Northeastern Louisiana Arts Council creates Start With Art program


MONROE, Louisiana (KNOE) – The Northeast Louisiana Arts Council is launching a new program to provide early access to the arts to economically disadvantaged children. The Start with Art program will benefit children from Kindergarten to Grade 5.

The NELA Arts Council received a grant of $ 14,000 from the Junior League of Monroe to launch the program in the parish of Ouachita.

In February 2018, studies show that 49% of children in our ten regional parishes did not have the chance to take an art class.

Start with Art will give kids a kit filled with basic art supplies like crayons, colored pencils, markers, construction paper and more. Local artists from region 8 are also contributing to this new program.

“Regional artists from across Region 8 will be submitting short 10-minute videos for teachers to show in class. So additional artistic instruction, but also sharing where they come from. Kids don’t just get art supplies and art lessons. They are also able to look at other artists in their area and say, “Oh, I connect with this person because maybe they are from the same neighborhood as me or the same city as me where they grew up. kinda like me, ”said Abigail Handy, community development coordinator for the NELA Arts Council.

Local artists will use the same supplies in the kit to come up with small art projects for the kids to make.

For now, the kits will stay in the classroom during the school year and come home after school ends.

Riser Elementary in West Monroe and Berg Jones Elementary in Monroe will be the pilot schools for the program. The council plans to send around 600 kits to schools.

The NELA Arts Council hopes to expand the program and potentially partner with local businesses to sponsor kits. Right now, it costs around $ 25 to make a kit.

For more information on Start with Art, click here.

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Kayleen C. Rice

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