Arts education is very important to the Arts Council and our mission of inspiring participation in the arts.
Research shows that children educated in the arts receive many benefits from the program besides art awareness. These include:
developing critical thinking skills,
improving academic performance,
learning to work with a team,
creative expression, and
Picture People Program
ABOUT PICTURE PEOPLE: Picture People has been an ongoing program of The Arts Council since the early 1990's. Volunteers take oversized prints of museum art into third grade classrooms once a month to discuss content, style, etc., with the children while encouraging creative, imaginative responses. The program runs from October through April allowing for seven prints to be introduced to the students and offers great flexibility for implementation.
A PICTURE PEOPLE STORY: Each month two artists were showcased to approximately 200 students who learned about each artist’s life and their rich legacy in the annals of visual art. Touched and inspired by their paintings, the children’s eyes opened to the world of art, not only in the past, but in their own lives as well. Debra Magrann and Debra Alessandra happily volunteered their love and service to the students of Martin County and were fortunate to experience the impact they made. After the final best wishes and happy summers were extended, the clapping resounded in the teacher planning area where they met each month. The thank you notes filled with the student’s own artwork clearly demonstrated the positive effect in their lives. “It was a joy to share with such an eager and attentive audience,” Mrs. Alessandra noted. “A few of their many comments are quite telling.” “You have inspired me very much in learning art. I want to be an artist when I grow up. Thank you for teaching us.” said Ella. “We love the pretty pictures you showed us.” said Lianne. “You made me think I can do art and it will be fine just the way it is.” said Jalynn. Lead teacher, Kim Brown, speaks for all the teachers when she explains, “Picture People is a great program that enriches our students. The students look forward to Ms. Alessandra’s visits and can’t wait to learn about the artist each month. This program allows the students an opportunity to learn about the great artists that have made an impact in the past. We are very fortunate to have this program available to our students.” One of the children quoted Mary Cassatt saying,“I think that when you shake the tree, you ought to be around when the fruit falls to pick it up.” The Arts Council of Martin County does feel they have picked up the fruit. Not only the grateful hearts of the children, but the teachers who embraced the program and welcomed the enrichment opportunity in their curriculum and who speak volumes about the value of the Picture People Program.
"Once Upon a Lily Pad"
From left to right: Lovensky Gresseau (Turtle), Savannah Jenkins (Egret), Jonathan Houston (Hoot Gibson, Owl), Casey Eubank (Snake), Veronica Cottrell (Alligator), Kayla Thuman (Firefly), DiMaggio Tucci (Freddy the Frog) "Once Upon a Lily Pad" is a musical play that the students performed at JD Parker School for Math, Science and Technology Extended Day program May 2011. Over the course of a four month multi-disciplinary program, the students learned from the Treasure Coast Wildlife Center about the animals in the play. They also learned from author/illustrator Janeen Mason who helped them create illustrations of their future costumes and they worked side by side with Brenda Leigh to paint their set and with Karen Barnes, who directed and produced the program and acted as music/acting coach. A highlight for the children was working with Kelsey Moore and Philippe Arroyo, high school students who have participated in Opus, Starstruck Productions, and Martin High School drama productions. Moore and Arroyo assisted with dramatic and musical preparation during the program. The wonderful set was enhanced with live foliage from BlueWater Garden Center. This program was sponsored by Target, the State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Martin County School District.