want your kids to be doing. The kids are the focus. They make decisions  – about the blank spaces and whether to fill them – what colors go where – what amount of pressure to use, what materials.  And it’s not about supplies or size of space – because really – how do they do it all in there? I have no idea! It’s about valuing the kids enough to have a PLAN for them, and to let them run with it.

Here’s what else I have learned: every time I drop my son off he will return a mess. But that’s OK. They paint with trucks and shaving cream – whatever it is, they are TRYING it because it’s safe and free from expectation. Thanks to the Art Center, Malcolm has produced artwork based on famous works, but more importantly, he now has an understanding of what it takes to truly explore art. When you feel the freedom to create, you do.

There are a lot of places in this city for kids to go – places that will happily take your money. But they won’t learn your kid’s name. And they won’t welcome him with a real PLAN every time he walks in the door. For this I am grateful – and I wish the Art Center many MANY more years to come!

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