Circle 2011 was a free-of-charge, five-week arts and wellness enrichment program for 65 children ages 9 - 15 enrolled in The Nelsonville York City School District. Our intensive rotation model allowed for arts learning to be conducted across twelve studios and fifteen disciplines. Staffed by professional artists, these arts learning residencies provided students with exposure to multiple perspectives and aesthetics. Providing nearly a semester and a half's worth of art education in five short weeks, our program is similar to that of language immersion - powerful in its reinforcement and lasting in its effect. The creativity and enthusiasm demonstrated by the students was boundless this year.
In keeping with our four principles, Learn, Create, Accomplish and Be Recognized, program activities culminated in an art exhibit and film gala at Stuart’s opera house during the Final Friday regional art walk in July. Over three hundred parents, peers and local guests were present this year for our seventh annual show. After the show came down, students took home their framed and mounted artwork to display year-round. Our mural, created by the children, is now proudly displayed on Canal Street in Nelsonville for all who pass through to see.
2011 Program Activities
Our 2011 program ran June 20-July 22, Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the old Nelsonville High School on Fayette Street, at The First Presbyterian church, The City Pool, and Hocking College.
This year we also offered performing arts collaborative in which students made four music videos. Performing arts classes consisted of the following (collaborative) studios:
Afternoon classes offered from 2-4 were:
Breakfast, lunch and snacks were served daily. Transportation was provided for our most outlying students.
Providing world-class arts learning and wellness enrichment opportunities for children is not all that this program offers. Of the $103,000 we generated this year, 73% of that was put right back into the community and into Athens County in the form of rents, purchases and in greatest part, teacher and staff salaries. Families also benefit greatly. On a social level families and students both reported a greater harmony at home while attending the program. Data we captured shows that there was a rise in self-esteem for attendees, and an increase in wellnesss scoring. (please see attached measurement results) Parents are invited to attend a show in Stuart’s Opera House, a place most cannot afford to come to. They see their children in a new light of accomplishment, learn more about art through their child's conversations, and can take great pride in being part of the community. Because the program is free, parents do not have to provide child care or food for five weeks for their children, reducing their economic burdens.
This year our partners were not only essential to our success, together we learned the great power of community to collaborate as we pooled all our resources to benefit these children. The Logan Regional Food Center delivered breakfast, lunch and snacks daily, as well as Friday backpacks. The City of Nelsonville generously provided us with free pool passes for all our participants. The First Presbyterian Church graciously allowed use of their van, their kitchen and worship room for meeting, classes and mealtime. Hocking College lent us use of their air-conditioned classrooms on the square for digital storytelling. Rocky Boots provided many services, donations of equipment and an end of the year cook-out for our families. Ohio University School of film loaned us equipment, and the Media center loaned us 20 Laptops for the summer. Stuarts Opera House allowed use of theater and lobby for exhibit, and treated us to a special afternoon Woody Pines concert for the kids. Josh Crook was essential to our film class, generously loaning any needed cameras, lights and other equipment.