Adult and Youth Classes
After School Youth
The Art Center of the Grand Prairie offers classes during the academic year for students in grades third thru sixth at the art center. This after school program has been in place since 2011 and serves the entire community. Students participate in art classes taught by professional artists and reinforce their cognitive skills using art as the catalyst. Students are selected by their individual school counselor/teacher to attend this program.
Weekend classes in painting, drawing and ceramics have been held at the art center for adults of all ages and abilities. Classes are offered every semester and are open to anyone in the community that would like to draw, paint and create. New programming for adults and senior citizens are being developed for the 2019 – 2020 season.
Summer Art Camp
For twenty years the Art Center has offered summer art camp for students
K – 8th grade. Students have the opportunity to attend this week long camp and work with artist teachers creating works that show their individuality and foster their cognitive skills. Three classes are held each morning with students rotating between art classes in various mediums and the world of ceramics. Dates are published late spring every year and is open to any student that would like a safe and creative summer activity. Please go directly to the Summer Art Camp tab for more information.
“Pottery for Hunger”
Using the arts as the catalyst to raise awareness and support for local causes is important. The center's involvement in programming resulting from community input is felt in many ways.
The Arts Center has started a local campaign using a simple handmade pinch pot and a bag ofrice to sell locally in shops with the profits being donated to the local food bank entitled “Pottery for Hunger”. Local civic and church groups are utilized to help make the ceramic bowl and each is as unique as the individual creating it.
The Lions Peace Poster Contest
Community educational collaborations include yearly support and sponsorship of the Lions International Peace Poster Contest. For the last five plus years the Art Center has worked directly with the local Lions Chapter to organize and produce art work for this event. This involves students in middle school that are selected and work with a professional artist to design a poster that is reflective of the year's theme.
The Art Center and the local Lions club have been fortunate to have entries that have won at every level including internationally. Student native Kyle Watson was one of only four American Students to be picked to have his poster displayed internationally.
The Grand Prairie Arts Initiative
Since 2011, The "Grand Prairie Arts Initiative” has provided students within the community the opportunity to attend summer and after school programs that focus on using art to improve their cognitive learning, social and communication skills. The program currently serves elementary and junior high age students in grades K thru 8 with structured curriculum designed to strengthen the classroom skills and tools that the student needs while learning and to transfer their improved tools to other areas in their personal and educational growth. The challenge to engage these populations cannot stop and start with the public classroom and cannot wait to be addressed when the student is in high school. Students in the targeted demographics to be served continue to have difficulty with academics and social problems when reaching high school. Instead of making the connections that education is a lifelong process, apathy and social "clicks" become more important to the student. Funding for this program has been developed thru multiple resources including a Federal Grand thru the Department of Juvenile Justice as the original funding body and has continued thru the sincere generosity and interest in helping students achieve provided by Foundations both locally, state wide and nationally. Since 2011 after school programming for students as well as summer programming that was started over twenty years ago has been available for youth in Stuttgart.
Raising the students own awareness and self-respect is another important goal to start the process of lifelong learning. Many of the students in the target population have no sense of belonging for often many reasons. Their academics may not allow them to participate in extracurricular activities if they desire for example. Raising their expectations for themselves in successful settings outside the classroom has been an accomplished goal for the program. Another goal has been to reinforce basic family values of respect and expectation of hard work.
The art faculty at the Arts Center of the Grand Prairie has experience in a wide variety of art mediums including ceramics, photography, general art, and painting. A partnership existing with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock as well as The Arkansas Art Center and the Arkansas Arts Council has provided quality professional teachers and artists to participate in this and other programs at the center. Communication with the public and private schools is well received and the educational community works well with the center to provide assistance in identifying students that will benefit from this program.