New ArtStART Program Expansion

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The Claremont Museum of Art’s Project ArtStART program allows students to be art teachers to elementary school students from grades four through six. In this program, high school teens and college interns work with elementary school kids to teach them art techniques by taking them to museums and teaching them a lesson that they have spent the first semester planning. This year, ArtStART has the greatest amount of student involvement than any year before.

“I think having a larger team will only benefit the program. It is good to have a big group because then we can bounce ideas off of each other and having more students will allow ArtStART to expand as a program,” junior and ArtStART member Illian Fontan said.

There is a lot of work that goes into preparing lesson plans for the Claremont elementary schools. To start off the year, the students visited different museums and learned about Claremont artists to expand their knowledge of art. They also started learning how to work with the kids, with the help of the college students. In recent sessions, they have been planning out all of their future lessons. ArtStART has recently added Sumner Elementary to the elementary schools they teach, adding extra responsibility for the program’s staff. Other than Sumner, the program has been teaching at most Claremont elementary schools. They currently teach at five different Claremont elementary schools, which include Mountain View, Oakmont, Sycamore, Vista, and now Sumner. This is
where having a larger amount of people comes into use because with more people it is easier to maintain all the activities and scheduling aspects of the program.

“I’ve seen how much the outreach is expanding and through that, I see how many more kids are able to have access to the arts and are able to experience this passion. Having that much passion [for art] is something I really enjoy seeing,” senior and ArtStART member Helene Thomas said.

Having a larger class will greatly benefit the program so that more students are able to express their ideas with everyone, which gives a variety of different ideas rather than a few students coming up with similar ideas. This way, the students can have more ideas to branch off of and be creative in any way they want to. The program currently has over 60 active ArtStART elementary school students. The growth of the program has allowed them to add to their After Arts series which meets once a month to give the members more time to teach a wider range of students. Their after school program teaches about 25 students at each of the five elementary schools every month from October to May.

“Next year, we would like to increase our After Arts programing to Chaparral and Condit, which are the last two elementary programs, and not increase our main program any larger than it is because this is about as large as we want to make it,” ArtStART director Rich Deeley said.

ArtStART is making history with the program growth. The growth has allowed them to add many new activities and even an extra program which expands ArtStART as a whole. The members are excited to see how the program will improve with all the new members and activities they have taken part in.

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